> Skip to content

A compilation of the greatest hits (and some new material) from the beloved blog where famous people review classic albums they’ve listened to for the very first time

The concept behind the Ruth and Martin’s Album Club blog is simple: Make people listen to a classic album they’ve never heard before. Make them listen to it two more times. Get them to explain why they never bothered with it before. Then ask them to review it.

What began as a simple whim quickly grew in popularity, and now Ruth and Martin’s Album Club has featured some remarkable guests: Ian Rankin on Madonna’s Madonna. Chris Addison on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. Brian Koppelman on The Smiths’ Meat is Murder. JK Rowling on the Violent Femmes’ Violent Femmes. Bonnie Greer on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Martin Carr on Paul McCartney’s Ram. Brian Bilston on Neil Young’s Harvest. Anita Rani on The Strokes’ Is This It. Richard Osman on Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure. And many, many more.

Each entry features an introduction to each album by blog creator Martin Fitzgerald. What follows are delightful, humorous and insightful contributions from each guest as they have an album forced upon them and – for better or worse – they discover some of the world’s favourite music.

Ruth and Martin’s Album Club is a compilation of some of the blog’s greatest hits as well as some exclusive material that has never appeared anywhere before. Throughout, we get an insight into why some people opt out of some music, and what happens when you force them to opt in.


I grew bored of music criticism a long time ago… but Ruth and Martin’s Album Club works on a more personal, human level and has become my favourite music website

Martin Carr

I love Ruth and Martin’s Album Club. Classic albums (and oddities) given a fresh hearing, and Martin’s capsule reviews remain the best in the business

Ian Rankin

It’s just brilliantly written, now want to listen to all the great music

Dara Ã? Briain

Music geek paradise. Like the chat you have in the pub after the gig, with the shamanistic roadie who has seen it all

Hugo Rifkind

The brilliant thing here is the total lack of recycling of received rock wisdom, usually replaced by something very personal, often funny and sometimes quite moving . . . essential reading.

The Record Collector

Easy to dip in and out of . . . well worth it!

The Afterword

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    September 15, 2017


    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au


1971 - Never a Dull Moment
A Light That Never Goes Out
Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom
Set the Boy Free
Dan and Phil Go Outside
Not Dead Yet: The Autobiography
Bit Rot
The Beatles Book
The Rise and Fall of Australia
I Didn’t See That Coming
Time Out of Mind
The Story of Music
Rod: The Autobiography
Strange Fascination
The Modfather
Soul Stylists