Thursday, February 25, 2010

Top Ten Albums - a postscript

Well that was interesting!

I really enjoyed that - not just picking my top ten, but trying to articulate why they were my top ten.  In doing so, it inspired me to want to listen to them again.

And my, they are good.  Aren't they?

Looking at the list again,we have a pretty even split between English and American bands - and, interestingly, a North-West whitewash for the English bands (albeit with a Manchester bias, and assuming you class Elvis Costello as an honorary scouser at least).

Is that coincidence, or in some way relevant?  Is it because (Beatles apart) I was growing up in and around the same cities, at around the same time?  Who knows.

Conversely, only one black artist on the list.  Now I think I do understand this.  I love soul music, and the blues, but my self-imposed criteria forced me to ignore compilations, and the bulk of my soul, reggae and blues collections are made up of singles compilations.  Stevie Wonder is, unusually, a soul artist with as much of an album pedigree as a singles pedigree.  (That said, Marvin, Jimi and Bob Marley were all 'bubbling under' the top ten).

And only one woman on the list.  And to be honest, no-one else even close.  Again, there are plenty of female performers in the collection, but not many that I listen to on a regular basis, or who overcome my built-in preference for boys with guitars.

But hey, enough of my yakkin'.  Just listen to the music.  And enjoy.

POSTSCRIPT:  A new challenge has come through - having done top ten albums, now do your top ten songs.  Now that will require some thought.  Watch this space...


simonc68 said...

Failed miserably to cut it down under 20 (and still needed to make some hard choices!). These are the songs that always come to the top of my mind when thinking of something to search for and play. They may not be the best technically or the greatest songs ever written but they are what appeals most to me. As before only one entry per artist allowed! Here goes in no particular order…..

1. Motorcycle Emptiness – Manics

In my opinion one of the most perfect songs ever written with a fantastic opening. Still makes the crowd go mad at their gigs. Reminds me of a holiday with the lads to the Greek island of Ios.

2. London Calling – the Clash

If Paul celebrates his local area this is the one that captures my home town. Played at QPR before games. Mick Jones a big QPR fan. Enough said!

3. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

This song just creeps up on me every now and then and I can’t get it out of my head for the rest of the day and have an urge to spin round the room!

4. Babe I’m Going to Leave You – Led Zeppelin

Just builds and builds and love the sound of Mr Plant singing away from the mike that is picked up on the remastered versions.

5. Help! – The Beatles / Tina Turner

The original is my favourite Beatles song (just!) but I also love the slowed down soul version of Ms Turner that sounds like someone looking back over their life.

simonc68 said...

6. My Hero – Foo Fighters

A great song with a fantastic drum track. Works really well as an acoustic version.

7. Ace of Spades – Motorhead

The metal song and the heaviest bass sound. Should carry health warning for playing in car though as always have urge to drive faster and more aggressively!

8. One – U2

Change of pace needed. One of the great slow songs. Used to be played a lot when drunk late at night after getting home after the pub.

9. Last Goodbye – Jeff Buckley

What a voice and another track that just builds nicely.

10. If I Can Dream – Elvis Presley

Enough said on my own blog about the reason for this song.

11. This is not America – David Bowie & Pat Metheny

I know this is not an obvious choice for Bowie (from an obscure film “The Falcon and the Snowman”), comes from the artistically wilderness years of the mid-80s and a song that I took years to find a copy of after not buying at time (pre-downloads). Just love the vocal.

12. Try a little tenderness – Otis Redding

One of the great sing in the shower songs!

13. Across 110th Street – Bobby Womack

Another song that often creeps into my consciousness and a great soul track.

14. Tom Traubert's Blues – Tom Waits

Vocals you either love or hate … I love them – my parents hated them! A great story telling song. However if you want to remain my friend never ever mention or play the Rod Stewart version to me….!!!

15. Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey

Had to have one Bond theme on the list and this one is has a strange reason! A friend, Phil, used to sing it when drunk backed by a human chorus doing the orchestration. He then did this at one wedding reception and it then became a tradition – if Phil hadn’t sung Goldfinger it didn’t matter what the Vicar or Registrar had said you weren’t properly married! I even had it my own.

16. Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones at their best and most dangerous before they became an “institution”!

17. Super Trouper – ABBA

Can’t have a list of great songs without ABBA! Reminds me of Sunday afternoons as a kid after Sunday lunch and before the Big Match with Brian Moore.

18. What a Waste – Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Altogether now …. “Because I chose to play the fool in a six-piece band, First-night nerves every one-night stand. I should be glad to be so inclined.What a waste! What a waste! But I don't mind.”

19.Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode

Could have been my theme tune at one point. Great lyrics and music.

20. Our House – Madness

Reminds me of being at school and school discos! Another London song.

There we go! I have even more on my list but you have to stop somewhere!!!! Over to you now Paul…