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Old 3rd Jun 2003, 10:48   #1
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Default Wavid's Top Ten Songs

I found it easier to choose songs than albums. With albums, there' always a couple of tracks you don't like, with single songs, either you like them, or you don't. Anyway, not all of the ones I have chosen have been singles - some are album tracks.

In no particular order:

Northern Sky - Nick Drake
The NME once described this as the greatest love song of the modern age. Whatever - it's a beautiful little song, the arrangements are perfect and it even has John Cage playing on it.

The Ship Song - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
This is one of those "Where were you when you first heard this?" songs. I was round Amner's, about 5 years ago. Probably pissed. It's revelatory, a real wake up call. Makes you realise exactly what music can do, and a great argument to those who claim popular music has no worth. Genius.

Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
A brilliant, brilliant single. Great title, great tune, great voice, great lyrics. An almost pefect musical moment - no wonder they have never managed to top it. A pure joy to listen to, over and over again.

I See a Darkness - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
A real dark one this. Incredibly quiet and mournful, this expression of brotherly love is at once heart wrenching, and then in the final chorus, magnificently uplifting.

Another Girl, Another Planet - The Only Ones
Another good thing about choosing songs over albums - the one hit wonders. Perhaps a bit of a harsh description here, but this was way out in front of anything else they produced. A superb guitar hook, great nasal whiney vocals and it's all over far too soon.

Pounding - Doves
A very recent one this. Doves had to be in here somewhere - they are surely one of the very few bands around currently that are worth bothering with. This is an amazing song, containing at least three grear tunes which put most of the current charts to shame. Add to that the drumming which gives the song it's title, and you have a great rollicking rock song.

Ike's Mood - Isaac Hayes
I know very little about this track at all. I originally got it on a CD that came free with a magazine, which I disposed of long ago. Fortunately I have always had a copied version of it on a tape or CD somewhere. It's largely without vocals, there are certainly no words, but the arrangements are brilliant, and the tunes awesome. This has been sampled thouands of times by lesser artists, but to capture the true spirit of it, you have to hear the original.

Moya - Godspeed! You Black Emperor
Another instrumental. Not even sure if this qualifies as a 'song'. Taken from Godspeed!'s second release, the two track Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada, their music is the aural equivalent of a slasher movie, the tension is built up and up and up till you reach the crescendo of noise. Melancholy guitar's and violin's pick out a mournful tune before the drums slowly up tempo, while a sampled voice rants against the ways of the modern american governments. The band themselves are an enigma, a 15 odd membered 'collective' they shun publicity and interviews. Their music, is, however, utterly compelling and frankly all that you need from them.

Kowalski - Primal Scream
A mind numbingly brilliant response to the criticism PS had received following Give Out but don't Give Up. It's hard to believe this was a single, and not that unsuccessful, either. A relentless mash of guitars and very loud and very fast beats, with plenty of weird samples on top, this was one of the most thrillingly uncompromising singles of the nineties, if not ever.

God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
I really, really love this song. It might be a bit naff (is it?) but the tune is one to die for, and the harmonsing, as always, perfect. This song somehow manages to make it onto ALL of my compilation tapes.
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Old 4th Jun 2003, 19:37   #2
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:? Well, I'm sorry but I don't know any of the songs! I'm just from a different generation I guess...

My top songs are:
1. Up town girl - Westlife
2. All the love in teh world - The Corrs
3. War Child - The Cranberries
4. Amazing Grace
5. Sk8er Boi - Avril Lavigne
6. It's oh so quiet - Bjork
7. Spiegel im Spiegel - Arvo Part
8. Aoibhneas - Lunasa
9. Flower of Scotland (traditional)
10. Solvejgs Lied (from Peer Gynt) - Edvard Grieg
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Old 4th Jun 2003, 21:12   #3
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well, I know slightly more of May's than of Wavid's - only the Nick Cave out of the list. I love your choice of Bjork's 'It's oh so quiet' though. It's taking me all week to work out mine.
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Old 5th Jun 2003, 15:03   #4
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A list from the terminally uncool...

1. A Better Place to Be, Harry Chapin
2. I Won't Send Roses, Jerry Herman (from Mack and Mabel)
3. At 17, Janis Ian
4. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23, Tchaikovsky
5. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18, Rachmaninoff
6. Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, Tchaikovsky
7. Laura, from the movie of the same name (my favorite recording of it is by Erroll Garner)
8. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, Ella Fitzgerald
9. Age, Jim Croce
10. If I Should Lose My Way, Linda Eder

(That last is completely associated in my mind with the 9/11 attacks here; it's a lovely song, but it makes me cry.)
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Old 5th Jun 2003, 16:20   #5
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I didn't include any classical bits in mine but here goes...

1. The Way You Look Tonight
A good friend wrote a wonderful story around this song and it always brings to mind a variety of characters I’ve read about. I don’t even mind it in Peter’s Friends.

2. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
Of course John Cale did a fantastic version for Shrek but the original makes me worship the great man himself. ‘…it doesn’t matter which you heard, the holy or the broken Hallelujah’.

3. Nick Cave – As I Sat Sadly By Her Side
For poetics and thought, Nick is Lenny’s natural son. I can listen to this one too many times, as my husband will verify.

4. David Essex – Imperial Wizard
I can’t say why the hell I like this so much. Dramatic bumptiousness, florid bass beat – doesn’t really describe it. Daft but fantastic.

5. Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
Well, it’s the only song I dance really well to. I’m more of the stomping/jumping up and down sort anyway but these days it knackers me out by the end.

6.Sting – Fields of Gold
Ah, okay, soppy. My second slushy record. And Sting – we all wished he was our English teacher. A real love song.

7. Jacques Brel – Ay Marieke
Well, I could have chosen Quand on a que l’amour or La bourree du celebataire easily but the Flemish verses in this make my knees wobble, the slither and crash of consonants.

8. Bjork – New World
Theme from Dancer in the Dark and just insistent, Bjorkishness.

9. Annie Lennox – Don’t Let it Bring You Down
I listened to this seven years ago when I wrote a letter to President Clinton about the death penalty in the States. It’s a quietly despairing song and reminds me of things to fight against.

10. Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
Mine and the husband’s ‘song’ – not that we ever play it at significant occasions; just that we started going out when it was in the charts, and danced to it at college discos, and we are both big fans.
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Old 6th Jun 2003, 12:51   #6
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Well, I can do a top ten. Let's have a think... OK:

1. Sat in your Lap, Kate Bush
Was reminded of this only last night, and what a great, energetic song it is. Entertaining p***take of the West's dalliance with complex Eastern religions (no, really) but mostly just a completely mental performance from Kate.

2. You and Your Sister, This Mortal Coil
An ecletic mix of artists from, I think, Mute records use to get together every couple of years and release an album. The one everyone remembers is Song to the Siren, probably because of Liz Fraser's warbling, but this for me is a much better song.

3. Into my Arms, Nick Cave
Bit of a Nick Cave love-in going on here, sorry about that. Candidate for the greatest first line ever.

4. Wake up Boo!, Boo Radleys
There you go, something cheerful. If you have to have a favourite 'summer single', and there's no one forcing you, then this would be mine.

5, Don't Walk Away, Billy Bragg
Top man, Billy Bragg, and this - after Tank Park Salute and St Swithun's Day - is his best song. Unique and mournful and littered with lyrical phrases only he could come up with.

6. the Credo from Mozart's Great Mass in C

7. If I can't change your Mind, Sugar
It's a vote for the album, really, Copper Blue, one of the finest selections of top class songs all together on one record, in my opinion. All thriller and, ahem, no filler.

8. Polythene Pam, the Beatles
Part of that great suite of brief songs on side two of Abbey Road. Superb energetic nonsense and perfectly pitched to fit in with the flow of that whole sequence.

9. Teenage Kicks, The Undertones
Possibly my fave single. Possibly not. Undeniably great, though.

10. William, it was really nothing, the Smiths
Almost impossible to pick a favourite Smiths song, but this goes in because I played it yesterday.

11. Super glider, Drugstore
Wonderfully short and sweet little song from a band I thought would explode, but they either vanished or I got a lot older. Probably the latter, if I'm honest.

12. Frozen, Curve
All part of that layered, messy shoe-gazing stuff that flooded us in the early 90s. I loved this, but I think Toni Halliday had an awful lot to do with it, too.

13. Here comes your man, Pixies
Someone once told me that the Pixies were never the most melodic of bands; well, this wonderful stripped down pop ditty showed just what a versatile outfit we were dealing with back then. Is this really 12 years old? Holy cow.

Alas, thirteen ... never mind.

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Old 8th Jun 2003, 14:41   #7
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Originally Posted by May Falkin
:? Well, I'm sorry but I don't know any of the songs! I'm just from a different generation I guess...

My top songs are:
1. Up town girl - Westlife
2. All the love in teh world - The Corrs
3. War Child - The Cranberries
4. Amazing Grace
5. Sk8er Boi - Avril Lavigne
6. It's oh so quiet - Bjork
7. Spiegel im Spiegel - Arvo Part
8. Aoibhneas - Lunasa
9. Flower of Scotland (traditional)
10. Solvejgs Lied (from Peer Gynt) - Edvard Grieg
Don't want to sem pedantic (NottyImp can be quiet) and I write this merely in case you didn't know it (though ypu probably know some/all of it):

1) From the title I assume this is a cover of the Billy Joel song.
6) is a cover of "Blow A Fuse" sung by Betty Hutton in the 40s. It's a Big Band swing tune. I've not heard the original but Bjork said that it made hers sound like the ambient version. I think it exists on an RCA compilation album. It might be worth checking out.
9) Is not "traditional" but was written by Roy Williamson (deceased) of the band The Corries. I think it's still under copyright.
I have nothing of use to add.
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Old 9th Jun 2003, 13:52   #8
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I meant to post my Top 10 on Friday but ran out of time, then over the weekend it changed, now its Monday lunch and changed again. That's the trouble with music I guess....particularly if you're a Piscean!

Anyway, without further ado.

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) - predictable I know but still the track which inspired the 90s generation. Admittedly, it didn't inspire them to much but then again the lyrics sum up that generation superbly.

2. Pearly Dewdrops (Cocteau Twins) - there was a point in the mid 80s when the Twins became almost commercially viable....this was it. Not a bloody clue what she's on about but frankly, who cares?

3. Monkey Gone to Heaven (Pixies) - this is my summer track. Evocative memories of summer '89 in a black Astra. The bit where Frank screeches "...God is seven..." still has me tingling.

4. When Love Breaks Down (Prefab Sprout) - now what can't all soppy love songs be written as simply and sung so effortlessly eh?

5. What Difference Does It Make (The Smiths) - But hey, how do you pick just one eh?

6) Blue Monday (New Order) - Way, way ahead of its time and although over-used these days remains one of the best dance records known to man.

7) Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) - OK so they didn't play on it, it was hyped beyond belief and Mike Read wasn't keen. But what a thumping good beat....and I don't even like dance records.

She Sells Sactuary (The Cult) - I was a goth ok??

9) Forever Autumn (Justin Hayward) - love all of the War of the Worlds from an early age but somehow I found this really haunting in the context of the album. That feeling has stayed with me.

10) Gangsters (The Specials) - try listening and not dancing, its similar to having a fruit pastille and not chewing!

There.....took me about an hour but....
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