Archive for ‘Lists’

April 15, 2011

The Top 50 Songs Of All Time (Official)

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a top 100/top 50 list of my most cherished songs for about a year now.  As my thirtieth birthday is weeks away I’ve decided nows the time to sit back and reflect on m musical life.  For a bit of “Fun” I analysed my Top 50 and found out my tastes are 22% Pop-Rock and 18% Folk and that 2005 was the best ever year for music (Who’d have guessed).  I’ve included a selection of the best video clips below but you can watch all the available videos on my youtube chanel by clicking here.  It was tough going whittling it down to only 50 tunes and even harder to put them in order.

1.Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland
Born To Run LP – 1975
“Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a dodge, drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain”
Nine and a half minutes of shear epic Rock grandeur. Most full novels don’t contain this much beauty and narrative power.  It also features Clarence Clemons delivering the greatest Sax-Solo in history building to an almost unbearably emotional climax across 2 minutes. I could listen to this every day for the rest of my life and never tire it out.

2. The Magnetic Fields – Papa Was A Rodeo
69 Love Songs LP – 1999
“Home was anywhere with diesel gas, love was a trucker’s hand, never stuck around long enough for a one night stand”
A story of lonesome one night stands and fleeting affairs. When the cathartic duet kicks in at my heart at 4.11 once breaks and yet rejoices. Over the years Stephen Merrit has written at least 50 of the greatest love songs ever written and this is his best.

3. The Indelicates – Savages
Songs For Swinging Lovers LP – 2010
“We are ash, we are books, coffee stained and overlooked, We are ornamental swords, forged for the peace after the war”
The lyrics to this song read like beautiful poetry.  It’s a searing celebration of the outsider spirit.  This says everything I ever wanted to say about great music.

4. Luxembourg – (I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Give Me)
Best Kept Secret: Demos & Rarities 2001-2004 Compilation – 2004
“I guess that when i told you I would leave you if you cheated, you took it as a promise, not a threat”
It takes a man of David Shah’s calibre to write a lyric this funny and yet sing it with so much power it’s like he’s tearing out his soul for your listening pleasure.

5. Ed Harcourt – Apple Of My Eye
Here Be Monsters LP – 2001
“I drink a lot of wine when I am alone, I lose my track of time, my ideas turn to stone”
I can’t fully describe why I love this song so much. There is something hidden in the giddy mix of handclaps, Hip-Hop percussion, woozy Jazz orchestration and raw Soul vocals that enthrtrals me eveytime.

6. Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots
Connections LP – 1980
“Not talkin’ ’bout the roots in the land, I’m talkin’ ’bout the roots in the man”
Roaring Soul vocals, Funk instrumentaion, proto House Pianos and Disco beats building to a level where you just have to move your body.

7. The Pogues – Rainy Night In Soho
Poguetry In Motion EP – 1986
“We watched our friends grow up together, and we saw them as they fell, some of them fell into Heaven, some of them fell into Hell”
Simply one of the most beautiful things ever created by the hand of man. Shane MacGowan was in his late twenties when he wrote it but it reads like a death bed revelation.

8. The Wallbangers – Kick The Drugs
Kick The Drugs EP – 2007
“If I smoke Weed I get neurotic, Alcohol turns me psychotic, Heroin’s just a narcotic, S-S-S-Speed makes me despotic, if you’re on Crack-Cocaine you’re goin’ outta your brain, you’ve gotta pull the plug, you’ve gotta kick the drugs!”
Nick Cave gets all the headlines but his brother in arms Mick Harvey beats him in the fire-breathing Punk savagery stakes with this song.  Guitar Riffs don’t get much better than this.

9. Bob Dylan – Desolation Row
Highway 61 Revisited LP – 1965
“Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew, come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do”
I could almost recite word-for-word the whole 11 minutes of this song’s apocalyptic lyric.  Dylan paints dizzying and terrifying images in your imagination with his words.

10. Kings Of Leon – Fans
Because Of The Times LP – 2007
“All of London sing, cause England swings and they sure love the tales I bring,
and those rainy days, they ain’t so bad when you’re the king”
I never tire of this song yet struggle to properly define why.  The word’s of KOL’s loveletter to their UK fans are almost incomprehensible but it’s about the passion he sings them with.

11. David Ford – State Of The Union
I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I’ve Caused LP – 2005
“Sweet dreams all met with derision, this train, it was armed for collision”
A song featuring one mans despair at the world around him.  Every instrument layers together into a roaring political cacophony.

12. The White Stripes – Jack The Ripper (Live At The Forum, 2001)
Live At The Forum Bootleg – 2001
“I’m walking down the street, late at night, Jack the ripper, Jack the ripper”
Less than a minute and half is all Jack and Meg need to rip your ears to shreds.  How can just two people create this much energy and brutal Guitar magic.

13. Barry Bliss – All I Really Want
Antifolk Vol. 1 Compilation – 2002
“All I really want is to beat your fuckin’ ass, to be thrown in jail and rolled in broken glass, to be offered a kingdom by a crazy man and say I pass, to be beaten to death by British bobbies in mass”
This song is pure nihilistic hate for the world and everyone in it.  Yet it’s so damn beautiful and tuneful that you can’t truelly despair.

14. Coldcut – Stop This Crazy Thing (Feat. Junior Reid)
What’s That Noise? LP – 1988
“Children are cryin’, animals are dyin’, Governments who lie to you, don’t let them tell you what to do”
I can play along with all the vocal samples on this classic but no matter how many times I listen to it I can never predict when the drums come in! A record celebrating the calaeoscopic joys of sampling.

15. The Divine Comedy – If…
A Short Album About Love LP – 1997
“If you were attacked I would kill for you, if your name was Jack I’d change mine to Jill for you”
Another song that pulls off the trick of being darkly comic and heartbreakingly honest. This lush orchestral epic builds to literally maniiacal levels of intensity.

16. Etta James – I Just Want To Make Love To You
At Last! LP – 1961
“All I want you to do is make your bread, just to make sure you’re well-fed, I don’t want you sad and blue, and I just wanna make love to you”
Etta goes from roaring like a lion to purring like a kitten is the space of seconds.  It’s undoubtably the most powerful and sexiest female vocal ever layed down.  It sounds as if you are in the studio with the musicians (Complete with a couple of snatches of studio chatter).

17. Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris – Love Hurts
Grievous Angel LP – 1974
“I’ve really learned a lot, really learned a lot, love is like a stove, burns you when it’s hot”
This sublime cover of Boudleaux Bryant’s song is the all-time greatest duet. Gram and Emmy could reduce grown men who have been born without tear-ducts… to tears!

18. Billy Bragg – Sexuality
Don’t Try This At Home LP – 1991
“I’ve had relations with girls from many nations, I’ve made passes at women of all classes, and just because you’re gay I won’t turn you away, if you stick around I’m sure that we can find some common ground”
Billy has so many wonderful songs that are variously tragic, angry, passionate but it’s the shear liberating joy of ‘Sexuality’ that keeps me coming back. It’s not possible to be in a bad mood when listening to something like this.

19. The Who – Baba O’Riley
Who’s Next LP – 1971
“I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right, I don’t need to be forgiven”
If you’ve never played air-guitar along with Pete at 1.39, then you’ve never lived. For a time The Who were the greatest band alive and this was their finest achievement.

20. The Stooges – Down On The Street
Fun House LP – 1970
“Down on the street where the faces shine, floatin’ around I’m a real low mind”
I adore the brutal unrelenting groove the band have locked themselves in on this track.  Iggy’s squeeling, gurgling, barking vocals are totally exhilerating.

21. Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia (Video Mix)
Suburbia Single – 1986
“Stood by the bus stop with a felt pen in this suburban hell, and in the distance a police car to break the suburban spell”
The lyrical urban decay is matched by samples of sirens, barking dogs, helicopters, bombs, breaking glass, screaming children and machine guns.  Yet somehow it’s still one of the finest Pop songs ever to grace the UK charts.

22. Ty – The Scheme Of Things
Apples & Snake: Two Five Compilation – 2008
“I smile at the crackheads in my area, I remember when we used to play pat-ball as children in neat school uniforms, what went wrong?”
A meandering spoken-word track muesing on the trials of life.  The Jazz backing track brilliant mirror’s every nuance of TY’s vocal poetry.

23. Dan Sartain – P.C.B. 98
Dan Sartain Vs. The Serpientes LP – 2005
“I got my name crushed into a penny, we had a ball down in Panama City”
I love Dan’s dark world of Rock-a-billy and Punk.  Out of a legion of causticly brilliant songs this helter-skelter Blues-Punk gem is his finest so far.

24. Spiritualized® – Stop Your Crying
Let It Come Down LP – 2001
“Nothing hurts you like the pain of someone you care about, if I could take it on myself, you know I sure would without a doubt”
I remembering listening to the CD-single of this on a loop for a whole month on icy winter mornings. Possibly it fails in it’s lyrical objective since you’ll being crying tears of joy that something so catharically powerful exists.

25. Hedwig & The Angry Inch – The Origin Of Love
Hedwig & The Angry Inch: Original Cast Recording LP – 1999
“I could swear by your expression that the pain down in your soul was the same as the one down in mine”
The best song from the best ever musical containing unberable levels of passion.  John Cameron-Mitchell sings Stephen Trask’s poetic Greek-Myth inspired lyrics like his life depended on it.

26. The Dirtbombs – Cedar Point ’76
Hand Springs / Cedar Point ’76 Single – 2000
“Wanna play some pinball with this honey, but damn my luck, Mom won’t give me no money”
Fuzz-Guitar never sounded as good as on this cut.  The lyrics capture an 11 year old Mick as he remembers lusting after an older girl at his local arcade.

27. Laura Marling – New Romantic (Live On Later, 2007)
Live On Later With Jools Holland TV – 2007
“I made you leave her for me and now I’m feeling pretty mean, but my mind has fucked me over more times than any man could ever know”
Laura was only 17 when she wrote this profoundly beautiful Joni Mitchell-esque song. The world stops turning everytime I watch or listen to the intimate fragility of this performance.

28. Nick Drake – Northern Sky
Bryter layter LP – 1970
“I never felt magic crazy as this, I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea, I never held emotion in the palm of my hand, or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree”
It’s difficult to imagine the soul that recorded a record as hopeful as this succumbing to despair a few years later.  The lush yet subtle orchestration is intoxicating.

29. Andrew W.K. – She Is Beautiful
I Get Wet LP – 2001
“You’re giving me moves that hit from all sides, and when you’re hitting like that you melt my eyes”
A sweet love song on Andrew’s terms which means him screaming at love at noise poluting levels.  Metal music rarely is as fun as this frenetic single.

30. Har Mar Superstar – EZ Pass
You Can Feel Me LP – 2003
“DJ, DJ, can you play some more Minogue, and keep up with the tracks that everybody knows, cut to some Har Mar then that Pharcide beat, how’s that shit go, she keeps passin’ me”
This contains some truelly outstanding rhymes detailing Sean’s “Mission to find the hypest party”.  After hundreds of listens I still love the Hip-Hop Drums and House Pianos.

31. The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
Ready To Die LP – 1994
“We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us, no heat, wonder why Christmas missed us”
It’s the way every line fom this cut feels like it’s straight from the heart speaking of poverty made good.  The Bass-Guitar heavy production is also total genius.

32. Jamie T – Pacemaker
Panic Prevention LP – 2007
“Body bags come back on planes from wartorn Iraq, it’s the stark naked truth, a dark aftermath”
A stream of conscienceness Rap taking in the Iraq war, drug abuse, illness and violence.  Jamie has so much to say he has no time for big choruses or even pausing for breath.

33. Adam Green – Emily
Gemstones LP – 2005
“Emily, sweet baby, won’t you be my wife, cutting me wide open with a kitchen knife”
It’s testament to the irresistable Pop-Blues beat of this cut that make Adam’s predictably bizarre lyrics are so catchy. What Sinatra would’ve sounded like if he’d taken as many Drugs as Elvis.

34. Rufus Wainwright – Oh What A World
Want One LP – 2003
“Wouldn’t it be a lovely headline, ‘Life is Beautiful’ on the New York Times”
A dizzying, whirling Orchestral-Pop cut that envelopes your ears in delight.

35. Bobby Conn & The Glass Gypsies – We’re Taking Over The World
The Homeland LP – 2004
“Don’t you wonder why the times are tough, why you never seem to get enough”
Written as an attack on George W. Bush and I’m still listening to it as the economies of the world collapse. An irresistable Disco-Rock classic.

36. David Gray – The One I Love
Life In Slow Motion One LP – 2005
“Perfect summers night, not a wind that breathes, just the bullets whispering gentle ‘mongst the new green leaves”
David gets alot of flack but he deserves a knight-hood on the evidence of this one poetic masterpiece.  The lyric tells of a soldier bleeding to death and dreaming of his love back home.

37. Coyote Shivers – Sugarhigh
Coyote Shivers LP – 1996
“Think again, sometimes reputations outlive their applications, and sometimes fires don’t go out, when you’re done playing with them”
This Pop-Punk cut is a totally exhilerating celebration of life.

38. Akala – Bullshit
It’s Not A Rumour LP – 2006
“They rob the third world of every cent, now that’s bullshit, now you got third world debt, now that’s bullshit”
Akala vents his spleen on everything that pisses him off.  One moment he’s Rapping about racism and one moment he’s annoyed by the British weather.

39. The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma
Strangeways, Here We Come LP – 1987
“Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know, it’s serious”
This brings a smile to my face everytime.  Morrissey has a wicked wit and never more so on this glorious single.

40. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Feel The Illinoise!
Come On Feel The Illinoise LP – 2005
“Cannot conversations cull United Nations, if you got the patience, celebrate the ancients, cannot all creation call it celebration”
With six and a half minutes it still feels like Sufjan is cramming in all his magical ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if every instrument ever invented crops up at one point or another.

41. Jape – Phil Lynott
Ritual LP – 2008
“It was a luner eclipse, I was out drinkin’ with two of my oldest pals, one is called Glen, one is Al”
This very personnal Folktronic tribute song is so simple but so heart felt.

42. The Flamin’ Groovies – Headin’ For The Texas Border
Flamingo LP – 1970
“Headin’ for the Texas border, cos I’m tryin’ to avoid the law”
One of those songs that it’s dangerous to drive to and the band sound like a blazing Blues Hot-Rod with the pedal to the floor.

43. Okkervil River – The President’s Dead
The President’s Dead Single – 2006
“On a beautiful day, I was waking up and I was lying in bed with my girlfriend, And the eggs on the plate, and the bacon hissin’, And the coffee was great, there was spring on the wind”
The lyric celebrates life itself in the shadow of death.  Just wait for when the drumms kick in, fantastic!

44. The Durutti Column – In Memory Of Anthony
Love In The Time Of Recession LP – 2009
“The flames you set alight, they’re always gonna last”
Even if Anthony H. Wilson hadn’t founded the great Factory records he could’ve still rested easy in his grave knowing that he’d touched his friend so deeply that he would write a song this powerful about him.

45. Jonathan Richman – I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar
I, Jonathan LP – 1992
“Well in the first bar things were controlled, but in this bar things were Rock and Roll, in the first bar things were so controlled, in this bar things were way way bold”
Pop singles don’t get much more fun than this, you can’t help but sing along.

46. Hot Club De Paris – You Can Call Me Al
Clockwork Toy Single – 2007
“I need a photo-opportunity, I want a shot at redemption, don’t want to end up a cartoon, in a cartoon graveyard”
A Simple Indie-Rock Paul Simon cover causualy tucked on to a B-Side. But maybe it’s the carefree spirit with which they recorded it that keeps me listening. Just three friends having fun in a studio.

47. Patrick Wolf – Pumpkin Soup
The Patrick Wolf EP – 2002
“Autumn’s brown sturdy fingers are embedding bouquets up and down your spine, embrace the moment ‘cos everything changes and all this will too”
An intoxicating blend of personnal nostalgia and subtle Folk production.  The whole lyric is a towering poetic achievement.

48. The Viking Moses! – I Will Always Love You
Sandstorms Single – 2006
“Bittersweet memories, that is all I’m taking with me, so, goodbye, please, don’t cry, We both know I’m not what you need”
In stark contrast to Whitney’s bombastic version, Brendon crafts a Lo-Fi gem. At points I could swear you can hear his voice cracking and hear the very tears running down his face.

49. Orphan Boy – Billy’s England
Billy’s England Single – 2006
“This retail park is wank, this town’s a fuckin’ fish tank, I get my culture from a bookcase by the door”
The first single by a great British Punk band delivering a scathing rant at the nation.

50. Gifthorse – Childhood Gang Reunion
Childhood Gang Reunion EP – 2005
“You were a tough kid, never cried, went to the funfair, the day your mother died”
Youthful memories recounted with nostalgic lyrical magic.

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February 10, 2010

STOP ME’s: Top 100 Tracks Of 2009

Okay so it’s mid February and at least a month late but I’ve finally finished my Top 100 Tracks Of 2009 (Read 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 here).  This blog has been a bit short of posts in recent months due to a hectic new job but I hope to get back to regular posting soon.  Here is a link to download the top 20 as a Zip file (But do buy the albums from whence the tracks came if you like them, I’ve included links!):

Stop Me’s Top 100 Tracks Of 2009 (Top 20) Zip

I’ve also included links to download anything else that seemed to be sold-out or not easily available below.  Without further ado…

1. JAMIE T – Sticks ‘n’ Stones
“I was a ten a day, how’d you say, little shit, White-Lightning, heightening all my courage, quick wit”
Jamie T’s second album was so comprehensively better than his debut that I was overjoyed.  ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ was the best of an embarresment of riches.  The irresistable beat has had me dancing around many a time and the lyric is his best and most intricate yet.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

2. GENERATIONALS – When They Fight They Fight
“And when they fight, they fight, and when they come home at night they say, I love you, baby”
Indie duo record the best record Phil Spektor song never made.  Horn, handclaps, whistles and gorgeous vocals combine to make pure magic.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

3. THE DUCKWORTH LEWIS METHOD – The Age Of Revolution
“Princes and lawyers played with the English elite, years of repression started a noise from the streets”
Neil Hannon’s new band examine colonial history through the prism of cricket.  The accompanying music is an intoxicating brew of terribly English Jazz and “Skankin'” Dub which is as it should be.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

4. THE MELTING ICE CAPS – A Good Night
“Anyone who says Shoreditch folk are arseholes has obviously never tried playing an indie gig in a pub in Colchester, or at Cambridge University”
I’m not sure when this was recorded, but I found it this year on The Melting Ice Caps’ site listed under ‘Other Songs’. David’s spoken word narration is an hilarious peaen to London and he can break hearts when the chorus comes in at the end.
(Download) (MySpace)

5. THE CRIBS – City Of Bugs
“It came to me like a voice from above, or like a message in praise of platonic love”
‘City Of Bugs’ is The Cribs bid for epic Indie from their best album to date.  Feedback squeals and Ryan Jarman delivers a rich vocal to rival Iggy Pop’s ‘The Passenger’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

6. THE DURITTI COLUMN – In Memory Of Anthony
“You set alight my musical desires, and there’s no end to these flames, these are my eternal fires”
This is a stiring tribute from Vini to the late great Anthony H Wilson.  It comes off like a lethargic Rolling Stones trying to play House music in a gospel church.
(Buy) (MySpace)

7. DAN AUERBACH – Heartbroken, In Disrepair
“Searching for light, gasping for air, heartbroken, in disrepair”
The Black Keys front man lays down a howling tune on his solo record.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

8. JAY-Z – My President Is Black (DC Mix)
“My President is black, infact he’s half white, so even in a racist mind, he’s half right”
The joy contained in this Obama tribute Rap is totally infectious.  I just hope Obama doesn’t sour my opinion of this song by making a total fuck-up out of his presidency!
(Download) (YouTube) (MySpace)

9. SPEECH DEBELLE – The Key
“The only real difference is you slyer than me, your need for attention makes you attract the beef”
Her debut richly deserved the Mercuty Prize when it boasts Jazz/Rap as good as the ‘The Key’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

10. TRANSIT – C’Mon & Ride
“C’mon and ride the M.T.A, yes we’re going your way”
The best track from Jack White’s Third Man label was this lush soul gem by Nashville’s Metro Transit Authority workers.
(Buy) (Website)

11. BRAKES – Two Shocks
“Give me two shakes give me one shake twice, well you knew it was coming so don’t act surprised”
‘Two Shocks’ morphs from a catchy Indie song into a pounding Rock monster.
(Buy) (MySpace)

12. KASABIAN – Vlad The Impaler
“All my friends are as sharp as razors, cut you down if you touch the faders”
I love the interesting production flourishes Kasabian use like what sounds like tinkling glass on ‘Vlad The Impaler’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

13. DIZZEE RASCAL – Bonkers
“And all I care about is sex and violence, and a heavy bass line is my kind of silence”
This year belonged to Dizzee as he finally lived up to all that promise.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

14. NICKEL EYE – Brandy Of The Damned
“Don’t let them get you down, they’ll step on you to get to higher ground”
Who new the quite one from The Strokes had a voice like Leonard Cohen and tunes as good as this.
(Buy) (MySpace)

15. THE DEAD WEATHER – Treat Me Like Your Mother
“Come on look me in the eye, you wanna try to tell a lie”
‘Treat Me Like Your Mother’ features the furious drumming of Jack White probably proving he’s the most multi-talented person that ever lived.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

16. YEAH YEAH YEAHS – Zero
“Shake it, like a ladder to the sun, makes me feel like a madman on the run”
YYY throw out the Guitars and bring in the Synths, resulting in sheer genius.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

17. GOSSIP – Dimestore Diamond
“Everybody knows just where she gets her clothes, a water coloured painting in a Renoir pose”
Their latest album doesn’t seem to have been as successful as the last which odd considering it’s crammed with pulsating Dance-Rock like ‘Dimestore Diamond’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

18. WAVE MACHINES – Keep The Lights On
“The night’s too long, so, when we sleep, I keep the lights on”
‘Keep The Lights On’ is like a vintage 80s Pop single.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

19. DAN DEACON – Woof Woof
“Instrumental”
‘Woof Woof’ sounds like The Flaming Lips meeting the looney tunes
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

20. REGINA SPEKTOR – Laughing With
“No one laughs at God in a hospital, no one laughs at God in a war, no one’s laughing at God, when they’re starving or freezing or so very poor”
Regina comes back with yet another quirky and beautiful Piano masterpiece.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

21. CASIOKIDS – Fot I Hose
“Instrumental”
‘Fot I Hose’ has a head crushing Bass sound combined with ace Surf Guitars.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

22. BECK – Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
“You know it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine”
Beck performs a rare miracle and improves on a Dylan original.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

23. LADY GAGA – Paparazzi
“We are the crowd, we’re c-coming out, got my flash on it’s true, need that picture of you”
Her glitzy performance of ‘Paparazzi’ at Glastonbury bowled me over after my initial instinctive resistance.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

24. COOKIN’ ON 3 BURNERS – This Girl (Feat. Kylie Auldist)
“Money rains from the sky above, but keep the change ’cause I got enough”
The production on ‘This Girl’ envelopes your ears in a rich golden Soul sound and Kylie vocals are of course gorgeous.
(Buy) (MySpace)

25. ASHER ROTH – I Love College
“Yeah, of course I learned some rules, like don’t pass out with your shoes on, and don’t leave the house ’til the booze gone”
‘I Love Collage’ is a glorious beer stained Rap ode to student living.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

26. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – The Wrestler
“Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free, if you’ve ever seen a one trick pony then you’ve seen me”
I couldn’t get in to his new album but this soundtrack song almost had me blubbing big manly tears.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

27. THE BIG PINK – Dominos
“Three words we shared, said too early on, stuck with forever to the point of tears”
‘Dominos’ is like an Indie take on a humming Tibetan mantra.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

28. RICHARD HAWLEY – Remorse Code
“You’re caught in the net, fathoms deep in regret”
His new album was a return to form and for me ‘Remorse Code’ was the epic peak.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

29. NEIL YOUNG – Fork In The Road
“There’s a bailout coming but it’s not for me, it’s for all those creeps watching tickers on TV”
His superb new album proves that Neil can still Rock, with a grumpy rattlers like this.
(Buy) (MySpace)

30. THE DUKE & THE KING – If You Ever Get Famous
“If you ever get famous don’t forget about me, I hope it’s everything that you thought it would be”
‘If You Ever Get Famous’ is an almost unspeakably gorgeous Rock ballad.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

31. JULIAN CASABLANCAS – 11th Dimension
“I just nod, I’ve never been so good at shaking hands, I live on the frozen surface of a fireball”
The Strokes side project everyone was waiting for didn’t disappoint.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

32. MANIC STREET PREACHERS – Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
“A situationist sisterhood of Jackie and Joan, separates us the questions without a home
The best track from the Manic’s latest LP with one of the most catchy and bizarre choruses ever.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

33. Matty G – Keep Walking
“Instrumental”
‘Keep Walking’ is a super cool re-edit of the Isaac Hayes classic ‘Walk On By’.
(Download) (MySpace)

34. DJ HELL – The DJ (Feat. P.Diddy)
“This goes out to all the muthafuckas that like 15/20 minute versions of a muthafuckin’ record”
The years most unlikely guest spot was one of the best, just try not jackin’ your body to it’s Dance Vibes.
(Buy) (MySpace)

35. BILL CALLAHAN – Jim Cain
“I started out in search of ordinary things, how much of a tree bends in the wind”
The best song that Lambchop never recorded, with a vocal like golden syrup.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

36. KID CUDI – Day ‘N’ Nite
“The lonely nights, they fade away, he slips into his white Nikes, he smokes a clip and then he’s on the way”
The best track from Kid Cudi’s debut album is this hypnotic Hip-Hop tune.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

37. GABLÉ – I’m Ok
“I’m really fine, I’m well balanced, I’m okay, I’m okay”
‘I’m Ok’ is unhinged Indie that is as crazy as it is brilliant.
(Buy) (MySpace)

38. ALELA DIANE – White As Diamonds
“I’ve known mornings white as diamonds, silent from a night so cold”
With a voice as pure as snow and a song this beautiful how can you resist.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

39. M.I.A. & A R RAHMAN – O… Saya
“Pick up the packs on my journey, dogs run, they start to follow me”
M.I.A’s amount of guest appearances is staggering and this ‘Slumdog
Millionaire’ cut was the best.
(Buy) (MySpace)

40. CAMERA OBSCURA – French Navy
“Spent a week in a dusty library, waiting for some words to jump at me, we met by a trick of fate, french navy my sailor mate”
I still adore this slice of Pop perfection despite the fact that it is played three times every night where I work.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

41. EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Half Mast
“Make amends and I will stand until the end, a million times a trillion more”
Shiny Pop-Rock so catchy it should be marketed as fishing equipment.
(Buy) (MySpace)

42. PRINCE – Crimson & Clover
“I don’t hardly know her, but I think I could love her, I hope she walks over, ’cause I’ve been waiting to show her”
Prince continues his run of good form with epic Guitar melting cover of the 60s original by Tommy James & The Shondells.
(Download) (YouTube) (Website)

43. SERGEANT BUZFUZ – Here Come The Popes (Part 3)
“Nicholas The Second said it was more of a crime, for a priest to marry, than to have a concubine”
The chequered history of the papal order is recounted against Indie majesty.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

44. SIMON INDELICATE – I Don’t Care If It’s True (Demo)
“You can dissect a heart, and you can dissect a dove, but you would never deserve, a single spec of peace or love”
A song gorgeous from Simon’s possibly fictious Musical ‘David Koresh Superstar’.
(Download) (MySpace)

45. MIKA – We Are Golden (Calvin Harris Vocal)
“Teenage dreams in a teenage circus, running around like a clown on purpose”
He has his haters but I adore Mika’s line of sunkissed super camp Pop.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

46. BISHOP ALLEN – The Lion & The Teacup
“He was the sun, he was the moon, he was a rat in two bit shoes”
Brilliantly catchy Indie and it always reminds me of the soundtrack to classic computer game ‘Monkey Island’.
(Buy) (MySpace)

47. JOHN ZORN – Los Cristeros
“Instrumental”
Bask in the sorrowful Spanish Guitar from this Documentary Soundtrack instrumental about Mexican Dictator Plutarco Elias Calles.
(Buy) (MySpace)

48. MADNESS – NW5
“Though you have become a burden, one thing remains, thats for certain, I will love you all my life, but without you in my life”
‘NW5’ ranks along side the very best tracks from their hayday.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

49. BLOC PARTY – One More Chance
“This time things will be different and you’re gonna see”
The last LP was a dull affair but the unstoppable House Piano on this follow up single was anything but.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

50. BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS – Sugarfoot
“Can I come over singin’ tonight, I promise that you’ll be feelin’ right”
‘Sugarfoot’ is magic Soul/Funk/Blues from start to finish.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

51. N.A.S.A. – Spacious Thoughts (Feat. Tom Waits & Kool Keith)
“Good can’t help but do a little evil, evil can’t help but do a little good”
It was a wrench to pick just one cut from N.A.S.A’s superb and stupidly guest heavy album. This mad Blues/Rap cut gets the prize.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

52. THE STREETS – Trust Me
“I see Alice in Wonderland, I see malice in Sunderland”
A tasty free download easing anticipation of new album to wipe away memories of Mike’s lacklustre last Lp.
(Download) (MySpace)

53. NEW YORK DOLLS – ‘Cause I Sez So
“Takin’ pretty pictures everywhere I go, Orwell in the bathroom watching me go”
This proved despite their age (And absence of complete original line  up) the Dolls can still Rawwwwk with the best of them.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

54. DJ SHEPDOG – Limb By Limb (Militia Mix)
“You know I and I is dynamite, when me hold microphone, I strictly truth or right”
‘Cut Ups, Bruck Ups & Muck Ups’ was the compilation of the year and this raucous booty-shakin’ Dancehall bootleg of Cutty Ranks’ 1993 track was the highlight.
(Download) (MySpace)

55. THOM YORKE – All For The Best
“Waking up and the bed was made, no one looked me in the eye”
Thom covers Mark Mulcahy To stunning effect, it sounds a bit like Radiohead (Naturally).
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

56. THE BOY FROM SPACE – Come Home
“Come home where the air is free, come home and live with me”
An indie single as warm and comforting as a glass of mulled wine and a roaring fire.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

57. PASSION PIT – Sleepyhead (Bo Flex Giantess Remix)
“Like stars burning holes right through the dark, flicking fire like saltwater into my eyes”
The original version left me cold (It seems I was very much in a minority) but this sparkling Remix blows me away.
(Download) (YouTube) (MySpace)

58. SABBO – Spanish Fly (Feat. MC Zulu) (Noiz In Zion Mix)
“Wanna get you out of that dress, so here’s your ticket to ride, you and I become the Spanish Fly”
‘Spanish Fly’ is a awesome neck snappin’ Dancehall cut.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

59. THE PRODIGY – Warrior’s Dance
“Come with me to the dance floor, you and me ’cause that’s what it’s for”
At first I wasn’t sure but I grew to lobe this amazing return to form.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

60. DAN BLACK – Poet
“I have to be fearless, have to be tearless, look into my eyes, maybe you can feel this”
Dan writes b-sides every bit as good as his A-sides and ‘Poet’ is my favourite.
(Buy) (MySpace)

61. THE VERY BEST – Kamphopo
“?”
‘Kamphopo’ will have you playing the Air-Steel-Drums as you move your body.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

62. THE THIRD DEGREE – Mercy
“I love you, but I gotta stay true, my morals got me on my knees, I’m begging please stop playing games”
A Northern Soul take on Duffy’s Uber hit that sounds so authentic you’d swear she’d actually ripped of this vintage 60’s groove.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

63. TODDLA T – Rice & Peas (Feat. Mr Versatile)
“Rice and peas and chicken is nice, tastes so good , me ‘ave to ‘ave it twice”
I loved the delirious mess of genres on Toddla T’s LP and ‘Rice & Peas’ is my favourite cut.
(Buy) (MySpace)

64. SAM McCARTHY – Cherrytree
“There for the first time in the setting sun shine, well it felt like we belonged”
‘Cherrytree’ is Alt-Country ballad that’ll have you line dancing round your local Indie club.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

65. DAN SARTAIN – Bohemian Grove (Feat. Jack White)
“”
Another essential 45 courtesy of Jack White’s label. When is Dan gonna be hailed as a mega star?
(Buy) (MySpace)

66. DIRTY PROJECTORS & DAVID BYRNE – Knotty Pine
“Here is the sound that photographs make, when I see them, when I hear them”
‘Dark Was The Night’ was one of the compilations of the year and ‘Knotty Pine’ was the highlight.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

67. ONE ESKIMO – Kandi (Eat More Cake Mix)
“You’ve been my queen for longer than you know, my love for you has been every step I take, every day I live, everything I see”
‘Kandi’ is a fantasy duet featuring a sample of Candi Staton with a gorgeous Balearic vibe.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

68. DARREN HAYMAN & THE SECONDARY MODERN – Compilation Cassette
“That was how we met, some things you never forget, I wrote down her address, and sent a compilation cassette”
Darren Hayman employs the Bazooki to stunning effect on this nostalgic Indie tune.
(Buy) (MySpace)

69. SHARON VAN ETTEN – For You
“I was whispering in my sleep, all the secrets that i’d keep, I told to you”
A gorgeous Acoustic ballad with a mournful tune so good you can whistle along.
(Download) (YouTube) (MySpace)

70. MONGREL – The Menace
“Fundamentally, you’re a fundamentalist, kinda guy who wondrin’ who the real terror is”
John Maker’s political Rap-Rock side project was so much better than his day job.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

71. CIRCLESQUARE – Hey You Guys
“Quit before it widespread, learn to paint the town red”
Good god the Bass Guitar on this Indie/Dance tune is catchy.
(Buy) (MySpace)

72. NICK GARRIE – Twilight
“Midnight, here come those blues again, it’s alright I’m really on the mend”
‘Twilight’ is a sublime piece of vintage Pop-Rock.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

73. MR. HUDSON – There Will Be Tears
“I’ve no doubt there may be smiles, but a few, and when the tears have run out, we’ll be numb and blue”
Okay so the auto-tune sound isn’t to everyone’s taste but this still a beautiful song.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

74. POPULAR TYRE – East End After-Hours Blues
“Take a little sip of my cup of wine, do a little shimmy and I feel fine”
‘East End After-Hours Blues’ is a free and loose Blues/Bluegrass sing along.
(Download) (MySpace)

75. THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH – Pistol Dreams
“And deep into the orchard you will lead me by the skin of snakes, to let me know my sentence as they dry”
A beautiful Dylanesque song that I’ve been listening to all year.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

76. WE ROCK LIKE GIRLS DON’T – Don’t Know What Love Is
“I think you know, she wants me so”
Finally! I’ve been waiting for this band to bring out another tune that Rocked as hard as 2005’s ‘I Just Wanna Stick My Head In The Bass Drum’.
(Buy) (MySpace)

77. AFROZEN ORCHESTRA – Tongana
“?”
‘Tongana’ is summer sun on wax, Afrobeat to brighten your day.
(Buy) (MySpace)

78. CHAIN & THE GANG – Chain Gang Theme (I See Progress)
“I see progress in paint peeling, I see progress in leaky ceilings”
‘Chain Gang Theme (I See Progress)’ is deliciously demented Rock-a-Billy from a thrilling LP.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

79. THE DYNAMICS – Downtown Barkings (Afrosoul Edit)
“People them a hurry and a bustle, to many of them just a lookin’ for a trouble”
‘Downtown Barkings’ is easily the best thing the Reggae-Funkers have done so far.
(Buy) (MySpace)

80. ANT – Time I Was Gone
“I’ll catch that bus in the rush hour to my sisters for tea and biscuits, she can’t fix it, but she listens”
‘Time I Was Gone’ is an endlessly charming Indie ditty.
(Buy) (MySpace)

81. THE WHITEST BOY ALIVE – Island
“Lived through the smell of painted floors, echoing the sound of running water through the pipes, and posters falling down”
It was hard choosing just one Indie-Dance gem off of their album but ‘Island’ had it by a nose.
(Buy) (MySpace)

82. LA ROUX – In For The Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix)
“Two hearts with accurate devotions, and what are feelings without emotions”
Skream takes La Roux’s only half decent song and turns it in to an abrasive Dubstep masterpiece.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

83. FEVER RAY – If I Had A Heart
“If I had a heart I could love you, if I had a voice I would sing, after the night when I wake up, I’ll see what tomorrow brings”
Like the humming of some vast Alien machine, ‘If I Had A Heart’ is hypnotically brilliant.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

84. THE MARS VOLTA – Cotopaxi
“When Sanskrit was my mother tongue, Scarabs filled my pillow”
‘Cotopaxi’ is another great spaced-out Jazz-Metal cut from Messers blah and blah.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

85. JAY’S SOUL CONNECTION – Frankie’s Party Life
“Ordered some Patreezy, while talkin’ to this breezy, brushin’ off my three-piece, I make this look too easy”
I love ‘Frankie’s Party Life’s melding of Jay-Z and the funky soul of Lefties Soul Connection (Tops anything off Jigga’s new LP).
(Download) (MySpace)

86. MILK KAN – 21st Century Love
“A sweet kiss mixed with a rum taste, and for now I was the wrong kid in the right place”
’21st Century Love’ is a witty cut from one of the albums of the year.
(Buy) (MySpace)

87. SLOW DOWN TALLAHASSEE – Angel Of Death
“I wish you were in my bed, I wish all my friends were dead”
I’d say the music of ‘Angel Of Death’ is like a fun bouncy castle, except the lyrics suggest it’s been inflated with deadly poison gas.
(Download) (MySpace)

88. SHUTTLE – Rotten Guts (Feat. Cadence Weapon)
“That mind alert, cold war veteran”
‘Rotten Guts’ is blisteringly quick Electro/Hip-Hop/Pop.
(Buy) (MySpace)

89. ALASDAIR ROBERTS – You Muses Assist
“You muses, you muses assist, all downtrodden spirits uplift”
With the graceful air of vintage English Folk ‘You Muses Assist’ is gorgeous.
(Buy) (MySpace)

90. FAGGET FAIRYS – Feed The Horse (Extended Dub)
“I love my girls, I like them big on the top, big on the buttom too, feed the horse”
The simple pleasures of ‘Feed The Horse’ are chiefly it’s Toe-tapping beats and it’s naughty chorus that sounds a lot like “Feed the whores yum yum!”.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

91. NEAL CASAL – Back To Haunt You
“Should I even lift a finger and try to get along, get along like a river and a thunder storm”
‘Back To Haunt You’ is like a great Chris Isaac song, rich and seductive.
(Buy) (MySpace)

92. WILLIAM ELLIOT WHITMORE – Mutiny
“Well the captain’s been drinking below the deck, and this vessel’s headed way off course, I want to wrap my hands around his crooked neck, and throw him overboard”
‘Mutiny’ is a gravelled voiced sea shanty climaxing with brilliant shouts of “Let the muthafucka burn!”.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

93. CURTIS PLUM – Call My Cellphone
“I’ll call you up in the middle of the night, check out my new cellphone, it’s so tight”
‘Call My Cellphone’ is throughly daft and totally addictive Hip-Hop.
(Download) (YouTube) (MySpace)

94. FORT KNOX FIVE – Funk 4 Peace (Feat. Mustafa Akbar & Shunda K)
(Nick Thayer Remix)

“You got to turn the music up, it’s time to release, turn the music up, lets vote for peace”
There were so many amazing remixes of Fort Knox Five this year that it was hard chosing just the chunky beats of ‘Funk 4 Peace’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

95. BEASTIE BOYS – Too Many Rappers (Feat. Nas)
“With Beastie Boys we can turn it out, perpetrators we can point ’em out, so if you got somethin’ on your mind let it out”
As an early taster of the forthcoming album, ‘Too Many Rappers’ has left me pretty damn excited.
(Buy) (MySpace)

96. PATRICK WOLF – Hard Times
“Divided nation, in sedation, overload of information, that we have grown up to ignore, mediocrity applauded”
With it’s stinging strings and scowling lyrics ‘Hard Times’ was easily the best track from Patrick’s latest LP.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

97. CLAIRE HUX – Fucked Up
“It feels like a movie babe, it burns slow, gonna let it go”
‘Fucked Up’ was produced by Thom Yorke and sounds not unlike Radiohead covering Prince.
(Download) (MySpace)

98. THE HEAVY – How You Like Me Now?
“If I was to cheat, would you see right through me?”
I’ve included ‘How You Like Me Now?’ because firstly it’s an awesome Funky cut and secondly because I got to sing a couple of improvised lines at their Rough Trade instore (I nearly died of embarrassment btw).
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

99. HANDSOME FURS – Talking Hotel Arbat Blues
“There was a guy who came in from the cold but he’s never gonna get past face control”
‘Talking Hotel Arbat Blues’ is like Elvis Costello diggin’ on Suicide’s first LP.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

100. BAT FOR LASHES – Sleep Alone
“Give my soul, give my soul, sing it free across the sea, lonely spell to conjure you, but conjure hell is all I do”
‘Sleep Alone’ is like some otherworldly music drifting through a snowy night.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

January 9, 2009

STOP ME’s: Top 100 Tracks Of 2008

I’ve greatly enjoyed doing my weekly TEN4SE7EN posts this year, putting the emphasis on searching out new and exciting sounds (Many of which feature in this top 100) rather than previous years when I’d concentrated on  writing lengthy and tiring reviews of a handful of singles (Click to view 2005, 2006 and 2007’s ‘Top 100 Tracks’).

You’ll find links below to YouTube vids of the tracks (If they exist), MySpace links, links to purchase the tracks/albums, a couple of links to download-for-free (If the artists are kindly sharing) and lastly a Zip file containing the Top 10 plus 15 other of the hardest-to-find/vinyl-only Mp3s.

So, without further ado here’s my annual Top 100 For 2008 (In descending order!):

1. DAN BLACK – HYPNTZ
“And I just love your flashy ways, I guess that’s why they broke and you’re so paid”
It took me a little by surprise, that Dan Black’s cover of the posthumous Notorious B.I.G. hit ‘Hypnotize’ was my favourite track of the year.  On the first spin I thought it was certainly a fine track but every listen since has raised it that little bit higher in my estimation (Probably by the thousandth listen I’ll be proclaiming it “Track of the century!”).  It’s the angelic choirs and soaring strings that really make ‘HYPNTZ’  but it’s finished off by a great drum-loop and Dan Black’s bizarre-sounding fey Indie reading of Biggie’s harsh gangsta rhymes.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

2. MGMT – Time To Pretend
“I’m feeling rough, I’m feeling raw, I’m in the prime of my life, let’s make some music, make some money, find some models for wives”
The lyrics to ‘Time To Pretend’ speak eloquently of the bright lights of celebrity that have (Siren-like) called men and women to their destruction for the past century.  Underpinning the words is one of the most fabulous, technicolour and explosive Pop productions ever produced which manages to capture all the glittering diamond like beauty and all the elegantly-wasted-corpse like darkness.
(Buy) (YouTube) (Website)

3. GRACE JONES – Williams’ Blood
“Finally she told me, Grandpa Dan travelled, playing on the road, with Nat King Cole”
Grace sings of the the dangerous streak she’s inherited from her mother’s side of the family (Note the location of the apostrophe).  ‘Williams’ Blood’ is glorious Disco and heavenly Gospel with a truly liberating chorus of “Let me fly!”.   Listen for the ghostly recording of her mother, singing ‘Amazing Grace’ at the end.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

4. TY – The Scheme Of Things
“I smile at the crackheads in my area, I remember when we used to play pat-ball as children, in neat school uniforms, what went wrong?”
Without doubt ‘The Scheme Of Things’ is the best thing that Ty’s done so far.  His rhymes take in the whole sweep of day-to-day human existence while the undulating Piano captures the up-and-down nature of life.  This should be  his application for poet Laurette.
(Buy) (Apples & Snakes MySpace) (Ty MySpace)

5. BRITISH SEA POWER – A Trip Out
“Out with the daggers, off with the gloves, there is so much, that you can loath”
‘A Trip Out’ absolutely raaawwkks! plain and simple with Drum dueling against Guitar in a thrilling battle.  The lyrics surge with anger and brim over with joy.  Every album that BSP release inches them closer to the Coldplay-like stardom that they deserve.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

6. LOW MOTION DISCO – Things Are Gonna Get Easier (Sebastien Tellier Vocal Remix)
“Ooo-oh child, things are gonna get easier”
‘Things Are Gonna Get Easier’ is a slow-burning, hypnotic Eighties-sounding minimal ballad with a tear-inducing Clapton-esque Guitar solo.  Bye the way, it’s an almost unrecognisable re-work of The Five Stairsteps 1970 Soul single ‘O-o-h Child’.
(Buy) (MySpace)

7. A-TRAK (FEAT. LUPE FIASCO) – Mastered
“I’m much flyer, united I’m NASA, I’m much higher, not a puffer I’m a passer, not a rusher or a tackler”
Lupe had the number 1 spot in my list last year but number 7 ain’t bad.  He barely pauses for breath between tongue-twisting rhymes while A-Trak creates a deliciously different pulsating Hip-Hop production.
(Buy) (MySpace)

8. ESTELLE (FEAT. KANYE WEST) – American Boy
“About this Americana, rhymer, am I shallow, cuz all my clothes designer, dressed smart like a London bloke, before he speak his suit bespoke”
You can hear why Kanye deserves the acclaim, when he manages to make every line of his guest rap an irresistible hook.  Estelle’s vocals are also magic with producer Will.I.Am re-cutting his own album-track ‘Impatient’ into this international smash.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

9. DINOSAUR PILE-UP – My Rock ‘n’ Roll
“Bless my poor mother, she always knew somethin’ was goin’ on with her son, I guess it shows”
This UK trio manage to out Rock the muscular power of America’s Foo Fighters.  Get those devil horns ready to scream the chorus of “Rock ‘n’ Roll! Rock ‘n’ Roll! Rock ‘n’ Roll! My Rock ‘n’ Roll!!”.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

10. FLAMINGO CRASH – It’s Mystery Music!
“I’m seeing visions of the future but it’s no different from the past”
‘It’s Mystery Music!’ features one of the best uses of the Saxophone since the instrument was invented.  Every molecule of your body will want to move along to this Indie dancefloor destroyer.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

11. THE BACAO RHYTHM & STEEL BAND – Pimp
“Instrumental”
Steel Drum players and a Cuban style Trumpet remake the music from 50 Cent’s ‘P.I.M.P’ knocking the original out of the park.
(Buy) (MySpace)

12. THE RACONTEURS – Consoler Of The Lonely
“Lightbulbs are getting dim, my interests are starting to wane, I’m told it’s everything a man could want, and I shouldn’t complain”
A piledriving thrilling ride and the band is clearly on fire, recording one of the best tracks that Jack White’s ever done (Which is saying something!).
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

13. KWES – Hearts In Home
“I’d rather spend the night indoors with you, the music and the food, we must be true”
An intimate, delicate, beautiful flower of a song by a future superstar.
(Buy) (MySpace)

14. WARNING! HEAT RAY! – Spit It Out
“Green hills, dead mills and bruises, man lives his life as he chooses, skunk pale skin, taint of Mosley, man of the people, you lonely”
An Indie masterpiece made to mark the 50th anniversary of the Notting Hill riots featuring disturbing samples of ‘vintage’ rascists.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

15. BENJI HUGHES – Tight Tee Shirt
“She works for the circus sellin’ cotton candy, sellin’ people rotten candy, she’s got a pistol in ‘er purse, and it comes in handy, when a fella gets too friendly”
Perfectly crafted Pop from the hirsute genius that is Benji Hughes.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

16. AMADOU & MARIAM – Sabali
“La la la la la la…”
Damon Albarn brings a distinctly different Electronic production to this famous “World Music” duo.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

17. KELPE – Shipwreck Glue (Kelpe Extraversion)
“Instrumental”
One the most inventive records all year, featuring a ping pong table for percussion and a Bass sound so huge you could stick it on the stereo while you “Cruze in da hood”.
(Buy) (MySpace)

18. BUMBLEBEEZ – Rio
“No doubt the beaches will be bangin’ on the sand, and everybody doin’ their thing when they move it to the sound of the band”
A super catchy chorus and an equally catchy bizarro Pop sound.
(Buy) (MySpace)

19. FELLA VAUGHN – Sardines For Dinner
“I used to read Word Up! magazine, Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Heavy D up in the Limousine”
At 53 seconds, this nostalgic treat is one of the shortest Raps ever but also one of the best.
(Buy) (MySpace)

20. BIG STRIDES – No Lower Case Kisses
“Even if I get your number wrong, or even if I can’t spell Lapsang Souchong”
From the first second of that double Bass sound you love it but then the Drums and rhymes come in sending the track into the stratosphere.
(Buy) (MySpace)

21. THE REAL TUESDAY WELD – The Decline & Fall Of The Clerkenwell Kid
“One day in May, it suddenly happened, I met myself, I had to go, so I did”
The finest track from one of the finest albums of the year featuring a beautiful and unlikely marriage of the Banjo and Clarinet.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

22. MILK KAN – God With An Ipod
“Leadbelly and Woody on the Rock Island Line, Tin Pan Alley, Billie Holiday time”
Every single that Milk Kan puts out is a classic so I await his album with baited breath.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

23. STANLEY BRINKS – Stanley Brinks
“She travelled the world, she studied and painted, my mother was quitet and educated”
A intriguing autobiographical lyric about the man himself from his curiously titled ‘Dank U’ LP.
(Buy) (MySpace)

24. GOLDEN BUG – Midnight Rabbit
“My name is white rabbit, I’m gonna prove to you, that all your bad habits, are really good for you”
The “My name is white rabbit…” vocal sample drives me crazy and much robot dancing ensues.
(Buy) (MySpace)

25. ELBOW – One Day Like This
“Someone tell me how I feel, it’s silly wrong, but vivid right, oh kiss me like the final meal, yeah kiss me like we die tonight”
For me, their last album was better but they richly deserved the Mercury Prize and no one could deny that this single was epic and beautiful songwriting (But I bet the short-sighted guy that dropped Elbow from their last label tried to deny it… through tears of despair).
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

26. KING CANNIBAL – Flower Of Flesh & Blood
“We are many and you are one, how can you hope to prevail?”
One of the two best Dub-Step tracks of the year, with creepy beats and disturbing samples this pulsates with dangerous energy.
(Buy) (MySpace)

27. D-FROST BEATS – Big Bwoy
“Instrumental”
A rubberised, big Bass bouncing, twisting and turning instrumental from Damon Frost.
(Buy) (MySpace)

28. THE FABULOUS PENETRATORS – Dixiefied
“I wanna go out, like a feral child… dixiefied”
Just one awesome track from this toe-tapping and thrilling Rock-a-Billy band.
(Buy) (MySpace)

29. FLEET FOXES – English House
“You go with your two feet bare, down through the cold lane there, to Brighton, a country house, a liar and a louse live there”
Featuring beautiful choirs to match The Beach Boys at their best but in a distinctly Brit-Folk style.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

30. GONZALES – Working Together (Akira The Don Remix)
“Every day I cycle, cos London Transport takes the michaels, I’m signed up with Hackney Freecycle, I got a free fishtank, it’s delightful”
One of the greatest things that Gonzalez and Akira have done, featuring the best uplifting chorus in ages and new rhymes from The Don.
(Buy) (Mp3) (YouTube) (Website)

31. THE BUG (FEAT. KILLA P & FLOWDAN) – Skeng
“Skeng, Skeng, Skeng, me an’ Killa man we load the big Skeng”
The other great Dub-Step cut, combining hard edged beats and equally hard words.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

32. BOY CRISIS – Dressed To Digress
“Fresh to death and dressed to digress, I’m just the tiger and I’m lookin’ for a tigress”
Glitzy Electro-Pop genius with deliciously fun lyrics.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

33. GIDEON CONN – I Want You Around
“Been lucky to be able to do what I wanna do, well I do it for me, but I also wanna share it with you”
First-album-Badly-Drawn-Boy music meets Rap on this brilliant track from Sam Duckworth’s (aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.) Mannequin Republic label.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

34. JAPE – Phil Lynott
“It was a luner eclipse, I was out drinkin’ with two of my oldest pals, one is called Glen, one is Al”
Lyrics that take you right to a point in Jape’s life, like a beautiful photograph.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

35. GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. FLY. – Waiting For The Monster To Drown
“I just don’t know what it was, and I don’t know whence it came, an Albatross fighting like a buzz saw and calling my name”
One of the most perfectly produced tracks of the year thanks to Nitin Sawhney, and of course those huge Drums and electrifying Strings.
(Buy) (MySpace)

36. TILLY & THE WALL – Beat Control
“Let the beat control your body, you and me there’s no one watching, c’mon we can rock this party, all night long believe me”
If (Like me) you were mildly underwhelmed by previous Tilly & The Wall tracks then you’ll be unprepared for the Glorious Pop perfection of ‘Beat Control’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

37. ORPHAN BOY – Satellites
“So I seem to lose the peace, a common riot on the common streets, we love the rose but we hate the rule, for private land and for private schools”
A raging Punk single from the criminally overlooked Orphan Boy who produced one of the albums of the year ‘Shop Local’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

38. JEGSY DODD & THE ORIGINAL SINNERS – Liverpool (So Good They Named It Once)
“We could of filled the Mersey a hundred times, with the tears this City’s shed, from the poverty of our forefathers, to Hillsborough’s futile dead”
Jegsy’s 7 minute ode to his native city, chocked full of his usual caustic witticisms.
(Buy) (MySpace)

39. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
“He ended up like so many of them do, back on the streets of New York City, in a soup queue, a dope-fiend, a slave, then prison, then the madhouse, then the grave”
Grinding Blues goodness featuring one of Nick’s all time greatest lyrics.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

40. K-THE-I??? – Lead The Floor
“I’m sick to my stomach and I feel like I’m about to vomit, correct me if I attend Hailey’s comet”
A cerebral 2008 Rap highlight with skittering beats and ominous Electronics.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

41. BLITZEN TRAPPER – Furr
“You can wear your fur, like the river on fire, but you better be sure, if your makin’ god a liar, I’m a rattlesnake babe, I’m like fuel on fire”
Close harmony Folk about turning into a wolf, making it unique and rather wonderful.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

42. LE LE – Breakfast
“Hola hola hola, oatmeal and granola… you breakfast”
An hilariously offensive spoken word dance killer comparing “Yo’ Bitch” to the most important meal of the day.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

43. YILA (FEAT. SCROOBIUS PIP) – Astronaut
“It was kinda clear right then, there were strangers within us, we’re more like, you be Charles Mingus, I’ll be sticky fingers”
One of Scroobius Pip’s finest lyrics and according to Music Like Dirt there are  more collaborations with Yila in the pipeline.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

44. JULIAN COPE & THE BLACK SHEEP – Preaching Revolution
“Diggers, ranters, levellers, did force a real solution, they gave to us our common-wealth by preaching revolution”
A 7 minute acoustic song taking in the sweep of British history managing to be both lyrically educational and lyrically quite daft.
(Buy) (MySpace)

45. MENAHAN STREET BAND – Home Again!
“Instrumental”
A musical evocation of that wonderful feeling of a warm summers evening, with just a hint of melancholy.
(Buy) (MySpace)

46. DON CAVALLI – Aggression
“Gimme wine like a river, and wine as it flows, pop the sound up in my ears, I got to have some more”
A classic sounding Blues tune with John Lee Hooker style “How, how, how” bits.
(Buy) (MySpace)

47. MR OIZO (FEAT. CARMEN CASTRO) – Two Takes It
“I wanna cum right now, in your face, let me show ya how”
Features a well deployed sample of Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s hit single combined with sexy Disco strings.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

48. MICK BOOGIE Vs ADELE (FEAT. 6TH SENSE) – Chasing 1988: The Intro
“Let me tell you ’bout miss A to the D to the ELE, I remember the day when I picked up the cell-ay, it was my hommie Mick Boogie, said that we remixing Adele, and yer he got the goodies”
Adele’s smash ‘Chasing Pavements’ gets remade as a Drum-Break laden late eighties cut, complete with superb guest rhymes from 6th Sense.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

49. WILD BEASTS – The Devil’s Crayon
“This truly is the Devil’s crayon, tracing your shoulder blades, aglow like Rayon”
Bizarro Indie-Pop with theatrical vocals worthy of Sparks.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

50. PETE GREENWOOD – Penny Dreadful
“I’m holding down the notion that I’m doomed and it’s all relatively bad, and it’s all me to blame”
Absolutely gorgeous gently rolling Folk with Pete’s beautifully understated voice.
(Buy) (MySpace)

51. EAST IS EAST – Da Encore
“When you first come in the game, they try to play you, then you drop a couple of hits, look how they wave to you”
An inspired mashup of Jay-Z’s ‘Encore’ and Daft Punk’s ‘Da Funk’.
(Buy) (MySpace)

52. ARCADION – Ghost Feeder
“Instrumental”
Bass heavy, percussive masterpiece designed to “Roll wid”.
(Buy) (MySpace)

53. ALPINEKAT – The Large Hadron Rap
“A circle that crosses through Switzerland and France, sixty nations contribute to scientific advance”
Science journalist Kate McAlpine quite literally “Drops some science” managing to educate and entertain.
(YouTube) (Wikipedia)

54. AKALA – Bit By Bit (Acoustic Remix)
“No more bluffin’, it’s somethin’, I feel it in my belly button, I’m a glutton for yo blushin’, your sweet little nothin’s, are just gushin’, and you fussin’, in yo face when you cussin’, even when you wrong and no one can tell you nothin'”
The acoustic-based-beats are much more mellow than the album cut, leaving Akala’s masterful rhymes room to breath.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

55. BEN MONO (FEAT. JEMENI) – Jesus Was A B-Boy
“I’m telling you Jesus was a B-Boy, for I too have seen the burning bush… and smoked it”
Slinky tune with Jemeni’s amusing spoken word lyric.
(Buy) (MySpace)

56. THE KILLS – U.R.A Fever
“Put it in my left hand, put it in a fruit machine, everyone’s a winner, laughing like a seagull”
Every Kills album contains one undisputed masterpiece and this one belongs to 2008’s ‘Midnight Boom’.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

57. DETROIT SOCIAL CLUB – Rivers & Rainbows
“I swear I’ll always need you, I swear I’ll always need you, I swear I’ll always need you”
A dramatic and thunderous Blues stomper recalling the first B.R.M.C. album (Going all ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ in the middle).
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

58. DAWN LANDES – Straight Lines
“Remember when we were right, God threw his darts at stars in the night, I had a kite, you had a trampoline and a BMX bike, you didn’t even like”
A Indie-Folk tune brightened with a light Country twang with a gorgeous vocal from Dawn.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

59. KING KHAN & THE SHRINES – Took My Lady To Dinner
“All I wanted was a little romance, a little hoochie coo on the side, Instead I watched her booty grow, three times its original size”
Riff-tastic, Horn filled Garage rocking love song about King Khan’s elephantine love.
(Buy) (MySpace)

60. RICHARD WALTERS – True Love Will Find You In The End
“This is a promise with a catch, only if you’re looking will it find you”
A magical cover of the Daniel Johnston classic.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

61. CASHIER NO.9 – To The Death Of Fun
“I slept with the light on, this man is terrified of all things, the small things, the things you shouldn’t think of”
Just one from track from a band with a catalogue of future Indie-Funk hits.
(Buy) (MySpace)

62. WILEY – Cash In My Pocket (Feat. Daniel Merriweather)
“All I need is that bread with a little bit o’ butter, cos I really need those pounds, pounds”
Wiley faces the current economic climate with a catchy song to blow the blues away.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

63. BOB DYLAN – Dreamin’ Of You
“Miss so much, the softest touch, like the grave of some child, who neither wept or smiled”
Not strictly a 2008 track, as it’s from Dylan’s new mid-90s rarities album but by god it’s so damn good.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

64. CALEXICO – Two Silver Trees
“You are draped in white, like the blossom of the trees”
A whispered, mysterious slice of Americana.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

65. DR. RUBBERFUNK – Dr. Rubberfunk’s Fantasy Funk Band
“Love will make you drink and gamble, make you stay out all night long”
A skillful blend that’s literally a “Fantasy Funk Band” featuring Nina Simone, Bootsy Collins, The Temptations and of course James Brown.
(Buy) (MySpace)

66. FLORENCE & THE MACHINE – Kiss With A Fist
“Your slaps don’t stick, your kicks don’t hit, so we remain the same, love sticks, sweat drips, break the lock if it don’t fit”
Garage-Rock guitars spice up this Indie-Pop single with a superb lyric (According to every ‘End of year’ roundup I’ve read, they’re going to be huge in 2009).
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

67. JOHN LEGEND (FEAT. ANDRE 3000) – Green Light (MSTRKRFT Remix)
“I see you move, I’m checkin’ your smile, you’re working your back like it’s goin’ out o’ style, shake just a little bit faster, shake just a little now girl”
The combined genius of Andre 3000’s guest Rap and MSTRKRFT’s remixing skills manage to cancel out the innate shity-ness of John Legend.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

68. KYLIE AULDIST – Make Me Want More
“I know just where I stand, I’m your everything, and your my man”
A true Soul classic with big strings and long languorous notes from Kylie Auldist.
(Buy) (MySpace)

69. MAVIS STAPLES – Eyes On The Prize (Live)
“Well the only chains we can stand, are the chains of hand in hand, keep your eyes on the prize, hold on”
The highlight from Mavis’ peerless live Soul album, demonstrating a band on fire.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

70. THE AEROPLANES – Slipping Away
“When all that I want is running away, with all that I need”
Some timeless Liverpudlian jangly Guitar-Pop.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

71. ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE NEW ORLEANS HELLHOUNDS – Can You Deal With It?
“I like that look in your eyes, I like them great thunder thighs”
Surging Blues power worthy of The Doors combined with Andre’s gravel Raw screeching.
(Buy) (MySpace)

72. 6IX TOYS (FEAT. YARAH BRAVO) – Wanna Ride
“If you try and stop it, you know it’ll only feed a hunger, come on over here and talk to me a little longer”
Silky Funk featuring Yarah Bravo sexy guest spot.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

73. NANA GRIZOL – Circles ‘Round The Moon
“A thousand postcards later we seem older, but that’s normal, my car’s broke down and its just too cold to hitchhike to your door”
An all to brief low-fi Indie singalong gem.
(Buy) (MySpace)

74. ABSENTEE – Boy, Did She Teach You Nothing?
“Without willing you to make mistakes that sink you, wouldn’t have it any other way”
A thrilling Pop single enhanced by Dan Michaelson’s cavern-deep vocals.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

75. MARC HYPE & JIM DUNLOOP – Wah Wah Wah
“The guitar plugs into the Wah-Wah-Peddle with a standard cord”
‘Wah Wah Wah’ has got one of those great Music-teacher vocal samples mixed with some damn fine breaks, and killer riffs.
(Buy) (MySpace)

76. JEREMY WARMSLEY – Temptation
“A heaven, a gateway, a hope, just like a feeling inside, it’s no joke, and though it hurts me to treat you this way, betrayed by words, I’d never heard, too hard to say”
On the surface, a fairly straight ahead cover of the New Order single but it’s got new magic pulsing in every note.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

77. SONNY J – Disastro
“Instrumental”
An absolutely monstrous sample-heavy cut destroying everything in it’s wake.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

78. SUSANNA – Jailbreak
“Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town, see me and the boys we don’t like it, so were getting up and going down”
A sublime cover of the Thin Lizzy track featuring nought but Piano and Susanna’s voice.
(Buy) (MySpace)

79. JENNY LEWIS (FEAT. ELVIS COSTELLO) – Carpetbaggers
“They come to town when the war is over, dirty boots in the middle of the night, trolling the bars, hitting on the soldiers, boys give it up without a fight”
A superb Country-Rock song from Jenny Lewis with a predictably superb guest vocal from Elvis Costello.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

80. MARVIN THE MARTIAN & DJ JACK NIMBLE (FEAT. 50 CENT) – You So Tough
“You wanna fuck wid us, you wanna scuffle us, I can’t think of anybody out der that’s tough enough, dey never rough enough, Marvin’ll rough ’em up, I’m little as Elmo, strong as Snuffleupagus”
Marvin The Martian spits his typically funny rhymes over Fiddy’s beat.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

81. THE KING BLUES – What If Punk Never Happened? (Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip Mix)
“There’s no one around to fight Margaret Thatcher, the power of the flower just couldn’t match ‘er”
Dan Le Sac gives the poetic lyrics a superior Electronic backing than the original while Scroob adds his own words at the end.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

82. JACKSON BROWNE – Time The Conqueror
“Time in my mind, the past of least resistance, the future almost blind, both in need of assistance”
A warm Country-Rock song matured in oak and dipped in honey.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

83. R$STIFORM BOD1ES – Panic Shopper
“Look out you vibrating, bent neck, bowed head, PS3, building jumpin’, panic shopper”
Furious Political Rap with hardly a pause for breath over head nodding beats.
(Buy) (MySpace)

84. GENERAL FIASCO – Ever So Shy
“Let’s get wasted, it’s all we ever do, we’re so stupid, that’s okay the drunks are your friends”
This vocal-hook laden Indie track is my 2009-hit-single tip (If they release it).
(Buy) (MySpace)

85. THE MELTING ICE CAPS – Selfish Bachelor
“I’ve had too much time just pleasing myself, now I am too stuck to please anybody else”
David Shah’s burgeoning solo career (Producing subtlety witty songs such as this) is soothing comfort for those that were saddened by the demise of criminally overlooked Electro-Pop masters Luxembourg.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

86. FUJIYA & MIYAGI – Knickerbocker
“We’ve got no room for Technicolour, and Emeric Pressburger, set to Diedrich Knickerbocker”
Fujiya & Miyagi produced many fine tracks this year but the lyrically-twisting, name-dropping ‘Knickerbocker’ had to be my highlight.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

87. CITY REVERB – City Of Lights (Reverso 68 Remix)
“I was alone, I was alone, I was alone”
The original was great but Remix-masters Reverso 68 take it into their usual stratospheric House-Music realms.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

88. CAP PAS CAP – We Are Men (Jape Remix)
“I’m shakin’ my hand, to understand, drivin’ at night, do you see alright”
Jape almost totally remakes the track in his own twisted Phychedic image.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

89. THE GRITS – The Sons Of Your Funk Mother
“It’s time for some raw, rare, greasy, sleazy, slimy, sexed up Funk, the future of the funk, the sons of your funk mother, the UK saviours, The Grits”
The intro that I’ve quoted above pretty much says it all.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

90. NIKOLAJ GRANDJEAN – The First Picture
“One million different shadows, weeping round the willows”
Quite and understated Lo-Fi Folk that’s infused with emotional power.
(Buy)

91. PRODUCERS WITH COMPUTERS – Summer 98 (Remix)
“I wrote some songs cos I love her, then played some shows in the suburbs, it was the middle of summer, in Essex”
Features one of the best moments of any track this year, when the vocalist sings “In Essex” (Quoted above) in a high-pitched voice (But I couldn’t really tell you why).
(Buy) (MySpace)

92. MISTER MODO & UGLY MAC BEER (FEAT. JESSICA FITOUSSI) – Not Afraid
“Whispers on the willow tree”
Soulful vocals and a swinging Sixties vibe provided by the Harpsichord.
(Buy) (MySpace)

93. CONOR OBERST – Souled Out!!!
“Now all you need’s an electric razor, a magic bullet and a grassy knoll, the whole world’s just a little oyster, to Snow White and the poisoned apples”
One long Guitar-Solo soundtracking Conor’s Dylanesque lyrics.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

94. MOODYMANN – Heaven
“They say, you a ghostown thriller, no Michael Jackson magic, just a city full of killers”
Slow burning House with a Santana-like solo and a deep voiced vocal worthy of Barry White.
(Buy) (MySpace)

95. EAGLES OF DEATH METAL – Wannabe In L.A.
“I came to L.A. to make Rock ‘n’ Roll, along the way I had to sell my soul, I made some good friends that make me say, I really wannabe in L.A.”
For a band I’d normally associate with fairly straight-up Rock ‘n’ Roll, this sure is a musically exciting production.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

96. MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD – Soundsystem
“Your head’s like a record going gonga gong, the beat keeps pumpin’, pound for pound, and the whole wide world try to beat you down”
A rebellious yell plus a great dance tune to boot.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

97. MINDLESS BOOGIE – Pudding (Rubber Room Rerub)
“Instrumental”
A great Funk-Jazz instrumental that’s good enough to slip onto a Jimmy Smith Best-Of.
(Buy) (MySpace)

98. BILLY BRAGG – I Keep Faith (Solo Version)
“If you think you have the answer, don’t be surprised, if what you say is met with anger, and contempt and lies”
The best track from Billy’s long awaited new album which was released as a double disc Band Version/Solo Version.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

99. ROOTS MANUVA – Again & Again (Matt Helders Remix)
“Any time we chat dat ting, you know we back dat ting”
This year, Matt from Arctic Monkeys emerged as a talented Producer and this Remix was his best moment.
(Buy) (YouTube) (MySpace)

100. NITASHA JACKSON – First Love
“And are you cool, symmetrical, hypocritical, analytical, so critical, and nothing’s perfect, I was hoping I would do”
NiTasha turns what was an average single by The Maccabees into a powerful Piano lament.
(Buy) (MySpace)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE OF 25 TRACKS, INCLUDING THE TOP TEN (Large file, 104mb)

To conclude, here are 10 links to other blogs doing year-end lists:

Certified Banger (Top 20 UK Albums Of 2008 )
Hi-Fi Popcorn (Top 30 Albums & General Roundup)
Just Press Play (Top Singles 25 Singles & More)
Music To Die For (50 Best Tunes Of 2008 )
Music Is Art (Best Album Cover Art Of 2008 )
Music For Kids Who Can’t Read Good (Favorite Albums Of 2008 )
Sweeping The Nation (Albums Of 2008 )
The Daily Growl (Festive Fifty)
The Good, The Bad & The Unknown (111 Best Albums Of 2008 )
XO’s Middle Eight (Top Albums Of 2008 )

February 25, 2008

STOP ME’s: Top 100 Tracks Of 2007

I compiled this list early in January but it’s taken me this long to get round to finishing the post. I like these lists as a snapshot of what I was into at the time. Check out my 2006 list and wonder why I put ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ down at number 97, or the 2005 list when I put ‘Come On! Feel The Illinoise!’ down at number91.

There are links below to download about 25 of the songs, that I couldn’t find links to buy (DRM free anyway). Click here to download a Zip file with the top 10 from the list. Where possible there are links to buy, download, watch and find-out-about the tracks. Some of the songs here are taken from albums that you medically need to get, like ‘The Cool’, ‘Icky Thump’, ‘Panic Prevention’ and ‘The Magic Position’, so go out and buy them!!

1. LUPE FIASCO (FEAT. MATTHEW SANTOS) – Superstar
“So just take me home, where the mood is mellow, and the roses are thrown, M&Ms are yellow, and the light bulbs around my mirror don’t flicker, everybody gets a nice autograph picture, one for you and one for your sister, who had to work tonight but is an avid listener”
‘Superstar’ is the first track I heard from Lupe’s none-more-anticipated follow up to possibly my favourite album of all time ‘Food & Liquor’. I listened so often, I can rap the thing from start to finish while I’m making a brew. The way Lu stretches out the “Don’t wan’ it ta faaayyyy-duh” line is ice cold.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

2. KLAXONS – Gravity’s Rainbow (Soulwax Remix)
“Come ride with me through ruined lip-lock, across Tangian deserts we’ll flock, madcap Medusa, flank my foghorn, we’ll change four seasons with our first born”
Once again Soulwax succeed in taking the seemingly perfect and making it several hundred times more exciting. But be warned, if you have this on in the car the police will soon be pulling you over for speeding. Listen at 4.06 when it all goes off like a mutherfucka!
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

3. THE WALLBANGERS – Kick The Drugs
“If I smoke Weed I get neurotic, Alcohol turns me psychotic, Heroin’s just a narcotic, S-S-S-Speed makes me despotic, if you’re on Crack-Cocaine you’re goin’ outta your brain, you’ve gotta pull the plug, you’ve gotta kick the drugs!”
The monstrously riff-tastic ‘Kick The Drugs’ has me making devil signs, screeching the chorus and gurning each and every time. I’m just a sucker for list tunes. When Nick Cave’s firing on all cylinders on the Grinderman album and Mick Harvey records tracks like this, you just know that the next Badseed’s album is gonna rock.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

4. FREDDIE CRUGER (FEAT. LINN) – Pushing On
“Hey friend, can you borrow me a hundred grand? No I cannot, ’cause I’m stuck in the same quick sand”
‘Pushing On’ is as smooth as a puddle of Baileys on a slab of marble mopped up with a cloth spun from silk by Barry White himself. Oooh the bass, oooh the beats, oooh the vocals… I’m in heaven. I said “This could be track of the year” back in April… number 4 ain’t bad.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (MySpace)

5. THE WHITE STRIPES – Rag & Bone
“Looking for Technics turntables, to gramophones, so take a last lick of your ice cream cone, and lock up what you still want to own”
‘Rag & Bone’ was clearly the best track on the new album and is quite possibly the best thing they’ve ever done. A band in their tenth year and recording their sixth album, shouldn’t be having this much fun.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (MySpace)

6. HARRISONS – Dear Constable
“The kickin’, punchin’, trigger happy, car crashin’ kids, stink of drink, and think that is just the way life is, the problem lies behind their eyes, their young minds filled with wicked lies”
‘Dear Constable’ is so superior to anything else Harrisons have so-far produced I at first doubted if I was listening to same band. The rate that the savage lyrics come tumbling out of Adam Taylor’s lips is jaw dropping.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

7. ZZT – Lower State Of Consciousness (Justice Remix)
“Instrumental”
This is probably an illicit recording of your office’s printer and fax machine shagging after everyone has gone home. It’s about as far from a “Song” as music can get while still being earth shakingly addictive.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

8. JAMIE T – Pacemaker
“Body bags come back on planes from wartorn Iraq, it’s the stark naked truth, a dark aftermath, Baby T, the juice and the dog just barks, remember man the bully always had the last laugh”
‘Pacemaker’ is easily the best track on Jamie’s album but since he barely stops to take breath, never mind deliver a chorus it wasn’t a contender for a single. Jamie raps as if he’s never gonna be allowed into a studio ever again.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (MySpace)

9. HELLO SAFERIDE – I Was Definitely Made For These Times
“Sure a woman should obey her man, sure when he can do the things I can, I was definitely made for these times, goin’ to church on Sundays, ruining my TV fun day”
Alot of slightly quirky female Pop singers have made it big this year (With precious little talent to justify that success). So will somebody tell me why ‘I Was Definitely Made For These Times’ wasn’t at number one for approximately thirty-seven weeks?!?
(Buy Digital) (MySpace)

10. HERMAN DUNE – Song Of Samuel
“My princess I can tell, from the beauty of this sound here, that with your instructor Samuel, that true love for you is found here”
Within six minutes ‘Song Of Samuel’ packs in more beauty, character, detail and tenderness than most novels could impart in six-hundred pages.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

11. THE HOLD STEADY – Stuck Between Stations
“He said I’ve surrounded myself with doctors and deep thinkers, but big heads with soft bodies make for lousy lovers”
On ‘Stuck Between Stations’ the The Hold Steady seem to have set themselves a goal to record the most exhilarating Rock song since Springsteen released ‘Born To Run’. If you aren’t trying to simultaneously play air-guitar, air-piano and air-drums at 2.55 then you’re probably clinically dead.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

12. KID ACNE – Eddy Fresh
“Enough men be so short sighted, you say up norf, and they think High Barnet”
‘Eddy Fresh’ is full of brilliant references to things like “Supersoakers”, “Lazerquest” and “Cillit Bang” with music to make Ian Dury proud and a potty mouthed chorus that’ll get stuck in your head.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

13. BEASTIE BOYS – Electric Worm
“Instrumental”
Beastie Boys succeed in creating a new track every bit as funky as the Jimmy Smith classic they sampled all those years ago on ‘Root Down’. Giving something back.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

14. BADLY DRAWN BOY – Promises (Reverso68 Remix)
“Just promise you will remember, a promise should last forever, right up to the dying embers, of a fire that burns so slow”
This is one of those deft remixes that totally enhances a track without changing it’s spirit. Reverso68 turn BDB’s original into a hypnotic house anthem.
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15. DAN LE SAC VS SCROOBIUS PIP – Fixed
“Prancin’ about like they’re the next big thing, cause their cousin’s got an 8-track and their mate Darrell can sing”
Dan Le Sac takes Dizzee Rascal’s only truly genius track ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’, cuts it up and lays on an awesome John Carpenter synth line. If that wasn’t enough Scroob let’s loose a stream of skillful rhymes in his own deadpan style.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

16. FYFE DANGERFIELD – Well, Love Does Furnish A Life
“So you open up your eyes and you’re underneath the first class seat, your yellow hair and purple eyes are bleeding defeat, your mother always told you, freedom was just a lie, so I’m here to show you, show you what life can be like”
Fyfe Dangerfield takes a good Larrikin Love single and transforms it into a gentle ballad of rare beauty and grace. One of the all time great covers.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

17. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – North American Scum
“I hate the feelin’ when you’re looking at me that way, ’cause we’re North Americans, but if we act all shy, it’ll make it okay, makes it go away”
James Murphy has created an anthemic song about being resolutely proud of where you’re from, even if others try to make you feel ashamed.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

18. MIKA – Love Today
“Carolina sits on ninety-five, give her a dollar and she’ll make you smile, hook her, book her, nook her, walk away!”
Love Today is like a glorious carnival passing through the space between your ears, with a Pop float, an Indie float, a Disco float and Mika leading the way twirling his conductors baton with megaphone aloft.
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19. PATRICK WOLF – The Magic Position
“‘Cause out of all the people I’ve known, the places I’ve been, the songs I have sung, the wonders I’ve seen, now that the dreams are all coming true, who is the one that leads me on through… it’s you!”
‘The Magic Position’ is pure joy distilled into a Pop song. It’s got pieces of everything from The Beach Boys to Dexys wrapped up with Patrick’s typically passionate vocals.
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20. SONNY JIM – Can’t Stop Moving
“You are, of a beautiful nature, changeable, quite questionable, you are capable of deep intellectual thought”
So close to being annoying but ultimately irresistibly fun, Funky Disco-Pop. I just couldn’t stop playing it, it’s as addictive as a Big McCrack.
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21. MARVIN GAYE VS JOHNNY OSBOURNE – What’s Going On (Truth & Rights Remix)
“Picket lines and picket signs, don’t punish me with brutality, talk to me, so you can see, what’s going on”
This boot is so seamless that it’ll have you believing that Marvin Gaye secretly went to Jamaica to rework some of his greatest hits. Better than the original, believe!
(Mp3) (MySpace)

22. CSS VS TOM TOM CLUB – Let’s Make Love (Streetlife DJ’s Rappinhood Remix)
“Callin’ me high on the telephone, came by plane, all alone, spend the afternoon making a speech, speech made you nervous that you couldn’t eat”
This mash-up works so well you’d swear there was some freaky time-travel involved in it’s creation. These two records were born to be bootlegged together.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

23. THE EIGHTIES MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER – In The Garden
“But then as soon as we did take a bite, I’m feeling tense and something was not quite right, I turned to Eve and said what have we done, she said, she don’t know but it feels so wrong”
The bass on this Phychobilly monster is of Biblical proportions which is lucky because the lyric concerns the temptation of Adam & Eve. Thank Lucifer TEMBD are back to shake up the music scene… roll on the new album.
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24. MR HUDSON & THE LIBRARY – Too Late, Too Late
“Why must I always play the clown, it makes it too easy for them to put you down”
A perfect fusion of Reggae, Jazz, Soul and Pop with a great rumbling Bass line and tinkling Steel-Drums.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

25. THE HOT PUPPIES – King Of England
“How dare you sharpen your claws, with the word, with the word of God, is this really how the west got won, by throwing ashes out in a snowstorm, I wanna creep, I wanna creep and crawl, where the thoroughbred won’t tread, where the papers don’t get shred, and where the new Apollo’s not dead”
Frighteningly intelligent, witty Punk-Funk-Indie-Pop. If The Hot Puppies can produce a whole album at this level of creativity, world domination becons.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

26. OPERATOR PLEASE – Just A Song About Ping Pong
“I got my, got my, got my, got my, racket in hand, not leaving till I play, don’t think you understand, with that dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, look on your face, I bet you know beef jerky has an after-taste… go!”
‘Just A Song About Ping Pong’ has all the Punk-Rock vim of Be Your Own Pet but with a vocal so fast you could technically call it Rap.
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27. DAVID E. SUGAR – I Still Like Your Clothes
“Even though you screw up, I still like your clothes, I like your look”
Genius steals… blah blah blah. David E. Sugar is the genius in question and the subject of the theft is the riff from ‘Smoke On The Water’. Deep Purple go Disco… holy mother of god this rocks!
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

28. PASE ROCK – So Fucking Disco
“I’m so fuckin’ Disco, motherfucka I’m doing fine, they pilled me up and burned me 1979, I’m so fuckin’ Disco, motherfucka I’m doing fine, I turned myself into Hip-Hop in 1979”
As yet unreleased, but I’ll be throwing money at the guy behind the recordstore counter when this comes out. All the flavour of LCD Soundsystem with added Hip-Hop juice.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

29. HOT CLUB DE PARIS – You Can Call Me Al
“He looks around, around, he sees angels in the architecture, spinning in infinity, he says Amen! and Hallelujah!”
If Hot Club De Paris can improve upon Paul Simon’s original then surely they’re capable of anything. A simple no-nonsense cover extracting every drop of fun from this celebrated composition. The thinking man’s Indie band.
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30. ARCTIC MONKEYS (FEAT. DIZZEE RASCAL) – Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend
“I don’t ever want to hate you, it’s not part of the plan, so keep your charm where I can’t see it, and your hands where I can”
‘Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend’ takes an honoured place among the pantheon of great Rock/Rap hybrids. The best thing both acts have done in a while and this was left on the B-side.
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31. AKALA – Comedy Tragedy History
“Wise is the man that knows he’s a fool, tempt not a desperate man with a jewel, why take from Peter to go and pay Paul, some rise by sin and by virtue fall”
Akala Raps the works of Shakespeare at breakneck speed over a Gypsy-Electro beat. Pure insanity and pure bliss.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

32. THE HAT – Open Hearts
“Solid like a drummer’s snare, strong like Tupperware, now dancing round like Fred Astaire, and if I get it right by next year, I’ll probably be a millionaire”
Distinctively odd vocalists trade lines over a bizarre yet catchy blend of Gypsy, Indie, Hip-Hop and Jazz.
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33. JARVIS – The Loss Adjuster
“Now we’ll all be gone by Monday morning, this is it, your final warning, you never did see Dog Day Afternoon”
A true epic relegated to the B-side about what you might do if the world was about to end. You could well spend your last minutes sampling Jarvis Cocker’s delightfully rambling narrative and consider it time well spent
(Buy Record) (Buy DRM Free Digital) (MySpace)

34. ARCADE FIRE – Keep The Car Running
“There’s a fear I keep so deep, knew it’s name, just before I could speak”
I’m still not entirely sold on Arcade Fire’s second album but from the first second I adored the unrelenting beat of ‘Keep The Car Running’. Paranoia never sounded so appealing.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

35. LINDA THOMPSON – Versatile Heart
“Was the screw worth turning, was the bridge worth burning, you so and so, on your high moral ground, worth less than the pound, and your halo”
The brass-band on ‘Versatile Heart’ warms you up like a whiskey on a cold night. The strings, Guitars and of course Linda’s gorgeous vocals are damn fine too.
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36. SKEEWIFF (FEAT. YOUNG MC) – Bump Bump
“No doubt if yer ready, we’re gonna rock it steady, and have the party jumpin’ from here to the Serengeti, your body will be sweaty, from movin’ around, but you know it’s gonna happen when we’re puttin’ it down”
‘Bump Bump’ is all summer vibes, party beats and crowd pleasing rhymes. It’ll bring a big smile to your face.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

37. LUKE TOMS – Peace By Myself
“It’s the darkness I hate, alone and afraid, you being here helps a bit, she sits, but that’s not enough for her”
‘Peace By Myself’ is an achingly delicate Piano ballad that’s both intimate and hauntingly beautiful. Oooh feel the chills when he delivers the above line.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

38. HOLY HAIL – Born Of A Star
“Touch not shattered, attacked on the matter, and the congregation hastened to keep me on the ladder”
‘Born Of A Star’ is certainly for fans of CSS but vocalist Cat’s rap takes it to another level.
(Buy DRM Free Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

39. THE DINING ROOMS – Thank You? (Skwerl’s Ungrateful Love Mix)
“My son went to war in the name of peace, I hope you’ve seen he’s a hero, because he gave his life for freedom, so I suppose I should say thank you, once again”
Hypnotic and chilling anti-war house anthem perfected on Skwerl’s Remix.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

40. PARTY BEN – Galvanize The Empire
“And you shouldn’t even care, ’bout those losers in the air, and their crooked stares”
‘Galvanize The Empire’ combines two of my favourite things, The Chemical Brothers and ‘Star Wars’ in one glorious whole. I’ve spent quite some time mentally editing footage from Star Wars to fit the music.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

41. THE DRAYTONES – Keep Loving Me
“You keep coming back for more, until I tell you stop-ah, don’t want you anymore”
‘Keep Loving Me’ is the definition of 60s retro, with brutal Drums and raw, fuzzy Guitars worthy of Garage-Rock maestros The Sonics.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

42. [RE:JAZZ] – People Hold On
“Everybody’s looking for a meaning, everybody’s doing their own thing, and nobody’s solving the problem, ain’t nobody helping each other”
[Re:Jazz] have recorded an exquisitely minimal Jazz/Soul take on Coldcut & Lisa Stansfield’s 1988 protest song.
(Buy DRM Free Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

43. THE ANOMALIES – Employee Of The Month
“You can’t be certain, which bar I’m lurkin’, I’m employee of the month, ’cause I’m the hardest workin'”
‘Employee Of The Month’ is a mix of everything from Jazz and Latin to Hip-Hop and Soul with a fantastic Rhumba break in the middle.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

44. MILK KAN (FEAT. DOLLY PARTON) – Here Ya Come Again & Again
“The night is dark, he’ll keep it low key, the moon smirks, whilst the stars spit on me”
Milk Kan takes a lesser known Dolly Parton gem and throws it into the gutter with new lyrics about drug dealing. Go check out the majestic Dolly original too.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

45. THE GO! TEAM – Grip Like A Vice
“The blast from the past, superb in every word, super female rockin’, just the best you’ve heard, I make the brothers sweat, cos I keep their bodies hot, it’s a woman’s world, you gotta give it what ya got”
Mad Drums worthy of Keith Moon combine with The Go! Teams ear for a great sample and superb skills on the mike.
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46. MR BENN (FEAT. SOULS LIBERATION) – The Jump
“We entertain wid unity, love and da peace, so the vibes that we carry, shall surely increase, give thanks and praises to the most high and we sing this-a song while we look up to the sky”
A summery slice of feel-good, party-starting, Jamaican flavour Hip-Hop.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

47. TAGGY MATCHER – Rapoors Delaaght
“How dare you ever try to step on my suede shoes, top Gun shut down your firm like Tom Cruise, please let me get down and blow a fuse, actin’ fools, breakin’ shit down to molecules”
An incredible mashup of Busta Rhymes’ ‘Woo Hah!’ and a Reggae take on ‘Rapper’s Delight’.
(Mp3)

48. GRINDERMAN – Honey Bee (Let’s Fly To Mars)
“Cancer, rabies, S.A.R.S, hairy beards and hurtling stars, won’t somebody touch me?”
‘Honey Bee (Let’s Fly To Mars)’ is one of the best things Nick Cave’s ever done. 21st century paranoia soundtracked by roaring Guitars and maniacal Organs.
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49. THE RUMBLE STRIPS – Motorcycle
“But it’s all just a dream, I’m actually moving quite slowly, the air is nice and clean, but my bicycle seat is so lonely”
The Rumble Strips turn one of the best demos of yesteryear into one of the most perfectly produced, tightest, exciting and thrilling singles released in recent memory.
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50. THE WORLD DOMINATION Vs ADAM SKY – Galactic Lover (Version 1)
“Walk the Milky-Way with me, you’ll be infinitely mine, there’s as many stars in my cosmos, as there’s things for us to do, you know you’re in love when I put my… tentacles around you”
Ludicrously repetitive but when you’ve got a beat as good as this, who needs variety. The mental lyrics (Concerning a sex crazed astronaut) are awesome too.
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51. PRINCE – Guitar
“Gettin’ dirty at the club again, use it round your waist like a chain, but then, I got the call, so I jumped in my car, I love you baby, but not like I love my Guitar!”
You could call it Prince-By-Numbers but there’s no denying that this song has got one hell of a Riff and one hell of a chorus.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

52. SIMPLY LUKE LEIGHFIELD – The Rain Will Come Again
“I woke up this morning, saw another of those days of ambitions destroyed and hopes washed away, I woke up this morning and I prayed for rain, to brighten up monotony and help me live again”
A huge ‘Purple Rain’ style, life-affirming Indie epic from Luke Leighfield.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

53. KORMAC – Scratch Marchin’
“One of the most original and unusual acts you’ll ever see, particularly on a record album”
A cunning blend of dusty old 78s, a whole load of scratchin’ and erm.. Kermit The Frog. Your Grandad and Grandson will both love this.
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54. EDITORS – Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors (Acoustic Version)
“I can’t shake this feeling I’ve got, my dirty hands, have I been in the wars, the saddest thing that I’d ever seen, was smokers outside the hospital doors”
I found Editor’s second album to be a touch overblown in the production department. I don’t want too much clutter to obscure Tom Smith’s operatic tones, so I love this atmospheric acoustic track. You could here an atom drop at 3.05.
(Mp3) (Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

55. BEVERLEY KNIGHT – Black Butta
“Got me excited, my fuses have blown, you got me delighted now, don’t leave me alone, you got me ignited, I’m ready to blow!”
I’ve been waiting years for Bev to record some records as good as her live appearances. ‘Black Butta’ is a roaring, funky and totally sexy performance that’d put most of the old Soul legends to shame.
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56. Hot Chip – Shake A Fist
“I’m ready to try this, I move underwater, there’s so much to see here, I eat what I slaughter”
Cramed full of countless vocal hooks and more ideas than a quantum physics dissertation.
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57. KINGS OF LEON – Fans
“Oh the London scene, cos England’s the Queen, who makes you love the tales I breathe, those rainy days they ain’t so bad when you’re the King, the King they want to see”
Kings Of Leon keep coming up with the goods, album, after album. Caleb Followill’s vocal is as wonderfully incomprehensible as usual and the yelping bits make it sound like somebody jabbing a pin into his eyeball.
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58. MARVIN THE MARTIAN Vs CALVIN HARRIS – Acceptable In The 80s
“Before Bobby and Whitney were out gettin’ high, passin’ the Dutchie on the left hand side, Eddie Murphy couldn’t be too rude, language colourful as Rubic’s Cubes”
Calvin came up with a great beat but did little with it. The legendary Marv saves the day by adding a whole new nostalgic Rap.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

59. YEAH YEAH YEAHS – Down Boy
“I’ll stand kind of pushed, kind of bent, on this heavy land, I’ll stand for the sake of my friends”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs second album was a disappointment. The EP that followed was anything but, as violent, sexy and exhilarating as the first time you heard Karen O screech.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

60. THE PAN I AM – The Final Ecstasy Of Jeremiah Ghost
“I’ve evacuated my friendship, with understanding, my soapy life is a dish rag, of acid vapour”
The demise of Larrikin Love was very sad but if Ed Larrikin comes up with more songs as good as this for his new project… who really cares.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

61. THE HEAVY – That Kind Of Man
“I been thinkin’ ’bout our love, show me something, cos what you give is not enough”
Heavier than heavy Led Zeppelin music meets sweeter than sweet Curtis Mayfield vocals. A winning combination.
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62. LACK OF AFRO – Spooky
“Instrumental”
The brilliant Lack Of Afro do a vibrant take on the Dusty Springfield Organ led classic, adding brutal Drums to the mix.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

63. BOBBY CONN – King For A Day
“A drunken face in terrycloth, unzips the front and takes it off, I guess your scars just turn me off, I’d rather be alone”
‘King For A Day’ is an eerie, oddly unsettling and subtlety funky record.
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64. MANIC STREET PREACHERS – 1404
“If R. S. Thomas was compulsory, and Saunders Lewis was for free, Owain Glyndwr our history, and Dylan kept the memories, but 1404 got left behind, and we were trapped and stuck in time”
The new MSP album had great singles and even better B-sides. This beautiful acoustic song about Welsh nationalism is the best of them.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

65. LOS CAMPESINOS! – It Started With A Mixx
“Trying to find the perfect match between pretentious and Pop, some crappy artwork that took way, way to long to draw”
I loved ‘It Started With A Mixx’ the instant I heard it a year ago. A punk edge, a Pop punch and a delightfully childish sense of fun.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

66. JENS LEKMAN – Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo
“I want the people in the country to be open and kind, but most times they met us with a narrow mind, with the big black dog to bite your behind, if they ever find out you’re not one of their kind”
Like Acker Bilk covering ‘All Time High’ with Belle & Sebastian thrown in to the mix.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

67. JAMES YORKSTON – Woozy With Cider
“I Watch the park quieten from the hotel window, I hear you softly sleep amongst the cars and saluting songbirds”
A thoughtful, personal and self-deprecating spoken-word piece from James Yorkston.
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68. BLOC PARTY – I Still Remember
“And our love could have soared over playgrounds and rooftops, every park bench screams your name, I kept your tie, I’d have gone wherever you wanted, I still remember”
I’m not a big fan of the slicker sound on Bloc Party’s second album but there’s no denying the anthemic majesty, yet intimate beauty of this single.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

69. NOAH & THE WHALE – 5 Years Time
“Oh well in five years time, we could be walking round a zoo, with the sun shining down over me and you, and there’ll be love in the bodies of the Elephants too, and I’ll put my hands over your eyes but you’ll peak through”
The best use of whistling on a record since last years ‘Young Folks’. Quivering Strings, Ukuleles and Flutes combine to make charmingly odd Pop.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

70. THE VIEW – Same Jeans
“I’ve had the same jeans on for four days now, I’m gonna go to a disco in the middle of the town, everybody’s dressing up, I’m dressing down”
Like Nirvana covering ‘Brimful Of Asha’. It’s Kyle Falconer’s slurred and exhilarating vocals that get me. Listen to him suddenly yelp “Amazed!” at 2.10.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

71. RICHARD HAWLEY – Vickers Road
“Do you remember Fridays and the pop wagon, sold by dodgy lads fresh out of prison, it was s’posed to last us all through the week, we’d drink it all in one night, then we couldn’t get to sleep”
I found the overblown production on Richard’s new album obscured some fine songs. This wonderfully understated and nostalgic B-side doesn’t have that problem.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

72. MURDER MYSTERY – Love Astronaut
“I’m the captain of a ship, boy an astronaut in space, travelling the universe, and searchin’ for a pretty face, I’ve been looking on high, checkin’ below the lows, but the only thing I find is myself still alone”
Surely this would be a hit if they gave it a major release in the UK. It’s glorious repetitive Bass laded Pop fun.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

73. LARRIKIN LOVE – Good Luck
“We arranged to meet black suited, at a quarter past seven, I was inexperienced, due to living in Devon”
Sadly it was to be Larrikin Love’s last recorded output but boy did they go out on a high with this lyrically twisting complete remake of an Alterkicks single.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

74. ANONYMOUS TWIST – Respect That
“Respect due if you’re down for the cause, the effect worth more than applause”
Sounds every bit as good as Jurassic 5 which of course makes it essential Funky Rap.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

75. ABDOMINAL – Pedal Pusher
“Don’t contest the champ with consecutive wins, clockwise wheel motion, like a record it spins”
If Lupe can Rap about skateboarding then why can’t Abdominal spin a tune about his love of Cycling. The detail in his rhymes is delightfully nerdy with a tasty ‘Salt ‘n’ Pepa’ sampling beat.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

76. THE KILLERS – Read My Mind (Pet Shop Boys’ Stars Are Blazing Mix)
“The teenage queen, the loaded gun, the drop dead dream, the chosen one, a southern drawl, the world unseen, a city wall and a trampoline”
As usual Brandon Flowers lyric is at times annoying suedo-poetry aching with self-importance. But luckily his band have put together an unstoppably brilliant tune that the Pet Shop Boys sprinkle with their own brand of Electro glitter.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

77. LEEROY – Drummies
“Instrumental”
‘Drummies’ combines Bollywood, Funk and Dance in one spy-movie-set-in-Jaipur whole. How could a combination like that fail? There’s a cool ‘Outer Limits’ sample thrown in too for your listening pleasure.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

78. THE INDELICATES – The Last Significant Statement To Be Made In Rock ‘n’ Roll
“Once in a corridor in Memphis, was a singer took a breath, and wrote the birth of the teenager, now we come to write his death”
With an album coming out in 2008, The Indelicates will finally take over the world (If the world has any sanity left that is).
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

79. GOODBOOKS – Hiding Away
“He never quite recovered since his son brought the boyfriend home, he only ever wanted an heir to his heir, to sit on the family business throne, his daughter found a man with a turban, while travelling in India, and maybe that’s what finished him off”
A great B-side that’s full of achingly sad imagery and intense music.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

80. CALVIN HARRIS – Merry Making
“Come into my house, you’re invited into my house, entering the back of my house, welcoming you into my house”
The first Calvin Harris track I heard and still the best. Basically just a huge twanging Bass line with repetitive James Murphy style vocals. But what more do you need?
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

81. JEGSY DODD – Only Football Can Truly Break Your Heart
“That last minute goal off a wicked deflection, that horrid feeling of utter dejection, and when you see the joy in the away fan’s section, it’s hard to take, it’s hard”
I’m not a football fan but I can still enjoy the lyrical genius of Liverpool’s finest poet, Jegsy Dodd. I can’t wait for his next LP.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

82. MISTY’S BIG ADVENTURE – I Can’t Bring The Time Back
“One night when it’s pitch black, I’ll lie on the train track, ’cause I can’t bring the time back no, oh no, and I can’t bring you back”
Yet another magical Pop single from Grandmaster Gareth, yet another time when they fail to go to number one in the charts. Hello?!?!
(Buy Record) (Buy DRM Free Digital) (MySpace)

83. AMY WINEHOUSE – Back To Black (The Rumble Strips Remix)
“I love you much, it’s not enough, you love blow, and I love puff”
An improvement on the original in every way, taking the track in to rarefied Ennio Morricone territory.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

84. EXAMPLE – Take What I Want
“This ain’t cheap sex, it’s something fresha, one off payment for ‘Luscious Lorreta’, fellas let’s get your shit together, blow up ladies are getting better”
I love it when an artist puts tracks as good as this on the B-side. The best song about blow-up-dolls since ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

85. KOKOLO – Our Own Thing (Instrumental)
“Instrumental”
‘Our Own Thing’ is as funky as James Brown and as tight as Ebenezer Scrooge. The vocal was good, but for me it got in the way of enjoying the pure, intricately orchestrated groove.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

86. LAURA MARLING – New Romantic
“I made you leave her for me, and now I’m feeling pretty mean, but my mind has fucked me over more times than any man could ever know”
As graceful as Joni Mitchell and as lyrically quirky as Regina Spektor, sheer intimate acoustic bliss.
(Buy DRM Free Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

87. PETER, BJORN & JOHN – Young Folks (Datassette Remix)
“If you knew my story word for word, had all of my history, would you go along with someone like me”
The best bit about last year’s ‘Young Folks’ was the whistling right? So how come this whistle-free remix is utterly brilliant.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

88. THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT – Does This Mean You’re Moving On?
“From the balcony you call my name, I see you standing in the rain, your words so dry, your face so wet, a broken heart, but it hasn’t happened yet”
A terrible name, but oh such wonderful Pop-Rock music.
(Buy Record) (Buy DRM Free Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

89. RADIOHEAD – Bangers + Mash
“Whatever turns you on, whatever gets you off, Chief of Police, the Vice-Chancellor, Lord and lady blah, blah, the Vicar and the Judge, you’re dancing to my little red book”
The best track from ‘In Rainbows’, but you had to fork out for the ultimate-mega-ultra-deluxe-boxset to get it. Money well spent for the savage Guitar attack and vitriolic vocals of ‘Bangers + Mash’.
(Mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

90. ZOOK – Blue Monday
“Those who came before me, lived through their vocations, from the past until completion, they will turn away no more”
A wonderfully creepy stalker-esque Blues take on the perennial New Order hit.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

91. MALCOLM MIDDLETON – A Brighter Beat
“Now you’ve gone and left me and there’s nothing here, but a tenner in my pocket and a fridge full of beer”
Moody and brutal solo Blues-Rock from Arab Strap’s Malcolm Middleton.
(Buy Record) (Buy DRM Free Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

92. THE CRIBS – Men’s Needs
“Have you noticed, I’ve never been impressed by your friends from New York and London, I’ll level accusations like the press, ’til you realise that you’ve dressed yourself in tatters”
The Crib’s second truly brilliant single after ‘Another Number’. Catchy Guitar-Pop combined with red-raw anti-scenester vocals.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

93. DIESLER (FEAT. TESTAMENT) – Restless (Lack Of Afro Remix)
“Start to finish, I’ll be rippin’ it well, hit you with my old English, like the Canterbury Tales”
Featuring a flavorsome Stevie Wonder Organ sound, crackling Blues Guitar and well aimed rhymes from Testament.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

94. VARIOUS PRODUCTION – Phortune
“There’s fortune in my name, currency in letters, if this life is just a game, I’ll try to play it better”
A acidicily grimey remake of Emma Pollock’s ‘Fortune’ contrasting with sultry vocals.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

95. WOJTEK GODZISZ – The Moon & The Yew Tree
“Down we go, into the fog below, yeah down we go, so keep your head down low”
A wonderfully strange combination of psychedelic Folk and TEMBD style Metal.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

96. S.M.O.V. – Quality Soul
“While underground doesn’t like you, the media might, but we the elite will change that, as we bridge gaps in this lyrical grudge match, brothers we slug back”
Jurrassic 5 versus ‘Tainted Love’, so obviously this track’s like Ronseal.
(Mp3) (MySpace)

97. THE BAMBOOS (FEAT. OHMEGA WATTS) – Get In The Scene
“We’re all in together now ha, let’s make it happen, from the project blocks, to estates out in the Hamptons”
The funky groove on this summery slice of Hip-Hop is truly irresistible.
(Buy Record) (Buy DRM Free Digital) (MySpace)

98. THE NEW ROYAL FAMILY – Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?
“Anyone fancy a chocolate digestive? No thank you, it sounds suggestive”
A one line song, but what a line. An enormously charming and preposterously silly Indie single.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

99. BATTLE – North Sea (Russell Lissack Remix)
“Oh my darling, I could sell my soul gladly, I could tell you all the things, you never thought to ask”
Bloc Party’s Russell Lissack turns in an essential Remix transforming this track into one of the best things Battle have so far released. I love the “Ooooh Ooooh” bits.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

100. BILLY RUFFIAN – Music Vs Money
“We’re sure you’ll pay attention, and try hard to be fair, and not just dismiss us because of how we style our hair”
A good old fashioned Indie-Punk declaration sneering at the music industry.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

I’m already regretting not including a few tracks but it’s too late, the list is set in stone. Roll on 2008!

January 5, 2007

STOP ME’s: Top 100 Tracks Of 2006

After much time compiling and arguing with myself… here’s my favourite 100 tunes of the last twelve months (In Order). I’ve included links to download 16 of the ones that didn’t seem to be available to buy anymore. Also here’s a Zip with 20 of the best and lesser-known tracks for your enjoyment. If you like them, support the artists. If you were wondering, the picture above is of me as a nipper conducting wild experiments into the nether regions of music (Yeah right!)

1. AKIRA THE DON – Thanks For All The Aids
“Who put the crack in the ghetto, who put that crap in Netto, why charge that much for Lego, why can’t we let go?”
Whatever Bob Geldof achieved with Live8, he certainly succeeded in pissing off a couple of musicians. One of them was Jarvis Cocker, who wrote ‘Cunts Are Still Running The World’ and the other was Akira The Don. He’s come up with a hands-in-the-air, vitriolic and hilarious alternative anthem. I think that if everybody learned to sing this song, the world would be a better place
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

2. CHRISTINA AGUILERA – Ain’t No Other Man
“So tell your mother, your brother, your sister and your friends, and the others, your lovers, better not be present tense”
Trust me once you get past the OTT vocal gymnastics, this is a classic, in fact the vocals have become my favourite bit (Check the “Ow!” bit at 1.53). I don’t listen to the radio much, but one day it was played on the radio at work and I’ve been addicted ever since. The Funk Guitar, the explosive Horns, the J.B. Drums, the scratching and the crackle of vinyl in the background all add up the most perfect Pop song in years. Beyonce Who?
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

3. KLAXONS – Atlantis To Interzone
“Good thieves of burning cars, encircle poisoned rivers minds and hearts, horses want to dance, but find their wings are damaged, water damaged”
This is pure dance-floor insanity, the most crazed beats, frenetic Drums, wailing sirens and the kind of Bass Guitar that could start riots. It makes me want to dance like Bruce Lee, MC Hammer, Bez and an epileptic combined. They’ve yet to release anything else that matches up to the unstoppable fury on display here, but I’m still hoping.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

4. GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. FLY – Call Me Ishmael
“And fatigue’s soon ignored, as your feet hit the board, or as the beat hits the floor, these are the moments that we’re living for”
‘Call Me Ishmael’ is about Sam Duckworth’s love of playing live. So no matter how tired he gets from touring, that hour he spends connecting with people makes it all worth while. When the Cornet solo comes in at 3.03 it makes me jump for joy, each and every time.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

5. LUPE FIASCO – Hurt Me Soul
“So through the Grim Reaper sickle sharpenin’, Macintosh marketin’, oil field augurin’, Brazilian adolescent disarmament, Israeli occupation, Islamic martyrdom”
It was a hard decision choosing just one track from Lupe’s incredible ‘Food & Liquor’ album. This is more like a lecture or an essay than a Rap tune. The first time I heard it I was so blown away by the relentless rhymes that I gave it a standing ovation.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

6. AMY WINEHOUSE – Tears Dry On Their Own
“All I can ever be to you, is a darkness that we knew, and this regret I got accustomed to”
I’ve been listening to this on my walk into work on a cold winter’s day. It makes me feel like I’m Aretha Franklin strutting along to ‘Respect’ or ‘Think’ (Which is quite an effect to have on a 25-year-old white guy). If she’s got any sense this will be the third single from the fantastic ‘Back To Black’ album.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

7. JARVIS – Black Magic
“We can’t escape, we’re born to die, but I’m gonna give it a real good try”
I don’t really know what it is about this song that gets me. There’s no real tune and the lyrics are pretty basic, but somehow it makes my heart want to explode with joy and go out and hug total strangers. It stops and starts, Drums thunder and massive Glam Guitars shimmer which all adds up to something truly epic. When it all crashes back in after the thrilling shout of “Yeah, yeah, yeah”, I nearly head-bang my head clean off.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

8. YELLOWBELLY – Blood Tainted Love
“Don’t fool around with my religion, I’ve got a loaded gun and I ain’t kiddin’, I’m gonna put a stop to all this killin’, I’m gonna set the world on fire”
‘Blood Tainted Love’ is a haunting trip inside the minds of the religious fanatics that are fighting each other across our planet. It’s a delicate slice of Electro-Pop with Country touches, which beautifully contrasts with the savage lyrics.
(Buy Digital) (MySpace)

9. AKALA – Bullshit
“Places where kids can’t eat, but AK47s are free, here you go fight for me, and I’ll take the minerals please”
This is a sprawling list of all the things that Akala thinks are ‘Bullshit’ plain and simple. It ranges from day to day irritations like the weather in the UK, all the way up to world issues like child soldiers, racism, third world debt and the war in Iraq. I was over the moon when he won at the MOBOs, it was a surprise decision, but a well deserved one.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

10. SCROOBIUS PIP – First Time I Met Musik
“She joked.. Gangsta-Rap? I said no, but drop the G, you might start to get a better description of me, Angsta-Rap? she said, if it sticks you’ll regret that”
‘First Time I Met Musik’ is about when Scroobius Pip met “The physical embodiment of music”. She talks to him about the friends she’s lost (Morrison, Hendrix etc) and what she wants music to sound like. It’s the most lyrically intricate four minutes you’re ever likely to encounter.
(YouTube) (MySpace)

11. ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT – Dead Funny
“I am a stone cold mason, you built a wall round you, I am a cold stone breaker, I’ll make a break for you”
‘Dead Funny’ is an unstoppable heavy Blues-Rock juggernaut. The pace is relentless and repetitive and when combined with the hysterical vocals it sounds like nothing else.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

12. THE JUNGLE BROTHERS Vs PRIMAL SCREAM – Play Loaded
“We got the fundamental juices, to make you feel the looseness, you recognise the Jungle, now you’re screaming oh my goodness”
This incredible bootleg combines The Jungle Brothers’ vocal from ‘Play On (Grand Central)’ by Rae & Christian with Primal Scream’s perennial anthem ‘Loaded’. The result is both good and bad. Good because the join is seamless and it’s maybe the most perfect mash-up ever. The bad thing is that you’ll never be able to listen to ‘Loaded’ again without wondering where the JBs have got to.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

13. LILY ALLEN – Nan You’re A Window Shopper
“You only buy the paper, just to cut out the Coupons, you’re saving 50p, but what do you want with Tampons”
I fell in love with Lily’s music the moment I pressed the play button on her MySpace page and heard this track. It was later that I discovered that it was a parody of 50 Cent’s ‘Window Shopper’. Why wasn’t it on the album? Why wasn’t it a single?
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

14. PLASTIC LITTLE – The Jumpoff
“Your enemies’ momma, gets killed by ninjas, at Disney world… that’s the jumpoff”
This one of the most bizarre, stupid and brilliant pieces of Hip-Hop I’ve encountered. Plastic Little spend three minutes trying to define exactly what “The Jumpoff” is. It samples everything from Kraftwerk to Chef from South Park.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

15. JACK WHITE – Love Is The Truth
“It’s the right thing to do, and you know it, it’s inside of you, so just show it, love is the truth”
The thought of Jack White recording a song for a Coca-Cola advert was controversial. But after hearing the deliriously joyful results, I’ve got no complaints. When he’s done with The White Stripes and The Raconteurs I’ll be waiting for some more solo material.
(mp3) (YouTube) (Website)

16. CIRCUITS – Half Read Book
“This is taking some time, to come up with the reply, and the mirror on the wall, doesn’t look me in the eye”
The lyrics to this song are spectacular and personal and they’re set to an exhilarating Indie-Rock sound.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (MySpace)

17. THE INDELICATES – We Hate The Kids
“And there’s always a monk to get set on fire, and there’s always a crack-head charismatic liar”
‘We Hate The Kids’ is absolute anthem raging against boring MOR Pop music.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

18. COLDCUT (FEAT. JON SPENCER & MIKE LADD) – Everything Is Under Control
“A bay full of pigs, and a sky of Vulcans, Marilyn Monroe swingin’ with the Sultans”
‘Everything Is Under Control’ is the most violently exciting track from Coldcut’s brilliant and hugely varied ‘Sound Mirrors’ album. Mike Ladd spits out anti-capitalist rhymes, Drums thunder and Jon Spencer just rawks out.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

19. OKKERVIL RIVER – The President’s Dead
“The Coffee was great, there was spring on the wind, have you ever lived through a day, where the littlest things, and the littlest ways made you feel you were blessed”
When this acoustic song explodes into life with a crash of Drums at 1.54, I’m simply in heaven and reaching for the replay button.
(mp3) (Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

20. STICKBOY – Pills For The Pain
“They scattered flowers for the sadness, they took pills for the pain, they saw their tears as a weakness, so they covered them with rain”
Stickboy’s achingly beautiful whispered vocals on this track could probably reduce any grown man to tears. It’s got the kind of lyrics that send shivers down your spine.
(mp3) (MySpace)

21. LIAM FROST & THE SLOWDOWN FAMILY – The Mourners Of St Paul’s
“I’m 12 years older, I can’t stay sober, and there’s a bluebird in my heart that’s caged and it can’t sing, so fill your bloodlines up with bourbon kid and this won’t sting”
‘The Mourners Of St Paul’s’ is heady mix of soul crushing sorrow and life affirming joy. It’s an emotionally exhausting listen.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

22. THE VIKING MOSES – I Will Always Love You
“Bitter-sweet, memories, that’s all I have, that’s all I’m takin’, with me”
This is the absolute polar opposite to Whitney Houston’s version of ‘I Will Always Love You’. It’s intimate, personal and unless I’m mistaken, you can actually hear Brendon crying as he sings it.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

23. PRIMAL SCREAM – Country Girl
“Never get too big, never get too heavy, never get too cool, that you stop payin’ your dues”
‘Country Girl’ thrills from the very first second, it’s an unashamed Rock, Country, Blues, Garage etc beast. Primal Scream haven’t pushed any boundaries with this song but they sure sound like they had fun making it.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (Website)

24. PATRICK WOLF – Accident & Emergency
“So what happens when you loose everything, you just carry on and with a grin, sing for all that low life has to bring, and just get yourself back into the ring”
There probably hasn’t been a single that I’ve anticipated more than ‘Accident & Emergency’. It’s got every kind of weird sound imaginable funnelled into a bizarre peace of heart lifting joy.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

25. PETER BJORN & JOHN (WITH VICTORIA BERGSMAN) – Young Folks
“If you knew my story word for word, had all of my history, would you go along with someone like me”
You only need to hear the whistling on this record once and that’s it, it’ll be stuck in your head for all eternity. Luckily, that’s a good thing.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

26. BRAKES – Hold Me In The River
“I woke up late and found my liberty lost, it had been written down in law as a security cost”
‘Hold Me In The River’ is a wonderfully angry Punk-Pop delight. It’s angry at the slow erosion of Britain’s libertarian laws and it even finds time to name-check Scarlett Johansson.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (MySpace)

27. CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG – Jamais
“You think you know me, that’s your trouble, never fall in love with a body double”
Charlotte Gainsbourg sings a song written by Jarvis Cocker and sings it like Jarvis too. If he ever had the Op it would sound like this.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

28. ABSENTEE – Something To Bang
“I’m working up a sweat, you’re bringing out the worst in me”
Dan Michaelson’s deeper than deep voice, propulsive Bass Guitar, clattering drums and huge Horns (Courtesy of The Rumble Strips) all add up to Absentee’s finest moment to date.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

29. BENJAMIN PROSSER – Below The Plough
“Dry winds done, so what’s up now, all alone, below the plough”

It’s almost like ‘Below The Plough’ is whispered on an icy midnight wind rather than merely coming out the speakers. Listen with the lights off
(mp3) (MySpace)

30. CSS – Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex
“Music is my boyfriend, music is my girlfriend, music is my daddy, music’s my imaginary friend, music is my granddad, music is my great granddaughter, music is my sister, music is my favourite mistress”
‘Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex’ is a sizzling slice of Electronic Funk worshipping at the feet of music. Why not indeed, I wouldn’t write this blog if I didn’t share CSS’ sentiments.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

31. FEAR OF FLYING – Routemaster
“An aisle to dance, a glass of wine, my ballroom bus, and then we dine, if we’re inspected, don’t you flinch, I’ve got fresh oysters, by the drinks”
An Indie-Rock song about a love affair between two bus drivers, surely not? Well it is, it’s brilliant and don’t call me Shirley.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

32. FRANZ FERDINAND – The Fallen (Ruined By Justice)
“I’m the word, the word is destroy”
Justice rip the best track from Franz Ferdinand’s second album to shreds and roughly stick it back together with what sounds like the anatomical care of a dog attempting brain surgery. The result is the 2006’s best remix.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

33. JEREMY WARMSLEY – Dirty Blue Jeans
“Well I’m off to meet my fortune in a big old world, you know it won’t take long to get where I’m going, and you’ll soon forget me if you’ve got any sense, in your sleepy head”
‘Dirty Blue Jeans’ is an erratic little Pop gem, flitting from sound to sound, melody to melody and beat to beat. You’ll never get tired of it.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

34. MARK RONSON (FEAT. ALEX GREENWALD) – Just
“Can’t get the stink off, he’s been hanging round for days, comes like a comet, suckered you but not your friends”
It turns out that Radiohead’s ‘Just’ was always meant to be a chunky, funky Jazz number. It took Mark Ronson to notice and produce one of the all-time great covers.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

35. THE STREETS – When You Wasn’t Famous
“But I realise with you the truth can be, a whole lot worse than the fact, my whole life I never thought I’d see a pop star smoke crack”
Mike Skinner came back with a relentlessly inventive production that made it sound easy. However, the lyrics show that his rise to fame has been anything but easy, but Mike was never going to moan on about it. So he just takes the piss out of himself.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

36. CERYS MATTHEWS – Open Roads
“Hold on to dreams, and to memories, they’re the only things, that really exist”
‘Open Roads’ is an immaculately produced Pop single with an impassioned vocal and wistful lyrics.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

37. JIM NOIR – My Patch (M. Craft Remix)
“You stepped upon my toes, many times before, and when I was low, you slammed my face in the door”
I’m not generally a fan of M. Craft’s own material but here he turns Jim Noir’s most famous single into a stomping Glam-Rock song complete with new lyrics.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

38. KELMAN – These Days
“With the night so wide, there’s nowhere left to hide, loneliness has kept us alive, for so long”
‘These Days’ is the best track from Kelman’s excellent ‘Loneliness Has Kept Us Alive’ album. It’s a deeply atmospheric take on The Velvet Underground and Wayne Gooderham’s vocals are just magical.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

39. MORRISSEY – Good Looking Man About Town
“On midnight streets, no moon and no stars, no one around, to calm you down, and to soften the stings to my heart”
Despite the critical acclaim, I thought Moz’s latest album was a bit patchy. Perhaps it would have been improved by the inclusion of incredible B-sides like this track.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

40. LUXEMBOURG – Not My Number
“Do you stay in doors, kneeling on all fours, do you sweep your stairs with a certain flair?”
Luxembourg’s lyrics are a world of twitching curtains, repressed sexuality, sham marriages and jealousy. When they keep producing irresistible Electro-Pop like this, I’m confused as to why they aren’t sitting atop the charts looking down on other bands staffed by lesser mortals.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

41. ORPHAN BOY – Billy’s England
“This retail park is wank, this town’s a fuckin’ fish tank, I get my culture from a bookcase by the door”
A sneering look at Britain set to the kind of Funky-Indie that Happy Mondays made in the early days. Sure the production is terrible but when a tunes this good who cares.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

42. PUBLIC ENEMY & PARIS (FEAT. DEAD PREZ & KAM) – Can’t Hold Us Back
“Check my tone, it’s a war here at home, we united and strong, and never move alone”
Paris decides to record a tribute record to Public Enemy’s finest hour ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’. The twist is he got Public Enemy to appear on it, resulting in their best work for years.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (Website)

43. LIL’ CHRIS – Checkin’ It Out
“This is my golden opportunity, to take a cherry from her apple tree”
If you told me last year that I’d have a reality TV adolescents’ track on this list, I would have been concerned. But this is such a genius Punk-Pop single that only an up-his-own-arse fashonista type could fail to enjoy it.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

44. THE DIVINE COMEDY – Diva Lady
“She’s got a famous boyfriend, they go out in style, she makes him look hetro, and he helps her profile”
This is Neil Hannon’s tribute to all those Divas you read about in the tabloids. Once again he’s come up with an insanely catchy tune and you’ve got love his ability to casually drop in lines like “She’s got special needs”.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

45. THE SPINTO BAND – Misogyny Is Cool
“The second time I made you cry, was the second that I realised, that this was wrong”
‘Misogyny Is Cool’ is a mini epic about a boy who hates women. Then he falls in love and realises what he thought was a load of old bollocks. Luckily Thomas Hughes puts it more eloquently than that.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

46. THE RACONTEURS – The Bane Rendition
“Instrumental”
‘The Bane Rendition’ is a burning, smoking and smouldering B-side from Jack White’s side-project/not-side-project.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

47. JEL – To Buy A Car
“Don’t buy this product, you don’t need it, if this picture wasn’t pretty, then you wouldn’t see it”
‘To Buy A Car’ is a hypnotic record to counter the hypnotic nature of the adverts streaming past our eyes every second of the day.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

48. The Strokes – Juicebox
“Nobody can see me, everything’s too easy”
This first single from The Strokes third album pointed to a bold new direction. Julian’s singing his lungs out, the Drums sound absolutely savage and the Bass line is as loud as it gets. So it’s a shame that the rest of the album was utter wank.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

49. WHIRLWIND HEAT – Reagan
“I’ve learned so much from you, the romance betrayal too”
‘Reagan’ is Whirlwind Heat’s successful attempt to fuse their usual brand of noise-terrorism to a catchy Pop tune. It’s got instruments on it that I haven’t heard since primary school.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

50. ARCTIC MONKEYS – Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured
“Didn’t ya see she were gorgeous, she were beyond belief, but this lad at the side, drinking a Smirnoff ice, came and paid for her tropical Reef”
Most tracks on the Arctic Monkeys’ album had been available as demos last year, but a few were new ones, and this was the best. You can almost hear the Cab driver chatting in the background.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

51. BETH ORTON – Conceived
“It can go very cold, very quickly, and for a very long time, if the sun, with some twist of fate, starts giving out it’s shine”

When the delicate Guitar riff comes in at 1.02 it’s like a glorious beam of sunlight. Which is lucky because the lyrics are pretty dark.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

52. ALUMINIUM – Forever For Her (Is Over For Me) (Four Tet Remix)
“Instrumental”
Four Tet deliver an aggressive, Drum heavy remix of the last track from Joby Talbot & Richard Russell’s superb avant-garde White Stripes cover’s album.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

53. BOB DYLAN – Thunder On The Mountain
“Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches, I’ll recruit my army from the orphanages, I been to St. Herman’s church, said my religious vows, I’ve sucked the milk out of a thousand cows”
‘Thunder On The Mountain’ features one of those great rambling Dylan lyrics, complete with earthy imagery and it even finds time to name-check Alicia Keys. His rich gravel-raw voice, the rolling Blues sound and the lightly brushed Drums are like a comfortable old armchair for your ears.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

54. EXAMPLE – One Night
“When the crowds had cleared, you were waitin’ at the side of the stage, in my eyes you were tailor made”
‘One Night’ cuts up ‘Heartbeats’ by José González and adds some spectacular Drums. Then Example raps over the top about love at first sight. It’s currently unreleased so I’ve only got a poor quality version ripped from MySpace.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

55. JAMES DEAN BRADFIELD – Kodachrome Ghosts
“Pictures cling to my mind, 1980’s Christmas day, you we’re younger than I am today, now I’m here in this room, with your life on my knees, a shoe box full of memories”
This B-side is better than anything from his album or the Manic’s last album for that matter. It a painfully personal listen about a lost friend/parent.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

56. THE FRATELLIS – Creepin’ Up The Backstairs
“Climbing in the window, get dressed, let’s go, take your brother’s car keys, bye, bye”
‘Creepin’ Up The Backstairs’ sounds like The Fratellis had a hell of a lot of fun making it. It’s infectious Pop-Rocker that cheekily steals from The Monks.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

57. ROBYN & JENNY WILSON – List Of Demands (Reparations)
“I ain’t afraid of you, I’m just a victim of your fears, you cower in your tower, praying that I’ll disappear”
This is an inspired cover of Saul Williams’ protest song. Instead of the anger of the original they’ve gone for an irresistible Gospel/civil-rights style accapella vibe.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

58. THE FLAMING LIPS – The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
“If you could make everybody poor, just so you could be rich, would you do it?”
Everything The Flaming Lips do eclipses what they’ve done before. Since this sounds like the birth of the universe set to music, I can’t imagine how they’re gonna top it. But top it they will.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

59. MISTY’S BIG ADVENTURE (FEAT. JEREMY VINE) – Fashion Parade
“Yes we gotta get out of this bland age, when nothing means a lot, and now nothing’s all we got, in the bland age”
The current crop of Art-Rockers get a withering dissing from Grandmaster Gareth’s grumpy satirical tongue. You’ve also got a choice between the Noddy Holder version or the Jeremy Vine version.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

60. FRANK TURNER – The Real Damage (Single Version)
“I started the night with all my friends, and I ended up alone, oh yes I started out so happy, now I’m hungover and down, it was about then that I realised, that I was half-way through the best years of my life”
I bought a split single to get Reuben’s incredibly titled ‘Every Time A Teenager Listens To Drum & Bass A Rockstar Dies’. I was less than impressed, but when I flipped the 7″ over I was blown away by this jaded acoustic gem.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

61. DAN SARTAIN – The World Is Gonna Break Your Little Heart
“And no one wants to teach these classes, so they fit you up for rose coloured glasses”
Dan has taken this opportunity to warn any kids that might be listening to kill themselves before they discover how horrible the world really is. It’s a cheery thought… and a great song.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

62. DELAYS – Valentine
“New Orleans ‘ll tremble tonight, with bleeding hearts and swaying lights”
When Delays visited New Orleans, they were caught up in spot of bad weather so they wrote a song about it. Little did they know, that by the time it came to be released, New Orleans would be in ruins, and this song would sound eerily prophetic. That aside, it’s also a Disco-Pop masterpiece.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

63. UGLY DUCKLING – Bang For The Buck
“No chicks with fake noses or plastic racks, just raps over tracks made of classic wax”
The above line sums it up pretty well, this is Bass Guitar heavy, funky and damn catchy Hip-Hop.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

64. BEST FWENDS – 1st $ Maker
“Instrumental”
The most catchy, basic and downright bizarre Dance tune since Mr. Ozio’s ‘Flat Beat’. At 1.09 it’s short ‘n’ sweet and it’s just one example of Best Fwends weird and wonderful world.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

65. DAVID GRAY – The One I Love
“Perfect summers night, not a wind that breathes, just the bullets whispering gentle, ‘mongst the new green leaves”
David Gray is often seen as a safe middle-of-the-road Radio 2 type, well dismiss him at your peril. Behind the shiny production is a lyric of such gob smacking beauty and grace that it sends shivers down my spine and often puts a lump in my throat. It’s about a soldier dying on a battlefield and as he becomes delirious from the loss of blood images of war merge with memories of the girl he left behind.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

66. GOOSE – Black Gloves
“Instrumental”
‘Black Gloves’ is a head-banging Dance tune built around a simple, repetitive and sleazy Guitar riff.
(Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

67. YEAH YEAH YEAHS – Let Me Know (Demo)
“Love’s gonna let me know, like the day you took me home”
I was very disappointed with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s second album, but I’m sure that won’t bother them since everybody else seems to love it. For me, this B-side was the only track to capture the old magic.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

68. THE POPPYCOCKS – Lovebirds (Instrumental)
“Instrumental”
This beautiful Brass enhanced instrumental version of The Poppycock’s wonderful single. Think early Beautiful South.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (MySpace)

69. S.M.O.V. – Big Love
“And when it comes to gettin’ nookie, I’m not a rookie, I got girls that make that chick Toni Braxton look like Whoopi”
‘Big Love’ splices a sample of the intro to The Supremes’ 1966 single ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ with the rap from Big L’s ‘Put It On’. It’s a seamless blend.
(mp3) (Website)

70. DUKE SPECIAL – Last Night I Nearly Died (But I Woke Up Just In Time)
“I’m not who you think I am, I slipped a stranger inside, it helps the nights go quicker, but I diminish each time”
This is perfectly produced Pop music for all the people like me who are suffering withdrawal symptoms between Rufus Wainwright albums.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

71. THE RUMBLE STRIPS – Hate Me You Do
“My television, your television, in different rooms, oh, I can hear you laughing, can you hear me laughing too, you hate me you do”
The Rumble Strips had a hard time topping ‘Motorcycle’ and with this single they just about managed it.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

72. GRAHAM COXON – Standing On My Own Again
“Water in my lungs and it’s a pain to breathe, salt is in my eyes and it’s a pain to see”
Graham Coxon easily eclipses ‘Freakin’ Out’ with this thrilling Pop-Rock single.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

73. MY ROBOT FRIEND – Swallow
“Tri, bi, metro, omni sexual, homo, hetro, yo I’m flexible, horizontal, in a pile, doggy, dragon, lotus style, from beginner to advance, drop your hang-ups, drop your pants, it’s all release and relaxation, with no weird breakfast conversation”

‘Swallow’ is a hilarious song that sounds like it was made by the gay Beastie Boys.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

74. BAXTER DURY – Love In The Garden
“Coughed up from the lungs of loneliness, came happiness, hope and smiles”
‘Love In The Garden’ sounds even better than the material from Baxter’s first two albums. I can’t wait for his third.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

75. REGINA SPEKTOR – On The Radio
“On the radio, you’ll here ‘November Rain’, that solo’s awful long, but it’s a good refrain”
Musically Regina manages to rain in her more eccentric tendencies to create a magical Pop song. The lyrics are still as mad as a bag of squirrels though.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

76. GUILLEMOTS – Never Went To Church
“I just get a bit scared every now and then, hope I’ve made you proud”
Guillemots turn in a haunting and beautiful cover of Mike Skinner’s ode to his father. The middle portion is terrible but the rest is so good that you can forgive them that.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

77. THE MARDY BUMS – Put Wood In Hole
“Ubiquitous brass, chestnut cliché, cobblestone path, Scargill toupee, Hoxton fin, put it in the bin, sir, botanical bear, anyone for wicker?”
The Mardy Bums mock/pay-tribute (You decide) to Arctic Monkeys and take a swipe at “Posh southern gets” while they’re at it.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

78. TIGA – (Far From) Home
“With a spring in my step as I strut down the block, I see the boys stare and I hear them talk”
Like the above lyric, this song is made to strut along to, just like in the video.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

79. BADLY DRAWN BOY – One Wrong Turn
“Hey baby we dropped a stitch, it’s like I don’t know where, and I don’t care which”
The production is poor on this B-side, but Damon’s song-writing more than makes up for it.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

80. MATCHSTICKS – Duvet
“A loose, excuse, with nothing to lose, that’s why I’m taking the easy way out”
‘Duvet’ is a fantastically quirky Pop song that sounds like it comes straight from the 80’s.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

81. PAUL SIMON – Father & Daughter
“If you leap awake in the mirror of a bad dream, and for a fraction of a second you can’t remember where you are, just open your window, and follow your memory upstream, to the meadow in the mountain where we counted every falling star”
After one listen I swore that this was an old Paul Simon classic that I’d heard a hundred times before.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (Website)

82. THE HIT PARADE – My Stupid Band
“If Mattster played his drums then we’d rock tonight, but he lost the urge since he became a Lighting Engineer”
‘My Stupid Band’ is about being so in love with music that you’ll put up with any crap from your band mates.
(Buy Record) (MySpace)

83. iLiKETRAiNS – The Accident
“It was such a lovely party, before the accident occurred, the ambulance came and took you away, before the coffee was served”
Atmospheric, is hardly an adequate description. Every note and word is given space to breathe.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

84. JAMIE T – Salvador
“Bar stool banshee, howled out at me”
‘Salvador’ has a Bass line to die for and Jamie T’s typically brilliant lyrics. Any of his singles (Or any of his B-sides) could have been included but ‘Salvador’ is my favourite.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

85. PET SHOP BOYS – I’m With Stupid
“You flew up all the way, like a hawk chasing a dove, I never thought that I would be, a sacrifice in love”
‘I’m With Stupid’ has an all time great Neil Tennant lyric that works equally well as a straight song about a relationship or about Tony and George’s “Special” relationship.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

86. LARRIKIN LOVE – Downing Street Kindling
“So I will burn a fire in Westminster, using the door of Downing Street, and when Tony rushes out complaining of a draft, I’ll let him warm his feet”
Musically it’s The Libertines meets The Pogues but the lyrics remind me of Morrissey. Since Moz is my favourite lyricist that’s quite a compliment. I’m sure I can here a sword fighting solo in there too.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

87. THE MACCABEES – Latchmere
“Came out of the changing rooms and absolutely sod all had changed”
Who would know that you could write such a brilliant piece of Art-Rock about your local swimming pool. Especially since they use it as a metaphor for conforming to societies’ expectations.
(Buy Record) (YouTube) (MySpace)

88. RICHARD HAWLEY – I’m Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail
“I’m not in your town to stay, said the lady old and gray”
Richard Hawley performs a haunting cover of an Everly Brothers song. This B-side would have made Johnny Cash proud.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

89. McALMONT & BUTLER – Speed
“Living is changing faster, can you feel it, nothing stays the same for long, these days, faster than the bullet trains in the East, a destination uncertain, on the wind”
‘Speed’ was a one-off single taken from recordings that Rough Trade has so far seen fit to hold back. Release them god-damn-it, this song is absolutely epic.
(mp3) (YouTube) (MySpace)

90. PEACHES – Downtown (Simian Mobile Disco Remix)
“Show you my thing, show you my thing, ’cause I wanna take you downtown, downtown
I was a bit disappointed with Peaches’ latest album but Simian Mobile Disco came to the rescue with this B-side.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

91. KASABIAN – Empire
“Swimming with the fishes, while the serpent waves his tongue, with a belly full of splinters, now you see that I’m the one, tell me that you’ve seen a ghost, I’ll tell you what to fear the most”
At first I thought this was a load of rubbish, then I heard it combined with the stunning anti-war video and suddenly I got it. With Violins this violent there must have been a few broken strings.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

92. HOT CHIP – Sexual Healing
“Whenever blue tear drops are falling, and my emotional stability is leaving me, there is something I can do, I can get on the telephone and call you up baby”
Because robots need some lovin’ too. Covering Marvin Gaye isn’t advisable, but Hot Chip pull it off easily.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

93. NICKY WIRE – Break My Heart Slowly
“It was cold, the night was black, you could feel her freezing hands, exiting a life of chance, painted dead a million times”
I was wondered if Nicky Wire could sing and his first solo single was where I found out. Truthfully he can’t, but when he’s got passion to spare, a gift for Punk song-writing and the usual sloganeering… who cares.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

94. JURASSIC 5 (FEAT. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND) – Work It Out
“Hey, these are different times but we still the same pains, the blood of mankind’s running through the same veins”
Apparently the Dave Matthews Band are massive in the USA but I’ve never heard their music before. But when you’ve got Jurassic 5 laying down their inventive rhymes over the top, you know it’s gonna be good.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

95. MR HUDSON & THE LIBRARY – Brave The Cold (Live)
“The night is on freeze-frame, and double-brandies triple-glaze the cold, from my soul”
I couldn’t say if the studio version will be better because it’s not out ’til March but I do love the whoops of the crowd on this winter warmer.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

96. BRUBEKK – Earthshaker
“‘Cause when I frequent the spots that I’m known to rock, you hear the bass from the trunk when I’m on the block”
‘Earthshaker’ takes several Funk and Hip-Hop tracks (By Snoop, Dre, The Beatnuts, John Gregory etc) and mixes them together so perfectly you’ll hardly believe your ears.
(Buy Record) (Making Of)

97. GOSSIP – Standing In The Way Of Control
“Because we’re standing in the way of control, we will live our lives”
‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ was written as a protest at the US government’s opposition to gay rights. It’s got the kind of Bass line that other bands would sell their grannies for and Beth Ditto’s voice ranks against any of the Soul greats. The remixes by luminaries like Playgroup, Headman and Soulwax are essential too.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

98. THE TELEVISION PERSONALITIES – Any Love Is Good Love
“In your darkest hour, think of me, and in your darkest hour, telephone me”
‘Any Love Is Good Love’ is the tender flip-side (Emotionally and physically) to The Television Personalities’ ‘All The Young Children On Crack’ single.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

99. DATAROCK – Fa-Fa-Fa
“I need a fix, I need to fix my ignition, if you wanna whip me into shape, I need a plan and a mission”
‘Fa-Fa-Fa’ is a highly danceable Disco tune with a hint of Paul Simon thrown in for good measure.
(Buy Record) (Buy Digital) (YouTube) (MySpace)

100. THE HOURS – Ali In The Jungle
“Like Ludwig Van, how I love that man, well the guy went deaf and didn’t give a fuck… no”
‘Ali In The Jungle’ draws attention to inspirational individuals who stood up in the face of adversity like Joe Simpson and Muhammad Ali.
(mp3) (MySpace)

For comparison, click here to view last year’s top 100.

Lastly, here’s a list of other Blogs who are indulging in the annual list-o-rama fest:

COAST IS CLEAR: Albums & Singles
HEADPHONE SEX: Remixes, Albums, Singles & Covers
LOST IN YOUR INBOX: Albums & Favorite Songs
WHAT WOULD JESUS BLOG?: Albums
SWEEPING THE NATION: Albums, Singles & 2007 Predictions
THE DAILY GROWL: 2007 Predictions, Songs, Gigs, Artist, Films etc
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UNKNOWN: Albums, Songs & New Artists
THE PENGUIN SWIMMING HOLE: Albums
XO’S MIDDLE EIGHT: Songs, 2006 Superlatives, B-sides, Remixes, Albums etc
MUSIC LIKE DIRT: Gigs

February 10, 2006

STOP ME’s: Top 100 Tracks Of 2005

Here is my ‘Top 100 tracks of 2005’ list, along with some of the lyrics. The top 20-25 are in order. The rest are in pretty much random order.

1. Misty’s Big Adventure – The Story Of Love
“You’re the one that I belong to, yeah, the one you’ll through away”
Just one of the brilliant lines from this outstanding single from Grandmaster Gareth and his band.

2. Editors – Forest Fire
“Take me home, somewhere safe. Lean on me, saving grace”
Editors have a suicidal tendency to put all their best songs on the B-Sides. This a masterpiece.

3. I Am Kloot – Great Escape
“You want to learn to live like an aristocrat, but your girlfriend’s earrings, well they soon put paid to that”
This song was used to stunning effect in the criminally underrated sitcom ‘Early Doors’.

4. Kelman – The Happiest Man Alive
“Well i’m on the way down, I can read the signs. There’s always someone somewhere calling time”
A gorgeous voice and I can’t wait for their album. A bit like Richard Hawley, but better.

5. Elbow – Forget Myself
“Are you falling in-love every second song?”
One of the most anthemic songs ever? It just keeps biulding and biulding.

6. Battle – Demons
“I’ll stick a fork into your side, just to make sure your alive”
I love this song’s twisted lyrics. Lyrics about death, depression and mutilation but still life afirming. How, I don’t know.

7. The Features – 33 1/3
“Seems my girlfriend loves my LPs, more than she loves me”
The best record about the love of records since Billy Bragg’s ‘Tears Of My Tracks’.

8. Tiga – Louder Than A Bomb
“Both King and X, they got ridda’ both. A story untold, true, but unknown”
I loved this track since I first heard it. Tiga just keeps popping up now and again with killer singles.

9. The Research – The Way You Used To Smile
“I had headphones on, I couldn’t hear the phone ringing. I was a jerk”
When that line hits, my body is forced to move and it brings a big smile to my face. What a song!

10. Antony & The Johnsons – You Are My Sister (With Boy George)
“There where times we where friends but times I was so cruel”
Boy George actually out sings Antony! When he comes in at 3.15 it sends a shiver down my spine.

11. Levy – Rotten Love
“I said tonight is the party, would you like to come?”
I’ve been walking around humming this for months.

12. Absentee – Weasel
“A flower that won’t uncurl, yeah your my kinda’ girl”
Dan Michalson voice is beautiful and morose. The pop nature of this song complements it perfectly.

13. Brendan Benson – Spit It Out
“And there’s a window of time, your in the nick of it. You look at the view and your sick of it”
It’s physically impossible not to play air guitar to this! Roll on The Raconteurs album.

14. The Fall – Blindness
“The flag is evil”
The Dr Who theme is turned into a massive repetative riff, soundtracking a dictatorship.

15. Acoustic Ladyland – Iggy (Instumental)
The Stooges ‘Fun House’ was punk with jazz energy. This is jazz with punk energy. Bonkers and fantastic.

16. Eels – Losing Streak
“Never had a lotta luck, until I finally met her”
The best song from the album of the year. When the horns come in I want to dance with joy. Why wasn’t it a single?

17. Art Brut – Emily Kane
“Even though we didn’t understand how to do much more than just hold hands”
A clasic pop song from a much underrated band. Why aren’t they massive?

18. The Holloways – Generator
“May I remind you, that you don’t live in poverty, you’ve got your youth and you got food in your belly”
Great sing along chorus. Makes me feel 100% happier every time.

19. Arctic Monkeys – Wavin’ Bye To The Train Or The Bus
“And I can see you want to be attended to. Just count to 29 and i’ll attend to you”
Why isn’t this classic not going to be on the album. A future b-side perhaps? Let’s hope

20. Milk Kan – Bling Bling Baby
“Can’t skate, Date rape, walk straight, work late”
A 2005 updating of Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ with all new lyrics. It’s better (Sacrilege?).

21. Adam Green – Emily
“Emily sweet baby, won’t you be my wife. Cutting me wide open with a kitchen knife”
Adam Green is a true genius. This line is just one example of the way juxtaposes the sweet and the sour.

22. The Acutes – Set On You
“Went to hang my head in glue. I had my heart set on you”
Very, very catchy guitar.

23. John Cale – Perfect
“From a distance, you’re perfect for me. In pajamas, you’re perfect for me, right now”
A full on pop song from the Velvets legend who previously brought us the sound of knives on violins. Who’d have thought.

24. Arcade Fire – Brazil
“We stood beneath an emerald moon”
Brilliant cover of a song previously performed by Django Reinhardt and also Frank Sinatra. The tension in the strings, wow.

25. Josh Rouse – It’s The Nighttime
“I’m not the kind of man, to come on so strong. But when you look as good as you do. I knew it wouldn’t be long”
Josh Rouse once again crafts the perfect single. The guitar the vocals, the drums, the lyrics, everything perfect.

26. Bloc Party – Blue Light
“And we didn’t even notice when the sky turned blue. And we couldn’t tell the difference between me and you”
When this line and the music kicks in you have to leap around.

27. Brakes – Ring A Ding Ding
“Dance, dance, dance, to the monkey macaroni”
Insane lyrics and an Oasis-like cheeky theft of Roxy Music’s ‘Virginia Plain’. From an album full of such delights.

28. Bright Eyes – True Blue
“I write my blue songs, with my blue pen. I sing the blue notes, to my blue friends”
The whole song is like this. The use of the word blue is so inventive. A great B-side.

29. British Sea Power – How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?
“Get up in the morning, i’m paying the bills. Watching the storm clouds, from over the hills”
Why wasn’t this single either? This band just keeps getting better. From a runner up album of the year.

30. Dan Sartain – P.C.B. 98
“I’ve got my name crushed into a penny. We had a ball in Panama City”
If I was ever driving across America this would have to go on the stereo. Followed by a speeding fine.

31. Gifthorse – Childhood Gang Reunion
“You where a tuff kid, never cried. Went to the fun fair, the day your mother died”
Sings like Morrissey, looks like Rick Waller. Hope this doesn’t hold them back. They should be massive.

32. Ian Broudie – A Time To Live In Dreams
“In this new day, change your heart. Forgive your brother, for life is precious”
A beautiful and understated cover of Dennis Wilson’s song.

33. iLiKETRAiNS – The Beeching Report
“Oh you are taking apart, what we made, with our hands and our hearts”
The massed voices singing ‘Reform, Reform’ are very sinister. A great new band.

34. Ironweed – Down To My Grave (Audio Suspects Remix)
“Cause the whole damn world just a-keeps on changing”
A song that brings up images of people riding in boxcars across the USA in days gone by. Great voice.

35. Jamie T – So Lonely Was The Ballad
“Say as your leavin’, get up or go go, say allo, Schwaddy-waddy, woh, woh, woh”
With the Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T, 2006 could be the year that’s all about lyrical invention.

36. Jim Noir – Computer Song
“Everytime I try to make a silly little song, my efforts are all wasted, ’cause machinery goes wrong”
A mix of Badly Drawn Boy and Brian Wilson. It’s that good.

37. Joy Zipper – 1
“Later on you stand alone, below an empty moon. With an empty heart, and your empty hands”
Joy Zipper’s great album and singles seem to have gone a bit unnoticed this year.

38. Kalev – Undoing (Demo)
“What did you saaaayyyy?”
They’ve just released a 7″ of this. For me this demo had a bit more of an edge. A dance-rock Monster!

39. Larrikin Love – Little Boy Lost
“Well catastrophe should be your first name and Bryl-Cream should be your middle name”
Contenders for Pete Doherty’s poetic crown (Since he doesn’t seem to want it anymore)?

40. Louis XIV – Paper Doll
“Oh tell me the horse that you pick. Well i’ll buy you a lolly pop you wanna lick”
Filth, from beginning to end. Brings a big un-PC smile to my face.

41. M.I.A. – Bucky Done Gun (Instrumental)
Her vocal is great, but stripped from this track you notice the amazing sonic invention. It’s Bongo mad.

42. Magnolia Electric Co – The Dark Don’t Hide It
“you said you only wanted friends, for long enough to get rid of them”
Like a great mising Neil Young classic. Just one of the highlights of Jason Molina’s album.

43. Monster Bobby – I Keep On Losing Things
“Lost my phone charger ’bout a hundred times. But I hope I never lose you”
I stumbled onto this when looking for another song. So glad I did.

44. New Order – Krafty
“That’s the kind of world that we live in today, but is it where you wanna be?”
The video they made for this is one of the best ever. It’s got that classic New Order sound.

45. The Rakes – Wish You Were Here
“The closest that you’ll get to this, is track 4 on Wham’s greatest hits”
Soon as the bass guitar comes in I’m in heaven. The lunatics put this on the B-side and not the A-Side!

46. Be Your Own Pet – Electric Shake
“Electric shake it down and out, and freakin’ dance till we’re no whores”
They get alot of press but this is their only truly great song. It’s on fire.

47. Richard Hawley – Kelham Island (Instrumental)
This instrumental slide-guitar gem makes me drift off to sandy shores far away. Beautiful.

48. The Rumble Strips – Motorcycle
“I start to dream that this little old bike, i’m sitting on is a big, loud, glistening speed machine”
Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s are reborn in The Rumble Strips. Check the high vocal bit. It’s out soon.

49. Stickboy – The Shiver
“I climbed, highest mountain, I drank from the fountain, the fountain of youth”
The new Badly Drawn Boy. He has many amazing songs such as this.

50. Vincent Vincent & The Villains – On My Own
“I won’t cut myself on other peoples broken dreams”
This is an amzing track but i’m not so sure about their others. Finger clicking, ace!

51. Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Mi Corazon
“When I say the same, I really mean better, and when I say better, I mean you’d never forget her”
The critics don’t like them. That’s their loss, this is their best single for years.

52. Omerta – Learn To Love The System
“Nice house, an apathetic wife, just Learn To Love The System”
Pulsating electro-rock. They’ve not been signed yet, why?

53. The Silent League – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head
“Walking on a wave she came. Staring as she called my name”
No not the Kylie track, a cover of ELO. I think it’s better than the original, my Dad disagrees.

54. Stephen Fretwell – Morning Theft
“What am I still to you? Some thief who stole from you?”
It’s better than Jeff Buckley’s original. Am I really saying this, surely not?

55. Pop Levi – Blue Honey
“People, people, when you lay me down”
Every song this guy does sounds totally different. It’s got a great groove to it.

56. Guillemots – Trains To Brazil
“And I think of you on cold winter mornings. Darling they remind me of when we we’re at school”
They sound like a more gentle version of Arcade Fire.

57. Fuck-Off Machete – If Gold Was Silver & Silver Was Gold
“So this is your place, I know it so well. It was in some film”
Both red-raw and velvety-smooth.

58. Bonny / Sweeney – I Gave You
“I gave you a house, and you didn’t haunt it. Now where am I supposed to live?”
The song it’s self is haunting.

59. Interpol – Evil
“But, hey who’s on trial?
I love this song, their other’s aren’t so good. Shame.

60. Kylie Minogue – Giving You Up
“A girls gotta suffer for fashion”
Most artists stick a couple of bits of filler on their greatest hits. Kylie pulled out the stops with one of her best.

61. We Rock Like Girls Don’t – I Just Wanna Stick My Head In The Bass Drum
“I just wanna feel it thumping and then some”
It’s like grunge never went away. Impossible not to bang your head along to this.

62. The Coral – In The Morning
“She wrote my name on a red telephone box. When I got there she’d already rubbed it off”
The Coral’s best ever single (That’s saying something).

63. Echo & Bunnymen – What If We Are? (Vocal & String Version)
“Maybe your not the world, maybe your not the stars, maybe your not the girl. But what if you are?
The endless acapella at the end is beautiful.

64. The Others – William
“Got my friend called William. He’s been my friend since we where young”
One of two fantastic songs that would have justified the hype had they had more like them.

65. Luxembourg – Luxembourg Vs Great Britain
“The demographic is a little top heavy. When your older we’ll let you starve if you don’t let us be”
The greatest unsigned band in britain. This isn’t even their best song.

66. Scissor Sisters – Filthy/Gorgeous
“your an acid-junky, college-flunky, dirty-puppy, daddy-bastard”
Funky and filthy disco pop genius.

67. The White Stripes – The Denial Twist
“So now you’re left denying the truth, and it’s hidden in the wisdom in the back of your tooth”
I love the way when Jack sings tooth he pronounces it “Toof”. Who needs guitars.

68. The Kills – No Wow
“Your gonna have to step over my dead body, before you walk out that door”
What an opener to their album. Shame it was downhill after this.

69. Bib – Jobs-On-Line
“Don’t get a coffee break. Just say oh for fuck sake”
Sounds like it was made on a casio toy piano. And better for it.

70. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Ain’t No Easy Way
“And the cold veins of the richest man. They’ve paid away to steal our hand”
Sounds like they visited the same cross roads as Robert Johnson for this comeback single.

71. The Raveonettes – Be My Sunshine
“Come on little baby be my sunshine now”
Just a simple and beautiful song.

72. David Ford – State Of The Union
“No abandon, no heartfelt desire. No love could be worth getting fired”
Politics, love and cynicism in this, well ‘State Of The Union’ address.

73. Manic Street Preachers – Dying Breeds
“I have known you now, almost half my life. May we never part, may love never die”
Nicky Wire is bringing out a solo record in 2006. Could this amazing B-Side have been the impetus?

74. The Old House – Relationships Hooray
“What you need’s a real man, a man’s man, a yorkshire man”
Gloriously ramshackle song from this Morrissey loving band.

75. The Vichy Government – Oliver Cromwell In Weimar Berlin
“Will he claim sanctuary in the chapel or will he bite the serpents apple”
The band kidnap Oliver Cromwell and transport him in time. This band is truely unique.

76. Viva Voce – The Center Of The Universe
“At the center of my heart, is a beautiful girl”
Brilliant anthemic pop.

77. Narco – Evil Brother
“So hold onto your moment, and the life you we’re never sold”
Head banging rock ‘n’ roll. Great chorus.

78. Coldcut (Feat. Saul Williams) – Mr Nichols
“Mr Nichols, you fail to see that you’ve always stood outside this window”
Coldcut provide the subtle backing track that Saul Williams’ voice has always needed.

79. Daniel Rachel – Pearl
“Do share these new surroundings”
Dexy’s meets ‘Born To Run’ era Springsteen.

80. The Radio Dept. – This Past Week
“This past week has been a strange one”
The kind of thing that Air used to do so well.

81. The Cloud Room – Blackout!
“We where making, making wishes, on some missiles, we mistook for shooting stars”
The same kind of Fall/Talking Heads ground that LCD Soundsystem covers. But more rock than dance.

82. The Exports – The Morning After
“But, while your in the jungle, girl you’ve got to look after yourself”
The new Buzzcocks.

83. Tom Vek – Nothing But Green Lights
“There’s nothing but green lights, from here. Nothing but, empty roads”
Great bass sound on this track. Vocals like Black Francis too.

84. Yeti – Never Lose Your Sense Of Wonder
“I saw wonder, reason could not define”
Kinks like pop from ex-Libertine John Hassell.

85. Vitalic – My Friend Dario
“Dario knows it’s prohibited. You either drive or either drink”
Four headed, drink fuelled, petrol fed, dance beast.

86. Frank Black – I Burn Today
“Down by the water you’ll find your happy days. I burn today, I burn today”
His best song in years.

87. The Tears – Imperfection
“Your teeth are not quite straight. Your mood swings oscillate”
They pick where Suede left off, except good. I love the cheeky lyrics of this song.

88. Weird War – Girls Like That
“They look so bad, they think they’re rad. What are they on? Where are they from?”
Great slinky bass. Let’s start the campaign to bring back the word ‘Rad’ now.

89. Baxter Dury – Cocaine Man
“We ware friendly smiles, all night”
Sounds nothing like Ian Dury but somehow you know who’s son he is.

90. The Spinto Band – Brown Boxes
“This box cutter’s too dull, otherwise I’d end it all”
Kazoo orchestra Solo! Fantastic lyrics too.

91. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Feel The Illinoise!
“Ancient hieroglyphic, or the South Pacific. Typically terrific, busy and prolific”
A toss up between this and ‘John Wayne Gacy’. I went for this for the lyrical and musical invention.

92. Strange Idols – Listen To Me
“Listen to me, she’s gonna let you down again”
Top guitar riff and beautiful singing voice.

93. Patrick Wolf – The Libertine
“The Libertine is locked in jail. The pirate sunk and broke his sail”
A quirky dance masterpiece that surpasses his first albums best tracks.

94. D.V.D.A. – America, Fuck Yeah
“Terrorists, your game is through, ’cause now you’ll have to answer to, America, fuck yeah”
One of many brilliant songs that Trey Parker composed for the ‘Team America’ soundtrack. Trey Parker album please.

95. Lisa Brown – Anna
“You know the rain here cleanses the soul”
I love a good bit of Xylophone. Especially combined with such beautiful vocals.

96. Good Shoes – Small Town Girl
“But she says everything is going oh so wrong in my life”
I wonder if this a true story? If not, it’s still an amzing single.

97. Maxïmo Park – A Year Of Doubt
“You said that you were speechless and god I wish you were”
They need to stop trying so hard and make more effortless pop like this B-side.

98. Mystery Jets – You Can’t Fool Me Dennis
“Remember those barmy days, through rose tinted haze”
A great and inventive record. Looking forward to an album in 2006.

99. Captain – Frontline
“Every wave is a whisper”
Great Jangly electro-rock.

100. White Enemy – White Enemy
“Make a miracle, D, pump the lyrical”
A mash-up of Public Enemy’s ‘Bring The Noise’ & The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’. Outstanding!