Friday, 26 September 2008

Top 5 Pink Floyd Albums

Thought I'd do a Floyd related topic in tribute to Richard Wright who passed away last week. My first contact with Floyd came in 1979 with the massive hit "Another Brick In The Wall". I was eleven and only just getting to grips with "pop music" having been largely brought up on The Beatles, The Carpenters and Abba. Floyd seemed grown-up and exciting and I think I also mistook them for a punk band - I'd heard a lot about punk at school but other than a snatched moment of "Friggin' in the Riggin" had been largely unblemished by actually hearing any. Later one of my cousins played me the section of "The Wall" where the Stuka bombers come diving in on a pair of headphones. It scared the life out of me but also made me want to hear more. By the time I'd got to grips with all this Floyd were well and truly over, but I worked my way through all of their albums so that when they eventually got back together at the end of the 80's I was a serious fan desperate to see them live in whatever form they took. Richard Wright was a lovely bloke who played a bigger part in the Floyd story than he has probably been credited for. Hope he's enjoying his great gig in the sky.

1. Meddle (1971)

2. Wish You Were Here (1975)

3. Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)

4. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)

5. The Wall (1979)


Friday, 19 September 2008

Top 5 Bad cover versions of great songs

Short but sweet this week.

1. "Suspicious Minds" Fine Young Cannibals - Crap Eighties band murder what I would only later discover was one of Elvis' best songs.

2. "Comfortably Numb" Scissor Sisters - I'm really not trying to be a mouldy old classic rock fan here, "Comfortably Numb" isn't some sacred cow for me, but this is truly appalling. More importantly any band responsible for an Elton John revival really does deserve to be the first against the wall when the revolution comes!

3. "How Soon Is Now" TATU - Please. Stop. Now.

4. "Teenage Kicks" Busted - So similar to the original and yet so completely bloody awful.

5. The entire recorded output of UB40 - Why UB40 had any reason to exist is something I never really understood.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Top 5 Sleeveheads

Been meaning to do this for a while. Fellow top-5-ophile Dan Whaley drew my attention to this rather wonderful pastime. Lots of great examples here and here. I had hoped to do one myself but in sorting through my vinyl I've not managed to find a decent contender yet.


Friday, 5 September 2008

Top 5 Songs with titles that pose a question

Sunday mornings usually give me a chance to listen to the radio whilst I'm pottering about and cooking the roast. Last week I was up early and caught the end of the Sunday Shuffle on Natasha's BBC 6Music breakfast show which was based on songs which pose a question. Good topic.

1. Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" - I don't need much of an excuse to pick a Pixies song and this is one of their best. Typically with so many songs that I really love I haven't got a great deal to say about it. In a desperate attempt to think of something though I just checked Wikipedia where I found out that James Blunt has covered it. I really don't know what to say.

2. The Smiths "How Soon Is Now?" - Around the time The Smiths were breaking into the mainstream my Gran had come to live with us. I was fifteen and developing alternative music tastes but still found time to watch Top Of The Pops every week. When Morrissey appeared, in flouncey clothes and with a bunch of twigs sticking out of his back pocket, my Gran was less than impressed. "What on earth does he think he looks like?" she said. "It's not my fault Gran! I couldn't agree more". The Smiths were the enemy. I was into Metal. Not just Metal but Thrash Metal. It was a long time before I was ready to give The Smiths a chance and this was the song that finally convinced me they actually had something worthwhile going on. My Gran was right about those twigs though.

3. Diamond Head "Am I Evil?" - Yes I am! I've got Metallica to thank for turning me onto Diamond Head. One of the best of the NWOBHM bands but never all that successful. This song is almost a template for the Metallica sound - it defined a generation of bands that would follow.

4. Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?" - A truly great song and the Buzzcocks finest moment. Also a rare opportunity to get away with a double contraction in a song title. In fact I wouldn't've thought there are many others ... Badum-tish! Sorry, won't do that again.

5. The Cramps "Can Your Pussy Do The Dog?" - The Cramps remain to me a largely unsolved mystery. At some point I'll probably have a go at cracking their musical code but right now they're not one of my favourite bands. However, this is a decent song with a superlative double-entendre that thoroughly deserves it's place in this top 5.