The twenty-fourth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is ‘Ça plan pour moi’, by Plastic Bertrand.
A delicious combination of anarchic pop/punk and bubblegum rock, Belgium’s Roger Allen François Jouret inflicted the character of Plastic Bertrand singing ‘Ça plan pour moi’ on to the world in 1977 (even though the vocals were actually recorded by Lou Deprijck).
And the world is all the better for it.
At a time when the music industry was struggling to balance the weight of musicians who were taking themselves so seriously they believed they were the musical reincarnations of Ernest Hemingway, against the up-and-coming punksters who wanted to slash and burn their way in to the public consciousness, ‘Ça plan pour moi’ was what the world needed.
The is the musical version of a bottle of Lambrusco.
Throw it down your neck (in to your ears), have fun and jump around the room.
The twenty-second track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number eighteen, ‘Hysteria’ by Muse.
Although I was bitterly disappointed by Muse and their massively epic ‘stuck so far up their own collective arsehole they couldn’t see the light of day’ performance at this year’s Reading Festival, Muse still remain an iconic band on my musical landscape.
Hysteria was an easy choice.
I have seen Muse perform it live in far happier times.
I hope they come back to planet earth sometime soon.
The twentieth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number twelve, ‘The Load Out/Stay’ by Jackson Browne.
Although many of the cultural references listed in this song are now part of a dim and distant history, this medley will always be, for me at least, an endearing snapshot of life on the road for a gigging musician.
The nineteenth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number four, ‘Surf’s Up’ by Jim Steinman.
I agonised for hours over which Meatloaf track should be in my All-Time Top 25.
Without the seminal ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album’s influence, my musical life could have been so different.
And so might my teenage years.
Eventually I decided to bypass the performer and go to the writer, producer and lesser-known performer of much of Meatloaf’s work.
I’ve chosen ‘Surf’s Up’ (rather than anything from Bat Out Of Hell) because in here you can hear almost all of the work Jim Steinman wrote and produced for Meatloaf, as well as a musical link to work he wrote and produced for Bonnie Tyler.
So this is a kind of a subtle musical montage.
Steinman’s performance isn’t as magnetic as that of Meatloaf, but as the author of the piece, he brings his own personality to the party.
The eighteenth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number twenty, ‘The Pachelbel Mashup’ by the audio engineer who goes under the name of Norwegian Recycling.
Putting a mashup – a blend of music from different composers, performed by a range of artists – in to my All-Time Top 25 Tunes might be a little controversial.
But I really enjoy listening to and playing harmonic games with Pachelbel’s work.
This simple four-part Baroque piece has been a significant influence on the musical world since, give or take, 1694.
In the version I have chosen, the very talented engineer, Norwegian Recycling, has, through a series of audio mixing techniques, brought together samples, which either demonstrate lineage to Pachelbel’s Canon, or perfectly complement the original piece.
The samples he has used include:
Miliyah Kato, Love Is…
Los Pop Tops, Oh Lord, Why Lord
Coolio, C U When U Get There
Vienna Boys Choir, Pachelbel’s Canon In D
Grover Washington Jr., Aubrey
Kanye West feat. John Mayer, Bittersweet Poetry
Pet Shop Boys, Go West
Even if you don’t know all of this contributory pieces, I hope you’ll enjoy the mashup.
The seventeenth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number one (B), ‘Wish You Were Here’, by Pink Floyd.
This poignant, lyrical tale about Pink Floyd founder-member Syd Barrett and the onset of what was to be a complex, life-changing medical condition, epitomises the intelligently constructed music that Messrs Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason achieved, in such a seemingly effortless way that it must have been disheartening to be in any other band but this one, during the 1980s and 1990s.