All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 25)

The twenty-fifth, and final track, in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is, despite my anarchic numbering system, number twenty-five, ‘Beyond The Sea’ by Bobby Darin.

I had a number of versions to choose from, but Bobby Darin’s work has produced what is, for me, the ultimate ‘end credits’ song.

That’s why it’s here.

What could be more fitting, for my All-Time Top 25 Tunes, to have the ultimate ‘end credits’ song accompanying you, as you walk out of the auditorium?

I hope you’ve enjoyed the show.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 24)

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.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 23)

The twenty-third track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number fifteen, ‘Alpe d’Huez’ by Oxfordshire’s We Aeronauts.

You can stream the audio for this track here.

For the second (and last) time, my All-Time Top 25 Tunes includes the work of an unsigned band.

What I like about this song is that We Aeronauts have clearly demonstrated how unafraid they are of ‘being different’.

This talented group of individuals have come together to make a piece of music that begins in a subtle, low-fi pop manner, yet ends with a stunning choral climax.

Simon Cowell?

X-Factor?

Don’t make me laugh.

We Aeronauts have clearly demonstrated they each have more ‘X-Factor’ than any of the winners of that ridiculous TV ‘reality’ show will ever possess.

And a hundred times more originality.

And that’s why ‘Alpe d’Huez’ has made it in to my All-Time Top 25 Tunes.

It is wholly original.

And unafraid of being different.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 22)

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.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 21)

The twenty-first track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number sixteen, ‘Closer’ by Kings of Leon.

Yes, I do know that ‘Closer’ is a blates nod in the direction of ‘Leave’ by REM, but unlike that, admittedly brilliant, track ‘Closer’ knows when – and how – to finish.

The bluesy vocal over pulsing, whooping guitar with electric fuzzed-up atmos and firmly struck percussion combine to make a delicious pool of noise.

Put your headphones on.

Crank the volume up to eleven.

Lower yourself in to the pool.

And enjoy.

 

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 20)

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.

 

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 19)

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.

Jim Steinman.

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.

Sort of.

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.

And what a party.

Surf’s Up, a tale of teenaged sexual pleading.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 18)

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.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 17)

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.

*pauses for breath*

It’s brilliant.

Listen to it.

That is all.

All-Time Top 25 Tunes (post 16)

The sixteenth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number one (A), ‘Comfortably Numb’ by Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd are a band who has been with me from my teens.

Together we have travelled around the world.

We have seen fire, flood, plague and pestilence. We have recovered together in hospital from a variety of life-threatening injuries.

We have been through a wedding.

And the band are supporting me as I go through the impending divorce.

So we have a history, Pink Floyd and I; a long, eventful and sometimes glorious history.

I know their entire back-catalogue.

Of all of Pink Floyd’s work, ‘Comfortably Numb’ is one of two musical benchmarks that no-one else has come close to eclipsing.

Dave Gilmour’s epic two-part guitar solo is always a joy to listen to.

The rhythm guitar part, so carefully hidden, is a challenge to play well (I speak from sore-fingered experience).

And the two-part vocals are just brilliantly delivered.

So I cheated with my ranking system?

Tough.

I couldn’t choose between this track and the other one, that’s why this is Number One (a).

Sue me.

(no, don’t!)