The thirteenth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number eleven, ‘Will You’, by Hazel O’Connor.
The 1980s have been called (by me and probably by others) ‘the decade that taste forgot’.
And how true.
But amongst the lip-gloss, big hair and over-stuffed shoulder pads (and that was just the boys), the 1980s gave us some musical gems.
Taken from an otherwise unremarkable soundtrack to a wholly unremarkable film (Breaking Glass), ‘Will You’ is a simple story of boy meets girl, boy and girl go back to the bedsit, boy and girl drink non-alcoholic beverages, boy and girl (eventually) snog.
But Oh My God, the saxophone solo cuts through the 1980s cheese like a musical meat-cleaver.
Possibly the greatest sax solo of all time lies here, tucked away in this track, waiting for you to discover it.
The eleventh track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number nine, ‘Novocaine For The Soul’ by those Californian, off-the-wall, anarcho-rock, lo-fi funsters, Eels.
In my head, ‘Novocaine For The Soul’ is the antidote to so many forms of mainstream music that is punishingly guilty of taking itself far too seriously.
The scratchy start, tricky break-backs, unexpectedly-long pauses and yet an absence of loops, buzzes, clicks and technology mark this as an exemplary piece. It’s nothing other than well-played straight-to-amp guitars… this is music, pure and simple.
The eighth track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number seven, ‘Still DRE’ by Dr Dre.
I’ve been a fan of Dr Dre since his NWA days (the album ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is a piece of work that redefined the burgeoning rap genre).
The first time I heard ‘Still DRE’ I recognised the easy partnership between Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, but more importantly, I recognised the massive amount of production values that went in to bringing this quality piece of music to this listener’s ears.
Forget the cars, the over-driven suspensions and the girls with massive backsides and even more massive tits.
The seventh track in my All-Time Top 25 Tunes is number nineteen, ‘Famous Last Words’ by My Chemical Romance.
It’s far too easy to get sniffy and write off teenage angst-ridden emo music. After all, they’re only kids and what do they know about anything?
Kids like young Lennon and McCartney, you mean?
So sit down and give this a good listen.
I’m confident that you will discover, once you’re past the melodramatic introduction, that ‘Famous Last Words’ is a fast-paced rock-n-roll number that screams deliciously tight vocal and instrumental harmonies, and sounds as if it could be the illegitimate child of Jim Steinman and Phil Spector.
The Winchell Riots are an unsigned Oxfordshire band. No. The Winchell Riots *were* an unsigned Oxfordshire band; sadly they no longer exist.
When you listen to this track, it will be too easy for you to get caught up in the hauntingly melodic tones of Phil’s voice.
But if you dig below the surface of this song, you will uncover a beautifully intricate web of melody that screams of such explicitly gorgeous quality, that to *not know* this song is to carry a small, musical hole in your soul.