Friday, 25 November 2011

100 for Joe

It’s a while since I’ve been here so hello again.

My oldest son turns eighteen in a few weeks – it’s been a long and sometimes difficult journey but my boy becomes a man and his future looks good right now.

I wanted to mark this momentous event by doing something  significant for him. Sure there will be gifts and celebratory meals but I wanted to give him something he could cherish and to impart some wisdom. The obvious angle given my own interests (and his)was music. I set about compiling a list of what I considered the 100 greatest songs of all time – the tracks that changed my life and the tracks I think he needed to hear. It was easy at first – some came to mind immediately – Firestarter by the Prodigy completely blew my mind when it came out and I’ll never forget being reduced to tears upon hearing Sinnerman by Nina Simone the first time I heard it on 6 music. Interestingly though, after about 80 I began to dry up. Not through lack of contenders – I own as much music as anyone, but simply because only this 80 really made the grade. In desperation/peer approval I did as we all do these days and turned to Facebook! The response was huge – many, many friends responded and the only conclusion I can reach is that everyone has their own idea of what makes a great track. Some harked back to the tracks that shaped their own youth. I have one slightly older friend from the north of England who focused almost entirely on material from eighties Manchester, others were soul aficionados who threw Esther Phillips, Patti Jo and Ann Sexton into the mix and I was particularly taken by suggestions of subversive anti -establishment anthems(Spacemen 3, MC5)which play to the youth theme. Someone else reminded me that pop music is often well overlooked at these times and that this too needed to be reflected. One track (Slint) I included solely because the person who suggested it made such a compelling case as to why it should be included (I figured I might as well get some new music out of this whole experience too!) Thanks Dan.

So, is the list below the 100 greatest songs of all time? Of course not. It’s a highly personal list. That’s why you’ll find two tracks by Guns N Roses (the band that really started my musical obsession) and none by Public Enemy. You’ll find obscure Nigerian disco (Oby Onyioha) but no Jimi Hendrix. There is too much heavy metal (being brought up in the Forest of Dean is my excuse) and not enough post-punk (never much cared for it). Given my age, trip hop is over represented while punk barely gets a look in.  

Having said all of that, I’ve sought to provide a varied selection that tells my own journey from hard rock to trip hop and dance through soul, reggae and jazz. I’m convinced there are tracks on the list that you don’t know that you’ll love if you just go listen to them. Some are established classics while others are in solely for their weirdness (Monolith by Beta Band for one, Extreme Possibilities by 2 Player for another) and because I lost my mind to them and I hope others do too. I’m full of excitement in anticipation of what the next track is that will change my life. Please do leave your suggestions for what’s missing in the comment box below!

In no particular order
Gloria- Patti Smith
I Wanna Be Your Dog -The Stooges
Whatever Happened To My Rock & Roll - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Lovesong - The Cure
Dear Prudence - The Beatles
The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
Easy Money - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Everything In It’s Right Place - Radiohead
Suffocated Love - Tricky
Safe From Harm - Massive Attack
Standing In The Rain - Don Ray  
Enjoy Your Life - Oby Onyioha
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
Inside My Love -Minnie Riperton
Wise One - John Coltrane
Firestarter - Prodigy
Epic - Faith No More
Night - Benga & Coki
Motor Bass Get Phunked Up - La Funk Mob
Spacelab - Kraftwerk
In The Trees - Faze Action
Little Fluffy Clouds - The Orb
Monolith - The Beta Band
Gathering Moss -Super Furry Animals
Life On Mars - David Bowie
Northern Sky - Nick Drake
Sinnerman -Nina Simone
One of These Days -Pink Floyd
Eight Miles High -The Byrds
I Can See For Miles -The Who
Subterranean Homesick Blues -Bob Dylan
No Rain - Blind Melon
Come As You Are - Nirvana
Touch Me I'm Sick - Mudhoney
Revolution - Spacemen 3
Windowlicker - Aphex Twin
Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ Mix) - 2 Player
The Theme (Original Chill Mix) - Unique 3
Chime - Orbital                      
Voodoo Ray - A Guy Called Gerald
Come Together - Primal Scream
Made Of Stone - The Stone Roses
Sound of Da Police - KRS One
Zulu War Chant (The Funky Remix) - Afrika Bambaataa
Don’t Stop The Rock - Freestyle
Da Funk - Daft Punk
The Nervous Track (Ballsy Mix) -Nuyorican Soul
Melt -Leftfield
Concrete Jungle - Bob Marley & The Wailers
Ali Baba - John Holt
The clapping song - Shirley Ellis
Beggin' - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Make me believe in you - Patti Jo
Ain't No Mountain High Enough (12" Remix) -Inner Life (Ft Jocelyn Brown)
Ain't Nobody - Chaka Khan
Can't Get You Out Of My Head -Kylie Minogue
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
Sweet Emotion- Aerosmith
Detroit Rock City - Kiss
Jumpin' Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones
London Calling - The Clash
The Crystal Ship -The Doors
Your Time Is Gonna Come – Led Zeppelin                                                                                                                                                                                                
 He's a Superstar - Roy Ayers
I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World -James Brown
I've Got A Woman - Ray Charles
Tutti Frutti - Little Richard
She Loves You -The Beatles
You Can't Always Get What You Want -The Rolling Stones
Tin Soldier - The Small Faces
If I Were A Carpenter - Tim Hardin
Ordinary Joe -Terry Callier
Suspicious Minds -Elvis Presley
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
Welcome To The Jungle- Guns N' Roses
Stop -Jane's Addiction
Coup - 23 Skiddoo
Jeun Ko Ku (Chop 'n' Quench) -Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa 70
Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin
Girl You Need A Change Of Mind -Eddie Kendricks
I Can't Go For That (Extended Club Mix) - Hall & Oates
Another Day - 4Hero
Who Am I (Sim Sima) - Beenie Man
A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'  - De La Soul
Jayou- Jurrassic 5
Umi says - Mos Def
I Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin
Tangled Up In Blue - Bob Dylan
Old Man - Neil Young
In The Ghetto - Elvis Presley
Whole Lotta Rosie - AC-DC
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
Good Morning Captain- Slint
History  - The Verve
A Day In The Life - The Beatles
Golden hen - Tenor Saw
Buddy Bye - Johnny Osbourne
Super Sharp Shooter - Ganja Kru
Gangsters - The Special A.K.A.
Friday Night, Saturday Morning- The Specials
Light Flight - The Pentangle
The Man With The Child In His Eyes - Kate Bush

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