Did you guess right? The two tracks from yesterday that topped two individual sets of votes were ‘Columbia’ by Oasis and ‘Atlas’ by Bicep. Interestingly the two people who voted those two songs at the top of their respective lists were the youngest members of the musical jury. None of the songs today troubled the tops of any individual lists but all of them did score at least one Top Fifteen placing. Todays quest is to guess which of these scored the highest individual placing.
Let’s kick off with a bit of classic shoegaze
70. Pearl – Chapterhouse (1991, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Whirlpool’)
In the Guinness Dictionary of Indie when you get to ’shoegaze’ there are only seven words used to describe this particular genre. They are “Go and Listen to ‘Pearl’ by Chapterhouse” and then there is a picture of Chapterhouse on stage at the Purple Turtle heads bowed, stage covered in effects pedal, smoke machine primed and everyone who can be seen is wearing some form of stripey jumper. A song so good it defined an entire genre and whilst Ride may have sold more records and generally had better tunes (spoiler see tomorrow for proof), they would have killed for a song as addictive and beautiful as ‘Pearl’.
69. Lately – Sea Power (2003, Rough Trade Records, Taken from ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’)
Clocking in at nearly 14 minutes, you would expect ‘Lately’ to be the longest song in this list, but without giving too much away, it isn’t quite that. It is wondrously epic though. It starts slowly as a sort of love song, rising and just as it sounds like its all going to come crashing in, it collapses. Of course it re builds and then collapses again, like a musical house of cards. Then it finally does kick off and lyrics about Neolithic and Jurassic rock take over as it descends into chaos. Utterly marvellous and disappointingly low.
68. Tender – Blur (1999, Food Records, Taken from ‘13’)
I saw Damon Albarn live last year in a cold old church in Totnes High Street. He was promoting his latest solo album. At the end of the gig he came back on to play three Blur songs, he played ‘The Universal’, ‘End of A Century’ and ‘Beetlebum’ accompanied by a string quartet and despite their stripped back quality it all felt decidedly average. However, had Albarn played ‘Tender’ accompanied by a string quartet I would have gone away thinking ‘Gig of the Year’ easy, because ‘Tender’ is far and away the greatest thing Blur the band, or any of its members in their post Blur lives, have ever recorded.
67. Sidewalking – Jesus and Mary Chain (1988, Blanco Y Negro Records, Taken from ‘Barbed Wire Kisses’)
When the Jesus and Mary Chain first recorded ‘Sidewalking’ they were unsure it would ever be released. It was after all a bit of a departure from their normal sound. It dabbled in samples (famously it samples a hip hop drumbeat) and beats that was quite unexpected. Of course Jim Reid, said that there had always been a hip hop element to his music. Everyone else had obviously struggled to hear it over the previous five years’ worth of records.
66. Then – The Charlatans (1990, Situation Two Records, Taken from ‘Some Friendly’)
I should have been at school when I bought ‘Then’ on 12 inch. I’d been to the dentist and my dad had bumped into a mate of his called Irish Joe (he was from Sevenoaks) – he gave me a fiver and pointed me in the direction of the bus station. I was 15, school was about a mile walk away and the bus stop was next to the record shop and it would have been rude to not at least look inside.