Introducing……The Great One Word Title Countdown #1

I said right back at the start that I wasn’t going to do a countdowns on this blog and I really wasn’t going to.  However, one Sunday whilst idly wandering around the lanes of a small suburb of Torquay, three songs came on in a row.  All those songs had one word titles and, and as I stood and watched a seagull devour a bag of chips that some fool had dropped, an idea slowly crept into place.  An idea that I was going to need some help with.

These were the three songs that came on.  So, as usual we can blame mid nineties indie pop for all my stupid ideas.

Cubik – 808 State (1990, ZTT Records)

Yes – McAlmont & Butler (1996, Hut Records)

Far – Longpigs (1995, London Records)

Later that night I created a playlist.  There was one simple rule – only one song per band was allowed and that song had to have a one word title, no brackets or hyphen or anything else was allowed.  So, this would have been allowed

Magic – Cud (1990, Imaginary Records)

But this wouldn’t have been

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones (1965, RCA Records) – besides, songs with brackets is clearly the next subject for the musical jury to their teeth into.

Remixes of one word titles have also been included, for instance

Buzzin’ (Dylan Rhymes Mix) – Asian Dub Foundation (1997, FFRR Records)

A few days later I formed (with the help of JC) a musical jury, which was, like all good juries, populated by quite a few angry men (I must try and be more inclusive for the next one) and sent them their orders.   By angry, most of them were angry because of what I’d left off the longlist, rather than them being generally angry people.  Saying that I’ve only met two of the jury, the others could have been psychopaths for all I knew.

There were sent a list of 129 songs, all of which have one word titles and they were asked to rank them in from 1 to 30.   I then awarded points for their choices, 30 points for the number one ranked song, 29 for 2nd place and so on and waited for the results to come in.

Nearly Perfect Albums #1

Community Music – Asian Dub Foundation

I’ve said before in various other places that there are eight records that I consider to be ‘absolutely perfect’.  Albums where everything from the artwork to last note of the last track and everything in between is absolutely perfect.  They are albums that if I was reviewing them would garner a Ten out of Ten review.  They are a pretty rare beast.  

Strangely this new series is not about those eight records but it’s about the albums that sit just underneath them.  The Nine out of Ten albums or in some case the nine and a halves.  Albums that are ‘Nearly Perfect’. 

Records that are still brilliant, outstanding, life affirming pieces of music.  Records that will improve your life and general happiness.  Albums that will enhance your prowess as a lover if you choose to have them on in the background whilst ‘doing some loving’.  Selecting to play these records at a party will instantly make you friends, and if you listen to them whilst cooking in the kitchen, they will make your food taste better.  Guaranteed.

They are in no real order and of course you can disagree with me.  That’s what the comments section is for.   I’m going to start with the wonderful, the timeless, the incredible ‘Community Music’ by Asian Dub Foundation.

Rebel Warrior – Asian Dub Foundation (2000, East West Records, Taken from ‘Community Music’)

One of the most amazing things about ‘Community Music’ is the diversity.  One minute we will be hearing some cool breakbeats firing away over a scratchy bassline, then it might go a bit dubby and then from literally nowhere a guitar comes in with a riff so huge that you could park a bus in it.  Then that guitar will turn into a sitar and then just as you’ve got use to that it turns back into a guitar and at the same time you are getting a history lesson or a political message or a lecture about police corruption as well.  It sounds messy but folks, it works, somehow, don’t ask me how.  It just does and that by the way is just the first three songs.

Real Great Britain – Asian Dub Foundation (2000, east west Records, Taken from ‘Community Music’)

After that you get a bunch of songs that sound like they are happy to tickle your ear seductively but are just as happy to boot you in the face at the drop of a hat and then around forty minutes in you get ‘Taa Deem’.

Taa Deem – Asian Dub Foundation (2000, East West Records, Taken from ‘Community Music’)

‘Taa Deem’ is astonishing.  A five minute blast of the sampled voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan looped across some chunky guitars and some quite frankly booming drums and frantic breakbeats that just bounces around in your head relentlessly.  Its one of those songs that just wears out the repeat button.

Scaling New Heights – Asian Dub Foundation (2000, East West Records, Taken from ‘Community Music’)

The last track on the album is called ‘Scaling New Heights’ and that is kind of apt, and whilst this is quite lazy of me to say it – that’s exactly what this album does.  It goes places that no other album that I can think of has gone before or after for that matter.  Its ambitious, its political, but best of all  its nearly perfect.