The recent rundown of the best tracks of the year has sent me into some sort of musical nostalgic revelry. I have for the past month or so been compiling list of playlist of my favourite tracks from every year since 1991. These may or may not turn into some sort of series over the coming months but until then, over the next few weeks I will present five or six tracks one from each year 1991 to 2021 of the songs that made my end of year top tens.
Let’s start with music that is now well over thirty years old, and if that doesn’t make at least one of you feel utterly ancient then I’m going to give up and go and live out my days in a comfy home and watch daytime telly.
1991 was a landmark year for me, for a start it was the year that I became a proper music aficionado. It was the year I started going to gigs with mates and the year that I kind of threw off the shackles of childhood and starting investigating girls, cigarettes, alcohol and staying out later that ten pm. It saw, according to last three pages of my old CDT text book, brilliant life changing music releases from Nirvana, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Leatherface, The Wonderstuff and the KLF but the track that topped my singles of the year list was this: –
Pearl – Chapterhouse (1991, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Whirlpool’)
Which is still sounds brilliant today. The drum sample, the whispered vocals, the feedback laden guitars, everything. In the summer of 1991, shoegaze sounded fresher and more exciting than pretty much anything that I had listened to before. That was of course until the Reading Festival when Nirvana arrived on a Friday afternoon played before Chapterhouse and killed the scene dead.
Nirvana featured in the Top Ten as well, with ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ being placed quite low at Number Seven.
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (1991, Geffen Records, Taken from ‘Nevermind’)
At number two in my rundown that year was this:-
The Concept – Teenage Fanclub (1991, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Bandwagonesque’)
It was the brilliant run of singles lifted from ‘Bandwagonesque’ that made me start to enforce the One Song per Band rule, because below ‘The Concept’ at Number five was ‘Starsign’ such was the draw of ‘Bandwagonesque’ at the time.
Elsewhere in the Top Ten at Number Three and Nine respectively were these two blasts of indie pop marvellousness.
Size of A Cow – The Wonderstuff (1991, Polydor Records, Taken from ‘Never Loved Elvis’) – I listened to ‘Never Loved Elvis’ again the other day and I’d forgotten just how must reliance there was on fiddles and mandolins running through it.
After the Watershed – Carter USM (1991, Rough Trade Records, Single) – Of course, Carter USM would be catapulted into musical history a few weeks later when live on TV at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, Fruitbat would suddenly fly through the air and rugby tackle a clearly baffled Philip Schofield to the floor.