Sunday, 18 May 2008

100 Pop Songs (1 to 10)

These songs are in no particular order (other than vaguely chronological).

(1) The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations

Aged four, my critical appreciation of music was limited but something about the song appealed to me even in my infancy. I’ve listened to the song many times over the years and it still appeals even now.

(2) David Bowie – See Emily Play

David Bowie released and album of cover versions called “Pin Ups”. It is a superb album and
the cover of Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play” is the best song on it. It may seem strange but I regard this as the definitive version, simply because it was decades before I heard the original version by Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd and, although I hate to say this, Bowie’s version is superior.

(3) Ike and Tina Turner – Nutbush City Limits

The first time I heard “Nutbush City Limits” was in 1973 when it appeared on the Top 20 countdown. My dad hated it and it was the first time I began to exhibit signs of musical independence from him as he tried to saturate my musical taste with his rock and roll and country and western.

(4) The Sweet – Block Buster!

The first song I really loved, the song that I wanted to play over and over again was the exceptional “Block Buster!” by the Sweet. I remember when my two sisters and I heard it for the first time in 1973. All three of us loved it; it appeared to be a pop song that transcended the girl/boy cultural pop music divide. The elder of my two sisters, and I used to wander around the house singing Buster Buster Block Buster usually instigated by me being the elder child. My parents hated it and my dad in particular must have exercised monumental control every time it appeared on the Top 20 countdown.

(5) Mud – Tiger Feet

A mate, who was a few years older than me at the time, taught me how to dance to “Tiger Feet”. At the time I felt a right pillock and thought that I was being taken for a ride. However, when I saw the song recently on a repeat of “Top Of The Pops” I realised that he had got the dance spot on. And the sad thing is I can still do it – but before you ask, I’m not going to.

(6) The Sparks – This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us

I loved this song and it goes down in history as the first one I played air guitar to as a kid. How embarrassing …

(7) Bruce Springsteen – She’s The One

Bruce Springsteen is a legend and before he achieved massive commercial success worldwide he released a superb album called “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”. This is the best track from that album and my favourite by “The Boss”

(8) Supertramp – A Soapbox Opera

“A Soapbox Opera” is a song that quite literally brings tears to my eyes. The thing is I don’t actually know why. It is full of atmosphere and plays my heartstrings like a manic rock guitarist would. Roger Hodgson’s voice is tinged with sadness as he delivers the words and this feeling is transferred to the listener untainted.

(9) Elton John – Pinball Wizard

If you’ve ever watched “Tommy”, the Who’s magnificent rock opera, you will know that one of the most memorable scenes is the pinball contest between Tommy, the deaf, dumb and blind kid, and the Pinball Wizard, played of course by Elton John. The scene is spectacular but the music is out of this world.

(10) John Miles – Music

“Music” was my favourite pop song of the seventies for a couple of years after its release and I’m glad to say that it still stands strong even today. It reminds me of a time when you could actually blend styles and produce a heavenly and powerful song.

11 to 20 to follow ...

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