So, merely 169 days later I’m finally finishing my top 10 favourite songs. I’d apologise for the delay but I’m not going to because a) I’ve been really, really busy, what with my kids, my man, my dog, my friends, my family and my job and b) because I’ve found it really, really hard to finish the list. So I’m taking the plunge. Here is my top 5, for this moment at least – I’ll probably remember another 5 tomorrow which I wanted to add but oh well, maybe I’ll do a revised top 5 in another 169 days.
5. One Way by Sizzla.
I found this corker on a compilation by Ian Brown of Stone Roses fame when I was going through my Northern Monkey phase in the heady days of my early 20’s. Ian Brown & Richard Ashcroft/The Verve (bollocks – new I forgot someone significant) were my go-to mini disc album/compilations (yes-I had a mini disc player) at the time and what fun it was too. But this song was different. It was some of the dirtiest reggae I’d ever heard. I’d absolutely no idea what he was singing about but no matter! Everytimr I pressed play I’d be grindin and windin on the tube as if I was on a beach in Jamaica. I defy you not to do the same.
4. Dull Flame of Desire by Bjork and Antony Hegarty
Oh dear god in heaven… This song. I first listened to it in my car when I was heavily pregnant with my first child. I was waiting for R to finish work & happily checking out the new Bjork album out when this song suddenly attacked my synapses and set off a hormonal explosion in my brain and body that has not been matched by music to this day. I would not be exaggerating when I say that I was in absolute floods of emotional tears. Poor R was greeted by a snotty, sobbing wreck in pyjamas when he finally got out of work. I played him the song and cried again. He said, “That’s nice.” Men.
3. 505 by Arctic Monkeys
I flipping love Alex Turner. I know many people think he’s a bit of a twat and yes, I’d agree he does come across like that much of the time but….I’m a little bit smitten and I think he’s allowed to be a twat as he’s also a poet of the highest order. So there. See below.
2. Crying Lightning by Arctic Monkeys
Like another of my most favourite quirky people – Richard Ayoade – Turner is a master of the normal, the banal, the suburban. The way he turns normal, everyday events and observations into poetry I think is spectacular and hilarious and tragic. The first few lines are amongst his best:
Outside the cafe by the cracker factory/You were practising your magic tricks./And my thoughts got rude/As you talked and chewed/On the last of your pick and mix.
He sings in laconic and droll tones, making no effort to hide his Sheffield accent; I think he’s dreamy.
1. Possibly Maybe by Bjork
So here it is, my number one. No surprises it’s Bjork. I heard this for the first time in my first car (a beige mini called Kevin) on a tape. Yes a tape. I think it was my first experience of musical frisson. The tape had bjork’s album Debut on one side and Post on the other. What the 18 year old me heard on the tape was so exotic and interesting and different I knew, then and there, that I was not alone in the world anymore; that people existed that saw the world as I saw it. Furthermore, with Possibly Maybe, I realised that I was not the first woman to fall in love completely with a man who I had had sex with (sorry mum) and who did not feel the same for me. And that the feelings I had subsequently did not mean I was bonkers (mind you, some would say that I could’ve picked a less “eccentric” role model than Bjork in that department. As I’ve aged though, and spent more time amongst humans, I’ve decided that Bjork is actually quite sane in comparison to many people in this world).
From the lyrics to the bass line to the constant ringing of an unanswered phone, this song speaks to me. And that’s what music, and all art in general, is supposed to do right? So whether you like the music in my list or not, I hoped you’ve enjoyed my ramblings about WHY I love the music I’ve written about.