Phew…. this was far more difficult than it had any right to be! I definitely over-thought everything and seemed to have ended up with a totally different list than I had planned.
I envisioned a cool, eclectic, hop, skip and jump through my record collection, touching down on a variety of genres from a range of eras. But when I started pulling records off the shelf, I got all distracted and sidetracked and my 11 track list turned into a 30 track one, with a heavy bias towards abrasive breakcore!
Out went the jazz, Finnish electronica and Nigerian psychedelic organ and in came the powerpop and Lebanese bozok! None of my usual roll-call of favourites made it either. No Liars. No Clinic. No Nirvana. No Anaal Nathrakh. No Not Not Fun, No…..oh you get the idea. I think it’s more of a mixtape than 11 stand alone tracks, but anyway, here’s what I ended up with…Oh…and I decided to go chronological, no one has done that yet have they?!
1. The Country (Downliners) Sect – “If I Could Just Go Back” – British Rhythm & Blues lunatics the Downliners Sect changed their name to the Country Sect for their 1965 2nd album, in doing so they could have reasonably laid claim to have made (one of ) the first country rock albums if it wasn’t for the fact that it in no way resembles Country music! I love all the Downliners Sect records and the wonderful inauthenticity of these Twickenham boys singing about “growing up amid the Country scene” makes me smile every time.
2. Nick Drake – “River Man” – Only discovered Nick last year, but it feels like I’ve known his music for decades. Does that sound cheesy? I hope so!
3. Crime – “Hot Wire My Heart” – ‘San Francisco’s first and only rock’n’roll band’ unleash their proto-punk noise with a sneer on their face and a swagger in their cop-uniform-and-sunglasses-indoors step.
4. Peter Tosh – “Mystic Man” – A long standing favourite on the Panther turntable. I like to think of it as the original straight edge song!
5. M’n’Ms – “Knock Knock Knock” – Pretty much my definition of the perfect (power) pop song.
6. Six By Seven – “Candlelight” – Post-Britpop UK indie guitar rock at its best. From their debut album “The Things We Make” which is one of my favourite albums of the 90s.
7. Riff Randells – “Who Says Girls Can’t Rock?” – Certainly not me! Perfect garage rock and pretty much what you’d expect from a band who name themselves after the lead female character in a Ramones film.
8. Billy Mahonie – “On the Brinck” – A late substitution here in the form of some nice and restrained post-rock
9. Orcustus – “Wrathrash” – Put on your corpsepaint and twist your left hand into a weird talon shape for the camera. Here’s some Trve Norwegian Black Metal from around 2005.
10. Bobby Browser – “No Appointments” – They call it ‘hipster house’, I call it great music. I always think she’s singing “are you taking the piss?”!
11. Mutar Muhammad – “Bayati” – I heard this on a DJ/Rupture podcast late one night on the bus on the final leg of my mammoth commute home and it just blew me away. It took a while to track down what it was and get a copy, when I finally did, it blew me away all over again. (Not chronologically correct, I’d guess it’s from the late 70s, but I wanted the last track to be the last thing I had bought/downloaded – and this is it!)
…there you have it, much more guitar heavy than I planned, but never mind. Just to remind you, you do have to keep at least ONE!!