In case anyone is thinking, there is nothing objective about a list of my top 1000 tracks. It can only be a subjective list and, as such, it not going to meet with universal agreement. No one ever included, among their favourite songs, one about which they said “I recognise the technical brilliance and the enduring popularity, but I, personally, hate it”. This list, as any other of its kind, will reflect the views, passions and prejudices of its compiler
And so, here are my next twenty…
Charles Martel’s 980-961
980. Little Walter – “My Babe” (Juke)
Little Walter was the foremost blues harmonica player. Before his own solo career, of which this was the undoubted highlight, he had played harmonica for the Muddy Waters band.
979. Debussy, Claude – “Prelude a l’Apres-Midi d’une Faune” (Preludes)
That flute is one of the most recognisable intros of any piece of modern classical music. This piece is generally recognised as the point at which the Romantic era of classical music became the modern era.
978. The Passions – “I’m in Love with a German Film Star” (30,000 Feet over China)
Song which at first sounds ridiculous, but grows on you, with its theme of the cool, emotionless German actor (a tribute to Helmut Berger actually) acknowledging the influence that bands like Kraftwerk had on eighties synth pop.
977. Dupree, Champion Jack – “Warehouseman Blues” (10″ Single)
Probably the finest of all New Orleans boogie-woogie piano blues songs.
976. One Thousand Violins – “If Only Words” (Hey Man That’s Beautiful EP)
Wonderful indie pop from the eighties currently experiencing a revival thanks to a Japanese re-release of all their output.
975. Mozart, Wolfgang – “Symphony No. 40, Molto Allegro” (Symphony No. 40)
Dark opening movement of Mozart’s “Great” symphony in G Minor which featured an innovative use of lower order strings and divided violas.
974. Smashing Pumpkins – “Tonight Tonight” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
Probably the Smashing Pumpkins’ best song which uses a violin and cello arrangement, provided by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
973. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – “Hollow Eyes (12″ Version)” (Talk about the Weather)
Somewhat eerie and certainly disconcerting song from this hard-working post-punk outfit whose sound was often dense and impenetrable.
972. My Vitriol – “Always: Your Way” (Finelines)
Driving track from this album of strong indie rock songs, each one of which has an unusual guitar tuning. Quite probably the band which defined nu-gaze.
971. Rainbow – “Catch the Rainbow (Live)” (On Stage)
Almost sixteen minutes long, but the live version soars with a great Blackmore guitar solo. Ronnie James Dio is also at his best.
970. M – “Pop Muzik” (New York Paris London Munich)
Jerky but insanely catchy pop song. Was the signature tune to a journey around Europe by rail I took at the time this was released.
969. Binge, Ronald – “Elizabethan Serenade” (Coronation Music)
Written in the style of a late Tudor song, the original name was ditched in favour of “Elizabethan Serenade” to mark the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.
968. The Triffids – “Once a Day” (In the Pines)
Song of loss and loneliness, drunkenness and insanity, recorded, like the rest of the album, in a cowshed in the Australian outback.
967. Mew – “Am I Wry? No” (Frengers)
Opening track of this strangely titled album from Danish band, Mew. Takes some listening to but becomes quite endearing after a while.
966. The Amazorblades – “Common Truth” (7″ Single)
One of the few recorded relics of the UK pub rock scene in the mid seventies which eventually gave birth to punk, “Common Truth” was released as a single and is a bridge between the two scenes.
965. Blondie – “Maria” (No Exit)
Blondie’s comeback album may have been something of a disappointment but this track was very much a return to form.
964. Other Voices – “Follow You Back Home” (7″ Single)
Named after a Doors album, Other Voices came out of nowhere and disappeared back there very quickly. This now impossible to get single was their only release.
963. British Sea Power – “Blackout” (The Decline of British Seapower)
The innovative use of a French horn on this track makes it stand out from all the others and is what gives this song its distinctive edge.
962. Pink Floyd – “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part One” (Wish You Were Here)
First and longest part of Pink Floyd’s tribute to Syd Barratt. The slow building of the intro and those haunting opening guitar chords resonate across the years.
961. Chapterhouse – “Breather” (Whirlpool)
Opening track, and definitely the strongest, from this early shoegaze album. One of the albums which set the tone for the whole scene.