But in this day and age, this time of the internet and the information superhighway, surely it ought to be easy to hear new stuff? Well, the record companies are bearing down on that too. Crippling criminal and civil cases filed against file sharing sites is an attempt to cut off one supply of new music not sanctioned by the record companies. And now they are turning their guns on streaming sites too in an effort to shut down another avenue. Spotify, Bandcamp and Last.fm are all being targeted. The record companies have an outdated business model which cannot reconcile itself to streaming and so they try to force the competition to their business model out of business. They want you to listen only to what they want you to listen to, what makes them money. And they are winning. If we are not careful we will be the last generation who have the ability to exercise independent musical choice.
Moving onwards with another twenty.
Charles Martel’s 540-521
540. Gravenhurst – “See My Friends” (Fires in Distant Buildings)
If any band could be said to be the saviours of British Indie it is Gravenhurst. This Kinks’ cover trails out with an epic guitar solo.
539. Handel, Georg – “Hallelujah Chorus” (The Messiah)
From Handel’s magnum opus, the “Hallelujah Chorus” is the epic climax. Another classical piece which ought to be instantly recognisable to everyone.
538. REM – “Bang and Blame” (Monster)
Another track which has special significance for me as it is always associated with a particular person and the role they played in my life.
537. Swervedriver – “Last Train to Satansville” (Mezcal Head)
With a sound like a train rattling across the tracks on a journey to wherever, this was the best of Swervedriver’s output.
536. Blind Mr. Jones – “Against the Glass” (Stereo Musicale)
Bass-heavy shoegaze track with some wonderful understated vocals, this track was the highlight of the band’s debut album.
535. Tears for Fears – “God’s Mistake” (Raoul and the Kings of Spain)
Coming up with a refrain “Love is God’s mistake” is a classic piece of imagery which, if for no other reason, justifies this track its place in this list.
534. The Pontoons – “Landslide” (7” Single)
Long-forgotten jangle pop band released this wonderful track. The band have since reformed in Australia and are supposed to be releasing a new album soon.
533. Thin Lizzy – “Dancing in the Moonlight (Live)” (Live and Dangerous)
Young love and the perils of it are wonderfully described in this track. The live version has a great sax solo which adds character to the song.
532. Deep Purple – “Woman from Tokyo” (Who Do We Think We Are?)
One of Deep Purple’s greatest riffs, this track is one the band’s finest moments, dedicated to a city which provided the band with their greatest musical triumph in their live “Made in Japan” album.
531. Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai – “The Sea and Sindbad’s Ship” (Scheherazade)
Rimsky-Korsakov based this suite on stories from the “1001 Arabian Nights” and this is the highlight of the whole suite.
530. Meat Loaf – “Objects in the Rear View Mirror” (Back to Hell)
“Back to Hell” is an album which takes the protagonists of “Bat out of Hell” forward 15 years, to look back with longing and regret on incidents which happened in their teens. This is the best track off that album.
529. The Connells – “Slackjawed” (Ring)
All of us guys have done this at least once – gawped like an idiot when that special girl walks into the room. The Connells capture the moment brilliantly.
528. Leadbelly – “Gallis Pole” (10″ Single)
The original of entry no. 597, Leadbelly sings this one with a rising panic as his execution looms and prospects of a reprieve recede.
527. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – “Forest Fire” (Rattlesnakes)
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ debut album is one of the great jangle pop albums of all time. This track is an atmospheric number which is one of the album’s best.
526. John, Elton – “Candle in the Wind” (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
Never mind the mawkish reissue dedicated to Princess Diana, this tribute to Marilyn Monroe is one of the great love songs of the seventies.
525. U2 – “Beautiful Day” (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
This song has a special significance for me and I adopted it as the theme tune to my divorce, offering a bright new hope for the future.
524. Coldplay – “Clocks” (A Rush of Blood to the Head)
That wonderful evocative piano is what makes this number stand out. This track was used a number of times as signature music for BBC programmes.
523. The Thompson Twins – “Oumma Oularesso” (A Product of Participation)
African rhythms and multiple layers of percussion dominate this track which was so original and unlike much of the band’s later pop output.
522. Catherine Wheel – “Show Me Mary” (Chrome)
A great melody and a catchy hook line dominate this track which is about as close as shoegaze ever came to pure pop music.
521. Travis – “Turn” (The Man Who)
Travis often get a bad rap, but they do write some good songs. This has a soaring vocal which is inspiring in its effect.