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Charles Martel’s Top 1000: Part 14

posted January 22, 2014, 12:30 am by CharlesMartel | Filed Under Music News, Video | comment Leave a Comment


I confess to being no respecter of reputations. Some albums, very highly rated, I simply do not have because, their status notwithstanding, I never liked them. Albums such as “Dark Side of the Moon” I have described in reviews in terms of “the reason most people have this album is because most people have this album.” It took me over 35 years before I finally bought a copy of “Rumours” and no power on this Earth will compel me to part with my hard earned cash to shell out on a copy of anything by King Crimson. Just goes to confirm that anyone who thinks there can be such a thing as objective musical taste is deluding themself.

Further into the 700’s.

Charles Martel’s 740-721

740. Morissette, Alanis – “You Oughta Know” (Jagged Little Pill)

The song which established Alanis Morissette as someone who had something to say and was not afraid of saying it. Quite possibly the song which made many men finally realise that women can have orgasms too.

739. James – “Tomorrow” (Whiplash)

A song which has a special meaning for me as it offered hope when it seemed that there was precious little of it going around.

738. Squeeze – “Up the Junction” (Cool for Cats)

Brutal look at the reality of life for many people in London. A song full of regret, missed opportunities and lost love. This is one of those songs which makes me feel thoroughly miserable whenever I hear it.

737. The Damned – “Looking at You” (Machine Gun Etiquette)

The Damned cover this MC5 number with some panache. The way the song goes quiet, seemingly about to be snuffed out before it suddenly rushes back and slams the listener against the wall is an early (1979) use of the quiet-loud-quiet motif.

736. Bowie, David – “China Girl” (Let’s Dance)

From the period when Bowie and Iggy Pop were collaborating closely, this is perhaps the finest dance number Bowie ever released.

735. Led Zeppelin – “How Many More Times” (Led Zeppelin I)

Magnificent blues rocker off Led Zeppelin’s debut album. Though most people know Jimmy Page played guitar with a bow on “Dazed and Confused”, not many seem to know if he did the same on “How Many More Times”. By the way, if you have a copy of the vinyl which lists the duration of this song with the correct time, you have a valuable item on your hands.

734. The Smithereens – “Strangers When We Meet” (Especially for You)

The Smithereens played some great sixties-influenced powerpop. This song was one of the best on their most acclaimed and influential album.

733. The Popguns – “You Must Never Know” (Snog)

Uncharacteristically slow number for the Popguns. Unusual too in that, on this occasion, the songs is from the perspective of the cheating lover rather than the other way round, as is usual in many Popguns’ tracks.

732. The Lemonheads – “It’s a Shame about Ray” (It’s a Shame about Ray)

More sixties influenced powerpop from the USA. The Lemonheads certainly had the potential but Evan Dando was one of these artists who seemed to revel in pressing the self-destruct button.

731. Green Carnation – “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” (Light of Day, Day of Darkness)

Norwegian metallists make a brave statement with this album/song which consists of just one track lasting an hour and six minutes. I think I’ll leave the video of this for you to check out by yourself.

730. Ash – “Nicole” (Free All Angels)

Pulsating popwerpop from this Ulster trio. Notable perhaps for the first line of the chorus – “I killed my Baby but I loved her”.

729. The Ramones – “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” (Rocket to Russia)

If you take the Beach Boys, strip out half the chords and play it at a hundred miles an hour you pretty much get the Ramones. This was one of their most well-known tracks. One of a range of zombie toys – the Living Dead Dolls – is named Sheena after this song.

728. The The – “Uncertain Smile” (Soul Mining)

Originally released as a single called “Cold Spell Ahead” it finally found its true home on this album. Like so much of the The’s output, this has a strong socio-political message to it.

727. Johnson, Robert – “Crossroad Blues” (The King of the Delta Blues Singers)

Robert Johnson fuelled the legend when he recorded this song that he had sold his soul to the Devil whom he met at a crossroads one night. The only devil he was likely to meet however was a local sheriff who would pull a black man up on vagrancy charges, or worse, a bunch of rednecks out for a lynching.

726. Lauper, Cyndi – “Time after Time” (She’s So Unusual)

Cyndi Lauper was the artist Madonna could only dream of being. This was a soulful and sad number which suggested Lauper as someone to watch. Unfortunately her career never took off while Madonna’s did which just goes to show.

725. Brilliant Orange – “I Don’t Know” (Love and Evolution)

Canadian jangle pop from the early nineties. This was Brilliant Orange’s best track and the band had some success, developing a cult following.

724. Berry, Chuck – “Roll over Beethoven” (7” Single)

Berry’s announcement that rock and roll was here to stay so the classicists better accept it. A song which has been covered by more artists than it may be possible to count.

723. The Doors – “Roadhouse Blues” (An American Prayer)

Blues rock number from the Doors. The live version off this album, released after Jim Morrison’s death, has been called “one of the best live performances of any recorded song.” According to Ray Manzarek, the song was written by Morrison after a three week drug binge and the opening line was intended to be “Woke up this morning and I got myself a beard.”

722. Pylon – “Look Alive” (Chain)

This was the best track by far from these Athens, Georgia rockers. Bill Berry of R.E.M. once called Pylon the greatest rock band in the world.

721. Deep Purple – “Flight of the Rat” (In Rock)

The point at which Deep Purple ceased to be a psychedelic outfit, “In Rock” was a milestone. This song had a driving power to it and ranks alongside the work of Black Sabbath as the progenitors of metal. Find a straight road, put the top down, put this on as loud as you can and see if you can get to the end of the song without getting a speeding ticket.

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