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Charles Martel’s Top 1000: part 52

posted October 15, 2014, 12:30 am by CharlesMartel | Filed Under Recommendations from the Writer's Mind, Video | comment Leave a Comment

Should you buy an album because, even though you do not much care for it, it is one of those albums you feel you have to have? I do not have in my collection either “The Velvet Underground and Nico” or “Dark Side of the Moon” despite these being probably in the top ten of many reputable lists of greatest albums of all time. I do not have them because I do not like them. That simple. In truth, there is too much music I haven’t heard which I might like to waste time trying to get to like albums I have heard and don’t like and too many albums I do like and want to listen to more frequently. Yes, sometimes albums grow on you so first impressions are not always 100% accurate but as a general rule I do not consider it worthwhile buying albums I do not like.

This is beginning to sound like a seventies chart countdown on Radio 1, “and now the top 40 chart”


Charles Martel’s 40-31

40. New Order – “Blue Monday” (12” Single)

The best dance track ever released in my view. The sleeve was designed to resemble a 7” floppy disk (how many of you remember those!) and cost so much to produce that the label, Factory, lost money on every copy they sold.

39. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – “Mr. Malcontent” (Mainstream)

Lloyd Cole’s last attempt to break the American market produced his best album. This was his finest song and set out the sacrifices he had made to get to the position where he was. Some wonderful guitar work at the end.

38. Booker T and the MG’s – “Green Onions” (Green Onions)

Amazing soul instrumental from one of the all-time greats of blues influenced soul. That organ riff is one of the highlights of the whole of sixties music.

37. Led Zeppelin – “Achilles Last Stand” (Presence)

This song got its name from the fact that Robert Plant has his leg in a plastercast and stood up all the way through the recording, despite doctor’s advice. There are multiple guitar layers and an intro and outro which vividly convey the arrival of the Greek ships on the shores of the Dardanelles and their departure.

36. Derek and the Dominos – “Layla” (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs)

Inspired by an epic love poem by medieval Persian poet Nizami Gandjavi, this is the most adventurous track on the album. It features a distinctive slide guitar sound by Duane Allman and ends with a long and expressive piano piece over which the guitars play.

35. Bowie, David – “Heroes” (Heroes)

David Bowie’s majestic song sees him put in his finest vocal performance, full of passion and feeling. Despite the fact that this song has been murdered by any number of bands who think it is simple to play and then find out it is not, it remains a classic.

34. The House of Love – “Love in a Car” (The House of Love)

The theme of the song is a love affair which has gone on for too long. However, the slowly-building multiple guitar layers reach a fever pitch and seem to scream out at the listener “fuck me! fuck me!” A truly powerful and emotional song.

33. Television – “Marquee Moon” (Marquee Moon)

Tom Verlaine’s epic title track off the band’s debut album, probably best known for that intense guitar solo which dominates the song and around which it is built.

32. The Stars of Heaven – “Widow’s Walk” (Rain on the Sea)

The highest ranked Irish song on the list, it tells of an Irish boy who falls in love just as his visa to emigrate arrives and the conflict within him as a result. A great jangle pop number with a clever time shift in the middle just to throw you off balance. It is a real pity I could not find a video for this.

31. Dr. Feelgood – “Going Back Home” (Stupidity)

Like all Dr. Feelgood tracks on this list, it is the live version which really stands out. This is a hard driving song with two outstanding harmonica solos.


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