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Charles Martel’s Top 1000: Part 56

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


Last week we looked at the distribution of the tracks in this list according to decade. This week we will look at a geographical distribution. The 1000 tracks come from artists (or composers in the case of classical music) from 27 countries. Of these, the following ten have the greatest number of entries –

United Kingdom – 544
United States – 291
Canada – 26
Australia – 22
Germany – 22
Ireland – 21
France – 18
Russia – 10
Norway – 6
Italy- 5
Sweden – 5

Of the rest, three countries have four entries; one has three entries; three have two entries and the rest have only one each. Again, this confirms the importance of geography in defining taste because, despite the fact that the United States has by far the biggest output in terms of recorded music of any nation on Earth, it is music from the UK which predominates in my list.

And now we are in the top ten – all five are British (as are, in fact, the entire top ten).

Charles Martel’s 10-6

10. The Only Ones – “Another Girl Another Planet” (The Only Ones)

The ultimate in pop perfection. Two minutes and fifty-nine seconds of pure pop heaven. Superb guitar work, a slowly building intro, strong rhythm and an organ line underpinning it. Despite the fact that this is a song about seeking the next fix, this is what all pop songs should sound like. Just to show that siblings can share taste in music, my sister, the one-time Miss Martel, rates this as her favourite ever song.

9. Led Zeppelin – “Stairway to Heaven” – (Led Zeppelin IV)

It is almost inevitable that this song should feature in a top ten of the greatest songs ever. The most requested song on US rock radio, the biggest selling piece of music in the history of printed music sheets in the twentieth century are just two of the accolades it has achieved. Many people may have heard it so often they have gone completely off it. But if you are one of those, stop and listen again. Listen properly. There is a reason why it has all those accolades.



8. Modern Eon – “Child’s Play” (Fiction Tales)

If there was one album which I would say was crying out for a reissue, “Fiction Tales” is it. “Child’s Play” has a majestic sax solo over a background of crashing guitar chords and shifts effortlessly in and out of a lyric which idealises childhood. Of all the long-forgotten tracks in this list, this is the one which, more than any other, deserves remembering.

7. The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (Who’s Next)

There are no words to describe this song. So, apart from wondering how Keith Moon seems to hit every piece of percussion simultaneously while still keeping the rhythm, I will say nothing.

6. Billy Bragg – “A New England” (Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy)

Undoubtedly the best thing Billy Bragg ever did. A mournful song about disappointment in love and life set in the urban wasteland of run down housing estates in Thatcher’s Britain. Bragg used just one electric guitar throughout. The song was later recorded by Kirsty MacColl with a third verse written by Bragg. Since her death, whenever Bragg has played the song live, he always adds the third verse in tribute.

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