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Charles Martel’s Top 1000: Part 57

posted November 19, 2014, 12:43 am by CharlesMartel | Filed Under Recommendations from the Writer's Mind, Video | comment Leave a Comment


19th November 2014 – Part 57

So, which artists have the most entries on this list? There are 604 separate artists (or composers) on the list. Of these, there are 97 artists with two entries, 31 with three, 18 with four, 11 with five and five with six entries. However, it may surprise you to find some of the inclusions and, more likely, some of the omissions among the more prolific bands in the list. Here are those artists which (will) have the largest number of tracks included –

Led Zeppelin – 18
The Rolling Stones – 16
Fischer-Z – 12
The Waterboys – 9
The Chameleons – 8
The Cure – 8
Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – 8

And seven have seven entries each – The Beatles, Big Country, Catherine Wheel, David Bowie, the Kinks, Ludwig van Beethoven and the Psychedelic Furs. Incredibly, none of these are American and only one is not British – Beethoven.

And now into the top 5.

Charles Martel’s 5, 4, 3 and 2

5. Big Country – “Porrohman” – (The Crossing)

A track whose conception is as epic as its execution. The multiple layered guitars come together slowly, culminating in a shimmering cascade of guitars. This was the highpoint of Stuart Adamson’s use of the ebow, an electronic gizmo run across guitar strings which transformed the sound of the guitars into something like a synthesiser. The name of the track is a Scots dialectic contraction of “Poor Old Man”.

4. The Psychedelic Furs – “Pretty in Pink” (Talk Talk Talk)

The Psychedelic Furs upped the ante with their second album which contained this stunning track. Forget the re-recorded version used for the film “Pretty in Pink”, this is a masterpiece of raucous post-punk built around two rhythm guitars and possessing an infectious riff. The Psychedelic Furs never got any better than this.

3. The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter” (Let It Bleed)

The Rolling Stones have done so many fine tracks, a decision on which is the best is always going to be a matter of personal favouritism. This track was the Stones’ anti-Vietnam War song and this comes home clearly when played against a backdrop of video collages of images from that war. It is said that the female vocalist on the track, Merry Clayton, as a result of the intensity of her performance, suffered a miscarriage on her return home.

2. The Waterboys – “The Pan Within” (This Is the Sea)

This is such a powerful song. Mike Scott’s voice soars and sways across the track in probably his best vocal performance. The haunting violin adds emphasis and heightens the tension as the song slowly builds into a climax which leaves the listener feeling physically and emotionally exhausted at the end. This song conveys so much passion and feeling it has an almost erotic quality to it. The impact this has on me every time I hear it is almost impossible to describe.

There is a live version of this which begins and ends with a cover of Patti Smith’s “Because the Night”. It was extremely hard not to cite this as the definitive version, or even enter it as a second version of the same song by the same band (which would have been unique). So, as if to prove a point, here is the Waterboys Live at Glastonbury.

Like all good cliffhangers, you are going to have to wait a week for No. 1

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