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1,001 songs to listen to before you die...


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I've never liked Buckley's Hallelujah, it's not the worst cover (which that was the one by Bono). I liked Cohen's version more once than I do now because of the over exposure of the song. I feel the same about Steve Earle's "Galway Girl" which has been endlessly covered by various Irish acts over the last 20 years and, as such, I've completely lost my interest in ever hearing the original.

Going back to the entry on Blur, just seeing "The Universal" being mentioned reminded me of how Irish singer Joe Dolan did a cover of it which also has a really good music video.

 

 

 

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No update, but this is just a thank you to everyone who has got involved with this. Been a really enjoyable way to spend my time and look forward to finishing things off at the start of 2021.

In a perfect world, I'd have wrapped this all up in a year. I still could...yet my wife is due to give birth on Monday/Tuesday, so my priorities might be somewhere else for a little while. I appr

Liam really summarized Love Will Tear Us Apart brilliantly. I love that song, it helped get me through basic training (obviously I had to play it my head, thank you Andy Dufresne).  I personally

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5 hours ago, Liam said:

if not...hmmm Everybody Here Wants You.

oh yeah definitely. This song is brilliant. It was only really a demo that got released, right? At least, I always assumed that because there's something very temporary or placeholder-ish about the synth strings on that one. But maybe that's for the best, because that song works because it's stripped down to the bare essentials, and Jeff Buckley did have a bit of a tendency to polish songs a bit too much.

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"Everybody Here Wants You" was off the unfinished second album - I think some of the production was cleaned up before release, but not as much as it would have been had Buckley survived, for sure. My favourite off that album is "Morning Theft", though, which I think is just gorgeous - though, again, tied up with a lot of personal history.

Buckley is another one somewhat like Cobain, in that him no longer being around really lead to a certain perception of his work taking precedence, when he could be a surprisingly diverse performer. A lot of his live stuff was starting to move in an angrier, punkier direction, and I think much more of that would have started to makes its way on record. Even if it he hadn't explored that side of his work more, he's someone who was prepared to release a cover of Corpus Christi Carol on his debut album, so there was a lot going on beyond the fey singer-songwriter type he's been cast as.

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No baby yet and I can't be in properly until active labour due to COVID, so here is another 5 songs:

811.      

‘Red Right Hand’, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (1994)

Nick Cave is someone I really feel like I should have listened to a lot more in my time checking out music – I probably own a fair few of his albums, yet rarely really listen to them. However, I am a huge fan of this song. I don’t think I can remember a better song for getting the malevolent nature of the protagonist so in sync with the music, or I guess more the other way around. Apparently, the lyrics were largely ad-libbed with the title and the narrative being the main thing that Cave knew when going in to create the song. Lyrically, I love some of the individual snippets, such as being a ‘microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan’ – chilling.

812.      

‘Sabotage’, The Beastie Boys (1994)

Influenced by: Waiting Room • Fugazi (1988)   

Influence on: Break Stuff • Limp Bizkit (2000)   

Covered by: Phish (1999) • The Bosshoss (2005) • Beatsteaks (2007) • Cancer Bats (2010) • The Penelopes (2009) • Switchfoot (2010)

For me, and without a lot to base it on, this is probably the best realisation of the Boys’ love for hip hop and punk rock, creating a three minute blast that hits the ground running, whilst the stop/start nature of the song has it lurching its way to the finish line in a way that is nothing if not glorious. It’s arguable that riffs and scratching never sounded so good together.

813.      

‘The Most Beautiful Girl in the World’, Prince (1994)

Influenced by: Takin’ Me to Paradise • J. Raynard (1983)   

Influence on: Take It from Here • Justin Timberlake (2002)  

Covered by: Raheem (2008)  

Other key tracks: Alphabet Street (1988)

I was completely unsure as to why this song made the list – it is a great song, but Prince does great songs – but after reading the little biography that comes alongside it, it all makes a lot more sense. This was during his ‘The Artist’ phase, with this song released independently at a time when he was at loggerheads with Warner about his creative freedom. Couple with this being a song for his soon-to-be wife, there are layers to the behind the scenes narrative that make this a viable member of the list. That, and it is a really good song; not something to forget.

814.      

‘Sour Times’, Portishead (1994)

Influenced by: Danube Incident • Lalo Schifrin (1968)   

Influence on: Teardrops • The 411 (2004)   

Covered by: The Blank Theory (2002) • Bryn Christopher (2008)   

Other key tracks: Glory Box (1994) • Numb (1994) • All Mine (1997) • The Rip (2008) • We Carry On (2008)

Whilst I went back many years later to check out Massive Attack, I never really got around to listening to any Portishead, or at least not knowingly so. I initially expected ‘Glory Box’ to be the song that ended up on the list what with it being the one song I could name from the band, yet when this slunk its way out of my speakers, I vaguely recalled hearing it in my relative youth. Not that it means it should make the list, more that it might have had some success that made it noteworthy. For a chilled out band, this is quite a creepy song with the quick bursts of strings and the sparse instrumentation making it feel like the soundtrack to a western. That a part of the song was lifted from ‘Danube Incident’, a song composed by the man who did the soundtrack for Mission Impossible, Dirty Harry and Bullitt may explain that filmic feeling that permeates through the song.

815.      

‘Army of Me’, Bjork (1995)

Influenced by: Dig It • Skinny Puppy (1986)   

Influence on: Love Again • Baxter (1998)   

Covered by: Helmet (1996) • Beanbag (2001) • Powerman 5000 (2004) • Abandoned Pools (2005) • Caliban (2006) • Drama (2010)

Written in 1992, this was apparently considered too aggressive for the overall feel of Bjork’s debut album. However, it fit in much more with the tone that was set for her sophomore effort. Industrial, electronic, powerful, the tune is powerful throughout. Bjork clearly wasn’t someone to mess around with. This for me was her at a point where there was experimentation, yet she still had a discernible pop sensibility. I doubt she wrote for the charts per se, but underneath the song’s aggression, it bops.

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816.      

‘Champagne Supernova’, Oasis (1995)

I feel like this would be a potentially divisive inclusion, depending on what your mileage might be on those songs that end up thrown on at an indie club at the end of the night when everyone is drunk and wants to shout along to something. To be quite honest, I didn’t really know this song very well until my University days and times falling out of clubs pissed off of my face, and I always enjoyed it when it came on. Do I care as much for it now? It is a decent enough song and showed that Oasis had better writing chops than some might say, but it doesn’t set the world alight for me.

817.      

‘The Fever’, Garth Brooks (1995)

Brooks is notoriously difficult to find stuff from on Youtube, so this is what is purported to be a live version…and I’m vaguely of the opinion it might not actually be Brooks singing. He was one of my mum’s favourite singers, so I’ve had my fair share of listening to him so feel like I’d know. Ah well – it gives you a sense of what the song is about at least. This is oddly a song I’ve never actually heard by him considering all I just said about my experience with him and it is a raucous enough tune that is a revising of an Aerosmith song of all things. I’m not quite sure why it has made the list outside of to get Brooks on there somewhere.

818.      

‘Kung Fu’, Ash (1995)

Influenced by: Teenage Lobotomy • Ramones (1977)   

Influence on: Buck Rogers • Feeder (2001)   

Other key tracks: Day of the Triffids (1995) • Luther Ingo’s Star Cruiser (1995) • Angel Interceptor (1995) • Girl from Mars (1996) • Goldfinger (1996)

I genuinely think that Ash are one of the best singles bands in my time listening to music. Their Intergalactic Sonic 7” collection is so good with a load of earworm bangers for your buck. This isn’t their best song by any means in my opinion, but mainly finds its way onto the list as the song that broke them into the mainstream consciousness – all the most impressive as two of them were only 17 at the time of recording. That isn’t to downplay it as a tune. It isn’t quite as refined as some of their later offerings, yet it does have the raucous noise, quirky lyrics and catchiness that they became known for in some of their later songs. I’m glad they made the list, though I’m sure not everyone would agree.

819.      

‘1979’, The Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

Influenced by: Everything’s Gone Green • New Order (1981)   

Influence on: Turn My Way • New Order (2001)   

Covered by: Vaux (2006) • Jacksoul (2006) • Lismore (2006) • Kuusimäki (2007) • Young Love (2007)

Before I knew who the Smashing Pumpkins were, I was aware of ‘1979’ as a song. This implies to me that it must have got some radio play in the UK as it would have been the only opportunity I got to listen to music outside of soundtracks and TV adverts. It was always a song that I enjoyed as a child and was happy to rediscover in my late teens. I always feel like I want to like the Smashing Pumpkins more than I do. When they are good, they are very good; they aren’t often good enough for me. However, ‘1979’ smashes it out of the park with its hazy, lazy sound that resonates nostalgia.

820.      

‘Common People’, Pulp (1995)

Influenced by: Fanfare For the Common Man • Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1977)   

Influence on: Sliding Through Life on Charm • Marianne Faithfull (2002)   

Covered by: William Shatner & Joe Jackson (2004) • Tori Amos (2005)

This might legitimately be my own personal favourite song on the list thus far. I loved the song as a nine year old when it first came out, only for it to shoot into the stratosphere when I finally got around to checking out ‘Different Class’. What an album. Easily top five for me of all time. I prefer ‘Disco 2000’ (probably because it is played less on the radio) and ‘Something Changed’ (the lyrics are so good), but this is THE Pulp song. I also like that the lyrics could apparently be about the wife of Yannis Varoufakis, a man who is quite well liked in the English department I work in for some random reason – a random mix of reference and personal in-joke. Lastly, it is one of the ten or so songs I've done at karaoke. Badly, I'm sure.

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"Common People" is on my list of probably fewer than ten karaoke songs too, and the only one I've done twice. I once did it as a duet, and it turned out to be the extended album version, so the person I was duetting with didn't know half of it.

It's great. It's one of those songs that almost suffers for being a hit, because it was so ubiquitous that you tend to overlook that it's clever, funny, and has a nice touch of venom to it. 


I never really got into Britpop at all - hate Oasis, have only a passing familiarity with Blur - but I adore Pulp, even though I didn't get into them until far too late. Similarly, I prefer Disco 2000 - it's a superb song, played less often, and makes me genuinely nostalgic for the sort of childhood it describes, which very few things manage for me. 

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4 hours ago, Skummy said:

"Common People" is on my list of probably fewer than ten karaoke songs too, and the only one I've done twice. I once did it as a duet, and it turned out to be the extended album version, so the person I was duetting with didn't know half of it.

That 3rd verse is unnecessary though. :P

I love 'Common People' but Different Class is such an extraordinary album that it wouldn't be in my top 5 favourite tracks from it.

Ash were one of the first bands I got into when I actively sought out music to listen to. They could, and still can, write some amazing singles even if they don't really hold up well in the album format. 'Kung Fu' is youthful fun that could only be written by 17 year olds; it's like their version of 'Alright' by Supergrass.

I love The Smashing Pumpkins (their pre-2007 output to be accurate) and Mellon Collie... is one of my favourite albums so of course I think '1979' is great. Billy Corgan in the 90s is a rare example of overthinking your craft being a good thing - at a time when rock music was trying to be laid back and casual and cool, he created some great angsty, dramatic textures in his music.

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"Champagne Supernova" is the lesser of the two played right before a bar closes and they want to have people wind down Oasis songs. It's really an example of what I don't like about them.

Can't talk 90s popular music without Garth Brooks. And while so much of the country that followed/copied him has been progressively getting worse, Garth is alright. He bridged the gap from traditional country & western musicians that had personalities and stage presence with arena rock tendencies to be more than just a musician but a total performer. 30 years later and what he opened the doors for is largely dreadful, but Garth had to be pretty good to make that possible though.

I dabbled in Ash back when I was first really getting into music and they sounded super youthful. I wish I kept up with them and dug deeper because it's hard to go back and listen to them now, I think the sound has passed me by.

I was heavily into the Pumpkins when I was younger and in high school. Billy Corgan is America's answer to Morrissey in so many ways. Mellon Colie is the height of his career and there's a half dozen songs from it that could make this list but you'll have a hard time topping "1979" for being extremely focused and artistic at a time when rock music in the US tried to eschew all of that.

Pulp are great and everytime I hear them I wonder why I haven't listened to more. "Common People" is kind of obscure over here so it doesn't suffer from any overplay. It's a brilliant song. Probably the Pulp song that most triggers those thoughts mentioned at the start of this paragraph.

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29 minutes ago, How The Cloud Stole Christ said:

Garth Brook but no Chris Gaines. I see how it is.

I really dont care for that  Chris Gaines side project "Garth Brooks"

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39 minutes ago, Pooker said:

Seriously, thats the Garth Brooks song they go with? Unless he makes another appearance on the list, that is a disappointing pick.

They seemed to choose it as it was banned from airplay on some radio stations.

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16 hours ago, damshow said:

Was Chris Gaines even active in 1995? Feel like he was on a much-deserved hiatus.

He had a tough  time alright. In 1990 his father died but he still released "Fornucopia". Although he did take a 2 year break following a car accident "Apostle" came out in late 94. Followed by the R&B influenced "Triangle" in 1996.

I'm sure he'll turn up for the 2000s since "The Lamb", as we all know, was the defining album of the new millennium

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Champagne Supernova is dull as ditchwater. I'm by no means an Oasis hater but I can't take them doing ballads. They just drag on forever. I hate that bum-ka-cha-ba-bum-ka-bum-ka-cha drum rhythm they used all their slow songs.

I know Garth Brooks has sold a kazillion records but I guess he must be one of those phenomenons largely confined to the US? I've never heard anything by him before. This song is a bit pointless.

Ash have a few good tunes but I'm not sure I know this one. It's what I expected from Ash, pretty much. It's nice but I'm not blown away by that.

1979 is a banger. One of those songs that I appreciate more for the sonics rather than it's qualities as a tune, but the sonics are great.

Common Ppl is really good. I've given Pulp a fair shake but never really got into them apart from Common Ppl, Disco 2000 and theothersinglefromthatalbumohmygodIcantrememberwhatitscalledbutIlikeit. But sometimes all you need are a few great singles and Common Ppl definitely ticks that box.

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1 hour ago, metalman said:

I know Garth Brooks has sold a kazillion records but I guess he must be one of those phenomenons largely confined to the US? I've never heard anything by him before. This song is a bit pointless.

He's weird because while, yes, he's biggest audience is in the US he sells out arenas and stadiums internationally. I believe he did 4 or 5 nights a couple years back in Dublin, all sellouts. But nevertheless, something like 90% of his album sales have been in the US.

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This was the video I went with as my "this is the best I can find for this song" option to listen to that Garth Brooks cover, which did not help my "why is this in here? Is this the actual song?" reaction:

 

Like, I don't know, I wouldn't be surprised if a significant portion of the target audience for this book has never actually heard "Friends in Low Places." Just go with that.

elsewhere, "Kung Fu" is fine but not the Ash representative I would have gone with, I'd have probably done "Goldfinger" or one of the Free All Angels singles, that's a bit more what I like out of them personally.

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7 hours ago, damshow said:

He's weird because while, yes, he's biggest audience is in the US he sells out arenas and stadiums internationally. I believe he did 4 or 5 nights a couple years back in Dublin, all sellouts. But nevertheless, something like 90% of his album sales have been in the US.

Ah Dublin makes sense because there are a load of Irish people who only listen to US country music (and for some reason only the really crap stuff) and think that makes them cool. It's a weird Irish thing.

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15 hours ago, metalman said:

Common Ppl is really good. I've given Pulp a fair shake but never really got into them apart from Common Ppl, Disco 2000 and theothersinglefromthatalbumohmygodIcantrememberwhatitscalledbutIlikeit. But sometimes all you need are a few great singles and Common Ppl definitely ticks that box.

Sorted for E's and Wizz? They actually milked that album for singles so it might not even be that.

Ash were pretty much my band in the late 90s, though I probably didn't discover them until after the second album. They're almost a comfort blanket band, there's nothing they've done that I actively dislike but it's less often I'll go back and listen to them actively, though they're a good work soundtrack since it's all so familiar. They're pretty much this side of the pond's Weezer in my head. I do have a real soft spot for Twilight of the Innocents though which I'd regard as one of their latest albums but is probably 15 year old or something by now...

Tim Wheeler's Christmas album is quite good too so he's had some play this month.

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6 hours ago, metalman said:

Ah Dublin makes sense because there are a load of Irish people who only listen to US country music (and for some reason only the really crap stuff) and think that makes them cool. It's a weird Irish thing.

Yep. Country music is bloody huge among a rural irish folk. (Especially in the North, it seems). There is a whole genre of music called Country and Irish

Which evovled, I think from Ireland's 50s-70s Showband era. Showband music was/is this mixing of American country, rock 'n' roll, Irish traditional music. That is really what Country and Irish is. Which, for the longest time (as far as I could tell anyway from my father's music collection), was really dominated by men from the Irish midlands doing faux American accents. Although more recently there's been a boom in younger artists. There are entire satelite TV channels dedicated to this stuff. It's awfully cringe. However it draws in huge crowds of people.

14 hours ago, damshow said:

He's weird because while, yes, he's biggest audience is in the US he sells out arenas and stadiums internationally. I believe he did 4 or 5 nights a couple years back in Dublin, all sellouts. But nevertheless, something like 90% of his album sales have been in the US.

Garth Brooks DIDN'T play in Dublin a few years ago. He did sell out but Dublin City council refused to grant a liscence for 5 concerts so he pulled out. I cannot under estimate how big this was as a newstory here. I also vividly recall the bewilderment of Dubliners on Twitter who just didn't realize the immense awakening of Garth Brooks fans from the country.

As I grew up in rural Ireland, I witnessed first hand the Garth Brooks craze of the mid90s. It was hell. Check shirts and line dancing and cowboy hats were everywhere. I was somewhat draw into it when I was younger but, honestly, grew to just not care about his music. 

Now, I unironcially think the Chris Gaines stuff is the best music he ever made. It's fairly meh pop rock with Brooks attempting to be Prince (I guess?)

 

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When I was in second year at university we always used to go to this Irish student’s flat on a Friday night because she lived in a handy location for going out after and oh my god, the pre-drinking combined with Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts and all that shit playing in the background has pretty much scarred me for life.

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1 hour ago, metalman said:

When I was in second year at university we always used to go to this Irish student’s flat on a Friday night because she lived in a handy location for going out after and oh my god, the pre-drinking combined with Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts and all that shit playing in the background has pretty much scarred me for life.

please accept an official appology on behalf of the Irish people

 

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