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DL at 50 : 50 Songs at 50

1 January 2007 308 views No Comment

These are my personal favourite 50 tracks selected to mark this milestone coming of age: The criteria for selection was based on a combination of pure musical prowess,the inspiration these gems have and continue to provide and the memories the repeated playing of these songs always prompts. Narrowing it down to just 50 was very difficult – did try and keep it to one song per act but in the inevitable cases it couldn’t be done. No excuse for including some very bizzarre and off beat slections – folks these are the tracks that have soundtracked my last fifty years.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER but commencing with what remains my favourite 10 minutes and 26 seconds of recorded music…

Here were go:
1: ACHILLES LAST STAND
LED ZEPPELIN
They are were and always will be…The Best. Here’s the proof.

2: YOU CAN MAKE ME SING DANCE OR ANYTHING
THE FACES
The ultimate good time 45rm single from late 74 – at time of great awakening for the young DL

3: BABA O RILEY
THE WHO
One of the greatest intro’s of all time from the band who have provided the highest live gig moments outside of the obvious. Second best live band I’ve ever seen and no contest.

4: A DAY IN THE LIFE
THE BEATLES
A song that defies description except to say it was created at a time where they were bigger than anyone ever was before or since. The Beatles’ music has been a constant in my life since 1963.

5: COME INTO MY LIFE
ROBERT PLANT
One of his best ever vocal performances – the breathy clarity of his voice as he loses himself in the song’s drifting beauty is awe inspiring. Richard Thompson’s guitar contribution is in totally harmony.

6: WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES
FAIRPORT CONVENTION
Delicately mystical folk/rock classic. Drifting off into a golden sunset. Richard Thompson again on guitar – a masterclass of understatement

7: NORTHERN SKY
NICK DRAKE
I’ve shared many meloncholy moments in the company of Nick’s music over the years. Forlorn but never forgotten.

8: KENTUCKY RAIN
ELVIS PRESLEY
The King at his absolute finest.

9: GOING UNDERGROUND
THE JAM
Straight in at number one – great spring 1980 memories

10: BROWN SUGAR
THE ROLLING STONES
Could have picked so many from their expansive tally of hits – probably my number two band of all time taking into consideration the personalities/illustrious catalogue and their general rock’roll persona.

11: LIKE A ROLLING STONE
BOB DYLAN
Ditto above – so much to choose from the master – but it’s that snare drum that kicks and then the swirling organ that inspires every time

12: THEME FROM FIREBALL XL5
DON SPENCER
First single I ever owned – what a song – what a show!

13: FULL MOON
SANDY DENNY
Beautifully wistful Sandy gem that has kept me company on many an i-pod journey across MK

14: FOLLOW YOU FOLLOW ME
GENESIS
Great sentiment – great tune

15: A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
PROCOL HARUM
Evocative 60’s anthem that reminds me of my late sister who had it played at her wedding.

16: METAL GURU
T. REX
Marc Bolan – A true star – and part of my growing up in the early 70’s.

17: KASHMIR
LED ZEPPELIN
Just can’t leave out what Robert Plant rightly described as “The pride of Led Zeppelin’’

18: MY BROTHER JAKE
FREE
For all their hard blues playing, Free were capable of great subtlety. This strident reflective tale (perhaps aimed at the late Koss) has been a fave of mine since it’s release in 1971. The guitarist’s sweeping guitar lines during the song’s last moments are just awesome.

19: SUPER TROUPER
ABBA
Not so much a gulity pleasure more a piece of pop perfection – another 1980 soundtrack -this time to Christmas and the days of “They could not continue as they were’’ / Lennon’s shocking murder and frequent hangovers at WH Smith where I worked.

20: THEME FROM BUDGIE
MILTON HUNTER
Suprerb theme from a pioneering TV comedy drama that instantly takes me back to Friday nights in front of the TV circa 1971/2

21: ALL MY LOVE (OUTTAKE)
LED ZEPPELIN
The point where Jimmy’s guitar meanders behind Robert’s pleadings (6 minutes and 32 seconds in) is one of the most sublime and moving segments of their entire recorded output offical or otherwise.

22: BORN TO RUN
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
1-2-3 4 Blam! One of the most uplifting songs ever written.

23: OUR HOUSE
CROSBY STILLS AND NASH
Perfect vocal harmony on the sweetest of tunes.

24: GLAD ALL OVER
DAVE CLARK FIVE
The sound of 1964 – and marks my early flirtation with music before Airifx soldiers,special agents and Dr Who took over for a while.

25: MAGGIE MAY
ROD STEWART
Timeless classic from a singer who I ramain very loyal to. Forget all the playboy stuff. He’s one of the best UK vocalists ever. The 1971 Top of The Pops appearance with John Peel (another much missed hero of mine) also sticks clear in my mind

26: SURVIVAL
YES
Brilliantly inventive piece from the prog masters

27: PLEDGE PIN
ROBERT PLANT
Signified the man’s artistic rebirth of 1982 – a track that made me realise there was still so much more to come.

28: HOEDOWN
EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER
Or Cumbersome,Fake and Trauma as the NME called them – while John Peel described them as a waste of electricity. Yes their albums were a trifle er … overblown but this is a gem. One of the great rock instrumentals and as soon as that synth riff (played like a whoopie cusion!) effect kicks in, I’m right back in the mid 70’s on a Saturday afternoon listening to Alan Freeman’s seminal radio show.

29: THIS CHARMING MAN
THE SMITHS
Jangly indie guitar triumph from the early 80’s. Also used to great effect in an episode of the brillaint Craig Cash comedy Early Doors.

30: IN A SILENT WAY
MILES DAVIS
Hypnotic swirling sound of Miles – an artist I’ve grown to admire so much in the past ten years.

31: IN THE LIGHT
LED ZEPPELIN
“Everybody needs the light….’’

32: FRIENDS
ARRIVAL
Superb Terry Ried tune and minor hit that revives memories of early 1970 – when football in Jubilee Park,Top Of The Pops on Thursdays and Match Of The Day on Saturday nights was all that mattered.

33: LOVE LIVED HERE
THE FACES
Another beauty – down the path of yesteryear as the story tells of a special place that still tugs. “Tommorow comes easy… just another day gone… how long will I have to keep returning’’. A theme I can well relate to.

34: THEME FROM SHAFT
ISSAC HAYES
What an arrangement – in the charts when the bruv JL and me travelled to Wembley Empire Pool in November 1971

35: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (LIVE AT EARLS COURT)
LED ZEPPELIN
A moving excerpt from one of the best weekends of my life.

36: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
SHEENA EASTON
Nothing guilty about admiring this either. Soaring vocal control is well in evidence from the the Scottish lassie who made it big. The best Bond theme that accompanies the best Bond film opening credits sequence.

37: I’VE LOST YOU
ELVIS PRESLEY
Perfect vocal delivery -and one of the saddest songs ever sung.

38: I’LL BE BACK
THE BEATLES
Lovely minor key relatively underplayed piece from the A Hard Days Night album – my favourite Lennon vocal.

38: CHESNUT MARE
THE BYRDS
Gorgeously melodic early 70’s Byrds gem.

39: SPEAK LIKE A CHILD
STYLE COUNCIL
Came in like a breath of fresh spring air in 1983 in line with a lot of changes going on in my life then – not least commencing a romance that would lead to marriage! Still provides a lift every time I hear it.

41: PICK UP THE PEICES
AVERAGE WHITE BAND
Infectious soul- groove instrumental. In the charts in early ‘75 when I was discovering lots about life.

42: WONDERFUL ONE
JIMMY PAGE / ROBERT PLANT
Inspires memories of two wonderful hot August nights in 1994 – Unledded and unique.

43: GUIDING LIGHT
TELEVISION
Lit up by the eloquent guitar of Tom Verlaine – a band I picked up on at the time and touted to all my friends – and hey I was right as they have remained very influencial.

44: BECAUSE THE NIGHT
PATTI SMITH
Great Bruce tune – so vital I bought it on import at the time ahead of it’s UK release

45: DON’T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY
PETULA CLARK
Superb song that typifies the sound of the 60’s

46: FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK
THE POGUES / KIRSTY MACOLL
Being in retail I get to hear an overdose of the same Christmas songs instore every year- this one though is always welcome.

47: CEREMONY
NEW ORDER
Their first single from March 1981. Full of atmospheric simplistic riffs. I saw them at Bedford Boys Club at that time play to some 150 odd – little did I realise they’d go on to have the number one single (World In Motion England World cup song) nine years later the same week my daughter would be born.

48: I WANT YOU BACK
THE JACKSON FIVE
Invigorating from the first piano rush to the final fade out.

49: GOING BACK
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
My favourite female singer – could have picked a host of tracks but this delivery of the Goffin / King classic is just peerless.

50: STAY YOUNG
OASIS
Captures the upbeat spirit of the mid 90’s: Football’s coming home Euro 96 / P & P on tour / Concert File / Victoria Record Fair gatherings etc.

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