Okay, so this is where you live and die by your twelves. I was a music tragic long before being a literature tragic, so this was a hard list to compile, especially when iTunes can now summarily describe your music collection as 16 days and 14 hours in total running time. And that discounts some of my more unfortunate CDs buried deep in old nappy boxes (I'm sure the single of that Chumbawumba song is still there somewhere, hey I bought it for my wife!). Anyway, here's the list, ordered chronologically apparently. So my musical taste begins in 1970. That of course leaves out the Beatles. My first entry in this list was a Beatles song, then they claimed second spot. By the time I got to five, all of them Fabs, I hived that list off onto its own twelve and concentrated on everyone else. Even then, I had to limit each artist to one song, so Mercy Street pipped Family Snapshot (and about half a dozen others), Train In Vain only just edged out English Civil War, and so on.
Before you hang shit on me for including Jethro Tull, any song that skewers school and religion has already started ahead: 'I don't believe you, you had the whole damn thing all wrong, He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.' Brilliant!
Oh and Bedford might seem an odd choice, but that song gets the added bonus of having been seen live at the RNA showgrounds on New Year's Eve 1991 on a bill that included the Sharp. Sigh.
Another strange thing is that the list ends in 2000. Why? I guess songs have to go through a longevity test before they make the twelve. It means I've had to cut out some more recent efforts from Radiohead or the Eels. It also means the Flaming Lips miss out altogether since their best stuff is only three years old.
I was also pleased that there's only one premature death by suicide in there. The Hottest 100 had two suicides and one premature death by accident just in the top five. I'm pretty partial to Nirvana, but seriously, people, get over it. Elliott Smith would have still made the list, even without his horrific end and why he didn't make the said Hottest 100 I'll never know. How quickly we forget.
The only other thing worth saying about this list is how pleased I am that the word 'motherfucker' is in it, and I didn't have to resort to 'Dance Motherfucker Dance' by the Violent Femmes (as good as that song is).
- Trouble – Cat Stevens
- Wind Up – Jethro Tull
- Misty Mountain Hop – Led Zeppelin
- Train In Vain – The Clash
- Mercy Street – Peter Gabriel
- Bedford – Custard
- Birdhouse In Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
- Paranoid Android – Radiohead
- Black Bugs – Regurgitator
- Waltz #2 (XO) – Elliott Smith
- Owen’s Lament – Augie March
- It’s a Motherfucker – The Eels
So there it is sans Beatles. Can you guess what's coming?