My sister and her friend Kat recently co-presented a regular show (fLUNT) on LP Radio which I thoroughly enjoyed. The two enjoy great banter when discussing songs, proudly stating after some that it would confidently be in their top 10 list of fave songs ever.
It got me thinking, could I confidently state my top 10 fave songs ever?
I think I can ... it might change. But these 10-songs will always be there or thereabouts.
1. Come Together (Farley mix) - Primal Scream
This is blissful psychedelic pop touched with a little acid house and gospel. Absolute perfection.
The ambition, progress, collaboration and invention surrounding Primal Scream at this time still generates interest and debate all these years down the line. This is an example of why.
The Weatherall version on the Screamadelica LP is blissful, the Farley mix is my favourite. During the anniversary shows the Scream combined about 3 versions together to create utter euphoria. Check the Farley mix and then the extended live version below.
Kiss me, won't you, won't you, kiss me
2. Going Back To My Roots - Richie Havens
I discovered this song on an incredible compilation called All Back To Mine by Sean Rowley. Every track was incredible and impeccable, but this stood out. That intro, those lyrics, the vocals ... a perfect groove.
Not talking 'bout the roots in the land, I'm talking 'bout the roots in the man
3. Temptation - New Order
Whether it is the original raw version in its extended glory or the polished rerecorded version from Substance, or an extended live version, Temptation pushes all the right buttons for me. The guitars, groove, lyrics, vocals ... it is perfect. Sumner shows why he is one of my favourite singers and guitarists, the circular guitar riff is one I could listen to for hours on end.
Oh you've got green eyes, of you've got blue eyes
4. You Set The Scene - Love
I had fallen for Love after the Fanclub, the Roses and the Scream all mentioned their Forever Changes album in interviews. Then amazingly Arthur Lee announced that he was playing King Tuts following a release from prison and a long period of inactivity through a drug habit. The show was astonishing, a captivated crowd were treated to a show they never thought they would see and you could have heard a pin drop during You Set The Scene. One of my all-time favourite live moments was during this show and this song when Arthur sung I see your picture, it's in the same old frame his voice soared in a way fans could only dream of after years of substance abuse.
The way this song flows, dips and rises is astonishing. Lyrically and musically brilliant, structurally ambitious and just all round stunning.
This is the time and life that I am living
And I'll face each day with a smile
For the time that I've been given's such a little while
And the things that I must do consist of more than style
5. Don't Leave Me This Way - Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes
What .... A .... Song
What .... A .... Tune
I adore this song. I still find so much in it, the groove, the way it develops, the way it builds to the euphoric chorus, the way it picks up pace, the way that even as it fades out I want it to keep going. Does an even longer version exist?
This is a song I always played whenever I DJ'd in pubs or at parties. Even if you haven't heard it you're going to be hooked in and singing along by the second chorus. The vocals are exceptional, the band are incredible, the drums and percussion are just sublime.
Don't leave me this way
I can't survive, can't stay alive
Without your love, oh baby
6. Everything Flows - Teenage Fanclub
Probably no surprise that Everything Flows is in my top 10! I think this song gets better with age, like a fine wine, I get more meaning out of it, I get more feeling out of it.
A young Norman Blake sounds wise beyond his years as he sings;
We get older every year
But you don't change
Or I don't notice you changing
And perhaps this opening line, more than anything else that is magical about the song, highlights why the song takes on more meaning year on year, gig on gig, listen on listen.
The whole song is magical. The guitars sound incredible and the chorus is beautifully self reflective and one that we can all relate to and the band just gel. It is perfect.
The band later revisited their debut single on the Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It EP that I blogged about HERE and where you can check out their stunning acoustic version.
You can check out the original release and a stunning Peel session version below.
I'll never know which way to flow
Set a course that I don't know
Lennon is so in love that he needs 4 words rather than 3. I love the rawness of this song, the feel and the soul. And I particularly love the middle-eight as Lennon drifts off sounding dreamy I'm in love for the first time, don't you know it's gonna last ...
And I love the footage of The Beatles playing on the roof of the Apple building looking super cool. Imagine if they had gone on tour at this time?
8. I Believe In Miracles - The Jackson Sisters
This still blows my mind every single time I listen to it. I love the power, the groove, the big long intro on the extended version and the skyscarping euphoric vocals, the way they rip through the verses to reach the chorus and the whole way this comes together to sound like it is a remix, but it is the real deal. It just sounds this good, this catchy, this dancey, this groovy.
Believe in dreams and think they are real
And one day soon
The miracle will come true
9. California Soul - Marlena Shaw
I was lucky to catch Marlena Shaw a number of years ago, when the Renfrew Ferry was still moored on the southside of the River Clyde. The reception for this song will live with me forever. It seemed to go on longer than the song itself, such was the reaction, the appreciation, the love for it in the audience.
This is another song I would play (back in the day) when I DJ'd and it would always generate the response I look for. People dancing, people coming up to say 'tune' or people coming up to ask who sings it.
Quite simply perfect. It's controlled yet it still has a sense of euphoria for me. I will always dance to this song.
Like a sound you hear
That lingers in your ear
You can't forget
From sunrise to sunset
10. One To Another - The Charlatans
We end with a monster tune from one of my all-time favourite bands. One To Another is a song I sing most days as I have a framed print at the top of our stairs containing the lyrics be my spider woman, I'll be your spider man.
One To Another has a sense of defiance to it, it rocks, it grooves, it explodes and it is utterly magnificent. I think the promo film captures all of that perfectly and I have also included a live version from The White Room - you get the added bonus of Crashin' In. This is my favourite Charlatans TV performance. Look at Tim Burgess gazing on with love and admiration as his band are on fire.
Justice for believers and love can keep the faith
I don't need you, I can't buy you, I can't hurt you
Lamont Dozier - who wrote the song - does a great version of "Going Back To My Roots".
This is the 12" version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdEwRm-kSJ0
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