good songs, shit songs.
I can’t claim a single ounce of credit for thinking of writing about this subject, that credit belongs to Loui. It’s quite a good idea though, so I’m going to run with it. Not actual running, I haven’t ran properly since walking into a field of cows and bulls with my friend Elizabeth, fun times. Nearly dead times.
I digress, there’s some songs that are absolutely brilliant and need and deserve your attention. Some are absolutely shit, but still deserve some attention. My aim isn’t to pick out the cool songs that I know to make myself sound like an utter trendy Wendy, far from it in fact. Some may be cool, because I am cool. Some may be shit, because I am shit.
I usually listen to a specific album when I’m writing things, but this time I’m going to listen to each song I’m writing about, as I’m writing about them. That’s the kind of radical thinker I am. There’s no specific order, it’s whatever I can remember first. You’ll get a pretty good idea of whether it’s a shitter or a beauty.
imagine it was us – jessie ware
First and last mention of the aforementioned Loui, it gets boring mentioning him. We first met on Instagram, he slid into my DMs asking where I purchased my bathroom sink. It was from B&Q. The rest is history. We spoke for some time typing away, and then the opportunity presented itself for us to meet in actual real life person style. He had two tickets for Jessie Ware in Manchester, and unfortunately Loui doesn’t have any friends, poor lamb, so he asked me to come with him.
I’d never paid any attention to Jessie Ware before, but trusted that plenty of people liked her music. Cue a quick binge of three albums and the Friday of the gig appeared in a flash. He was much shorter in real life, was our Lewis. He still is. What transpired was A), finally meeting someone who was relatively tolerable and B), going to a complete fucking brilliant gig. She’s sound! You’re able to whittle away a few hours listening to the albums back to back. Superb. Very good memories.
I chose Imagine it was us in particular because I love it. In the words of my fifth favourite lady from Sheffield, a reyt good bop.
take me home, country roads – john denver
This is a song I have been subjected to by my little group of four, JTKPDBMG. I make no bones about this, I absolutely fucking LOATHE this song. Everything about it is terrible, but those four lovely bastards really like it. Every time it comes on, every bloody time it comes on, they love it. It’s shit.
Bad songs, however, can be associated with nice things. However much I hate the song, I quite like the four of them. I’m going to carry on though, what an AWFUL SONG. It reminds me of hideous family parties in shit village halls that I have been so very fortunate never to have been subjected to. God I hate it, but it always reminds me of them lot and that makes me smile. For a brief moment.
walking on broken glass – annie lennox
this is a call – foo fighters
I’ve bundled these two up because I have the same memories for both of them. I believe I can credit these two as being the first tracks I can remember. I am incredibly fortunate to have grown up with parents who have music taste beyond Heart FM. This has lead to some rather good artists being drilled into my brain without me knowing, and continuing to be at the forefront of my music taste to this very day.
I can remember quite vividly, I think at around 3-4 years old, listening to these two in a white E-reg Nissan Sunny. Aside from being a nice memory, in older life you can appreciate the songs for being absolute belters.
out to get you – james
This, amongst other songs and bad habits, was introduced to me by my friends Anna and Rob. They’re quite nice people. I don’t have enough hands to count how many times we have serenaded each other to this lovely, lovely song.
Quite often with a can of Taurus black fruit (it’s cheap and delicious – like me). You only need to hear the first few notes and give a knowing glance across a room to know you’re about to wail very loudly indeed.
angels – robbie williams
Ordinarily, this would be entering the room as a bit of a shit song. I’m not sure anyone can defend the ultimate vocal powers our Rob, but bloody hell he can put on a show. JTKPDBMG and myself discovered this after purchasing tickets to his London Stadium gig in 2017. It was New Years Eve, he was playing on the telly and we were all quite under the influence. An obscene amount of money later, we were there.
What followed was more alcohol, very good weather and one of the most surprisingly enjoyable evenings known to man. A moment of having giving zero fucks about the world and having a wonderful evening with special people.
mirrorball – elbow
I simply adore this song. It’s beautiful, and lovely, and just right. If anything ever possessed me to get married (it won’t), this would be the wedding song. There’s no need for such extreme action though, listening to it whenever and for whatever occasion is enough for me.
I could be accused of being a fan of Elbow. A fifth visit to an Elbow gig is looming, and it cannot come quick enough. They can’t do any wrong. Some nameless friends think they’re incredibly boring. They’re wrong, they know they’re wrong. I’m waiting patiently for them to come to their senses and realise they’re wrong. I can wait all day long.
a lady of a certain age – the divine comedy
I discovered this song on a holiday to Croatia in 2009 (or was it 2008?). Someone had picked up a copy of Mojo magazine in the airport, and with it was a compilation CD. There was an assortment of tracks on it, but A Lady of a Certain Age stuck out. It’s as novel of a song, pretty bleak and doesn’t end happily. Perfect.
On that CD was a song by the band The Pipettes, who had promise but fucked off without a trace soon after finding them. Funny how two songs plucked from a compilation CD in a magazine can still hold relevance after all this time. Thanks to whoever purchased the magazine.
went away – the maccabees
This is another gem introduced to me by Anna. It was a relatively short process of getting introduced to varying different bands and artists, but one that has stuck like shit on a shoe. The Maccabees are a band I really wish I’d got to know sooner.
This song in particular is enough to know that they’re a corker of a band. I can remember having an evening at Rob’s old house, lots of friends there. Well, people who became friends. I got there early evening and was driving for whatever reason. My intention was to stay for a bit, and head off. What followed was everyone else dropping off one by one, leaving just Anna and I to sit outside until 7am talking about absolutely everything and everything. That sounds made up, but it’s true. Honest.
said and done – nils frahm
Thanks belongs to Joe for this one. I believe it was just a suggestion from him to listen to is, as we’re both into instrumental music. I, we, liked a lot. Thought nothing more of it. Fast forward a little and a text of aligning stars was sent. Something along the lines of ‘Nils Frahm is playing at the Camden Roundhouse the night before we fly to New York’ – a reply along the lines of ‘I don’t care how much it costs BOOK IT’ followed.
THE best live music experience I’ve had, and it will take an awful lot for it to be topped. The fact we were indeed flying to New York for the best holiday the day after helped with the feel good. I remember us on the tube back to the hotel in disbelief how quite how good the evening had been. If you get the chance to go see someone at the Roundhouse, go see.
space oddity – david bowie
My last suggestion brings with it the birth of my music taste. The early 2000s saw me at around ten years old, I’d had a grounding of music from my parent’s stuff in the car up to this point. We started driving down to the south of France at this time, which brought with it an awful lot of time in the car. We had access to a black CD case full of absolute gems. Gems that are still some of my very favourites some twenty years on.
I could have picked loads of individual songs, but Space Oddity is one that sticks out. That area of France is a special one, simply for it being the birthplace of some good times and my music taste. And music has proven itself to be an important aspect of life. I can almost recite the CD case band for band. Pulp, Moby, Bowie, Ian Dury, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Trainspotting soundtrack, Foo Fighters, Annie Lennox, I’d remember more but it’s early and my brain doesn’t work this early.
Turns out most of these songs were indeed beauties. That isn’t a bad thing, the best thing about music is that it is subjective. I like what you hate, and I hate what you like. It makes the earth spin that little bit louder. Let me know if any of these were to your liking, or making you want to dig your ears out with a blunt spoon – firstname.lastname@example.org
(Spelling mistakes lovingly pointed out by KP)