Everyone has different music taste’s, that much is just basic knowledge to us all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all come together as one over certain songs which are truly timeless, songs which will always be remembered for the incredible work they have done for the development of the industry and the originality that music continues to bring us. I am someone who claims to enjoy most walks of musical life, of course I draw the line at genres which I will find insufferable (Country, Metal & EDM) but I would like to think I am well equipped to create a list like this where people will see the magnificence of many different musical genres and how incredibly lucky we are to have lived through these particular eras. These are my personal 50 tracks that I think everyone needs to hear at least once before their time runs out, feel free to leave other suggestions that I may have missed and of course, enjoy.
Nas – N.Y. State Of Mind
Could well be the greatest hip-hop song of all time for the simple reason that nobody had ever heard anything like it at the time and it has influenced a wave of spoken word rappers who want to be role models like Nas was to them. His flow is ridiculous, the beat is just as mad and the whole thing just clicks, creating an unstoppable sound which made Nas the biggest deal in music back then, not just in the hip-hop genre. He never once falls off on this song, not even slightly and if you don’t believe me then just listen for yourself, iconic from Nasty Nas.
Underworld – Born Slippy
If you’ve seen Trainspotting, you’ll know why this song is so memorable and such a big hitter. It fills me with both sorrow and joy that this song has become somewhat of a meme because even if it does tarnish an absolute classic it means more and more people are hearing what an anthem it is. Simply timeless and thoroughly enjoyable for the whole 7:37 it lasts for, get all over it and bring back the times of 90s jungle raves, what a time to be alive. “SHOUTING LAGER LAGER LAGER”.
Kanye West – All Of The Lights
The biggest hype track you’ll ever hear, this is a song that at least three generations of music have embraced and enjoyed, and that is pretty specialist for a rap song. It is some of Kanye’s finest work and if you aren’t his biggest fan then fear no longer, as Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Fergie, Hype Williams and even Elton John have credited features on this track so there’s a bit on here for everyone. If you find a better hip-hop instrumental from this century I will be very impressed, this one brings the house down every single time it is played. The word that comes to mind is glamour.
Prince – When Doves Cry
Purple Rain is the obvious choice if you want a Prince song in this list, but I always have and always will prefer When Doves Cry, I just think it is so slick and cool and it epitomises Prince as an artist in every possible way. The attitude he shows in it almost eclipses the immense talent on display and people have been listening to and enjoying this song long before his passing, and they’ll certainly be doing the same long after it. A true icon who’s timeless classic deserved a spot on this list without question.
Ian Brown – F.E.A.R.
The Stone Roses frontman has never sounded more poetic than on this, it demonstrated a skill set none of us knew he possessed. The song title is done in this way for one simple reason, on every single verse line in the song, the first letter of each word spells out ‘FEAR’. With lyrics as wonderfully crafted as “for everything a reason” and “freeing excellence affects reality”, it is hard to question the man’s talents and to label this as anything other than the most expansive and genius piece of music of his illustrious career. So there you go, he isn’t just a cocky frontman in a great band, he’s actually a stunning musician.
Kendrick Lamar – How Much A Dollar Cost?
It was Barack Obama’s favourite song of 2015, that should be enough to sway it really. A magnificent tale of Kendrick himself and his encounter with a homeless man and what he does best his build the story up for a shocking finale, it is almost like a playwright rather than a song. The religious imagery of the song is genius, creating a picture with his words and helping us see what is going on in their minds rather than a face-to-face confrontation. The homeless man turns out to be God by the way and it is done to change people’s perceptions of fame and selfishness, truly a prophet of our time, God bless you Kendrick Lamar, God bless you.
Michael Jackson – Earth Song
Do you ever sit and wonder how we have deserved to live on such an incredible planet? Well this song will sure as hell help you on your way. My favourite Michael Jackson song simply because he spreads the most damning verdict you can, stating that we are destroying the precious ground we step on. It is also immensely progressive and the further on it goes, the angrier and louder MJ gets, clearly showing his frustration at the human race and he’s got a point. His voice gets better and better the further along the song we go and it gives me chills to this day. If we didn’t listen to Michael then what hope does this planet have of survival?
2Pac & Elton John – Ghetto Gospel
Elton is chilling on that piano it has to be said, it is such a beautiful mood setter for the rest of the song. The best part of this track is the switch from poetic piano keys to a bouncy hip-hop beat but there’s always that undertone of the instrumental Elton plays. What makes this song stand out more than anything, however, is the lyrics Pac uses. A man who was taken from us early and we can’t say he didn’t give us enough warning about this messed up planet. “It ain’t about black or white because we’re human” is the most truth you’ll hear on a rap bar ever, and it’s only competitor is another line from this song. “Before we find world peace, we gotta find peace in the war of the streets” is a direct quote I used in my GCSE English exam, so thanks Pac.
The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Yes it’s morbid, but it is the touch of an absolute genius. Morrissey was far too psychologically advanced for the music industry and it is songs like this which prove that point, it is more of a diary extract or a tragedy play than a song but that is what makes it so blissfully unique. Johnny Marr does such a good job in keeping the instrumental together too with a beautiful and catchy acoustic riff but this song truly is all about Morrissey. The title is one which will stay with me forever and a day, and it is perhaps my favourite song of all time.
MGMT – Kids
A bit of a left-field choice but it is genuinely one of the most iconic tracks of the 21st century and it is the prime example of how to write a modern day classic, meshing the ideas of a classic band concept with the addition of modern technology and electronics, simply perfection. Everyone knows the chorus, everyone. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar and is trying to uphold any form of false integrity they may contain for some unknown reason, just chill out and sing along to this absolute classic.
Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
A song about an argument so surely it isn’t that technical? Incorrect. The song speaks in metaphoric harmony by relating the island of Mykonos to a rehab centre due to it’s history of seclusion. The first part is describing the argument and then how it will unfold but as the bridge kicks in the instruments become louder and more aggressive as they desperately try to amend the situation and remind him that it doesn’t have to be this way. Another metaphor of “the ancient gate” implies that he is waiting there with open arms as these gates become symbols of forgiveness. It’s just bloody phenomenal and even if you don’t study the song’s meaning it sounds top draw.
Foals – Spanish Sahara
A blinder in every single sense of the word, this song will rip out your insides and hit you right in the feels whether you like it or not. Listen to this and tell me that Yannis’ hushed tones at the start don’t give you chills, I dare you to even deny that they do. The chorus is gorgeous and makes you close your eyes and want to raise your arms in a fit of smooth energy. It takes the song a good four minutes to kick into overdrive but the build up to it is just as good as the loud instrumental itself. “I’m the fury in your head” is a brilliant line and moves us elegantly into this stunner of a guitar solo before a loud instrumental brings the song to a close. A real journey this one, so strap yourself in.
David Bowie – Space Oddity
Let’s be honest, I could have done a list solely on Bowie songs you should hear before you die, so picking one was a real struggle. I picked Space Oddity simply because of how brilliantly he crafted the character of Major Tom and the success it gave him. It had people rooting for Major Tom from the moment it was released and we didn’t even know who he was. It was such a brilliant show of emotion from Bowie in this performance as he plays the fear of Major Tom as he fades away and the professionalism of Ground Control who are desperate to hear his voice. All of this from one man and his guitar, faultless and the staple of a man who went on to achieve mind-blowing things and create many more well-loved characters in his 69 year stay on this planet.
Daft Punk – Around The World
This is just out and out filth from start to finish, a certified finger snapper and a definite toe tapper from the French dance duo who were complete unknowns at the time and to release this is just audacious. The big thing with a song like this is no matter how brilliant it sounds today, it may never compare to how foreign and unusual it must have sounded at the time, because trance and jungle were a dying breed and rock and roll was taking charge. Daft Punk and particularly this song changed the waves of the music industry and created a new era of dance music, an era that I would say we are still heavily involved in.
Jamiroquai – Canned Heat
Fans of Napoleon Dynamite know why this is here, that dance scene will live in film infamy and it is part of the reason this song is so memorable. Beyond that scene, though, this is just out and out funk music; Jay Kay sure was a funky slick dude, that’s for sure. It is guaranteed to get everyone up and moving and will never get old I promise you, no matter how many times you listen to it. Let me tell you one thing, this boogie sure is for real and it will remain real until the end of time.
Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
This is a contender for the best song ever written I’m not even joking. No song can make so many people go so crazy in a chorus quite like our own Diamond can on this one, so much so that it has been revolutionised by the Northern Island football fans and was sung with full aplomb at Euro 2016, becoming the highlight of the tournament for many. The song may as well start when he starts singing “reaching out, touching me, touching you” because that’s when people come alive and really go for it. It is the ultimate sing-a-long tune and it takes some topping.
The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
Another real finger snapper here and what makes this song so brilliant is the space-age and psychedelic verses which give you the cloud floating feeling before we move into this upbeat and jolly chorus with a classic 1960s bop to it. It is basically two genres rolled into one song and it is such a cool and clever style from start to finish, switching up and remaining original at every given opportunity. The best song from one of the best bands we have ever seen so it would be harsh to rule it out.
Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
Quick disclaimer, this has a slightly different vibe to Neil Diamond and The Beach Boys if you didn’t know, but it is still one of the biggest tracks ever nonetheless. The first track on this list so far with this kind of punk stance and Rage do it better than almost anyone in the history of the genre as they combine thrashing guitar riffs from Tom Morello with rebellious attitudes from the lead singer Zack De La Rocha and the sound it creates is just incredible. Hilariously, this song became Christmas number one in the 00s thanks to an internet campaign and we were all grateful to hear it again above all, especially that possessed guitar solo from Morello which defies the laws of logic even to this day. A middle finger to the system and society, an outburst of attitude and it’s just class.
OutKast – Hey Ya!
This one will get you moving, your parents moving, your grandparents moving, literally the whole planet jumps in unison to Andre 3000’s swagger and persona on this cheeky R&B classic and it just couldn’t be left off. It has remained relevant even to this day and if anything it is only getting bigger and better, I genuinely believe it will go down as one of the biggest hip-hop songs of all time if it isn’t already, the whole world has jumped on board and it’ll only get bigger.
Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
The riff is infectious and Ezra Koenig’s bubbly energy shines through on this noughties indie banger which sounds just as good today as it did in 2008 when it was released. Whether it be Just Dance or Guitar Hero, this song has not only dominated the radio but also video games over recent years and it is plain to see why with it’s fun and quirky style. It is guaranteed that everyone likes this song, whether it be infants who sing along to the radio, teenagers discovering their tastes or fully-fledged adults who were around in “the good old days”, it is a near impossibility to dislike this song and for that reason it has to be included on this list.
The xx – Intro
The most haunting yet brilliant song on this list, it was the soundtrack to every single moody and dark scene on television around the time of it’s release and even to this day it’s genius lives on. Jamie xx is an absolute maestro on production and he creates an atmosphere designed to take you to the lowest ebb of humanity, it challenged all that was previously known about music and to this day goes down as one of the most memorable opening tracks on an album in a long time. If I ever create a short film, mark my words that this song will be the background of it all.
Radiohead – Paranoid Android
An emotional journey which pushes the boundaries of the ideology of modern music, this song came at a time when bands such as Oasis and Blur were at the peak of their powers and creating music designed to get crowds going and make people feel good about themselves. Radiohead were already a household name at this point too, but this is the pinnacle of their musical ability in terms of depth and layering within the subject matter of a song. We dive head first into the twisted and mysterious mind of lead singer Thom Yorke and what is produced as a result of this is truly spell-binding, from the chilling vocal to the shredding guitar solos from the immensely talented Johnny Greenwood. A song for the voices you hear in your head and to show that even the most genius of brains can be conquered by evil at times.
Oasis – Champagne Supernova
Speaking of Oasis, here is perhaps their best ever song, a true masterclass from Noel Gallagher with his wizardry in the writing of this song and massive props have to go to Liam Gallagher for the performance of it as he manages to capture the perfect emotion necessary for a track like this. The magic of this song lies mainly with the fact that it can sell out a stadium, it can sound incredible live and yet it can still be raw and beautifully emotional, discussing the idea of death and how sometimes we just wish that life could go on forever, seeing as it is the most incredible gift we can ever be given. It is often the song I would describe as the song I want people to remember me with, a song I would describe as one of my favourites of all time and if you’ve got any sense it should be one of yours too.
John Lennon – Imagine
Why didn’t we just listen to him while he was here? Much like Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’, Lennon creates a blissful aurora that the world in which we live in is truly gorgeous and we need to realise that before it is too late. The constant use of the word “imagine” says all you need to know about the state of the world, the fact that we are just so far away from perfection on earth and those who strive for it are far too isolated; as Lennon suggests, the world is full of people who could live in harmony and peace but it needs everyone to join together and unfortunately there are too many people who tarnish the reputation of the human race. “I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”
Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Perhaps the most celebrated black artist of all time, Marvin Gaye was a true pioneer for the rise of African-Americans creating music and becoming a crucial part of the industry. His voice is remarkable and it is hard to not sway along to the suave and sophisticated style of this song which will forever go down as a timeless classic. It really is staggering how a song so old and so specific for it’s time can still sound cool and passionate to this day, but that is just the superhuman talent that Marvin Gaye possessed.
Stevie Wonder – Superstition
Picture the scene, you’re walking down the street with music in your ears, and suddenly this song comes on; now if you tell me you won’t walk with a serious bounce and swagger while snapping your fingers and doing the occasional spin to this song then I am afraid you are a blatant liar. It is undoubtedly the coolest song of all time and it’s Stevie’s most well known work for a very good reason. Generation after generation have adored this song and that trend will only continue for years to come, plus I can smash it on Guitar Hero.
The Prodigy – Out Of Space
Who would have thought that a few lads from Essex could create a sound as iconic and game changing as this? The Prodigy were complete unknowns until this blessed our ears in 1992 and it kickstarted a career which has now spanned over two decades, and it’s still going strong to this day. Those keys at the start of this song are just unreal and the way the song moves into this complete mesh of samples is just a complete mind-bender but the whole thing collates together to create something truly special. Trance and rave music became stronger than ever around this time, mainly thanks to tunes like this from the UK’s biggest bunch of lunatics.
Faithless – Insomnia
The best beat drop in the history of mankind, discussion over. It is probably the most well-known dance track of all time thanks to the enchanting instrumental and the lyrical flow of Faithless himself as he sings about being an insomniac and it gives us the best final line of a song ever, just raise your arms aloft and bellow “I can’t get no sleep” before closing your eyes and feeling the drop take control. It is a travesty how good of a dance track this is, and that’s coming from someone who actively dislikes the direction it has gone in with all this brainless EDM, if they all took the lead of this song, the genre would be far better trust me.
The Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
No 70s disco playlist is complete without the smooth tones of Barry Gibb in your ears and it doesn’t get better than Stayin’ Alive. There is of course the iconic music video, which basically invented the walking to the dancefloor dance as they strut their stuff with maximum attitude and groove. It is a floor filler for sure and it brings out all the novelty dance moves, from the arm barrels to the Saturday Night Fever star reaching, young and old can vibe to a song like this and that is testament to how funky and cool it truly is.
Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
The best progressive rock song there ever has been and ever will be, fact. The work that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant do on this song will live in infamy and as a song it will never die, the meaning is too strong for it to become irrelevant. It is just a genius tale about a lady and her journey to heaven, as simple as that and it just works beautifully. The guitar helps so much with the progression of the song and by the end, the vocals join it’s intensity and it becomes a classic rock track with a stunning guitar solo. It is as close to biblical as a song can get and in terms of sheer quality, it has to be one of the best of all time.
Blink 182 – I Miss You
Alongside Adam’s Song, this is the saddest and most heart-breaking of all Blink-182’s songs and from a musical perspective, it is absolutely incredible. Co-written and co-sung by lead singer Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus, the pair work together brilliantly to add their own vocal styles onto the song, with Hoppus giving us the mental image of a broken and devastated figure, while DeLonge uses his voice to sound cut up and highly emotional in his words, particularly in the chorus which can bring an arena of thousands to their knees in sheer emotional heartache. With that being said, it is a brilliant song to sing along to and is my favourite of their songs.
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
The most recognisable song you’ll hear from the Joy Division discography and it is mainly thanks to that bloody incredible guitar riff. Ian Curtis as we know was a very deranged and bizarre man who clearly had a lot of personal issues, but the way he transcended those issues into his music was exemplary and has been a benchmark for many others to follow; most notably of course being Morrissey of The Smiths. Love Will Tear Us Apart can suit any mood whatsoever, it can be a funky indie banger you can listen to on the highest of highs, and it can be a mood setter in the lowest of lows.
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
Arise, sir Rod. Recently knighted for his services to music, Rod Stewart soared to fame with this song about losing his virginity to a much older lady and it has stuck ever since to be his most famous and best song. The Robin Hood-esque intro is great don’t get me wrong but when the song really kicks in you just ride this gorgeous cloud of infectious joy as Rod sings about his prosperous and exciting youth of wooing women the lucky devil. Still rocking the stages to this day, Rod Stewart seems immortal and we can only hope it continues for many years to come.
James – Laid
If you’ve seen American Pie I have no doubt that this song is your absolute jam, if not it probably still is anyway. A very cheeky indie track about sex, there’s no other way of putting it really but it has a crowd go absolutely berserk every single time without fail. The opening line is just so iconic and once it starts you know it’s really going off, “this bed is on fire with passionate love” says all you need to know about the motive of this track. A 90s classic which has spread to the modern generation, as is often the case.
R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
R.E.M. were given a fair amount of flak for being a bit morbid at times but the songs they created were genius and this one tops the lot. Michael Stipe does a fantastic job on this song as the song flows beautifully from verse to chorus and it is hard to miss a word on this one given it’s memorability and the great harmonising he manages to put on most words throughout. The early 90s didn’t know what had hit it when this one came out that’s for sure.
The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
I could have picked literally any song from Biggie, simply because he is THE GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME. Nobody comes close to him at all and it is songs like this that truly prove my point. Biggie was a visionary and knew exactly what direction he wanted the industry to go and this song helped him on his way to re-shaping music forever. The power of the sampling, the female vocals on a catchy chorus, all sound familiar? That’s because Biggie invented what we hear from rappers on the radio today. Juicy itself is a life tale about he rose from nothing to something and it is a true life celebration, a proper feelgood song.
The Streets – Has It Come To This?
Early noughties is the era where Mike Skinner became a middle-class poet, a wordsmith of our time and a cult hero in a way. This track was all about the build up from council estates to wanting to make something of his life, moving on from benefits and drug abuse. Nobody made music like this around this time, musicians were selling unrealistic fantasies about lavish lifestyles and nobody could reach that without supreme talents, something every ordinary figure lacked. Mike Skinner came along and gave people faith, a lad from a council estate who remembered his roots.
The Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection
Just turn this on and enjoy the wave, the eight minute wave of passion and true Mancunian style. Every part of this song is magical, from the drums to the bass, from the riff and solos to Ian Brown’s cocky persona, I just adore this song and always will. For around three minutes the song is fairly normal and you have a sense of build up with every passing verse, so once that third verse is done and Ian Brown belts out those infamous words “I am the resurrection and I am the life” you get an enormous feel of passion and emotion spilling through the speakers, as well as a continually rocking instrumental obviously. For the next four minutes you have a stunner of an instrumental interlude, solo upon solo of genius from all involved, particularly Mr John Squire on lead guitars who shreds it into the next century.
Dr. Dre – The Next Episode
Probably the most famous hip-hop song of all time, coming courtesy of legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre and his California icon, marijuana connoisseur of a friend Snoop Dogg. The song is just perfect West Coast rap music, portraying the image that Dre basically invented for the West not only in his NWA days but also with his previous works. The fact this song is so recognisable to so many says all you need to know really about the hype and respect this song has been given over the years as an iconic rap record. Snoop and Dre smash their verses and who could possibly resist bashing out that intro at the top of their lungs? Not me.
The Cure – Just Like Heaven
This song is worthy of it’s place on the list just for the wonderfully crafted progressive introduction, which slowly and effectively beds in all the instruments for a rousing vocal display from Robert Smith captures our imagination once again. This is one of the best performances Smith does in his entire career and that is some achievement given his incredible track record as a part of The Cure for being a fantastic vocalist. What I love most about this song is that it is just completely typical of The Cure and their style, it is a love song in a crafted poetic rhythm that only they can perform and the unique nature of them as a band is hard to knock.
Arctic Monkeys – A Certain Romance
This song goes in there not only for the legacy of the band and in particular this album, but for the sheer brilliance of the local and patriotic sound. Shoutouts to classic Reeboks, scrapping with pool cues and tracksuit bottoms tucked in socks all come in between mesmerising intros and outros to this song, something a song will usually only have one of, logic tends to dictate that having both won’t work. But whoever came up with that clearly never listened to A Certain Romance did they. Just do yourselves a favour and belt it out forever and ever, it’s a classic British indie banger and our current prized assets at their absolute best.
Tame Impala – New Person, Same Old Mistakes
A psychedelic rollercoaster ride delivered to us by Australian indie band Tame Impala, it is the final song on their incredible 2015 album ‘Currents’ and it has also been used as an advert track for Donald Glover’s comedy-drama ‘Atlanta’ which gave it yet more of the praise it thoroughly deserves. Every aspect of this song, from the production to the instrumentals, is just heavenly and truly mind-blowing, it explores avenues you never knew existed and flows angelically through from start to finish. Bravo, Kevin Parker; we are not worthy.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge
I have had the absolute pleasure of witnessing this song live and let me tell you it as just as good live as it sounds on recordings. The atmosphere this song brings, whether you’re in a muddy field with thousands of people, or simply in your room relaxing, it never fails to make you smile and sing along to that incredible chorus. John Frusicante is a phenomenal guitarist and although he is known more for his insane pace on solos, the acoustic job he does here is divine. A blinding tune from a magnificent band.
Primal Scream – Loaded
The Peter Fonda sample at the start of the song creates such a brilliant build up atmosphere to this song and it has soon become a legendary staple of the band’s image, mainly thanks to the widespread success of this song. Everyone knows and loves this song, with NME ranking it as the 59th best song of all time, that is some serious going for a little Scottish band. It is in fact a remix of an earlier Primal Scream song titled “I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have” and the success that came from it couldn’t have been in their wildest imaginations, but it very quickly surpassed it’s original and became a 90s classic in the Britpop era. It’s also on one of the greatest albums ever in ‘Screamadelica’ so the growing list of reasons to include this song could have me here all day.
The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger
I don’t need to remind anyone of how this song goes because it is literally impossible to avoid it, from adverts to club nights every man and his dog blasts this tune out and cranks it up full volume. I hate to sound snobby and pretentious but I was on this song long before others, mainly thanks to the release of their album ‘Costello Music’ which was bloody fantastic (thanks for buying that one mum). It was evident that Chelsea Dagger would be the song that came out of the track list as a leading pop single and a decade later we are still enjoying it and loving the slight country twinge on it. That bridge is fantastic and it’s one of the soundtracks to the darts, different class.
Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere
Fleetwood Mac are one of the greatest bands of all time and their greatest strength was the intimacy between all the members, quite literally in fact. Every song they wrote was about one another and sometimes that wasn’t in the nicest of words, but in cases such as this one they were very kind and warming to each other. It may not be a track from ‘Rumours’, an album widely regarded as one of the best albums ever, but it certainly had longevity and it also carries that wonderful sound of the 80s, an absolute definition of the era it came from. It gets your grandparents up dancing, it gets everyone singing along to the chorus and it makes us all fall in love with the band one last time.
Toto – Africa
Almost a meme now at this stage but a bloody good meme at that. If you find me a single soul on this earth who actually dislikes this song, not the kind of person who pretends to dislike it for attention or to seem cool, like someone who genuinely doesn’t rate it then I’ll give you this blog and I’ll retire. Toto is hardly a name you’d put alongside Jackson, Bowie and Lennon but he contributed to the world one solitary moment of genius, this song. A Twitter account has been created solely dedicated to this song and it’s lyrics, if that isn’t timeless and legendary then I don’t know what is. Shoutout the spinning globe in the music video, iconic.
New Order – Blue Monday
When Ian Curtis committed suicide, Joy Division were back but they were under a new name and had a couple of fresh faces enter the fray. They had a new image and a new sound under New Order and this was the highlight of their very successful careers, creating one of the best songs ever to be created. An electronic masterclass from start to finish and it really is hard to believe this was a band who once created ‘Unknown Pleasures’, one of the most gut-wrenching heartache albums ever to have existed. This sound was to be the future of electronic music and groups such as The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers took full advantage of this change in the murky musical waters.
Dusty Springfield – Son Of A Preacher Man
Pulp Fiction fans are all over this one I am sure but that’s not the reason it is on this list. The reason it is here is because it quite simply is one of the best songs ever to have bee written and performed. It has all the fundamentals of a classic song: great vocals, catchy lyrics and a toe-tapping instrumental alongside it, and Dusty Springfield does a brilliant job with this one. It is a song that has been covered numerous times, with Aretha Franklin and Eva Cassidy trying to do the song justice and they’re both good, but they aren’t quite Dusty.
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
A song fuelled with emotion for me, it is one of my mum’s favourite songs of all time and without meaning to get too stroppy at modern music, the recent remix of it by Jonas Blue is an absolute disgrace, mainly because it completely ruins an absolutely stunning piece of music. Tracy Chapman has an unbreakable spirit on this song and her vocal delivery is full of passion and beauty from start to finish, as well as every string being played on that guitar sounding so raw it is just amazing. The mere thought of it gives me a lump in my throat because it floods back so many memories of growing up and how much has changed but most of all; how much I am truly grateful for my mum. I didn’t want it to become this but it has so tough luck, thank you mum, this one is for you.