heard on the wire

You lose your sting and die

Sinatra

A friend and reader suggested recently this week that ELO might have been better than New Order. Doctors have been called. (He’s a Brentford fan, so he has previous).

He was referring to the bands’ performances at the recent Glastonbury festival, where Jeff Lynne’s ELO, as the hirsute, prog-ish, sometimes-pretentious rockers are now known, brought lots of grey-haired, pot-bellied men of my age to the Pyramid stage on a soggy afternoon. Later New Order lit up the night sky on one of the festival’s plethora of other stages, presumably to an audience comprising, in a not insignificant part, of grey-haired, pot-bellied men of my age.

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Pretending that I’ve got a clue

Lucky Soul

And so it was that in response to a Facebook meme I posted a list of the 12 LPs that have had the most influence on me, both personally and musically. And it was like looking in a mirror, for all was male and white.

So, I thought, what if the list weren’t male and white (for I like to use the subjunctive). And so I sat down with my MacBook Pro and my text editor of choice (iA Writer, since you didn’t ask) and…. Well the first few records came easily. The rest not so. This puzzled me till I realised that most of the black, female music I like is soul music, a “genre” that has always leant itself to the single rather than the long player.

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One, two, three o’clock

And then there was one. Which, as you all know, is the most important number in the history of rock ’n’ pop music.

Reaching number one is considered to be the apogee of musical achievement, confirming, as if confirmation were needed, that Mariah Carey stands at the high altar of the pop pantheon.

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Well I tried but I can’t behave like others

I am a lucky soul, I discovered Lucky Soul, the finest among several fine bands who, in recent years, have drawn their inspiration from the 60s to make thoroughly 21st century pop records

I first heard the single, Lips are Unhappy and was charmed without being wowed. But charmed enough to buy the debut LP, The Great Unwanted, and very quickly fell in love.

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Day 30 — a song from a year ago

And so the saga ends, and what fun it’s been. Thirty days of top tunes, bar one or two, revealing insights into my deep and complex personality and the phenomenal breadth of my impeccable music taste. Something like that, anyway.

It seems a strange place to stop, choosing a favourite from a year ago. Had I been the author of this list, I think I would have ended with the first day’s pick, my favourite song, having started with my favourite song at the moment (I See a Cloud by Misty’s Big Adventure).

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.