heard on the wire

Cherry pie

cherry_pie

Joyous, like apples dipped in toffee, this is 2016’s perfect pop tune.

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Even if nobody else sings along

Glarnerland

I ought to pay more attention. I downloaded the debut LP from Minor Alps in November and while the joys of its rich mix of pop, americana and electro have been evident from the start, I’ve only just discovered that the record has some provenance.

Currently residing in a box in a Surrey storage unit are a couple of Juliana Hatfield LPs from the mid-90s. And 20 years later it is the same Hatfield whose beautiful voice graces the Minor Alps record.

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The birds fly a lot better than we do

Dandelions

Since it began broadcasting in 2006, the estimable Dandelion Radio has been the home of the “official” Festive Fifty, the annual listeners’ chart that John Peel started in 1976.

That first chart was compiled from listeners’ favourite records of all time and, with Led Zeppelin at number one, stands as a pre-punk anomaly. Henceforth the top spot would be shared by the Sex Pistols and Joy Division until 1982, when Peel retired the all-time list and introduced an annual chart. The ’82, ’83 and ’84 versions are perhaps the finest end-of-year countdowns ever compiled, reflecting a time when Peel truly was shaping the musical landscape. Later, 90s charts tended more to the dull and predictable, to the extent that Peel threatened to abandon the rundown altogether, not least because he was still totting up the votes by hand. But it survived, the last Peel 50 being chosen and broadcast in the wake of his untimely death in 2004.

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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.