Saturday, October 29, 2016

Simply The Best

Have you ever listened to a song and thought ... This is their best, it cannot be beaten.

I have ... and here are a few of them. They're some of my favourites from a multitude of artists but beware, most of the songs in here are in the list because they provoke an emotional response. Some may require hankys !

Oh and there are a few artists I listen to a lot who aren't here ... If you have some amazing music to suggest for me, please leave the track name and artist in the comments. I'm always on the look out for more to listen to. A lot of what I do listen to is due to suggestions from other people.
Bring 'em on ! Oh and this post was mostly inspired last night by me going "I'll just listen to Ting Tings The Wrong Club and go to bed." That track is possibly the best they'll come up with, it's got the words, the message, the music and an excellent video too. It's a track I'll keep going back to.

Labelling something as "the best and they will make nothing better" is a little sad though. It's better when the group constantly surprises you with more and more excellence. Bat For Lashes is a perfect example here. You hear songs like What's a Girl To Do ? (Dat video) and you think it's amazing. Then she beats it with the beauty of Moon and Moon from her second album. And beats it again with the powerful Laura.

But it's best when the groups constantly change their style. Madonna does this with every album, Goldfrapp do to a certain extent. I don't think Goldfrapp have beaten the Metropolis inspired Utopia. I'll keep going back to Alison Goldfrapp's incredible voice that's shown off in Utopia and the weird and wonderful Voicething. And then there's the chill out of Road To Somewhere.

It's a little sad when groups seem to burn out early or they do one song out of character that has total beauty. Here are a few :

T'Pau's - China In Your Hand
A-Ha - Take On Me (still more brilliance to come but nothing got close to this)
Cranberries with Linger, Shakespeares Sister with Stay
Stairway to Heaven ! (I hope they didn't copy)
Dirty Vegas - Days Gone By (perhaps it's the acoustic style)
Alisha's Attic - The Incidentals - I was hoping for much more from these ladies, 3 albums were not enough.
Massive Attack - Teardrop
Morcheeba - The Sea
Snow Patrol and the Martha Wainwright combination for Set The Fire To The Third Bar
U2 with Beautiful Day ? I don't listen to much U2. Too disconnected from reality.
Evanescence with My Immortal

And an advert just gave me a teaser of Kate Bush's forthcoming live album. I'll pick that up at some point but she's a good case of an artist who was incredible for a long time but then seemed to lose the touch. For me, her albums after The Sensual World just aren't nearly as good as what came before. The advert was for a track from Hounds Of Love but I present here, This Woman's Work.

Other groups who have gone away from an earlier style or perhaps ran out of inspiration are people like :

Pink Floyd's style changes with the decades but they were most inspired in the 70s with tracks like Wish You Were Here.
Arctic Monkeys had a brilliant first few albums but have gone off a bit. But then you listen to songs like A Certain Romance again and remember their magic.
Similar with Seal, the voice is still there though but has he ever bettered songs like Future Love Paradise ?
Dire Straits seemed to run out of ideas after Brothers In Arms. Indeed, they split after the following album. Mark Knopfler still makes amazing music and excellent soundtracks.
Air's magical All I Need.

I'd include Portishead here with songs like Roads. You see the intensity in live performances like that and you wonder how they can pull it off so well without collapsing into a mess afterwards.

There are also artists taken from us before we heard all they have to give. I still like Eleanor Rigby best from the Beatles but there was more to come after the Beatles with songs like John Lennon's Imagine and George Harrison's My Sweet Lord. And then there is Thriller by Michael Jackson, he definitely had more gifts to give.

You know. Songs that make you sit up and listen. The Veronicas did that to me with their song Untouched. Very powerful, very dramatic. And the ears always perk up with Little Boots comes on too. I don't think she's bettered Remedy. Paramore's wonderful The Only Exception is always a sit up and listen highlight.

That's a lot of music though. Lots for people to listen to ! (I have been pondering investigating Spotify playlists ... would it be worth it ?)

There have been a few bands who keep coming out with new and even better music than we've heard before. Nina Persson still has it, after starting in the Cardigans, moving through a very dark phase with the Cardigans, transitioning to A Camp with songs that speak to me like Song For The Leftovers and now going solo with tracks like Animal Heart.

I've always kept an eye on Tori Amos too, she just continues to give us new albums with more brilliant music. And there's usually a surprise in there too. Just when you think she couldn't beat Silent All These Years or Space Dog, out comes an I Can't See New York or a The Beekeeper.

All About Eve too, kicking off with tracks like Martha's Harbour, indeed all of their first album was amazing. Then there's Scarlet and Are You Lonely to finish off their third album. And then she comes back with the Mice album ! Love the Doctor Who inspired Blue Sonic Boy.

That's an awful lot to listen to though. (And I'll be catching up the links too !)
One last song. The way an album starts and finishes is very important. Arctic Monkeys did this with A Certain Romance but the one I'm really thinking of is Sleeper. They seemed to be interfered with somewhat by labels wanting to split the singer from the band and never really bettered their first album which finished with the song I'll close on : Click ... Off ... Gone.

Anyone got any more song ideas for me ?

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