Top 100 singles of all time: from Bjork to the Beach Boys

367px-Björk_Rock_en_Seine_2007_by Bertrand

It’s an almost sad feeling as I wrap up this list – bundling in the top 40 in one final swoop – before tomorrow’s grand finale. I don’t even know what was going through my mind as I wrote the original list, beyond how far I agreed (or disagreed) with the traditional entries on such charts. Perhaps what surprised me was how orthodox my tastes are – perhaps simply because those songs are undeniably good – though I hope my more detailed individual postings have entertained, imparted a bit of trivia on your favourite songs, and maybe introduced you to something you hadn’t heard before.

With that in mind, I’m going to skip over the ones you already know well – Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir (which always sounds oddly weedy compared to the bowel-shreddingly heavy version in my head); River Deep, Mountain High; House of the Rising Sun, etc. (my top 40 is dominated by songs from the 60s). I’ll pause to mention Higher Than The Sun, because however many accolades have been awarded to Screamadelica, it still does not have the recognition such an otherworldly, transcendental song deserves.  Continue reading

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10 Most popular posts of 2012

skrillex-earmilk

These are the most popular posts published in the past 12 months

1 Is it OK to think Skrillex is OK?

I didn’t put too much thought or time into an offhand musing as to the relative merits (or otherwise) of the wub-wub guy, so I was surprised by its popularity. Did the post’s 63,000 readers join Team Love or Team Hate?   Continue reading

5 favourite mash-ups (with download links)

OK, so I was just discussing mash-ups with someone, and though the genre (or practice) of mash-ups is old and tired and done to death, by its very nature it can be limitlessly inventive. Over the years, I’ve heard some frankly awe-inspiring incongruities, and here are just a few of the ones I’ve loved best.

1. Nine Inch Nails – Hand That Feeds / Ghostbusters Theme

This was created by Nathan Chase for a fan remix project

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Producers that make (or break) the band

New on Collapse Board

Band-members are like the ingredients of a cake: get it wrong, and the result is bland or sickly. It’s about getting people together who make each other feel comfortable, who can inspire the audience, and who can deflate the ego of an overindulgent songwriter. The producer is the mould. If you pour cake mix onto a baking tray, you’ll end up with a flat, sticky mess. Some producers are like old-fashioned round cake tins, providing a strong but subtle structure that simply allows the flavours to emerge. Others make fancy shapes, so vibrant and daring that its cakeness comes second to its art-form. Like the line-up, the right producer for your band is the one that fits your personal dynamic, and brings out the best in what you, uniquely, have to offer.

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Songs about nature

I’m in the mood for Swedes warbling about birds. I blame The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

If you’ve missed Game Informer’s coverage here, here and here, make sure to head on over to check it out, along with their latest magazine issue which contains huge amounts of information on Bethesda’s latest life-eating elf sim.

Before you do so, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the other fine things Sweden has given us in addition to (part of) the inspiration for what will undoubtedly be 2011’s Game of the Year.

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