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

David Bowie – The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

David-Bowie by Rik Walton CC-BY-SA

I’m still sick, lying in bed, catching up. I went to work today, but was too tired to wait for a bus, so I cabbed it from the station. The kind of tired where I forgot the name of my road for a moment. The tired where I tripped getting out, grazing my knee and ruining my beloved shoes.

Luckily the Bowie song I’ve been putting off hearing in case it’s crap turns out to be good.
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David Bowie’s response to his first ever American fan letter

David-Bowie by Rik Walton CC-BY-SA

I’m not much of a letter-writer, but some correspondence means the world. These days it’s all emails, but you only have to look at this site to see how a brief exchange can change a life.

I’m a great believer in fan mail – I think it must be nice to know that you’re appreciated. I’m not saying be like that guy who sent JG Thirlwell a pig’s heart in the post (that must have been offal!), but I think almost anyone would enjoy a simple “I really like your stuff” message from time to time.

I’m impressed with David Bowie’s gracious and lengthy reply. We don’t know the contents of Sandra Dodd’s original letter, but it must have warmed Bowie’s heart to elicit such a warm response. It suggests a gentle, self-deprecating humour and humility that’s a welcome revelation in one of our most beloved stars. Continue reading

6 of the weirdest ever cover versions

golimar indian thriller

I blame IHeartNoise for this one. Ilya linked me to a track by Coma Nova – a cover of The Cure’s Hot Hot Hot which left both of us scratching our heads. It reminded me of some of the other strangest ever cover versions that have been unleashed upon the world …  Continue reading

10 strangest search terms on Reinspired


You readers are a weird bunch. Whenever I glance at the site stats for Reinspired, I always do a double-take at the search engine terms, because much as you might think nobody’s paying attention to the words you type in to that search bar, they’re ranked and counted and categorized like anything else.

Here are some examples:

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