1. The White Stripes – Little Acorns (Elephant, 2003) [singlepic id=145 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Great song from White Stripes’ fantastic fourth, on which this is the traditional song with ‘little’ in its title. The famous spoken intro was contributed by American TV anchorman Mort Crim, whereupon the combo of the heavily tuned guitar and White’s threatening voice gives this track its great verses.
2. Belle and Sebastian – Dress Up in You (The Life Pursuit, 2006) [singlepic id=307 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Polished indie pop from Belle and Sebastian’s seventh album, loaded with sunny melodies. The Life Pursuit reminds of all the good things that sixties and seventies pop had to offer, including great vocal harmonies and well-balanced instrumentals, like the beautiful horn section in this song. Personal favorite.
3. King Crimson – Moonchild (In the Court of the Crimson King, 1969) [singlepic id=204 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Longest track on this epic album, preceding the title track on side two. The track can in fact be separated into two sections. ‘The Dream’ is a ballad with a prominent role for Ian McDonald’s mellotron (and lyrics provided by English poet Peter Sinfield), while the band completely starts to improvise on ‘The Illusion’. This is in fact nothing more than an elitist patchwork, making it the most disappointing part on the album.
4. The Flaming Lips – Race for the Prize (The Soft Bulletin, 1999) [singlepic id=309 w=80 h=50 float=left]
From bearded men in a dark cellar to an explosion of confetti on main stage: the transition couldn’t possibly be more abrupt. Defining album for the band’s later sound and live performances.
5. Led Zeppelin – Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin II, 1969) [singlepic id=6 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Ultimate air guitar song, highlight on the notorious album and a crowd favorite at live concerts (including several improvisations). Interesting detail: the famous solo was recorded and added after the song was already ‘completed’, resulting in a somehow different guitar sound.
6. The Jam – The Place I Love (All Mod Cons, 1978) [singlepic id=310 w=80 h=50 float=left]
From the third album of this late seventies mod revival band, with the title referring to this as well as the abbreviation of ‘all modern conveniences’, often used in housing adverts.
7. Guns ‘n Roses – 14 Years (Use Your Illusion II, 1991) [singlepic id=216 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Best song (great piano playing) on the only GNR album that survived my record collection throughout the years. Never realized all these years however that it’s actually rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin on lead vocals. Stradlin had already left the band before the UYI-albums were released, after being detoxed from alcohol and drugs.
8. Radiohead – Paranoid Android (OK Computer, 1997) [singlepic id=22 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Does this song need any more explanations? Maybe it’s still best described by Yorke himself, before the first time it was performed live: “If you can have sex to this one, you’re fucking weird.”.
9. Tool – Flood (Undertow, 1993) [singlepic id=311 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Wow, the android perfectly fades into the guitar intro of this song. Subsequently the snoring bass tunes in and the drums brutally smash the song into your face. Penultimate song on this debut album, on my version at least, as most North American versions feature closing song ‘Disgustipated’ as track 69, after 58 silent 1”-tracks (you gotta love them).
10. [singlepic id=308 w=80 h=50 float=left] The Olivia Tremor Control – Paranormal Echoes (Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One, 1999)
And one more nineties track to close with. Just like last time, the Tremor Control makes it to the shuffle just on time, but with their second album this time. Love it or hate it.