1. Fatboy Slim – Soul Surfing (You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, 1998) [singlepic id=371 w=80 h=50 float=left]
One of the less known tracks from the Hotel California of the nineties, freely dropping four singles in the top of the charts and personally bringing the big beat genre to the attention of the great audience thanks to all the hooks and well-chosen samples. Fair enough, but I’ll pick my druggy Hotel.
2. Ray Price – There’s No Fool Like A Young Fool (Night Life, 1963) [singlepic id=373 w=80 h=50 float=left]
I couldn’t have imagined a greater contrast to start this shuffle with, as we move over to mister Ray Price, born and died in Texas at the blessed age of 87. Price moved to Nashville during the early fifties, where he became the great ambassador of honky tonk. Just when Bakersfield was about to launch country music to prominence during the early sixties, Price released his best album about the real Night Life: not the preceding joyful expectations, not the ecstatic moments of drunkenness, but the disappointing conclusions right before closing time.
3. Pink Floyd – Pigs on the Wing 1 (Animals, 1977) [singlepic id=372 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Lighthearted, acoustic bookend about Waters’ girlfriend at that time, on Pink Floyd’s tenth album, that was itself bookended by Wish You Were Here and The Wall. On WYWH, Waters was primary aiming at the music industry of which Floyd had inevitably become part of. On Animals, he broadens his critical sight to late seventies Britain as a whole, drawing capitalist parallels with Orwell’s Animal Farm and presenting a decent successor to Selling England… from prog pals Genesis. Its promotion tour In the Flesh, with massive arena gigs culminating in Waters spitting at a fan, directly led to Water’s next project: The Wall.
4. The Beatles – When I’m Sixty Four (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967) [singlepic id=267 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Small step to another guy who loves the bass, himself and the idea of a good concept album. And of course, McCartney (who wrote the song when he was 16, to record it only eight years later when his father turned 64) wouldn’t be McCartney if he didn’t add a clarinet trio to this composition.
5. The Mountain Goats – Song for Dennis Brown (The Sunset Tree, 2005) [singlepic id=375 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Indi folk band from California, that originally consisted mainly of singer John Darnielle. He led a lo-fi life with an overwhelming need to write songs throughout the nineties, before recording well-thought through albums in the new century. After discussing his meth years on the third one, this album treats his not so enviable childhood. This album breathes revenge.
6. Echo & The Bunnymen – Rescue (Crocodiles, 1980) [singlepic id=35 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Jim Morrison meets The Smiths, literally, on this lead single from The Bunnymen’s (Liverpool) debut album. Nothing to laugh about here, that way setting the tone for a series of four strong albums. And those covers, those beautiful covers…
7. Blind Faith – Presence of the Lord (Blind Faith, 1969) [singlepic id=369 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Probably the strongest track on this muscular album, with Clapton on guitar and vocals from Steve Winwood. Talking about album covers, this must be one of the weirdest in rock history. The portrayed 11-years old girl asked for a horse as compensation for the use of her image, but had to settle with 40 pounds…
8. The Move – The Last Thing on My Mind (Shazam, 1970) [singlepic id=205 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Clapton and Winwood fantastically fade into one of my absolute favorite cover songs of all time. It was originally written by Tom Paxton and covered numerous times afterwards. But this version absolutely tops them all: top class vocals complemented by delicious guitar solos towards the end.
9. Sonic Youth – Rain King (Daydream Nation, 1988) [singlepic id=374 w=80 h=50 float=left]
A jump in time, but the guitars are still there on this electric powertrip. They took their time, but with this album, Sonic Youth brought the guitar back home. Not in any specific nation, but at the forefront of the music scene.
10. Broken Social Scene – Shampoo Suicide (You Forgot It in People, 2002) [singlepic id=370 w=80 h=50 float=left]
A pleasant surprise after my recent addiction to Apostle of Hustle’s Folkloric Feel, although this track rather sounds like Tortoise or something like that. Didn’t like BSS’s debut album, but this one is a young and modest classic.