Wednesday, July 1, 2009


My last post has created many a comment (only one here, but many to my face). How do you pick 120 songs? Easy, you go through you record collection, and the list on the triplej website and rely on your crusty, decaying memory. Are they the best 120 songs of all time? Mercy, has there ever been a more subjective question. Do I think they are the best 120 songs of all time. Probably not, I don't know if I could make such a list. But they are 120 songs that I either love, have a particular memory attached to, or represent something for me (a musical movement, a political movement, a point in time).

And on that point I should note that normally the Jackson 5's I Want You Back probably would have appeared in here somewhere. But for some reason I can't explain I kind of feel like I'd be bandwagon jumping, so have left it out. Maybe it would have fallen out anyway, I started with a list of over 200.

Anyway, numbers eleven to twenty are:

11 Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
If I were indeed writing a list of the best songs of all time, I quite probably would have put at least half the New Order catalogue in. They are probably my favourite band of all time. Born out of the ashes of Joy Division, they have consistently put out toe tapping, sometimes complex, little rippers. In reality I had five New Order songs on my short list. This one probably made it because I'd heard it on the radio in the car that day and so it was in the front of my mind.

12 Black - Okkervill River
Very Black indeed. The jaunty little pop tune belies the content, of abduction and child abuse. The lyrics intensely enticing and exciting; ripping troats out, the destruction of lives. These guys are genius.

13 Blank Generation - Richard Hell and Voidois
In the late 1970s it seemed like Richard Hell was in every band on earth. This song stuck in my head the first time I heard it "I was screaming get me outta here before I was even born". I probably heard this for the first time nearly 10 years after it was released, but it still rang true for me in my teenage angst then. The sound is just sooooo CBGBs

14 Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
When I was a teenager I probably saw the Violent Femmes play about a million times. OK, at least half a dozen.

15 Bloody Mother Fucking Arsehole - Martha Wainwright
Good punk sensibilities in today's list. This song impresses me with this woman standing up for herself, refusing to be something for someone else. Appeals to my pinko feminist philosophy. Martha also cranks out a jolly good tune.

16 Blue Flower - Mazzy Start
There is a story that goes with song, but I'm too much of a lady to repeat it here.

17 Blush - The Hummingbirds
Much more pop than punk, The Hummingbirds were part of a fraternity (or maybe sorority) of uber-poppy shoe gazing Australian bands. They are a summer band, you want to be standing somewhere with your bare feet on the grass and the sun shining, not too brightly, on your shoulders when you sing these songs. I memorably saw them play with The Falling Joys at Club Foote

18 Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
This song represents Shotz, a very dodgy nightclub I was going to about a decade ago. It's a great fun night out song and everyone can shout 'who-hoo' together in the chorus. Good percussion too.

19 Born Slippy - Underworld
I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor

10 Bottle Rocket - Go! Team
A couple of years ago the Big Day Out was a few days after I returned to work from a month's holiday in India. I didn't feel I could take another day off to go. The Go! Team played that year and I have regretted passing up the option to see them ever since. Thunder Lightening Strike is one of my all time favourite albums too.

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