Friday, 1 July 2016

50 songs to take to my grave: corrections

When I started this series, I didn't even expect the blog to still be running by this stage, which is why it was originally just 20 songs to take to my grave. The same with the 50 albums series. I suppose in many ways it was inevitable I would be a little hasty with some of my choices.  My main rules were: only one choice per artist for each list, and the song cannot feature on one of the chosen albums.

There's still another bunch of albums to get through, but I desperately want to include a couple that would otherwise be excluded owing to some songs I've chosen. Therefore, I reserve the right to make a few last-minute changes to my 50 songs list to allow me to have the albums I want. Cheating? Perhaps, but hey, we all make mistakes right?

To be honest, the list of songs that didn't make the final 50 is pretty awesome in itself, so by making these changes, I'm not really causing a dip in quality. It's like replacing Lionel Messi with Luis Suarez, or something.

So the three I'm losing are:
  Velvet Roof by Buffalo Tom
  Sheela-Na-Gig by PJ Harvey
  Green And Grey by New Model Army

And in their place...

The Story Of The Blues (pt. 1) by Wah!

John Peel once said: "Most artists spend a lifetime trying to write a classic. Pete Wylie's written five!" He was right, some of Wylie's songs are just pure genius. I don't know why I never became obsessed with him. I remember hearing The Story Of The Blues on a chart compilation record I bought in 1982; I would have been 11. It remains one of the finest examples I know of how perfect pop music can be. I know the purists will berate me for not having the full version here, but let's be honest - the first half (or 'pt. 1') is all you really need.


London Can You Wait by Gene

I can remember once writing Gene off as poor Smiths imitators. I hadn't heard London Can You Wait at that stage. In fact, I still hadn't heard it until after the band released their second album, which was when they won me over. I went back and listened to their early stuff properly and realised what a numpty I'd been. London Can You Wait, Sick, Sober & Sorry and Speak To Me Someone were neck-and-neck in their bid to be included here, but I went for the former because it's the song I most associate with Gene. It's just wonderful, every little aspect of it.


Seether by Veruca Salt

So OK, I can't answer this question: how the flippin' heck did this one not make the original 50? Sorry, my bad. Seether was one of the great singles of the 90s. If Kim Deal hadn't written Cannonball, she would have given her right arm to have written this song. And maybe half a leg too. Veruca Salt were awesome, especially that first album. Seether was always going to be impossible to top, but they came pretty close: All Hail Me, Forsythia, Volcano Girls, etc. Even last year's comeback album was more than decent. But Seether is the one, unquestionably. I can sleep easily now.



  1. Very happy to see Gene get a nod here. No doubt you know their back catalogue got a full remaster and beautiful casebound reissue a couple of years ago?

  2. I seem to recall reading about The Story of the Blues, when it first came out, probably in Record Mirror or Melody Maker that it wasn't actually about The Blues (music) per se but rather, as Wylie is a committed Socialist, written about the Tories who were in power at the time. Certainly the chorus fits the Tories treatment of working class people...First they take your pride.....
    It kind of made/makes sense to me, but am prepared to have this suggested theory smashed out the water by anyone who knows better.

  3. I think that's exactly what he meant, Stevo. It's what resonated with me anyway.
    All great tunes.

  4. Very fine, all three of them. And a correct replacement of the original three!

  5. Hey, it's your grave. You deserve the right to change your mind. Who could accuse you of cheating? I have been enjoying your take on the "desert island discs" question.

  6. All more than worry of inclusion, Robster. I may have to become a grave robber.

  7. I'm sure you'll take tonight'd game to your grave Robster
    Go on Wales!

  8. Man....that's a tough school when a song such as Peej's gets dropped. Having said that, these are three good 'uns.

    Bet you go back in a year and change your mind aagin. I know my look at back at the 45 45s at 45 from eight years ago revealed some glaring omissions....but I'm still very proud of the list.