Tag Archives: BOL (Best of list)

9 of the best – sounds of 1992

A compilation for sunny day in June. 1992 could have been a creative wasteland between what had been (Madchester, shoegazing, grunge) and what was to come (the Wu-Tang, trip hop, Britpop). But no, far from it. For starters, this was the year that Slanted and Enchanted and Selected Ambient Works 85-92 reached our ears.

Pavement – Summer Babe

Aphex Twin – Xtal

Flowered Up – Weekender

Pulp – Babies

R.E.M. – Nightswimming

The Black Crowes – Remedy

Crowded House – Four Seasons In One Day

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Honourable mentions also go to: Sade for ‘No Ordinary Love‘; Derrick May for his Illusion First Mix of ‘Sueño Latino‘; Mel’isa Morgan for ‘Still In Love‘; Coco Steel & Lovebom for ‘Feel It‘, My Bloody Valentine for ‘Only Shallow‘, Sergio Mendes for ‘Fanfarra (Cabua Le-Le)‘, Spiritualized for ‘Shine A Light‘, Kevin Saunderson for his Tunnel Mix of Inner City’s ‘Pennies From Heaven‘, X-Press 2 for ‘Muzik Xpress‘; and The Pharcyde for ‘Passing Me By‘.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1993

A compilation treat for the May Day holiday. Looking back at 1993, the world of popular music was a-changing… Björk was doing her own thing at the crossroads, house music had grown up a little less exciting, and hip hop was showing temporary signs of sophistication…

Björk – Venus As A Boy

Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II

The Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm

U2 – Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy

David Bowie – The Wedding

Blur – For Tomorrow

Tindersticks – Marbles

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Honourable mentions also go to: Jeru The Damaja for ‘Come Clean‘; Masters At Work for ‘The Buff Dance‘; George Morel for ‘Let’s Groove‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation‘ and not too much else. A quarter of a century after the annus mirabilis that was 1968, thin pickings were abound in 1993. That’s crossroads for you.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2018

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus for the festive season. As is my way, I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2018. They are in no particular order. Merry Christmas, have a great holiday and see you in the New Year, when I will whittle 12 to 9. (Done!)

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talking Straight

Father John Misty – Just Dumb Enough to Try

Natalie Prass – Lost

The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land

Stephen Malkmus – Solid Silk

Vasser – Valerians

Let’s Eat Grandma – Donnie Darko

Oscar L – Monster Tube

Kokoroko – Abusey Junction

Honourable mentions also go to: Childish Gambino for ‘This Is America‘; Phum Viphurit for ‘Lover Boy‘; Fake Shark for ‘Wake Up‘; Phosphorescent for ‘New Birth in New England‘; Bodega for ‘Jack In Titanic‘; MorMor for ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful‘; Kanye West & Kid Cudi for ‘Reborn‘; Christine and the Queens for ‘Damn, dis-moi‘; Lana Del Rey for ‘Mariners Apartment Complex‘; The Voidz for ‘Leave It In My Dreams‘; Nilüfer Yanya for ‘Thanks 4 Nothing‘ and DJ Koze for ‘Pick Up‘.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1994

As we approach the end of another year and the greatest hits that follow, I give you a compilation of sounds from 24 years ago. Britop was at its zenith, but the angelic voice of a Californian rose above all ….

Jeff Buckley – Grace

Oasis – Cigarettes & Alcohol

Massive Attack – Protection

Blur – To The End

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

The Dust Brothers – Chemical Beats

Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Grant Lee Buffalo – Mockingbirds

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye

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Honourable mentions also go to: Portishead for ‘Roads‘; Mazzy Star for ‘Fade Into You‘; Plush for ‘Found A Little Baby‘, Johnny Cash for ‘Drive On’, Jeff Buckley for ‘Grace‘; Blur for ‘End Of A Century‘; Nas for ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’; Green Day for ‘Basket Case’; The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for ‘Bellbottoms

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9 of the best – sounds of 1995

A compilation to get the ears humming this weekend. My favourite 9 sounds of 1995, the swansong year for Britpop. Needless to say, Oasis and Blur feature.

The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

The Flaming Lips – Placebo Headwound

Oasis – The Masterplan

Underworld – Born Slippy

Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees

Sparklehorse – Cow

Teenage Fanclub – Versimilitude

Blur – The Universal

Moby – When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die

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Honourable mentions also go to: Pavement for ‘We Dance‘; Yo La Tengo for ‘Blue Line Swinger‘; Ol’ Dirty Bastard for ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya‘; Rob Dougan for ‘Clubbed To Death‘; Sparklehorse for ‘Saturday‘; and Radiohead for ‘Planet Telex’ and ‘Street Spirit’.

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9 of the best – northern soul stompers

A compilation for a snowy weekend in Blighty. My 9 favourite northern soul belters in chronological order. Some very tough decisions and soul searching went into curating this list.

Frank Wilson ‎– Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) (1965)

The Steinways – My Heart’s Not In It Anymore (1966)

The Tomangoes – I Really Love You (1966)

Rubin – You’ve Been Away (1967)

The Fi-Dels – Try A Little Harder (1967)

Chuck Wood ‎- Seven Days Too Long (1967)

Freddie Chavez – They’ll Never Know Why (1968)

 The Impressions – Stay Close to Me (1968)

Carrie Cleveland – Love Will Set You Free (1980)

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Honourable mentions also go to: Ray Pollard for ‘The Drifter’ (1965); Luther Ingram for ‘If It’s All The Same To You Babe’ (1966); Carol And Gerri ‎for ‘How Can I Ever Find The Way’ (1966); Morris Chestnut for ‘Too Darn Soulful’ (1967); The Formations ‎for ‘At The Top Of The Stairs’ (1967); Barbara Acklin for ‘Am I The Same Girl‘ (1968); Epitome Of Sound for ‘You Don’t Love Me’ (1968); Dobie Gray ‎for ‘Honey, You Can’t Take It Back’ (1970); The Velvets for ‘I Got To Find Me Somebody’ (1973) and Smith Brothers for ‘There Can Be A Better Way’ (1974).

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9 of the best – sounds of 1997

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite 9 sounds of 1997, bookended by Radiohead. There are no surprises there; I have showed some restraint by not featuring more of their work.

Radiohead – Airbag

Supergrass – Late In The Day

Yo La Tengo – Stockholm Syndrome

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony

Embrace – All You Good Good People

Pavement – Stereo

Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space

Björk – Unravel

Radiohead – Let Down

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Honourable mentions also go to: Radiohead for ‘No Surprises’; Radiohead for ‘Paranoid Android‘; Radiohead for ‘Lift‘; Supergrass ‘Richard III‘; Spiritualized ‘Broken Heart’; Yo La Tengo for ‘Autumn Sweater’, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for ‘Into My Arms‘; Daft Punk for ‘Around The World’; NuYorican Soul (featuring Jocelyn Brown) for ‘It’s Alright, I Feel It!’ and The Notorious B.I.G. for ‘Mo Money Mo Problems‘.

I realise now that four albums – classic albums – were crowding out others from my ears in 1997.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2017

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus this festive season. I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2017 in no particular order. See you in the new year.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything

Dan Auerbach – King Of A One Horse Town

LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police

King Krule – Dum Surfer

Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

Ty Segall – My Lady’s On Fire

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Mainland

Kamasi Washington – Truth

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Honourable mentions also go to: Jordan Rakei for ‘Hiding Place‘; Future Islands for ‘Ran‘; Bicep for ‘Glue‘; Dornik for ‘God Knows‘; Real Estate for ‘Darling‘; Foxygen for ‘On Lankershim‘; Mac DeMarco for ‘This Old Dog‘; John Mayer for ‘Moving On and Getting Over‘; Big Thief for ‘Shark Smile‘; Kevin Morby for ‘Come To Me Now‘; St. Vincent for ‘New York‘; Rex Orange County for ‘Edition‘; Public Service Broadcasting for ‘Progress‘; Lorde for ‘Green Light‘; The National for ‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness‘; and alt- J for’3WW‘.

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9 of the best – disco bombs of all time

Christmas must be a time for disco. This was a hard choice, but will continue to review over the next few days. I bring you the 9 best disco tracks of all time:

Elkin & Nelson – Jibaro (1974)

Donna Summer – Love to Love You Baby (1975)

Silvetti – Spring Rain (1976)

Ecstasy, Passion & Pain – Touch & Go (1976)

Grace Jones – La Vie En Rose (1977)

Instant Funk – Got My Mind Made Up (1978)

Chic – Good Times (1979)

Odyssey – Inside Out (1982)

The Salsoul Orchestra – Ooh, I Love It (Love Break) (1982)

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Very honourable mentions also go to: MFSB and The Three Degrees ‎for ‘TSOP’ (1973); Claudja Barry for ‘Love For The Sake Of Love‘ (1976); Double Exposure for ‘Ten Percent’ (1976); Marvin Gaye for ‘Got To Give lt Up’ (1977); Cerrone for ‘Supernature‘ (1977); First Choice for ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ and ‘Doctor Love‘ (both 1977); Loleatta Holloway and The Salsoul Orchestra for ‘Runaway‘ (1977); Gary’s Gang for ‘Let’s Lovedance Tonight‘ (1979); Rose Royce for ‘Is It Love You’re After‘ (1979); Daft Punk for ‘Lose Yourself To Dance‘ (2013).

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9 of the best – sounds of 1999

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:

Röyksopp – So Easy

Blur – Coffee And TV

Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.

Wilco – She’s A Jar

Pavement – Spit On A Stranger

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness

dEUS – Instant Street

The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize

Sigur Rós – Starálfur

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Honourable mentions also go to: Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir for ‘Deep Burnt‘; Mos Def for ‘Ms. Fat Booty‘; Shack for ‘Comedy‘; Pete Heller for ‘Big Love‘ and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.

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9 of the best – soul sounds

This is going to need some further curatorship over the next few days, but as a starter for 9:

Martha & The Vandellas – Heatwave (1963)

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (1964)

Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness (1966)

The Four Tops – Reach Out I’ll Be There (1966)

Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1967)

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1967)

Gladys Knight & The Pips – No One Could Love You More (1971)

Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine (1971)

Shuggie Otis – Aht Uh Mi Hed (1974)

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Honourable mentions also go to: Bobby Hebb for ‘Sunny’ (1966); Stevie Wonder for ‘I Don’t Know Why’ (1968); Aretha Franklin for ‘I Say A Little Prayer‘ (1968); Isaac Hayes for ‘Walk On By’ (1969); Freda Payne ‘Band Of Gold’ (1970); The Five Stairsteps for  ‘O-o-h Child’ (1970); Timmy Thomas for ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’ (1972); The Isley Brothers for ‘Work To Do’ (1972); Al Green for  ‘I’m Still In Love With You’ (1972); Alice Clark for ‘Never Did I Stop Loving You’ (1972); The O’Jays for ‘Back Stabbers’ (1972); Sly for  ‘If You Want Me To Stay’ (1973); and Love Unlimited for ‘Move Me No Mountain’ (1974); Minnie Riperton for ‘Inside My Love’ (1975); Marvin Gaye for ‘I Want You’ (1976) and many others.

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9 of the best – sounds of noughties

It would seem that 2004 was peak noughties (to these ears…):

The Avalanches – Since I Left You (2000)

 The Strokes – Modern Age (2001)

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize? (2002)

Broken Social Scene – Stars And Sons (2003)

The Walkmen – The Rat (2004)

Sébastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (2004)

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla (2005)

 Midlake – Bandits (2006)

Beirut – Nantes (2007)

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Honourable mentions also go to: Lambchop for ‘Up With The People’ (2000); Outkast for ‘Ms. Jackson’ (2000); Ian Brown for ‘F. E. A. R.’ (2001); The Shins for ‘New Slang‘ (2002); Kings Of Leon for ‘Red Morning Light‘ (2003); Radiohead for ‘A Wolf At The Door’ (2003); Mew for ‘Comforting Sounds’ (2003); Kasabian for ‘Club Foot’ (2004); Danger Mouse for his remix of ‘Public Service Announcement’ (2004); The Good, the Bad and the Queen for ‘Herculean’ (2006); The Hold Steady for ‘The Chillout Tent‘ (2006); The Strokes for ‘You Only Live Once’ (2006); and Jay Electronica for ‘Exhibit C’ (2009).

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