Tag Archives: BOL (Best of list)

9 of the best – sounds of nineties

Good morning. It’s a little bit later than normal but hopefully worth the wait. I participated in Portsmouth’s Great South Run yesterday, which was was celebrating its 30th anniversary with a 1990s party. It was fun, but no semblance of the decade’s best songs involved. I give you my favourite nine sounds in chronological order. I have to say this is by far the toughest best-of list that I’ve published… just look at the quality of sound that I demoted to honourable footnotes.

Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (1991)

R.E.M. – Nightswimming (1992)

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye (1994)

The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 (1995)

Oasis – The Masterplan (1995)

Sparklehorse – Cow (1995)

Radiohead – Let Down (1997)

Mercury Rev – Holes (1998)

Wilco – She’s A Jar (1999)

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Honourable mentions also go to: Cocteau Twins for ‘Cherry Coloured Funk‘ (1990); Pulp for ‘Babies‘ (1992); Pavement for ‘In The Mouth A Desert‘ (1992); Blur for ‘To The End‘ (1994) and ‘The Universal‘ (1995); Beastie Boys for ‘Sabotage‘ (1994); The Flaming Lips for ‘Placebo Headwound‘ (1995) and ‘Race For The Prize‘ (1999); Radiohead for ‘Fake Plastic Trees‘ (1995); Red House Painters for ‘Have You Forgotten‘ (1996); Spiritualized for ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space‘ (1997); and Röyksopp for ‘So Easy‘ (1999).

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9 of the best – sounds of 1990

Looking beyond the pervasive sounds of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, ‘Ice Ice Baby’ and ‘World In Motion’, 1990 had so much more to offer. For the weekend, I give you my favourite sounds that year, in no particular order…

Primal Scream – Loaded

Beltram – Energy Flash

Happy Mondays – Kinky Afro

Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence

Cocteau Twins – Cherry Coloured Funk

Smallage – Together

The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds

Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring

Adamski feat. Seal – Killer

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Honourable mentions also go to: Enigma for ‘Callas Went Away‘; Happy Mondays for ‘Step On‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Can I Kick It?‘; Faith No More for ‘Falling To Pieces‘; The KLF for ‘Wichita Lineman Was A Song I Once Heard‘; Lush for ‘De-Luxe‘; The Charlatans ‎for ‘The Only One I Know‘; and LFO for ‘LFO

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9 of the best – sounds of 1991

A compilation for my hangover. Also a compilation for what looks like its going to be one of the last sunny days in September. I was immersed in dance music in 1991, but R.E.M., Nirvana, Mercury Rev and Lenny Kravitz were able to break into a best-of list otherwise dominated by the sound of house music.

Orbital – Belfast

Mercury Rev – Frittering

Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

Moby – Go (Woodtick Mix)

Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea

R.E.M. – Losing My Religion

George Michael – Cowboys and Angels

Lenny Kravitz ‎- It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Honourable mentions also go to: Saint Etienne for ‘Nothing Can Stop Us Now‘; My Bloody Valentine for ‘Only Shallow‘; De La Soul for ‘A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays‘; Photon Inc. for ‘Generate Power (Wild Pitch Mix)‘; Crystal Waters for ‘Gypsy Woman‘; Altern 8 for ‘Infiltrate 202‘; Björk for ‘Hyperballad’; A Tribe Called Quest feat Leaders Of The New School for ‘Scenario‘; Slam for ‘Eterna‘; Frankie Knuckles for ‘The Whistle Song‘ and Last Rhythm and Silvie Carter for ‘Last Rhythm‘.

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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.

Aphex Twin – Xtal

Pavement – Summer Babe

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 – Slide Away

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‘; Pavement for ‘Cut Your Hair‘; 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 for ‘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‘; The Flaming Lips for ‘A Spoonful Weighs A Ton‘; Moby for ‘Porcelain‘; and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.

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