It’s a wonderful summer’s day where you could fry an egg on the stones here… if you had a stone. So let’s have another music competition.
This week, dear readers, inspired by a new documentary that argues 1971 was the greatest year for music, I want to know the top music year of your life with the top tune of same.
For me, I’m gonna go with 1985:
Albums I binged on from that year included The Smiths – Meat Is Murder, REM – Fables, New Order – Lowlife, That Petrol Emotion – Manic Pop Thrill, Microdisney – The Clock Comes Down The Stairs, and 10,000 Maniacs – The Wishing Chair.
Last Friday, with a a €20 Currys PC World voucher redeemable in any Currys store on offer, I asked for your favourite song featuring a harmonica.
You answered in your dozens.
But there could be only one winner.
Going Back Home By Dr Feelgood
Harry Warren writes:
“The greatest hard rocking R’n’B band that ever existed. Their ferocious and incendiary performances foreshadowed the emergence of Punk but, by God, could these guys play!
Wait for the superb harmonica break by the late great Lee Brilleaux.”
Last Friday (the Good one), with a €50 voucher redeemable at any Golden Discs store on offer, I asked you for your favourite songs relating to sports?
You wrote in in your dozens.
But there could be only one winner.
Hey You Bastards I’m Still Here by Mark Kozelek & Desertshore
“Adore this tune which mentions boxing so still counts…I listened to about five times a day for a solid week when I first heard it.”
When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease by Roy Harper
Stephen Moran writes:
“Growing up in the ’80s and being a fan of the sound of leather on willow was akin to the love that dare not speak its name; but the sight of Marshall, Ambrose and Viv Richards (the master blaster) and Co. routinely thrashing the Sassenachs by an innings to the sound of conch shells at The Oval was worth “spending warm summers days indoors” …
“So in honour of the boys of summer, I nominate a song as beautiful and as evocative as any in the English language.”
Long Shot Kick De Bucket by The Pioneers
“Relating the sudden and dramatic demise of noted racehorse Long Shot at a race held at Kingston’s famed Caymanas Park, ‘Long Shot Kick The Bucket’ became one of Trojan Records’ earliest UK chart hits, with the record peaking at No.21 in the Official UK Singles Chart in 1969.”
To ease you through the Easter weekend, why not another music competition?
A reader wrote in with the following suggestion:
“I’m suggesting songs relating to sports/with a sport reference? It’d have to be very broad and encompass every sport from riding a bike/horse – cars/tractor – running/walking – skydiving/deep sea diving/sailing – table-tennis/tiddlywinks – GAA/rugby/soccer etc… You get the drift.”
“From the 1991 album Loveless. Came to this album late and couldn’t believe it was an Irish band. Kevin Shields is a genius, essentially pioneered the shoegaze sub-genre.
“For me this song evokes so many feelings that change throughout. I get a mix of anxiety, sadness and utter bliss, due almost entirely to the music and arrangements. Turned up much later on the Lost in Translation (2003) soundtrack. Suited that movie perfectly & the band were introduced to a new generation. Timeless masterpiece.”
Beautiful Affair by Stockton’s Wing
Clampers Outside writes:
‘Walking around, be part of the sound,
Forget all your downs.
Feel the air.
“An iconic, utterly timeless song not only of the trad-folk genre but of the whole catalogue of Irish music, I believe.
“Released in 1982, I was only 11, I remember the radio play it received, which was plenty. But it wasn’t until my early 20s did I appreciate the beauty of it.
“The lyrical poetry, particularly the chorus – my favourite lines are are above – opening the song with a gently sung chorus of male voices sans music accompaniment helps create a feeling of mysticism and magic.
“There is a near expectation of melancholy to the sound. The music comes in, layering a fullness to the seemless chorus and lead singer interplay. That expectation of melancholy tenderly lost now by a positivity in the lyrics that you can “feel (in) the air” around you. That mystic.
“But it’s not over there… another light hit confirming that upbeat feeling comes in on the delightful dancing sound of the tin whistle.
“By now, I’m usually smiling and feeling light on my feet, ready to take on another two hits of the beautiful chorus… and when it’s all over, hit ‘play’ again.
“Once is never enough, sure it’s pure magic.”
The Foggy Dew by Sinéad O’Connor and The Chieftains
“Practically anything sung by the national treasure that is Sinéad O’ Connor.
“I’ve never heard a voice as powerful as hers. The passion, energy and emotion she puts into singing is like nothing else I’ve heard.”