RICHARD’S MONTHLY ‘10 FANTASTIC SONGS’ (OCTOBER 2006)
KATE BUSH – Pi (Π)I’ve always believed in the link between mathematics and music, and in her glorious comeback the wondrous and magical Kate captures this link, recounting the first umpteen decimal places of Pi with such incomparable tenderness – God it’s so beautiful just thinking about it makes me want to cry. La vie est belle.
SCOTT WALKER – Hand me ups
Terrifying stuff – Scott hauled in some Opera Dude to do some Omen-style chanting behind an already deeply unsettling foreground. Bonkers, madcap, nuts, and bonkers again. You don’t do the washing up when you listen to the latter-day Engel – you listen.
THE COOL CROONERS - Blue Sky
Zimbabwean septagenarians big in France - the pick of what I've heard. Beautiful singing, lovely, endearing, kindly innocence - but must be accompanied by the sight of them dancing - it's lovely, lovely, lovely...
SYD BARRETT - Baby Lemonade
The intro and the outplay stop the world turning - what's in between ain't half bad either!
THE HORRORS - Jack the Ripper
Driving while listening to the Horrors could be considered dangerous.
GHOST OF THE ROBOT – Vehicles Shock MeThe best moment from the tragically lost classic “Mad Brilliant”, no longer available, from a band that have disappeared, and an album like albums used to be, not just a collection of songs. When the coolest actor of the 21st century (Ed: James Masters), who played so astonishingly the most important character in television history (Ed: Spike, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), decided to turn his hand to music, you knew it would be a question of taste over talent and experience. Like if Leonard Cohen had an art exhibition tomorrow, if would of course be brilliant, even if the man couldn’t paint a stroke.
ASHA BHONSLE – Dum Maro Dum
I will always include at least one Indian classic in any of these lists – it is everywhere, it is everything, and if you think that sounds dumb, check it out, I defy you – watch every atom sparkle and wobble and feel yourself want to (Ed: Richard says here ‘f*ck your job’)
UNKNOWN ARTIST – ‘The Song’My John Peel / Teenage Kicks experience. I was driving through ‘Brummagem’ (Ed: Birmingham) following a visit to see my dying father, equipped with only a crappy little portable radio perched on the dashboard, able only to find the British Asian Network, and happily so, “The Song” came upon me and as Peelie so legendarily did, I had to stop the car and listen to the amazing thing that was coming from my radio, with tears in my eyes. (Ed’s note: when John Peel first heard Teenage Kicks by The Undertones, he was driving, and had to stop the car and listen better, as he was stunned and smitten and it is now his favourite ever song). Classic Bollywood format; a guy, a girl, with some of the sobriety of classical Indian music. The programme was in Hindi and my efforts in writing to the DJ to find out what it was sadly fell on flat ears. I’ll find it again one day. ‘Twas on a par with The Doctors of Madness’ “Mainlines” for its UTTER realisation.
THE AVALON BOYS – At the ball, that’s allMore tears Must accompany Messrs. Laurel and Hardy dancing. Not tears of sentimentality or sadness, but simply the realisation that something is SO GOOD! – SO PERFECT! And to think that a different spermatozoa or egg would have meant never existing to see this…
From the film ‘Way Out West’. How many dudes would stop and dance in sheer joy, having been given a couple of hours to get out of town or else by a heavy?
ANTOINE HENRY BATCHELOR – Dada, Oui Oui, elephant, tigreThe first lyrical offering by the love of my life, my darling good-natured son, a tender and nature-loving comic genius – with a little help from the old fella on guitar. A promising debut – there’s more to come from the lad! He already picks the strings with considerable aplomb for a two-year-old. ‘Dada’ is French baby slang for a horse, and ‘Oui Oui’ is Noddy. He’s quite into P.C. Plod, so this could be the follow-up – who knows?