Thanks for the replies ya'll! Another ten:130 - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Downtown"Running around the whole town
Neighbors yelling at me like, "You need to slow down."
Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the **** out
Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down!
If I only had one helmet I would give it to you, give it to you
Cruising down Broadway, girl, what a wonderful view, wonderful view
There's layers to this shit player, Tiramisu, Tiramisu
Let my coat-tail drag but I ain't tearing my suit, tearing my suit"
A second of three entries for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, this time their recent single "Downtown". This made my #8 of 2015, and at the time I wrote:
When I first heard this, I was a bit bamboozled - there's so much in it, for a song which is basically guff about a moped which goes on for five minutes, it's difficult to take in but it really grew on me, particularly that spectacular second verse. I love how it all builds, how it all progesses and it just slaps you in the face one part after another. I really like Macklemore, he always puts out a solid single and this is more of the same from him, a song I've really loved this year, after "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love" were high in my chart of 2013, and "White Walls" was in 2014. I'm not sure who the vocalist is on the chorus as there are seven hundred people credited but he sounds androgynous and wonderful. The whole thing is just a bit bonkers, but it's a bit of me.
It may seem slightly premature to have such a recent single on my chart of all time - there are a few 2015 offerings peppered across my chart, some lower down than this actually, but have landed higher up. There are some songs that do leave a lasting impact in different environments - some songs are my favourites of 2015 for different reasons than what they would be included in my chart of all time - I'm sure there may be songs that were higher up my end of year chart that aren't even on my all time list. Basically, don't ask me to justify, because I can't.129 - Kids In Glass Houses - Give Me What I Want (Me Me Me)"Your glass half empty, glass half full,
I'd say you've got some catching up to do"
The memories! I'd probably say that, after The All-American Rejects, Welsh pop/rock band Kids In Glass Houses were my favourite. There are a few more from them still to come, and this was the first I ever heard of them, back when it was affectionatley known as "Me Me Me" before it was duly renamed for the radio. They never really happened, commercially, which makes me sad as they have now split. But we got four good albums from them, and their first two being by far the best. "Smart Casual" was my soundtrack to 2008 - they built up somewhat of a cult following thanks to support in all the right places, but they never had that crossover hit that a lot of rock bands needs. Personally, I think several songs had that appeal but it just never worked out for them - this is a solid, catchy piece of pop rock that has aged well - as has all of their material. Songs of theirs which didn't make the list are "Youngblood (Let It Out)", "Undercover Lover", "Matters At All", "Only The Brave Die Free" and "The Florist" - all great songs which I still love, but they do have another three to come.128 - You Me At Six - Save It For The Bedroom
"Go home and wash your jeans, 'cause there's dirt on the knees
And jealously doesn’t sit with me"
Another offering from the late 00's rock resurgence, this time You Me At Six's breakout single "Save It For The Bedroom". You Me At Six sort of won the war when it came to thier genre - still pumping out half baked angst ridden radio friendly singles, but "Take Off Your Colours" will always be their most memorable body of work, to me - its title track just missed out on this list, as did "Stay With Me" and "Safer To Hate Her" from their second album. This is where it all started for me though - a great introduction to what could have been a great band, if they'd have stuck in this lane. The video is a good watch too - a humorous take on the Jeremy Kyle show, my favourite part being the "Is my son a nechrophiliac" segment. "Always Attract", an album track from "Take Off Your Colours", is still to come.127 - Vampire Weekend - Giving Up The Gun
"I see you shine in your way
Go on, go on, go on"
The third big-hitter on my chart, Vampire Weekend. Another of my favourite bands - and this is the first of another three entries for them, the almost-nursery-rhyme single "Giving Up The Gun" from their second album. I fell out of love with them when the "Contra" album came out - largely due to "Cousins" and "Horchata" being two of the worst things they've ever recorded, and leading the album with those two at the forefront was a terrible decision. I don't think I even bothered listening to the album after hearing those two, which was a shame as I enjoyed their self titled debut so much - a rare case of being able to listen to every single song, even to this day, all the way through with no skips. And then "Giving Up The Gun" came along, with its absurd video featuring a tennis-playing Jonas Brother, and I loved it. It was a hark back to their sound of the first album, with progression at the same time. Vampire Weekend have such a distinct sound, it's almost hard to describe - like an upper class, African-influenced reggae/pop/indie fusion which somehow is consistent across all of their songs. This is one of their best - unfortunately, "Holiday", "Run", "Campus", "Blake's Got A New Face", "Unbelievers", "Walcott", "Oxford Comma" and their signature song "A Punk" all miss out - but it's testament to them that all of those don't feature, yet this does, with another two comfortably higher up.126 - Johnny Cash - Hurt
"What have I become, my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know, goes away in the end"
A lone entry at #126, for the legendary Johnny Cash and his cover of the cult Nine Inch Nails classic "Hurt". Recorded shortly before his sad death 2003, you can almost hear the frailty in his voice, and it makes it even more effective listening to it, even now, years after his passing. I was too young to really know much about Johnny Cash, so my appreciation of him comes years down the line, having grown up with my Dad playing songs like "A Boy Named Sue" and "Ring Of Fire" and having them embedded into my early years. It was only after watching "Walk The Line" and being completely captivated by it, that I truly delved into his back catalogue. I mean, don't go listening to this if you need cheering up, but he's an artist I always go back to from time to time.125 - Bloc Party - I Still Remember
"And our love could have soared
Over playgrounds and rooftops
Every park bench screams your name
I kept your tie"
Another lone entry, this time from next-big-thing-in-2006 Bloc Party. I have massive affection for "I Still Remember" (and largely, absolutely nothing else this band have ever done) which mostly stems from being 15 and confused about whether I fancied boys or girls, and it was nice to have a song that reflected that to find comfort in at such a time. Even outside of that sexuality box, it's still a beautifully written, nostalglic song that has transcended that NME-saturated period between 2004 and 2006. "Flux" is probably what they're most remembered for - a song I never particularly cared for. "Everything You Wanted" was a nice song by lead singer Kele Okereke, but didn't make it onto my list either.124 - Kids In Glass Houses - Giving UpYou lie by my side with your hand on a weapon
Waiting for a confession
You knew me better than this"
Another entry for Kids In Glass Houses, this time album track "Giving Up" from 2010's "Dirt". I read somewhere that this was lead singer Aled's favourite song that the band ever recorded - it's not hard to see why, it's an affecting break up rock ballad that most bands would be proud to have to their name. Quite why it was never released, I'm not sure - Aled's voice sounds amazingly strong, particularly as it soars at the end, and to be honest, any song with a strong string section added is a winner for me. Two more left for them still to come.123 - Hear'say - Pure and Simple
NO SHAME! Pop jam of its time, it is a travesty that this was ever forgotten. Yes, it's All Saints-lite, and yes, Hear'say never happened, but imagine splitting up and leaving this anthem behind?! They truly set the standard for reality TV popstars everywhere - one massive single, spent the rest of their career struggling to live up to it, and ended up jacking it all in when one of them left anyway. Nowadays, it has condensed to winners single-year off-flop album-dropped, but the formula was there. It's hard to imagine such a programme captivating people now, especially with no public vote involved. Anyway, I digress - you can't deny a good pop song, and although this has aged horribly (even when it came out in 2001 or whenever it was, it already sounded five years old) I still can't resist singing along. I couldn't name you any of their other songs though - can anybody?!122 - Gnarls Barkley - Crazy"I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space"
This is one of those songs that is so emedded into modern culture, it's almost part of the furniture so it gets overlooked (by me, anyway). I forget what an absolute tune it was - it's hard to pinpoint into any particular genre - pop, soul, dance, R&B, but it's just fantastic, let's be real. I'll always remember that astonishing vocal performance Cee-Lo Green delivered of this on Top of the Pops (rest in peace)
- probably one of my defining memories of the show, with that great military arrangement of the song. As Fearne Cotton kindly reminds us in that video, this was the first song ever to get to number one on downloads alone, and it stayed there for nine weeks, which was remarkable back in 2006. No other entries for Cee-Lo, Danger Mouse or Gnarls Barkley, although shout outs to "F*ck You" which I loved at the time, "Run" and "Smiley Faces" are also songs I've not listened to for a while and are demanding another listen which I may do RIGHT THIS SECOND!121 - La Roux - Bulletproof
"Been there, done that, messed around
I'm having fun, don't put me down"
More stellar pop, this time from electropop saviours La Roux and their number one hit "Bulletproof". I'm not entirely convinced that Elly Jackson and Jess Glynne aren't related in some way - maybe when La Roux's second album was widely ignored, she grew out her ginger hair and developed a fondness for vanilla-house/pop, but she needn't have bothered, a re-release of "Bulletproof" every few years would have done just fine. I was largely indifferent to La Roux at the height of their popularity - "In For The Kill" never appealed, and the rest of their material I found forgettable, but the Popjustice's of this world still hail them as the second coming of pop, and if any of their material since was as good as "Bulletproof" I'd be inclined to agree. This is a near-perfect pop song, and for some reason I always really liked the lyric I've quoted. It has all the sass and attitude a song like this needs, and I love how it's just all laid out straight away, and sticks with that energy all the way through (apart from the little dip just before the end), but there's no need for a drop, no soaring moment, no build up - just a good song that peddles on all the way through!