Matthew's Personal Top 200 of 2003

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What is my favourite song of 2003?

Athlete - El Salvador
2
22%
Amy Studt - Misfit
4
44%
Bluetones - Never Going Nowhere
2
22%
Beautiful South - Just A Few Things That I Ain't
1
11%
 
Total votes : 9

Postby Terence » Thu Dec 25, 2003 9:50 pm

Woo! Haven't heard anything from the last lot, but wooo.... for Amy Studt's album!

Why isn't it just #1? :x
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Postby matthew_dixon » Thu Dec 25, 2003 10:16 pm

jlo17 wrote:Why isn't it just #1? :x
The best collection of songs would have to be Amy's.

However, as an album, the Bluetones beat her pretty safely. They've managed to create an album that lasts barely over 35 minutes, but has incentive to just play it over and over again. I've played the Bluetones album 3 times through straight - I've not done that with Amy's ;-)
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Postby matthew_dixon » Sat Dec 27, 2003 1:12 am

Well here's two more down

8. Stephanie Kirkham - Inappropriate
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My second favourite pop song of the year came in summer from an amazing singer with a knack for incredibly simple and amazingly good pop songs. This was absolutely no exception. It's the standout track on what is a very good album. If you're into female led guitar-pop and looking for something softer than Michelle Branch, but with more guitar than Dido, then Stephanie could just be for you. I know I'm not the only fan on here either ;-)

7. Darkness - Growing On Me
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Rock anthem alert! Yes, it's my favourite Darkness song of the year - much better than their overplayed hits recently. This song was 'growing on me' for a great many weeks - rather ironic considering the title. It's the Darkness at their ultimate best, and was the track that started getting them noticed. It seems as though it passed most other people by, as they only got into the band once they became popular. Well, that's the Darkness gone, and still one song left that people haven't guessed. Any ideas?
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Postby Tiger » Sat Dec 27, 2003 9:11 am

matthew_dixon wrote:I've played the Bluetones album 3 times through straight - I've not done that with Amy's ;-)
Interesting cause I've played Amy's 12 times straight :o

Anyhoo - indeed a woo for Stephanie, cause let's face it she ain't that bad ;)
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Postby Terence » Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:19 am

Woo for Stephanie - I heard it once on her site, and it's pretty good!

I want an mp3 dammit! :x

I love that Darkness song, only I discovered it quite late. :cry:
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Postby matthew_dixon » Sun Dec 28, 2003 12:59 am

6. Inspiral Carpets - Come Back Tomorrow
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It was the video that I saw first - a song that got videoplay occasionally on the Amp. I saw it too late to put it into my UKMIX Chart votes, and the following week John removed it from the rock chart. Therefore, unless you'd been carefully following my personal chart, you won't have been expecting this one at all. I saw the video and was totally amazed. This is a song that is just as funny as anything that Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy) has ever done - maybe even more so, but in a simpler way. This track is just so insanely catchy that it was the perfect summer anthem, and in an ideal world, Radio 1 would have picked it up and it would have been massive. Needless to say, that failed to happen, down to the fact that the Inspiral Carpets are regarded as "has-beens". However, they are amongst the leading lights of founding indie music, and for that you have to admit that their place in history is important. This song showed they can still pull amazing hits out of the bag. It nearly went top 40 as well 8-).

5. Bluetones - Never Going Nowhere
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Time has flown
You're all alone
You've always known
Its never going nowhere
Act your age
Turn the page
Leave the stage
It's time to move on
And me and you
How high we flew
We always knew
Its never going nowhere


I've already stated that "Luxembourg" is my favourite album of 2003 - and this was probably the stand out track from it, looking back. It's the most easily sing-along-able song on the album, and shows off the Bluetones really fun style of old to great aplomb. Sadly, if you read those lyrics, and remember that this was the last single taken from an album that missed the top 40, it seems worryingly like their swansong. Still, that would be a swansong to an amazing career 8-)

So, it's down to four songs. Three of them were easily my top 3 - so which one is landing in fourth place? Amy? Athlete? The Beautiful South? or maybe Gary?
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Postby Tiger » Sun Dec 28, 2003 9:26 am

I forgot what I voted in the poll :lol:
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Postby matthew_dixon » Sun Dec 28, 2003 10:28 pm

4. Beautiful South - Just A Few Things That I Ain't
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I've been scruffbag, dirtbag, always someones binbag
But never been Bono or Sting
However I dressed never really impressed
So they never got to hear a damn thing
I've been badman, sadman, certified mad
But never 007 or Saint
Trend-setter, go-getter, international jet-setter -
Just a few things that I ain't


The more I've been listening to this song, the less sure I've been that my top 3 really was as obvious as I thought. This song encapsulates pretty much everything that I like about the Beautiful South. Paul Heaton has a really good voice, but it's his amazing knack for tunes and lyrics that sets them apart from the other acts about at the moment. I don't think there's a better lyricist in modern music than Paul Heaton - everything that he writes is amazing. It's just such a shame that nowadays no-one seems to care about this amazing band.
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Postby Liberty » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:50 pm

Other than Perfect Ten I don't really fancy any of the Beautiful South's singles...
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Postby Terence » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:54 pm

Please Matt, for God's sake, I hope that dirge by Gary Jules hasn't beaten the pop excellency of "Misfit"... please! :D
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Postby John » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:57 pm

matthew_dixon wrote:Paul Heaton has a really good voice, but it's his amazing knack for tunes and lyrics that sets them apart from the other acts about at the moment.
Damn right. He makes it seem so simple.

Matthew wrote:I don't think there's a better lyricist in modern music than Paul Heaton - everything that he writes is amazing.
I totally agree. 100%. Paul Heaton is the only true musical genius that's still active today.

So yeah, awesome track, amazing band... woo!
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Postby matthew_dixon » Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:58 pm

jlo17 wrote:Please Matt, for God's sake, I hope that dirge by Gary Jules hasn't beaten the pop excellency of "Misfit"... please! :D
Sorry Terence...

3. Amy Studt - Misfit
Image
So you think you got it all worked out
You got your hotpants on
You got your arse right out, you
Think you're something new and special
And me and my drop-dress, we won't do at all
Spent so long tryin' to fit the prototype
Kept slippin' in the gears and I never got it right
What's the use?
What's the point?
You've got the wrong girl


Well I'm sure this might shock everyone as I say that it was a pretty easy choice between Athlete and Amy in the end, and the only question was just how high to put Gary Jules. In the end Amy lands at 3 with one of the two very similar standout tracks from her "False Smiles" album. Amy is a breath of fresh air in the pop world, and what makes her stuff turn from absolutely amazing to WOW :o is the fact that both this and "Ladder In My Tights" (and rather oddly also "Under The Thumb") were written by Karen Poole - daughter of legendary sixties frontman Brian and together with sibling Shelley, one half of Alisha's Attic - and the two amazing tracks are very similar in style to the Alisha's Attic material. So, a combination of a cool new singer (who just happens to have grown up in the same place as me) and a member of a band I've always been a fan of, and you have a great song - but it's still only my third favourite song of 2003.

So who's top? Athlete or Gary Jules?
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Postby Terence » Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:37 pm

Nooooooo! :cry:

I'm not bothered looking at this chart anymore now! :lol:
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:50 pm

Woo for Amy!

I'm going to make a new prediction now - Gary Jules will be #1 (hopefully!)
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Postby Tiger » Tue Dec 30, 2003 8:03 am

Athlete for #1!

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo for Amysworth! #3 is really high :D
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Postby matthew_dixon » Tue Dec 30, 2003 4:23 pm

Here we go… here’s the answer.

2. Athlete – El Salvador

Fly to El Salvador, I don’t know why, and I don’t know what for
I’ll keep the vision to myself


Well, here it is. When I first created this list, this was my favourite song of the year, however, as time as progressed, my year has changed dramatically, and it’s only my second favourite song of the year. So, what is it that I find so amazing about Athlete?

I first got to know about the band through Radio 1 playing their first top 40 single “You Got The Style” back last June. I really liked it, but for some completely unknown reason, I never did check out their other singles of that year, “Beautiful” and “Westside”. This year I’ve really properly discovered the band, buying the album, seeing them at an amazing live date and being impressed by a string of quality singles. They re-released both “Westside” and “You Got The Style” – both agonisingly going top 42 without quite going top 40, but it was the February release of “El Salvador” that really caught my attention. It’s quite possibly the most simple, straightforward, and really high quality song released for a few years – with a tune that sticks in your head and you can’t help but sing along to.

Well, now you know my number one song of the year - and it climbed from being third earlier on to top this chart. The question is, why? I'll answer that tomorrow.
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Postby John » Tue Dec 30, 2003 4:28 pm

Well... a mini-woo for Athlete. I don't despise them, but Jo Whiley certainly overdid it with them. But it could be a lot worse.

Obviously a huge cheer for your #1, couldn't be more appropriate after this year.
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Postby McDreams » Tue Dec 30, 2003 4:42 pm

Woo for Athlete. Not a huge fan but I really liked that song AND I'm going to El Salvador soon so I'm sure to be listening to it a lot lol ;)
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Postby Tiger » Tue Dec 30, 2003 5:27 pm

Well I was wrong then :cry: Either way - the song I knew I loved on your chart so hooray 8-)
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Postby Muzikritik » Tue Dec 30, 2003 7:38 pm

Woooooo! I guessed your number one song correctly!!!
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Postby matthew_dixon » Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:08 pm

1. Gary Jules – Mad World
Image
and I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles, it’s a very very mad world.


So, it’s New Year’s Eve, and it’s time to reflect on what’s happened this year. It’s a year that has seen me complete a successful first semester of exams, complete a final semester and come out of my degree with a 2:1, have a really good graduation ceremony, but not get accepted for a PhD. It’s seen me organise a reunion of my primary school class only to find only 3 people turned up. It’s seen me buy my own house. It’s seen me spend the past few months looking for a job. In early October, Tom (eamezey) sent me a copy of a song he liked, a piano ballad version of Tears For Fears’ “Mad World” sung by a guy called Gary Jules. I instantly found it amazing, playing it 10 times straight through instantly, and proclaiming it one of my favourite songs of all time. I also got a copy of the Tears For Fears original from Tom, and I think that is really good itself – but not as amazing as the Gary Jules version. Anyway, where was I?...

It’s been a very interesting, good and fun year… until recently. On Friday the 12th of December, I returned from an interview to a phone call to say my grandfather was critically ill in hospital. I rushed home, and spent most of the week down in Newcastle city centre staying with my foster brother – hence my difficulties in going online for that week. He lasted a full week and was about to come out of hospital. Sadly on Saturday the 20th of December, my grandfather died, and in general my whole atmosphere changed, and so did the meaning that that song had to me. Far from being a song to relax to and amaze at it’s beauty, I conceded that it was indeed a very very mad world, as the song suggested. Everyone in my family was touched by that song, and I realised that after listening to it for an hour and a half straight whilst walking through Newcastle on my way to the hospital that I was a fool to kid myself that this wasn’t my favourite song of 2003.

This morning, I attended a Quaker funeral and my grandfather was cremated.
This lunch-time we held a wake in celebration of his life
Tonight we celebrate the New Year coming in.

It is indeed for me a very very mad world 8-).

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places – worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere – going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression – no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow – no tomorrow

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
mad world mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday – happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen – sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me – no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me – look right through me

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world . . . world
Enlarge your world
Mad world
Here ends 2003, possibly the maddest year of my life for both myself and the world
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:13 pm

Now it all makes sense... anyway, good choice for your #1 song of the year!
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Postby Tiger » Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:15 pm

That was probably the most well-written comment on a song ever :o I was seriously touched :( It's sad to see how 2003 has ended for you Matt but hopefully 2004 will be a better year.
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Postby John » Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:59 pm

Absolutely... a very touching write-up.

It is, without a doubt, the most accurately descriptive song for this year. Even the Daily Mirror, in a review of the year, quoted it and said just how true it was, and how opportune that it should be released when it was.

It is a mad world. Nobody can deny that - whether from a personal level or on a worldwide scale, this year has been crazy.

Awesome chart, I can honestly say this is the only one that's kept me interested all the way through.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:26 pm

Matthew, somehow your words make me appreciate it much much more. :)
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