Haven’t been over here for a while, time pressures really not helping at the moment, but given the celebrations and festivities, I thought I would just quickly reproduce something I’ve just put on the mothership, but I do know that it’s quiet on there at the end of the week, and not all old timers still pop in there, so here it is too…
So I was thinking, 10 years in and I’ve been contributing for all of them – I couldn’t make it to the official celebrations so to celebrate in my own quiet way, I was wondering what would it look like if I put together a playlist containing one of my A-listers from each year? Much like RR, not looking to make a list of the best 10 or anything, just a representative sample of 10 tracks that I was particularly pleased to get picked and which I hoped were heard by a wider audience– what would it look like and how would it flow? So I dipped into the Marconium and pulled out the following playlist, one A-listed track for each year and if you are at all interested, you can hear the selection in this You Tube list:
2006: Bobby Womack – Across 110th Street; I think my first actual A-lister from songs about New York, an angry but beautiful bit of soulful funk to kick things off.
2007: Scott Walker – The Old Man’s Back Again; one of my most frequently nominated Artists and I was particularly pleased with this listing from RRSA Politicians
2008: Fela Kuti – Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am; from RRSA Sleep, one of Dorian’s last columns and a listing for my favourite Fela song.
2009: Marty Wilde – Abergavenny; from RRSA Towns, despite contributing for over 10 years, this is possibly my only contribution to the RR lexicon, “An Abergavenny – to half heartedly nominate a song you don’t really like but to have it listed anyway to your eternal shame”
2010: Al Stewart – Night of the 4th May; Picked for RRSA Heated arguments, possibly my most frequently nominated artist, a small band of determined regulars are always keen to expound on the song writing skills of Al to the general indifference of many a guru, but here Al really shows his mettle with a dark and anguished and deeply personal effort, a listing I was very pleased with.
2011: Brian Eno – Deep Blue Day; for RRSA Space, am always delighted to get an instrumental picked, especially one as lush and evocative as this wonderful Eno track composed for the soundtrack of a film about the Apollo missions.
2012: Jacques Brel – La Bière; for RRSA Beer of course! As RR has evolved it’s been wonderful to see the inclusion of more and more genres, particularly world and classical music, and especially non English language songs, and this monumental celebration of the wonders of Beer and life above “the grape line” is a particular love of mine.
2013: Max Romeo and the Upsetters – Stealing in the Name of The Lord; December 12th 2013 and I am home having spent a long and tedious day at the hospital with Mrs Bandit awaiting for some sign of the impending birth of Bandit Junior – with nothing happening I have been sent home to get some rest and find the lauch of RRSA Smuggling and Stealing to be a very welcome distraction from the worries in my head, and a chance to nominate this sublime reggae track. 2 days later a beautiful baby boy arrives safe and well – this being picked puts a cherry on a wonderful cake.
2014: J S Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No.4, 1st Movt; For RRSW Flutes, Pipes and Whistles, I was particularly pleased to get a piece by the man that I consider to be the most important and influential musician in the history of Western Music finally into the hallowed halls of the Marconium.
2015: David Bowie – Heroes; My most recent A-lister for RRSA Obstacles, a thundering piece with magical Eno led production, full of determination to carry on love in the face of seemingly insurmountably physical and political obstacles. May RR long retain the determination to carry on providing such a rich, friendly and enjoyable distraction!
Then I got to thinking about the tons of great music that I now know about and in many cases now have thanks to RR – so without giving it too much thought, I just pulled out my head 10 tracks (from many many 100s) that I now really couldn’t be without that I wouldn’t know if it were not for the RR Hive Mind and their enthusiasm for such great music –
Estrella Morente with Michael Nyman – Pregón de las Moras – I’ve been interested in Flamenco for years, but Maki’s continual enthusiasm and erudite posting on the topic has really introduced me to some fascinating highways and byways of the genre – this dramatic example features one of my favourite modern composers as well.
Eleanoora Rosenholm – Maailmanloppu – Must be from Fuel, fuelling my interest in dark Scandinavian pop!
Lord Beginer – General Election – from Elections week in 2010, soundtracked the dark moment the coalition descended on us.
Richie Spice – Yap Yap – pretty sure this was a Webcore shout for Police songs, but its opened up a world of modern reggae.
Youssou N’Dour – Beykat – a fine piece of world music from an artist I was shamefully ignorant about until this made me investigate further.
Terry Callier – You Don’t Care – sweet sweet Soul – I think this came along for RR songs with less than 10 words, minimalism has never been so gorgeous.
Okkervil River – Down Down the Deep River – from my guru stint for RRSA New England, this introduced me to an American Indie band that somehow had completely passed me by, but it’s beautiful melody and plaintive lyrics are really special.
Phillp Jeays – Seven Signs of Ageing – ah TatankaYotanka, I suspect you thought that Phillip (Who?) Jeays might never get the RR nod, but this track really blew me away and remains a firm favourite.
Arve Henriksen – Bayon – often the quality of the writing and recommendations on RR is so good that you just have to check out and hear the music as quickly as possible – as soon as I read nilpfer’s description of Henriksen’s atmospheric “Place of Worship” album, I acquired it immediately and it still stands as one of the best things I’ve heard in years.
Ho’opi’i Brothers – Telephone to Glory – from Pairubu’s ever enthusiastic Hawaiian library, this song never fails to raise a smile.
Here’s the YouTube list
Thank you to all RR people past and present for so many insights into music that would just otherwise pass me by. Long may it run!