Thursday, July 9, 2009

The making of a great compilation tape is a subtle art many do's and don'ts

I was talking to friends the other day about the ancient and long lost art of making a tape. This used to be something that I took great love in doing. And yes I have given a few tapes to girls in the past.... Indeed I used to make a tape for every month I was at university and right into 2004, when I still had and used a walkman.

But obviously I made the huge step up to a discman and finally, an ipod. While I live on ipod playlists, it just isn't the same feeling as making a tape; writing the songs out, not knowing how many songs would fit on the tape and really having to think about what would make the cut for the month of music I was listening to. And tapes couldn't be erased by an accidental delete of a playlist. But for a present for someone I decided to put together a CD of my (at this present time) all time favourite songs. Now I have limited time on this, bascially jut under 80 minutes (what can fill a full CD). These aren't songs I have on high rotate at this present time, but rather songs that I think truly mean something to me. By putting together this CD whoever the lucky person who gets this gift, it will be random, can listen to this music and hopefully either get turned onto some music they haven't heard, or better still find the music has some kind of positive effect on their life. Or they may hate it....
Either way I present 16 songs.

1. Teenage Riot - Sonic Youth
(Daydream nation)

The ultimate song of rebellion, this was released in the 80's as a rip on Reagan's dystopia, but is as fresh today as it was then. Anyone with a guitar, bass and drums and a tune can change the world.

2. Baba O'Riley - The Who
(Who's Next)

While CSI seems to have ripped the meaning out of some pretty amazing Who songs its great to sit back and just rock out to this song. The Who at their absolute peak

3. Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
(Neon Bible)

This is the newest song on my list. I find this song to have a similar feeling to Born to Run (see below), that is the feeling of moving on with your life and never looking back.

4. Common People - Pulp
(Different Class)

Social commentary at its finest. Jarvis Cocker has put down one of the best lines in "You will never understand how it feels to life with no meaning or control and nowhere left to go." For any politician who says the understand the people while sitting in their Epsom mansions. You will never have a clue.

5. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
(Born to Run)

For me, the most awe inspiring song I have heard. If I am ever feelign down I onyl have to put this song on and within moments I am jumping around punching the air.... Thanks Boss.

6. Rearviewmirror - Pearl Jam

My old teenage angst song. "I gather speed from you fucking with me." Enough said.

7. Clampdown - The Clash
(London Calling)

How The Clash could make such a anti fascist song drawn from history into such an upbeat song still amazes me.

8. Love will tear us apart - Joy Division

Similar to the Clash, I am struck by how Joy Division could set such dark and depressing lyrics into such an upbeat song, which makes you want to dance around the room.

9. Here comes the sun - The Beatles
(Abbey Road)

"it seems like years since it's been clear. Here comes the sun and I say it's alright...."

10. Protection - Massive Attack

It sounds cheesy but this song always makes me want to be strong for my better half. "You can change the way she feels you could put your arms around her."

11. The man who sold the world - Nirvana
(Unplugged in New York)

It takes a truly great band to be able to take a good song by a truly great artist and make it better. But that is what Cobain did here.

12. Jenny - Sleater-Kinney
(Dig me out)

They can't all be uplifting, this is probably one of the most harrowing break up song's written. "Didn't we almost have it, didn't you want it?"

13. This is a low - Blur

This, for me, typfies the genius of Damon Albarn and Blur. Being able to turn the shipping forecast into a song about love and depression will always continue to amaze me. Plus Graham Coxons guitar. Perfection.

14. God only knows - The Beach Boys
(Pet Sounds)

Like here comes the sun, a song of true beauty, with just enough menalcholy to make it that much more interesting.

15. This is the one - The Stone Roses
(The Stone Roses)

My favourite song of all time. That is all.

16. Find the River - R.E.M
(Automatic for the people)

This sound's morbid but this is the song I want played at my funeral. Not because it is sad but because it sums up, well, life. "The ocean is the rivers goal..." we are all here on that river, we will go fast, slow, take many bends but in the end we will all get to the ocean.

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