The End of Year Steemit Top 50 ChallengeDecember 14, 2018
I was nominated for this post by @slobberchops, and I’m going to have fun with it. Like @slobberchops, I think 10 choices might make this a very long post, so I’ve narrowed it down to six.
The challenge was set by @verhp11, and the idea is to have a Steemit Top 50 of 2018. The rules are as follows:
- Challenge at least three persons to participate
- Use the tag #steemithitslist
- Select a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 songs in your top list
- The Steemit list will be constructed out of the songs that are posted with the hashtag.
- Put a link to your own post in the comments of this post
- The final list, with playlist, will be posted on 31 december.
The music can be from all decades, so I could even choose Bach! But… I won’t. I listen to classical music a lot these days, because I hate the kind of music played on all the radio stations I have access to, apart from BBC Radio 3 and BBC Six Music (which you can only get online or on digital, so I only get to listen to it when I’m near my digital radio).
I don’t think contemporary music has got worse. I think what gets played on the radio has got worse! This video throws some interesting light on the subject.
However I digress, so let’s get back on topic! I just want to choose some great tunes, and most of them happen to be from the 1990s, just because… maybe I’m in a 1990s mood. It was a pretty good decade for me – the decade when I got a good job, saved up like mad and travelled round the world. And music just had a lot of energy then.
I like music from other decades too, but I’ve posted a lot about 1960s and 70s music recently. So… here goes!
Let’s start with one from the 1980s. Prince was a brilliant genius in my opinion, and I still have a couple of his albums on vinyl, including Sign o’the Times. I love the song – the words, music, the beat. No one could party like Prince!
Next up (I’m beginning to sound like a radio presenter) is Killer by Seal and Adamski. It topped the UK charts for four weeks in May 1990. It’s worth listening to right to the end, for Seal’s interesting closing comments.
It’s ironic that I’m choosing a KLF record when I see contemporary pop music as too over-produced and “managed”. The KLF was a kind of art project by two guys in the music industry who just wanted to make a hit single for fun. They even published a book called The Manual (How to have a number one the easy way). Their efforts produced some great hit songs, accompanied with grandiose videos complete with wind machines! I think they could teach today’s music producers a few things!
I’m just going to whizz back to the Seventies in celebration of Freddie Mercury. I watched the film Bohemian Rhapsody a few weeks ago, and it reminded me what a brilliant band Queen was. I hate to say “was”, but Freddie Mercury added that edge of brilliance to a great band, in my opinon. I loved them right from when I heard their first hit single, Seven Seas of Rhye – which rarely gets airplay these days. It has such energy and originality, and Freddie Mercury’s performance is electric.
OK this is me being a bit self-indulgent. Few people will have heard of this track – unless you were heavily into the London rave scene in the 1990s. I wasn’t – I was travelling round the world. I had a Sony Walkman that I’d bought from a junkie in India. It had a Pink Floyd tape in it with Dark Side of the Moon on one side and Wish You Were Here on the other. I had also acquired tapes of Bach favourites and Music of the Deserts by Zakir Hussain. I played these three tapes a lot on my little Walkman as I travelled round the world.
When I returned to Scotland, in late 1997, everything seemed super-clean and incredibly hi-tech. My mum asked me if I wanted to go to the supermarket with her. I said yes, but I was still a bit jet-lagged, so I stayed in the car while she went into the shop.
I put on the radio, and tuned in to Radio 1. It was the John Peel show, and he started playing Chime by Orbital. I felt as if I’d suddenly been transported into a futuristic space age fantasy! I’d been staying in grimy guesthouses in the back of beyond – I’d even picked up bed bugs! Now everything seemed immaculately slick and sophisticated. Going from the sound of the tiny tinny tape recorder to hearing Orbital blasting through the ear-massaging throb of the speakers in my Mum’s car felt like the audio equivalent of travelling on a spaceship to Pluto!
So I’m not going to choose Orbital. That Orbital record opened my ears to a new dimension in music, but there’s another record that got under my skin much more around that time. I joined a gym in 1998, and I would often hear this music as I ran on the treadmill. It grew on me, and I asked the attendants what it was. They told me it was an album called Dave Pearce’s Dance Anthems. I went out and bought it. The track I absolutely loved (although there are many great songs on that album) was Future Sound of London by Papua New Guinea. I still love it. And I love the top comment on this video:
“I remember hearing stuff like this back in the day and thinking THIS! THIS is how music is going to sound in the future!….. What happened?????”
I’m just going to include one more song, and it’s a bit of a curveball after all the dancey rocky tunes. It’s one of those songs that you hardly notice at first, but if you hear it enough, it just gets under your skin. And it has quite a good message for the festive season: Be Thankful for What You’ve Got by William de Vaughn. I heard it about a week ago, when I stopped off in a Costa Coffee with a friend, while driving home from a hillwalk.
I first heard this record when I was 12 years old. It seemed to be on the radio all the time, and I kind of liked it, but I never found out who the singer was. It was one of those records that always reminded me of being 12, until Massive Attack (another 90s connection) included a version of it on their amazing Blue Lines album.
Many other versions have been recorded. But I’m going to choose the original here.
Photo source for main image