Thursday, 1 December 2011


Yes, technically it is late, but I make the rules around here.

1. Lou Millet – “Shorty The Barber” (1956)
If I were a rockabilly on my way to a haircut I‘d play this before setting out.

2. Brother John Sellers – “He’s My Rock” (1959)
The devil didn’t have all the best tunes; the Lord had a fair few good ones Himself.

3. The Contours – “You Hurt Me So” (1963)
When the Motown barrel looks finally scraped clean, things like this surface. Berry Gordy was insistent the Contours stuck to the fast and furious formula that suited their live performances so this sumptuous mid-tempo magic has, incredibly, sat gathering dust for 48 years before being unveiled on Dance with the Contours.

4. Ronnie Milsap – “Thousand Miles From Nowhere” (1966)
If you’re searching for the lesser-spotted country/northern soul hybrid – look no further than this cotton-picking talc botherer.

5. The Buzzcocks – “Love You More” (1978)
Proof a perfect pop song needn’t be a second over one minute forty five.

6. Crass – “Nagasaki Nightmare” (1981)
The elaborate foldout sleeve is crammed with terrifying accounts from Nagasaki and the record itself is no less chilling. The same sleeve boldly states “PAY NO MORE THAN 99p”, yet those capitalist pigs in Reckless Records charged me four quid. Come the revolution…

7. Tom Waits – “Shore Leave” (1983)
Monkey Snr would attempt to play Swordfishtrombones in the family home when I were a lad. It wasn’t a popular choice. “Daaaaad, we’d sooner listen to Charlie Parker than this!” But, somewhat belatedly, I gotta hand it to the fella; it’s a cracking album.

8. J Mascis – “Listen To Me” (2011)
I wanna come home one morning, smashed out of my head, to find Mascis and Evan Dando sat on my sofa playing guitars and singing stuff like this. Until then, Mascis's Several Shades Of Why will suffice.

9. Pocketbooks – “Harbour Lights” (2011)
As their name suggests, London indiepoppers Pocketbooks are wordy souls, who come dangerously close to tripping over themselves as they crowbar pop-culture references into their lovelorn tales. Here Swing Out Sister get a mention, as do “East Coast 45s in their polythene sleeves”.

10. Gruff Rhys – “Slashed Wrists This Christmas” (2011)
It’s a shame Gruff’s woozy tune mentions Christmas as this misery deserves to be heard all year round.


  1. Well, most impressed at your fantastically eclectic choices and compelled to comment! Oh I've a real hankering to hear 'Love You More' now, bought it at the time, not heard in many a year; perfect pop as you say. And Crass! Having spent many a night amid their coterie as my b/f's band supported them widely (and I first saw Crass play that same local venue and in the same year as the Ants!), I always get a little nostalgic flutter inside when somebody mentions their name. I admire your open-minded taste.

  2. I owned a Crass patch in 1981. Took me thirty years to buy one of their records!