A friend of mine who I’ve not seen for a while (we were at law college together) has emailed round a group of us with a suggestion of how we can catch up with one another’s musical taste. His specification was for a CD-length playlist of 12-14 tracks, half being our “all-time favourites” and the other half songs which bring back memories or which we’ve discovered in the past five years.
Choosing my all-time favourite seven songs could have taken me the rest of this year, so I decided to take a slightly different tack. Instead of my all-time favourites, I decided to take seven of my favourite artists from more than five years ago, and choose one interesting track for each. Not necessarily my favourite track by each artist; just one that I enjoy and that is in some way interesting.
As for the second half, I’ve gone for slightly more recent than five years as the cut-off point, and the chosen artists are all ones I’ve discovered in the past two years. I’ve followed the rules a bit more closely for these artists, with each song being either my favourite by that artist, or else in the top two or three.
Anyroad up, here’s the list I came up with.
- The Smiths: Reel Around The Fountain
- Suzanne Vega: I’ll Never Be Your Maggie May
- Neil Young: White Line
- Billy Bragg: Little Time Bomb
- The Beatles: Sexy Sadie
- Bob Dylan: I Believe In You
- The Fall: High Tension Line
- Eels: I’m Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn’t Break Your Heart
- Neko Case: Deep Red Bells
- Rufus Wainwright: I Don’t Know What It Is
- Martha Wainwright: Bloody Mother F***ing Asshole
- Cat Power: Lived In Bars
- Aimee Mann: Deathly
- Sufjan Stevens: The Transfiguration
It’d be interesting to see what other lists people come up with along similar lines, either in the comments or on your own site. Interpret the rules how you will: the basic split is between “old tracks you’ve enjoyed for ages” and “new (to you) tracks which you currently love”.