Nominations for our musical stepladder have dried up, understandably, so in a shameless attempt to revitalise interest, there is now a Spotify playlist in existence of songs from 1 up to 40.
It’s somewhat different from the original list, partly because some songs aren’t on Spotify, partly because some of those nominated, such as 26 Years by Menswear, are awful (as the nominator of that song himself implied). The need to compile a playlist that people might actually want to listen to, rather than one derived solely on an empirical basis, makes obvious sense.
Anyway, this new list contains some delights. There’s a nicely apt prologue courtesy of They Might Be Giants; Cab Calloway’s band pleading for a Fifteen Minutes Intermission and their boss graciously conceding it would be good for their “palpitating embochure”; Leroy Carr pledging to turn over a brand new leaf in the Nineteen Thirty One Blues; and Brigitte Fontaine pompously intoning J’ai 26 ans. Fuck knows what it’s about, but it sounds lovely.
The list gets sequentially more obscure, though hopefully no less appealing. There are a couple of harmless acoustic noodlings for numbers 14 and 28; a bit of George Fenton film soundtrackage for number 34; and a washboard for number 38.
Best of all, perhaps, is the version of #9 Dream by A-ha. Here’s a textbook example of how to take a dreary bag of wank and turn it into something fresh and quite charming (not least by ditching that wretched “John! John!” bit). It somehow fittingly segues into Loudon Wainwright III’s achingly sad 4 x 10.
Feel free to add your suggestions to the playlist on where to go from here, specifically how to get to Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover.