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Pete Atkin >> Music >> The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
(Message started by: David Morgan on Today at 18:06)

Title: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by David Morgan on Today at 18:06
It’s poll time again. Discussion on other threads led to thinking that we should update the Top Ten Songs poll that Ian C ran in 1998, and also the MVs’ Musical Tastes survey that Nigel Long did in 2000. Why? Different times, new PA albums, and also some new and different MVs. These seemed good enough reasons to us, anyway!

So here’s your chance to vote. We’re looking for:

1. Your Top Ten Atkin Songs

In preference order, your ten favourite songs recorded by Pete. Any unrecorded Atkin/James gems are also eligible, of course.

2. Your Top Ten (non-Atkin) Musicians

You can take eleven musicians’ complete recorded works to a desert island. One musician will of course be Pete Atkin, but who are the other ten? Again in preference order, please. There are no genre limits: last time JS Bach and Miles Davis made strong showings alongside The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan.... For the classics ‘musician’ means composer, while with the newer stuff you're voting for the recording artist(s): this is not very precise, but seems to make most sense.

You don’t have to vote in both polls, but it’ll be most fun if you all do so. You can vote either by reply on this thread (and do tell us why Black Funk Rex is your favourite Atkin number) or by instant message to David Morgan (for both polls - click the Instant Message link over on the left).

Via the mailing list, Pete will also invite email votes from infrequent Forum visitors.

The polls close on 31 December.

We will then do the magic and results will appear here in early New Year. Try to contain your excitement meanwhile.

Looking forward to as many votes as possible

Ian C
David M

Title: Top Ten Songs Poll
Post by Andrew_Curry on Today at 22:13
Why? because it seemed easier than the musicians' poll, which I'm hoping will make sense to me if I don't think about it too hard. So here are the songs:

1. Faded Mansions on the Hill (because of electric piano, the wonderful rhyme structure, and the subtlety of the lyric and its narrative) [' The beach the poor men never reach
 / The shore the rich men never leave', the homing yachts from summer, I don't need to go on]. Would be number one any time I wrote a list like this.
2. Thief in the Night: a masterpiece of compression (a truck going south or a cab to the festival hall)
3. Perfect Moments: I just love the list of moments, which always makes me go back to listen to Charlie Parket, and the bitter sweet ending: perfect bitch it doesn't work that way.
4. Driving Through Mythical America. Any Atkin list has to have one of the Vietnam songs in it, and Troops of Love comes close, and I still enjoy the conceit of Sunlight Gate; but this is so rich. Saloon? Sedan? Detail.
5. Thirty Year Man: kind of the entire history of jazz in three minutes; an hour alone...
6. Road of Silk, for the imagery and the sax solo
7. Between Us There is Nothing. Those 'lost romantic' poems are a James speciality, and Flowers and the Wine runs it close - and good to see The Dancing Master in the same vein - but the imagery is so rich and dense on this. I've been listening to it for thirty years and still haven't unravelled it.
8. Carnations On The Roof. Probably seems like an odd selection, and I wouldn't have chosen it twenty years ago, but now, from the perspective of 2006, it holds a whole political and economic history of the last quarter of a century, and the destruction of the skilled working class by Thatcher and her cronies. Car factories? Heavens! Didn't we used to have one of those around here somewhere?
9. Last Hill That Shows You All the Valley. Again, I love those 'sweeps of history' songs that Clive James writes so well, and this is the best. No Dice jostled along for a while, on the strength of its pay off (to link the ways men die with how they grow) but I can remember how awed I was by the lyric of this when I first heard it, and the breadth of the connections. It's still a fantastic song.
10. National Steel. There has to be a muso's song in the list, and I love Sessionman's Blues and Wristwatch for a Drummer, but the way in which the aching lyric and the aching guitar marry each other on this means it squeaks in.

Nothing from BOBS, which I've always regarded as a bit of a warm up album (Girl On A Train flickered across my consciousness while I was writing the list, but I've always thought it teetered across that this line between irony and smugness a few times too many). And nothing from any of the more recent recordings, perhaps because they're still too new to me.

The first seven songs on the list wrote themselves in; any of five or ten or fifteen more could have squeezed in to the end of the list; aming them Secret Drinker, which was squeezed out at the last minute by CarnationsOTRoof, Shadow and the Widower (or one of the other 'Gerard Nerval' songs, like the Prince of Aquitaine); King At Nightfall (I always loved that period of English history, shame we cut off our king's head 150 years before anyone had worked out what to do next); and Tenderfoot, with that clever line about 'a clever way to be unkind' which spoke loudly to my 20-something self. I even thought for a little while about Sammy Speedball, probably the wittiest of the 'humorous' songs - but I'm not a huge fan of the humorous songs.

Best wishes

Andrew

Title: The Top Ten Non-Atkin Music
Post by Andrew_Curry on 01.12.06 at 19:53
Having thought it was too difficult to do, the ten musicians sort of fell out while I was idling in a taxi in a traffic jam in Coventry... so here goes:

1. Elvis Costello. He's the soundtrack of my adult life, and he's done so much and such different stuff that you could almost choose an EC record to suit your mood. I like his lyrics almost as much as Clive James. One might even come to understand what The Juliet Letters was all about.

2. Robert Wyatt. Again, a vast mix of material, from the quirky to the uplifting, especially if you could get to take all those myriad odd tracks he's done with other bands and the Soft Machine. I know his voice isn't to everyone's taste but I've always found it moving. Always useful to have a cover version of Shipbuilding in case you can't find it on the Elvis Costello CDs as wll.

3. Eliades Ochoa. Cuba's finest guitarist, with or without the Cuarteto Patria. Son music to swing to.

4. EST. the Swedish jazz trio. Clearly a European sound, with a huge range of moods, and one that's informed by listening to Jim Hendrix as well as Miles. You get a CD of covers of Monk as well, thrown in.

5. Velvet Underground. There would be days when you wanted some straight ahead rock and roll, and the Velvets are the best and the darkest.

6. Matthew Herbert. The British DJ and bandleader, a wonderfully ecelctic mix of sounds, including dance and electro, and that quirky record (but tuneful) which he made completely from sampled sounds of food being eaten and prepared. You'd die of old age without something contemporary on your shelves.

7. Nick Drake. Not much output, a bit like the Velvets, but subtle enough and rich enough to keep listening to over and over. I only discovered that his music was indispensable recently.

8. Neville Brothers. I needed some soul, but preferred the funk of New Orleans and its backline. And Aaron Neville's voice is one of the finest in all of music.

9. Martin Simpson. The English guitarist, with a wonderful folk repertoire and some magnificant blues playing. He also lets me take some Dylan, in fine cover versions. His segue of Highway 61 - the traditional American song - and Highway 61 Revisited is a masterpiece. (I thought about taking some of Bob's stuff, but realised that the songs I liked I already had in my head.)

10. Aretha. Sometimes you need that soaring inspirational Atlantic sound. And although I'm not religious, her gospel songs are wonderful.

Andrew      

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 02.12.06 at 06:45
1. Faded Mansion On The Hill. The whole song is perfect but the chord change from G to Dm6 when Pete sings "Between the headlands..." is a real trouvaille that pnly a great songwriter would have thought of.

2. Canoe. I still think that if Pete had released this as a single back in the Seventies, it would have been a hit.

3. A Hill Of Little Shoes. Hearing Clive perform this at Buxton brought a lump to my throat. "The one song that refuses to be born" is born.

4. My Egoist. I sing this to myself every time I have to rake up dead leaves or cut the hedge. The words are a brilliant translation of a poem by Appolinaire (sp?) and among Clive's finest.

5. A Man Who’s Been Around. Yet another clever modulation when Pete sings "the lees..." which had me playing this over and over when I first got hold of the CD.

6. Senior Citizens. I always thought this would be a better name for the Forum than Midnight Voices. Well, my ankles are beginning to fold over my shoes not to mention the hair on my scalp. Nobody else was writing songs with a verse and a chorus in the Seventies.

7. Black Funk Rex. I play this to anyone in whom I'm trying to interest Pete's music and it always works even though nobody who isn't a Senior Citizen has heard of T. Rex or Grand Funk Railroad these days.

8. Perfect Moments. A perfect moment in itself, simple and effective like all perfect moments.

9. Thirty Year Man. My introduction to Pete and Clive. Looking back, it must have been the voice that hit me first. Nobody else was singing like that in those days and certainly not songs like this.

10.Nothing Left To Say. Exactly. The words are not only incredibly evocative but show a technical skill that opened Clive to charges (unfounded) of being too clever by half by critics who themselves brilliantly avoided such accusations.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 02.12.06 at 07:25
Top Ten Artists

Assuming the Beatles are like the Bible and Shakespeare, I have to start with:

1. The Beach Boys. They made more and more rubbish as Brian Wilson withdrew but nothing can beat "I Get Around:" a truly revolutionary pop song that completely breaks with anything you'd heard previously, just as long as you don't pay too much attention to the words.

2. Hatfield and the North. I bought their first album as I was intrigued by its cover artwork and after listening to it wondered what the hell was going on. Having now seen the score of the various tracks and attepted failing miserably to play them (in one song, the time signature changes every second bar while the guitar and keyboards are playing in two different keys with different rythmns) I'm still wondering. Their second album contains "Underdub", perhaps my all-time favourite tune. I buy everything each of these musicians do unhesitatingly and am never disappointed.

3. Randy Newman. He just gets better and better. A real craftsman like Pete and Clive.

4. Gilbert and Sullivan. They may be a bit old hat these days but who else has written so many great tunes?

5. Henry Cow. I fully understand why they may not be to everybody's taste but they opened my ears to the world of improvised music.

6. Procol Harum. Don't listen to them these days very much but I practically wore out their albums in the Seventies. Gary Brooker is a much underrated singer and composer while their organist made two superb albums that got nowhere in early Seventies.

7. Eric Dolphy. He died after making his only studio album "Out To Lunch" but it hooked me from the first note. As with H. Cow, you can be forgiven for finding it a bit tough at first but it's another of those records that makes everything before it seem flat.

8. Vaughan Williams. Principally his Symphonies which are so English that on a desert island they'd help to keep you sane.

9. Chet Baker. Not just a great jazz trumpeter but a singer could make the most awful drivel sound like art.

10. Pip Pyle's Bash. They only made one album but were technically the most brilliant musicians I've ever heard. More to the point, if I should run into a Man Friday on the album, I'd be able to show him as if by accident that, yes, that's my name in the credits on the sleeve. I've loved Pip's music ever since I heard Hatfield but was lucky enough to get to know him in later years and become close friends. We even played together a few times and he wanted to make an album with me when he got his studio running but alas had the bad taste to die suddenly last August. A truly great bloke, something you feel listening to his music. Also, the only rock musician by whom I've ever been kidnapped.

Ian C

Title: Faded Mansion on the Hill
Post by Andrew_Curry on 02.12.06 at 18:37
I had heard the chord change that Ian mentions hundreds of times, obviously, but without the technical musical knowledge to understand what was going on, just that visceral sense of the shift from the closed world of the shore where time stalks, to the open expanse of the sea. Thanks for explaining it.

Trouvaille?

Andrew

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 03.12.06 at 18:18
Andrew wrote:

<<I had heard the chord change that Ian mentions hundreds of times, obviously, but without the technical musical knowledge to understand what was going on, just that visceral sense of the shift from the closed world of the shore where time stalks, to the open expanse of the sea. Thanks for explaining it. >>

Don't thank me: thank Gerry Smith who transcribed this song for Smash Flops. I was like you in that I "felt" it but didn't know why.

<<Trouvaille?>>

Frog word meaning "finding." Not a spelling mistake for "Trouville" the Normandy holiday resort.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Gerry Smith on 03.12.06 at 23:45
Ahem, well, yes, thank you Ian, I did indeed make a transcription of TFMOTH, a tone higher than Pete plays it, it would seem, back in those heady days of 1997, when the renaissance was in full flight (or something...) and oD's were something to do with Ice Cream Men and... Get on with it, ed..

Pete made a few changes to my offering, one of which was the G-Dm6-Em phrase (between the headlands to the sea).  I had suggested, and often still play, notwithstanding Pete's correction, G, Bm, Em, with a descending G, F#, E in the left hand.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jim Grozier on 04.12.06 at 18:06
I can't give such an erudite commentary on my choices as previous posters - in fact with some I can give none at all -  and this list should also be read in the context of (i) not having got into "Winter Spring" at all yet - I first heard of it about a week ago, and just reveived my copy from that nice Mr Hillside; (ii) not having even got into a considerable number of the songs on “The Lakeside Sessions” yet; (iii) ditto The Road Of Silk (I got all the LPs as re-releases, and before they were available had only heard “Mythical America”, “A King At Nightfall” and the compilation “Master of the Revels” and whatever Pete sang in Eastbourne). These things are best done s-l-o-w-l-y. (I also believe it’s too early to say whether or not the French Revolution was a good thing  :)).

Right, that’s all the caveats sorted out. I should add that I may have given more than due prominence to “Lakeside” due to its having been released relatively recently and thus I have had a chance to digest it in reasonable-sized portions. Also that the order in which these songs appear is almost random – it’s often very difficult to say one is much better than another.

1. Tenderfoot. Wonderfully evocative – when I hear it I am in that canyon with the horseman (although I’ve never been there, and don’t know where it is).

2. Trophies of My Lovers Gone. Hmmmm. Lovely.

3. Canoe. Beautiful, makes me shiver. (But does anyone know if it’s describing two contemporaneous events, or two different eras?)

4. Ice Cream Man. Mmmmm.

5. Tonight Your Love Is Over. Not Pete’s customary sound – it exudes sadness. A bit of a miniature perhaps, but lovely in a sad sort of way.

6. Beware of the Beautiful Stranger. Of course. (In spite of the phrase “a slight but considerable danger” which I’ve always assumed to be a slip of the tongue).

7. Sunlight Gate.

8. Thirty Year Man.

9. I See The Joker. A brilliant exposition of paranoia – even though the phrase “family cars” makes me think of Ford Escorts with 2 kids in the back, not perhaps the image Clive wanted to convey!

10. No Dice. Even though I don’t understand the last verse … who else writes or sings songs like this?

Ten is a very cruel number, David. On my list were 17 titles – the others being Sessionman’s Blues, Wristwatch, A King at Nightfall, Hypertension Kid, Thief in the Night, Girl on the Train and Sunrise. And even that list doesn’t include “Between Us …” which I’m listening to right now. And maybe Faded Mansion would be there too if I could understand it  … Ah! The agony of choice!

Jim.

Top Ten Artists coming soon!

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Keith Busby on 04.12.06 at 20:24
OK. Here goes, with all the usual caveats, esp. regarding the precise order:

1) Hill of Little Shoes. Surely the most "significant" and moving of all the songs.
2) Faded Mansion. Contains for me the most extraordinary moment in the corpus, but not the G-Dm6. Rather, it's "The graveyard of tall ships is really here, / Where the grass breaks up the driveway more each year". The descending melody of "driveway ..." does it.
3) Between Us There Is Nothing. I recall this is one of Pete's faves. Gotta love those green seas and mangrove deltas.
4) Secret Drinker. Like Faded Mansion, I like the different "movements" of the song, and the way the slippery melody finally gets back to the major.
5) Hypertension Kid, -id, -id, -id.
6) Wristwatch for a Drummer. Here and elsewhere, Pete has to extend the melody to fit Clive's irregular stanzas.
7) Payday Evening. I suppose this, like Shadow and the Widower, appeals to my scholarly bent, with the Versailles/fables lines on the maj7's
8) Shadow and the Widower. How can a prof. of Fr. Lit. not like this? Same goes for Prince of Aquitaine and You Alone Will Be My Last Adventure (see how I snuck two more in there). Like the way the E-G-A9-B-Cmaj7 is predicated on a B note all the way through.
9) History and Geography. How often have I flown half-awake and half-asleep into what I call my homeland?
10) Dancing Master. Does this appeal to the middle-aged? Nice key change and nice setting as a beguine (it was a beguine, n'est-ce pas?). Good instrumental backing on the album.

Mind you, if I did this again tomorrow, it might be quite different.

Keith

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Keith Busby on 04.12.06 at 20:41
Non-Atkin:

1) The early Joni Mitchell. Oh, the guitar tunings!
2) Seatrain. Anyone else? Whatever happened to the violinist? Second album disappointing, though.
3) Incredible String Band. Non-conformist brilliance.
4) Jimmy Webb. Patchy, but with moments of unequalled brilliance.
5) Early Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, esp. Bert and John.
6) If I can do a collective one, then Rodgers and Hart/Hoagy Carmichael/Cole Porter/George Gershwin and the like. Just for the combination of smart lyrics with the music, in some ways like P&C.
7) The Band. Sounded rough and unrehearsed until you heard the live album, when it was all note for note the same as the studio versions. A shiver goes down my spine on the live album when the spotlight obviously comes up to reveal Dylan to sing "Like A Rolling Stone". The crowd,as they say, goes wild.
8) Colin Blunstone. One of the great voices of pop music. Absolutely ethereal in "As Far As My Eyes Can See" and "The Eagle Will Rise Again" (for the Alan Parsons Project).
9) Dusty Springfield. Another of the great voices.
10) Beach Boys. Agree totally with Ian, although my song would be "God Only Knows".

Keith

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 05.12.06 at 07:35
Keith wrote:

<<Between Us There Is Nothing. I recall this is one of Pete's faves>>

I don't suppose for a moment Pete would like to give us his Top Ten Songs?. He's done his Top Five (?) musicians already.

Amazingly, no-one has voted for "Girl On The Train yet."

Ian C

Title: Canoe (and happy endings)
Post by Andrew_Curry on 05.12.06 at 08:58
<<Canoe. Beautiful, makes me shiver. (But does anyone know if it’s describing two contemporaneous events, or two different eras?)>>

I'd always assumed that the canoe journey was set in Polynesian islands in the 19th century, at the time when anthropologists studied their culture of gifts, because of the line,

"But we couldn't find the island/
Where you trade the shells for feathers".

It also fits with the James' style of intermingling different histories in the same stories: there are helicopters on the walls of Troy.

But listening to it again made me realise that it is one of the few Atkin/James songs with a happy ending. At least one of the crews makes it back.

But where does that happen elsewhere in the canon? 'Everything went wrong' with The Lady of a Day; the Tenderfoot travels alone, as does the drinker on his Payday Evenings; there are three to dine but only two to stay; the Inuit has been left on the ice to die; the girl on a train can barely lift her eyes from her paperback; the youthful thrill of the ice cream van's jingle can never be re-captured (which is why Atkin's older version on the Lakeside Sessions works so much better than Julie Covington's). You even know that the paranoia of the gangster in The Joker is well-founded. And so on.

In short, the tower is almost always ruined by the time the Prince of Aquitaine gets there. If he hasn't actively set about knocking it down.    

Title: Slight but considerable
Post by Andrew_Curry on 05.12.06 at 10:22
<<(In spite of the phrase “a slight but considerable danger” which I’ve always assumed to be a slip of the tongue). >>

In my line of work we sometimes talk about events which are low probability but high impact (i.e. if they do happen they are very bad news, but they are not that likely to happen). My assumption that this was one of those - but given the nature of the fortune teller, the danger was in fact less slight than she was letting on.

Andrew

Title: Re: Canoe (and happy endings)
Post by Jim Grozier on 05.12.06 at 16:15

on 12/05/06 at 08:58:20, Andrew_Curry wrote :
I'd always assumed that the canoe journey was set in Polynesian islands in the 19th century, at the time when anthropologists studied their culture of gifts, because of the line,

"But we couldn't find the island/
Where you trade the shells for feathers".


That sounds reasonable (and I've exposed my complete ignorance of anthropology here - don't tell my daughter, who did a degree in it!) but my reason for thinking otherwise was that the Moon is mentioned in the first section, and the astronauts look down on the South Pacific in the second. (Sorry Steve, this is a bit off the topic of the top ten!)


Quote:
the youthful thrill of the ice cream van's jingle can never be re-captured (which is why Atkin's older version on the Lakeside Sessions works so much better than Julie Covington's).  


(Off topic again) I'd be interested to know the age of the Lakeside songs. When it came out I assumed they were all new, but then someone has mentioned on the forum that "The Eye of the Universe" was previously available in a very different format; also I think Pete mentioned at a concert that one of the songs had taken him years to write the music for, so I suppose that counts as new (but can't remember which one!)

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by colin_boag on 07.12.06 at 09:41
Top ten non-PA - very tough!  In the end I opted for what I play most over a sustained period.  Hard to leave out Randy Newman, The ISB and Nick Drake, but I did!

Michael Marra - I love intelligent and clever lyrics and there is no-one who does this better.  

Richard Thompson - June Tabor (see below) refers to him as the 'blessed' RT and she isn't too far wide of the mark.  Of course he's an astonishing guitarist but it's the lyrics that appeal to me - I like dark ones and he does dark better than most.

June Tabor - much, much more than an interpreter of traditional song.  Chanteuse describes her pretty well.   Scholarly streak to her (but I can forgive that) which albums such as Rosa Mundi (I think the only one in her catalogue not to start with the letter 'A') show

The Handsome Family - dark lyrics again but with a humorous streak

John Martyn - all-time hero an innovator.  If you don't get it, listen to 'Small Hours' - if you still don't get it then give yourself up as a lost cause!

Lucinda Williams - amazing voice and does 'tortured soul' country better than anyone else in the genre

Jackie Leven - difficult to categorise and not everyone's cup of tea - my wife can't stand his albums and says that he's pretentious (I'm not sure whether that's a strength or a weakness in a rock musician?).  Amazing voice though

Miles Davis - still regularly play everything before Bitches Brew

Orchestra Baobab - only two albums but I play them both (especially the first one) a lot. The very best of World Music

Bellowhead - only an EP and an album to their name (although Jon Boden and John Spiers have a number of albums to their credit) but they are the future of traditional folk in the way that Carthy and Swarbs were in the 60's and 70's.  Simply the best live band I've ever seen (and I've seen many over the years!)  and, IMO, the most exciting act around.


Title: Non-Atkin top ten
Post by Richard Bleksley on 07.12.06 at 14:06
As just about everybody else has said, this hasn't been easy!  I had to visualise myself marooned on that island before I could settle on what I found really indispensable, and even now the order is a bit dodgy.  But here goes.

1.  Ralph McTell.
Even though over-exposure doesn't stop a good song from remaining a good song, there's a lot more to this man than Streets of London.  Billy Connolly once described him as "a national treasure," and I agree.  A magical songwriter (my second favourite after you-know-who), an excellent guitarist, and a modest, down-to-earth personality.  Just about every album he's ever made has had at least two or three really memorable songs.  

2.  June Tabor.
I've said it all before on the "Off-topic" board.  Not only does she possess a stunning voice, but she uses it like the consummate artist that she is.  Every time I listen to something of hers I am awed anew at the virtuosity and eloquence of her singing.  At this level of artistry the fact that she writes no original material is irrelevant.

3.  Kirsty MacColl.
Another fine singer, and a considerable but underrated songwriter: strong tunes and wonderful lyrics, sardonic, witty, sharp and true.  A larger-than-life personality - too much of an individualist to get on well with the music establishment, which handicapped her career - and a unique talent, tragically cut short.

4.  The Beatles.
Hardly an original choice, but I couldn't leave them out.  Their career exactly bracketed my teenage years, and their music is an indelible part of my life.  It's tempting to take them for granted, but when you listen to the other stuff that was around at the time you realise how pioneering - and how good - they really were.  I know of no other act where the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts.

5.  Fairport Convention.
Not sure about their later output, but I couldn't live without the early stuff (with Sandy Denny and just after).  The second most influential act in shaping my taste in music - Unhalfbricking opened the ears of a devotee of blues and hard rock to quieter, subtler music, and Liege and Lief precipitated a lasting interest in folk.

6.  The Rolling Stones.
Although most of what they've done in the last thirty-five years is pretty disposable (even that arch-egotist Sir Michael Jagger almost admitted as much once), they belong here because their early stuff is still classic, and because they were the biggest influence on my taste in music - they woke me up (along with thousands of others) to the blues, my most enduring musical love.

7.  Robert Johnson.
When I die, the blues is the music I'll be found with.  Like Amy, it only takes a little while to make me smile every time I hear it.  So I have to include one real blues singer in my list; and if it's only one, it has to be, not very originally, Robert Johnson, once described by Eric Clapton as: "the most passionate cry that I think you can find in the human voice."

8.  Fleetwood Mac.
No, not that Fleetwood Mac, but the original blues band with Peter Green.  Included here to remind me of what were probably the most memorable gigs I ever went to - I had the good fortune to catch them at exactly the right time, when they were really on fire just before they became well-known; and they were much better live than they sound on those early albums.  Peter Green seemed to have an instinctive feel for the blues unequalled among British musicians.  B. B. King once said: "He's the only [white blues musician] who ever made me sweat."

9.  John Mayall.
Included for historical reasons - I haven't even tried to hear anything he's done for many years.  But he completed the job the Stones started.  When I first heard the "Beano" album with Eric Clapton (whose playing here can still send shivers down my spine after all these years) I thought (don't laugh: I was only sixteen, and romantic): "This is the music I've been waiting to hear."  I became a born-again blues fanatic, and for the next few years I bought everything he did.

10. Jo Ann Kelly.
I had to push one really obscure artist!  For my money the best blues singer of either sex Britain has produced (the first time I saw her I was stunned by such a powerful voice emerging from such a small person), her premature death from a brain tumour in her early forties, together with her hostile and contemptuous attitude towards "the biz," between them ensured that she never got the recognition her talent might otherwise have gained her.

The Atkin top ten is proving even harder, so that'll be along a bit later.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by naomi on 07.12.06 at 16:51
Top Ten (non-Atkin) musicians

I see that the rules stipulate no genre limits for music on the island, so here goes !

1. Franz Schubert
He's been called the Shakespeare of Song, and I agree: like the Bard, he is always our contemporary. The greatest songwriter ever, I think.

2. W. A. Mozart
I couldn't live without The Marriage of Figaro ... and that's not just because I have so much fun playing Marcellina (the only Mozart role for which my voice is suitable!).

Superlatives are superfluous

3. J.S. Bach
It's heavenly !

4. Robert Schumann
Another great songwriter

5. Gustav Mahler
The last great Romantic, he set the scene for Modernism, treated the symphony as "the world", and was an intensely personal and human composer who somehow expressed the concerns of the 20th century despite living only until 1910 ...
and he wrote loads of wonderful stuff for low mezzos to sing!

6. Richard Wagner
Phenomenal and phenomenally influential musical dramatist.
Hojotoho !

7. Hugo Wolf
In this context, I'll particularly listen to this great songwriter's "Weyla's Song", which tells of an imaginary island ...

8. Georges Bizet
for Carmen - a masterpiece, fabulously vivid, and the title-role fits my voice like a glove.

I have a problem here ... I need both

9. Leos Janacek
A genius of opera at last receiving the recognition that he deserves. Such emotional intensity - with such economy of means

and
10. Alban Berg
His Wozzeck is probably the 20th century's most influential opera

But this leaves me without Jacques Brel, not to mention several other glaring omissions !

Will get back to you if I can resolve this problem, Mr Morgan.

Many thanks for this opportunity to ramble on about my favourite non-Atkin music,
Naomi

[Correction applied 17:07 at Naomi's request -- SJB]




Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jim Grozier on 08.12.06 at 08:57
Naomi’s post has shamed me into adding my own, overcoming fears that a list of mainly classical (though not “classical classical”) composers might be considered a bit OTT.

I’ve given up on making it a “hall of fame” of all the stuff that I used to listen to and which is still important to me though I never listen to it, so out go Cream, Traffic, Blind Faith, Pete Brown, Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and all the rest – though there is one relic from that era and approximately that genre – can you spot it? As I mainly listen to Radio 3 these days, all I would actually need would be a radio to enable me to get my fix of “Late Junction”, but as that’s against the rules, here goes …

1. Maurice Ravel. Mainly for the piano music. I still don’t understand how he managed to compose some of that stuff, and how anyone manages to play it. But however it’s done, the end product is sublime. I can listen to his music over and over again without getting tired of it.

2. Claude Debussy. Just pipped to the post by his old sparring partner. Even though “Reverie” is one of my favourite miniatures, it isn’t exactly “Le Tombeau de Couperin”.

3. Bela Bartok. With him, of course, you get a big slice of Hungarian and Romanian folk music as well, so he’s good value for money.

4. Leos Janacek (snap) – but again, mainly for the piano music, and the string quartets; and if I get fed up I can listen to “Sinfonietta”.

5. Philip Jeays. Let’s face it, you have to have pretty good French to really enjoy listening to Brel; Jeays’ songs are just as brilliant (and funny) and have the advantage of being in English. Tragically underrated.

6. Robb Johnson (the British singer-songwriter, not the blues man). His music is a good tonic when you get the feeling that the lunatics have finally taken over  – which is quite frequently these days.

7. Seize The Day – works when Robb Johnson is just not a strong enough antidote. I only have one CD of theirs but I really admire them. They live and sing their politics, and there are tragically few people doing that these days.

8. Camel. Yes, that’s the one, you spotted it. Again (as with Ravel) I can listen to it over and over again.

9. Judy Collins. Again, good value for money; you get a tantalising morsel of Brel, and a big slice of Leonard Cohen as well. (And as several of the early Cohen songs were written for Collins, rather than Cohen, to sing, I suppose there are parallels with Atkin and James, except that some people might say that James has a better singing voice than Cohen, although I wouldn’t agree).

10. Erik Satie. The less-serious works frustrate me somewhat, as does that fact that pianists habitually play his works too slow, or sometimes too fast, but rarely at the right speed. Included here because the “complete works” stipulation presumably means I would get to listen to the one recording in which the the beautiful and eerie “Pieces Froides” is played just right.

Jim.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by naomi on 08.12.06 at 12:35
Many thanks, Jim - you have made sure that two of the greats whom I wanted to include - Debussy, composer of the wonderful Pelleas, as well as superbly atmospheric songs, and Bartok, who composed an opera that I love and have seen many times, Bluebeard's Castle - make an appearance !

Naomi

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jim Grozier on 08.12.06 at 14:36

on 12/08/06 at 12:35:21, naomi wrote :
Many thanks, Jim - you have made sure that two of the greats whom I wanted to include - Debussy, composer of the wonderful Pelleas, as well as superbly atmospheric songs, and Bartok, who composed an opera that I love and have seen many times, Bluebeard's Castle - make an appearance !

Naomi


OK, when we get to that island you can have the operas (not my thing I'm afraid) and I'll have the rest.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Sorensen on 09.12.06 at 16:21
Ahh, the polls, the polls!

I've always had trouble with these things because I'm torn between my favourite music, favourite lyric and favourite song that combines the two. Add to that the "what it reminds me of when I was a lad" factor, and the whole thing becomes a nightmare. These TV list shows usually offer a top 100, or top 50 at least. Why must we be punished by having only 10 in our list? On the other hand, we won't have Jimmy Bloody Carr popping in his smarmy remarks between each number.

1) Faded Mansion On The Hill. I love playing this on the piano. The lyrics have a passion that is expressed through the music and song works so well as a whole. I was genuinely surprised when this came top in the first poll because I imagined it was a private pleasure that only I could appreciate.

2) Girl on the Train. My first PA rave. I still grin every time I hear it.

3) Thirty Year Man. See that bent over back? That's me, that is.

4) Canoe. The most affecting song I know. It speaks directly to my dreams of spaceflight and the reality of the danger that any such adventure brings. A song written just for me. However, I don't much like the version on The Lakeside Sessions, preferring any of the live recordings, probably because the brush work of the drummer isn't there to irritate my ear.

5) I Feel Like Midnight. And suddenly I'm in a marquee at Monyash where the chill of the late summer evening is blamed for the shivers down my spine, while subsequent listenings reveal it's really the song that does it.

6) The Sunlight Gate. Unlike any other song I've ever tried playing. My favourite Atkin musical puzzle and the only one I never managed to work out myself. Has anyone ever told Pete he's a musical genius?

7) The Flowers and the Wine. It took decades to grow on me, but what a masterpiece of suppressed emotion it is. A movie in two minutes.

8) Errant Knight. If I have to have funny one, it may as well be a sad one too. The music is nice but nothing special, it's the lyrics that carry this. (Ballad of an Upstairs Window was second choice for this slot, with Honky-Tonk Train third.)

9) Hypertension Kid. So many great lines, such a driving tune. It won out over many others, like Shadow and the Widower and The Last Hill. But I've always had a great affection for The Kid, especially the various fills used between verses.

10) Thought of You. This one surprised me. In choosing the final song for the list I was torn between classic greats like Perfect Moments, No Dice, Wristwatch, Touch Has a Memory and so many more, yet went for the opener on Winter Spring. Why? Because when I heard it I was shocked by the guitar solo. It was unlike anything Pete had recorded before and it woke me up to the fact that he was here and now, a working musician, and not a fondly remembered comfort zone from the past. The Lakeside Sessions cleared out the dead weight of unrecorded old songs and allowed newer, fresher sounding stuff to come through.

Next time can have at least twenty choices?


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Sorensen on 09.12.06 at 17:21
Top Ten non-Atkin Poll

1) 10cc. The band I would most like to have been in. Complex music, witty lyrics and their own studio. Heaven.

2) Moody Blues/ Justin Hayward. Forty years of soaring melodies and over-produced pop/rock and I still look forward to complaining about how appalling the next album will be.

3) Steely Dan. Mostly the albums up to Aja, though their last album had some tracks that didn't rely on the same chuggalong Latin rhythm they've been over-using since Gaucho. This is jazz done by rock musicians who write great (but incomprehensible) lyrics.

4) Supertramp. Rhythm piano! I bought a Wurlitzer electric piano just so I could thump along.

5) Del Amitri. Justin Curry's cynical love songs are a masterclass in the use of wit to wound. The best British band of the 90s and they can't get a recording contract these days.

6) Abba. In the land of perfect pop, who can beat Abba? Their tunes are all surface glitz and sparkle but the lyrics are almost Jamesian in their depiction of lost love and broken relationships.

7) Electric Light Orchestra. The throbbing cellos, the backing vocalists' "oooooo"s and the finest examples of bombastic pop committed to vinyl. The lyrics got so much better once Jeff Lynn stopped trying to be John Lennon.

8) The Proclaimers. Irresistible, infectious vocals with words rooted in everyday life. "Even with words up the back of a bus, there was always a risk of a slap in the puss". It's great to see them making a bit of a comeback these days.

9) Juliet Turner. A great songwriter with enough pop sensibility to lift her out of the folk circuit, but too much to say to succeed in the vacuous wasteland of the charts. I was first attracted to her songs because she sings in a Northern Irish accent instead of an affected American drawl.

10) Tom Lehrer. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, the Masochism Tango. Need I say more? The greatest writer/performer of comic songs ever.


And after all that, no room for my childhood hero Cliff Richard. What a cruel and unusual punishment this list-making is.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by desrow33 on 10.12.06 at 15:29
Vote:

Best songs

1.  An Empty Table
2.  On the last Hill that shows you all the valley
3.  Between us there is nothing
4.  Carnations on the roof
5.  Girl on a train
6.  Thought of you
7.  I have to learn
8.  A thief in the night
9.  Tonight your love is over
10. Ballad of an upstairs window

Artists

1.  David Ackles
2.  Leonard Cohen
3.  Scott Walker
4.  Bob Dylan
5.  Damien Rice
6.  Janis Ian
7.  Ute Lemper
8.  Traveling Wilburys
9.  White Stripes
10. Marianne Faithfull

Merry Christmas

John
 

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 10.12.06 at 19:03
Here's the Top Ten Songs as it stands at present: sticklers for detail will notice that there are more than ten songs but that's because three or four have the same score. It's refreshing to note that two of the songs come from Winter Spring and interesting to see that Beware of the Beautiful Stranger isn't there. Faded Mansion well out in front: can't see anything stopping it this time.

Faded Mansion on the Hill
Canoe
Between Us There is Nothing
Thirty Year Man
A Hill Of Little Shoes
Girl On The Train
Thief in the Night
Last Hill That Shows You All the Valley
Perfect Moments
Carnations On The Roof
An Empty Table
Tenderfoot.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Philisfine on 10.12.06 at 20:59
Between Us There Is Nothing
Senior Citizens
Payday Evening
Tongue-Tied
Flowers And The Wine
Screen-Freak
Thirty Year Man
Errant Knight
Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger
Session Man's Blues


Fairport
Caravan
Joni Mitchell
Elliot Smith
Zappa
Country Joe
Dan Hicks
Neil Young
Steely Dan
Van Morrison


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Richard_Hales on 12.12.06 at 20:50
Perfect Moments
Between Us There is Nothing
Pay Day Evening
The Hollow and the Fluted Night
The Flowers and the Wine
The Shadow and the Widower
The Wall of Death
My Brother's Keeper
History and Geography
Prayer Against the Hitman



Miles Davis
John Martyn
Pat Metheny
Joni Mitchell
John MacLaughlin
John Mayall
Rachelle Ferrell
Diana Krall
Van Morrison
The Beatles

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jan on 12.12.06 at 21:04
1       Get it out of your head
2       Landscapes
3       I need new words (Tongue tied)
4       The Hypertension Kid
5       The eye of the universe
6       Payday evening
7       Femme fatale
8       Thought of you
9       Between us there is nothing
10       Just for me (Amy's blues)

That was really difficult.
I'd like to comment on them but if I don't click on SEND quickly I'll want to change something ...again.
Jan

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by chris_evans on 17.12.06 at 18:33
1. The Beatles
2. Brian Wilson
3. The Nits
4. Stackridge
5. Louis Philippe
6. Keith Jarrett
7. XTC
8. Robert Wyatt
9. Steve Reich
10. Gentle Giant

1. Payday Evening
2. Thirty Year Man
3. Rider To The World's End
4. Canoe
5. Sunlight Gate
6. The Last Hill That Shows You All The Valley
7. Urban Guerilla
8. The Hollow and the Fluted Night
9. Prayers Against the Hitman
10. Laughing Boy

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 17.12.06 at 21:44
Quick update on the Top Ten Songs Poll: 53 different songs have been selected by various Voices and at the moment "Between Us There Is Nothing" is in Number One position but I'm sure this will change. Two weeks left, chaps.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 19.12.06 at 21:27
Top 10 Groups

1. Fairport Convention (including Sandy Denny's work with Fotheringay and her solo work): I have loved this band since 1975, have all their vinyl and now their CDs

2. Harvey Andrews: Harvey has written some of the best lyrics not written by Clive James.

3. 10 CC: Some great singles and even better album tracks, and super humour.

4. Pink Floyd: Maybe not everyone's choice but I still listen to Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here on my walkman.

5. Rolling Stones: need I say more?

6. The Who:  as they say Maximum R & B

7. J S Bach:  you can't live on Rock n Roll alone

8. Richard Thompson (including his work with Linda): It would have been cheating even more to include Richard with Fairport and Sandy.

9. Bob Dylan: the guv'nor!

10. Joni Mitchell: Great songs, great voice, the whole lot.



Pete & Clive's songs

1. Beware of the Beautiful Stranger:  I met my beautiful stranger, need I say more.

2. Carnations on the Roof: I remember Noel Edmonds playing this on Radio 1 on a Sunday morning and being captivated by the lyrics, the line of hired Humbers, the beat mirroring the machine tools, a perfect song.

3. I See the Joker: More wonderful imagery and word play and I love Pete's piano.

4. Girl on a Train: When did £10 last pay for a day out and a train journey.

5. Sunlight Gate: The heroes riding out and their number reducing.

6. Rain-Wheels: The irony is that now the lady would be returning to Notting Hill and yet mmore great word pictures from Clive's pen.

7. Laughing Boy: Included for Clive's vocal on the tour in 2003, we saw them at the Harlequin,  Redhill.

8. The Wristwatch for a Drummer: Spot the icon!

9. Perfect Moments: Only Clive could juxtapose Charlie Chaplin and Charlie Parker and get away with it.

10. Wall of Death: Put your money where your mouth is, I knew he was through joking.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Stewart Betts on 22.12.06 at 22:08
Favourite James/Atkin tracks (afraid I'm living in the past here):

1 Perfect Moments
2 Between Us There Is Nothing
3 The Pearl Driller
4 Faded Mansion On The Hill
5 Hypertension Kid
6 30 Year man
7 The Last Hill That Shows You All The Valley
8 Girl On The Train
9 Frangipanni Was Her Flower
10 All I Ever Did

Current favourite artists (as evidenced by my iPod "most recently played" list):

1 10cc
2 James Taylor
3 The Kooks
4 Bert Jansch
5 Al Stewart
6 Chris Rea
7 Yes
8 Carole King
9 The Jam
10 The Nimmo Twins

Stew

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by David Morgan on 23.12.06 at 10:45
About time Pollster Two got round to voting:

Songs

1.      Faded Mansion on the Hill: I still don’t know what it’s about (all of human life except love, maybe?), but what a flood of wonderful images! Set to one of the great Atkin melodies, and the resonance of that electric piano is so right. Perfection.
2.      Senior Citizens: still has me in tears every time – the melodically teasing first half, lyrics full of pathos, and then the sublime second half, with its warm, rich joy of youth still sensing the sadness, right through to ‘The sand will take so long to fall’…Devastating. (And the sand’s been falling now since 1974, of course.)
3.      Beware of the Beautiful Stranger: I love the hard truth of the message set against the cute jokiness of everything else – and what a pretty tune & guitar work Pete gave us here.
4.      Thief in the Night: I think it’s all been said about this jewel.
5.      The Ties That Bind You: why hasn’t everybody voted for this one?? I guess most people reckon nostalgia’s not what it used to be, but I wallow in it when a déjà vu experience sets it off, and I think Clive captured the joy of this beautifully. Lovely melody too – I have the chords worked out, must get ‘em published.
6.      Ice Cream Man: nostalgia again, but also a witty and moving lyric, dream-like melody and perfect piano from that ‘functional’ player.
7.      Pearl Driller: a little pearl.
8.      An Empty Table: for me, the best of Winter Spring’s sad love songs. Beautiful lyric, but so loose – how on earth could you set it to music? An Atkin triumph.
9.      Femme Fatale: a scream of pain set to music. Works like Neil Young’s ‘Like a Hurricane’ – gloriously cathartic stuff.
10.      Between Us There Is Nothing: Clive at his very best, and looks like it might win!

Near misses (what an agony): Hypertension Kid, Practical Man, Flowers and the Wine, A King At Nightfall, You Alone Will Be My Last Adventure

Musicians

1.      Bob Dylan: so many great songs, some of which he even sang quite well. I also feel he paved the way for all the quality songwriters who have followed, even you-know-who. The lyrics got a bit wild at times, but for me there’s so much going on in Dylan’s better work that this just doesn’t matter.  Must say I’m struck by the fact that votes indicate most MVs don’t see it this way.
2.      Grateful Dead: much turgid stuff over the years, but on the island I’d need the recordings from their brief period of greatness, ‘68-71. Jerry Garcia’s guitar had a melodic sense and sweetness of tone that for me has never been equalled, and the excitement and virtuoso freedom of their ensemble playing made me feel, for a while, that anything was possible.
3.      Neil Young: uniquely affecting voice and guitar style, and many gorgeous melodies – that’s enough!
4.      Leonard Cohen: the Conman himself, just to annoy Clive. I’d recommend anyone who knows Cohen from his early stuff to search out ‘I’m Your Man’ and ‘The Future’ from his later period – they’re stunningly different.
5.      Rolling Stones: soundtrack of my adolescence - so much more annoying for parents than those cuddly Beatles. Creatively dead by 1972, but before that there were so many peaks. The greatest rock’n’roll band in the world, as someone said.
6.      Bruce Springsteen: once the future of rock’n’roll, the true heir of (part of) Bob Dylan and stylistically about as far from A&J as you can get. But again, so many great songs, and this man sings them all well.
7.      Joni Mitchell: maybe should be higher up the list – she can do it all, of course, and has done so over many great albums. My favourite is the rather obscure ‘Hejira’: recommended!
8.      Van Morrison: the still-astonishing ‘Astral Weeks’ alone would get him in here, and there’s been much good stuff during the long decline.
9.      Beethoven: mainly for the string quartets, plus lots I’d have time to explore on the island.
10.      Mississippi John Hurt: Oh, how I love his simplicity, warmth and wonderful guitar work.

Near misses: Fairport Convention, Randy Newman, Jimi Hendrix, The Band

And thanks to the voters so far for many ideas for future listening. Just over a week to go – keep ‘em coming!

David M

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 23.12.06 at 10:48
Despite a (so far) limited number of contributions it's gratifying to see that no less than 60 different songs have been submitted, eloquent testimony to the quality of Pete's output. There's a definite preference for the earlier stuff which is not surprising as I suppose not all the MVs have got hold of "The Lakeside Sessions" and "Winter Spring." They should. Immediately.

Stewart wrote "afraid I'm living in the past here." There are worse places to live.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Dave_Wilkes on 23.12.06 at 18:55

Favourite Songs :

Senior Citizens
Roads of Silk
Perfect Monemts
The Hollow and the Fluted night
The Flowers and the Wine
30 Year Man
A hill of Little Shoes
Payday Evenings
Lonesome Levis Lane
An Empty Table

Would like to have included "The Man who wlaked towards the Music" purely for "He couldn't tell a Wah Wah from Arkira Kurosawa" but that would be 11

Favourite Other Artists :

Chicago
Zoot Money
Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Arizona Smoke Revue
Decameron / Johnny Coppin
Brian Auger
Bonzo Dog Band
Tom Lehrer
Cliff Bennet  
Again, would have like to slip in Gordon Lightfoot, Warren Zeavon and Santana but ..

Best Regards
Dave Wilkes

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Sorensen on 24.12.06 at 09:24

on 12/23/06 at 10:48:40, Ian Chippett wrote :
Stewart wrote "afraid I'm living in the past here." There are worse places to live.

Ian C


To quote the sublime John Cooper Clark: “People ask me why I live in the past. Well, the beer is cheaper there.”

Cheers!

Ian S

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by MBC on 24.12.06 at 12:43
Top 10 Pete Atkin tracks

1.      The last Hill that shows you all the Valley
2.      The Faded Mansion on the Hill
3.      Thirty year man
4.      Perfect Moments
5.      Payday Evening
6.      Tenderfoot
7.      Dreamboat
8.      History and Geography
9.      Winter Spring
10.      The Master of the Revels


Top 10 favourite non-Atkin artists

1.      REM –            twenty years of delight and fascination
2.      Shawn Colvin –      a superb voice, and a joy
3.      The Undertones -      the only band I’ve ever wanted to be
4.      Paulina Rubio -      hi-energy latin fun
5.      Warren Zevon -      in a class of his own
6.      Oasis -            when they were good
7.      Pere Ubu -      the dark side of town
8.      The Beatles -      because you can’t not
9.      Aimee Mann -      doomed to be underrated
10.      Elvis Costello -      the only songwriter of his time


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Andy Love on 24.12.06 at 16:23
Hi Chorus


A) Atkin - James

   1.  The Rider To The World's End
   2.  A Man Who's Been Around
   3.  The Road Of Silk
   4.  The Double Agent
   5.  Femme Fatale
   6.  I Have To Learn
   7.  Dreamboat
   8.  Between Us There Is Nothing
   9.  Here We Stand
  10. The Ties That Bind You

        [Note: This list is almost criminally unfair to the other two dozen (plus) songs which rightfully belong in my ever-changing Top Ten. I apologise to them most profusely.]


B)  Others

   1. Pink Floyd
   2. Led Zeppelin
   3. Paul Simon (also mit Garfunkel, bitte)
   4. Little Feat (but must have LG's solo stuff, too,please)
   5. Mahavishnu Orchestra (ditto most of JM's other collaborations)
   6. Melanie Safka
   7. John Martyn
   8. Gilbert & Sullivan
   9. Black Uhuru
 10. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.


  A.


Title: My Atkin Top Ten
Post by Richard Bleksley on 24.12.06 at 16:46
With so many gems to choose from, this selection is, even now, after weeks of agonising, a bit arbitrary, and the order within it even more so - a kind of "unreliable" list, if you will.

1.  Thief in the Night.
No intellectualising or explanations here: it was simple love at first hearing, and my opinion hasn't changed since.

2.  Just For Me (Amy's Blues).
For the character of Amy, world-weary but defiantly unbowed, for Pete's lovely piano playing, and because, like Amy, I love the blues.

3.  The Faded Mansion on the Hill.
There's something very sinister going on up that hill; and it's the dramatic tension between this and the idyllic hedonism of the yachts of summer that give this superb song its depth and power. One (three?) of Pete's best-ever tunes, and electric piano is one of my favourite keyboard sounds.  

4.  Sunrise.
For me, some of the early songs have a special charm of their own, a freshness and vitality not always present in the later, more sophisticated stuff. This is, for me, the best of them.

5.  Practical Man.
For its delightfully witty satire of commercial exploitation of the artistic impulse, and especially the last verse ("When you die they're what you're found with") - and for the way the tune perfectly complements the abba rhyme-scheme.

6.  Thirty Year Man.
A wonderfully vivid, poignant characterisation of the veteran jazzman and his ambivalent feelings for the girl singer. "I'd kill that kid, if she wasn't killing me" is one of my favourite lines in the whole James canon.

7.  The Wristwatch for a Drummer.
Funny songs tend to wear a bit thin with repetition, but this is one I never seem to tire of.

8.  A Hill of Little Shoes.
Probably the most profound and poignant lyric Clive has ever written. Included out of admiration rather than enjoyment - it's strong medicine, but sometimes strong medicine is necessary.

9.  A King at Nightfall.
More electric piano, a powerful, vivid lyric, and a memorably Atkin-esque tune.

10. Carnations on the Roof.
If there was one song that woke me up to the fact that here was something extraordinary in the way of lyrics, it was this one, with its unusual subject matter and its accumulation of precise little details that could have sounded boringly prosaic but instead manage to bring the song to vivid life. And I finally came to realise why that green cleaning jelly was called Swarfega.

Agonising exclusions: Sunlight Gate, The Last Hill That Shows You All the Valley, Canoe, Prayers Against the Hitman, The King Is Dead, Beware of the Beautiful Stranger, The Prince of Aquitaine, Sessionman's Blues, All the Dead Were Strangers, An Array of Passionate Lovers etc., etc....

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Andy Love on 24.12.06 at 21:26

on 12/24/06 at 16:23:07, Andy Love wrote :
   9.  Here We Stand



I meant "Here We Stay" of course!

A.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 24.12.06 at 22:16
Andy L. wrote

<<I meant "Here We Stay" of course!>>

Too late, mate. It's on the list. Can't change it now. More than me job's worth. Trouble is if everybody else votes for it we're going to finish with a number one song that Pete hasn't actually written (as yet.)

Ian C


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Secret Drinker on 27.12.06 at 12:10
Right, here's the vote from the Ickleford jury. I wanted to spend more time thinking about all this, and possibly listening to all the songs again to make sure, but I realise I'll run out of time if I don't respond, so here goes.

PA songs: I've gone for the ones that I like the most, or that bring back happy memories, not just the ones that are 'best' musically or lyrically. In some ways this made the choice harder - in any event there were plenty I'd like to have included but regretfully had to drop. So, without further explanation:

1. Thief In The Night
2. Canoe
3. Rider To The World's End
4. Carnations On The Roof
5. Eye Of The Universe (Pathway demo version)
6. Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger
7. I See The Joker
8. Girl On The Train
9. Perfect Moments
10. Star Of Tomorrow

So I had to leave out Hill Of Little Shoes, Here We Stay, Wristwatch For A Drummer, and... everything else.

Other artists: my choice is based more on what I listen to today, rather than in the past, and I've left out artists that bring back memories of my youth, even if I regard them highly. In spite of that I've included a few that I still enjoy and consider have 'aged' well. I haven't included, for example, the Beatles or Stones, or any Motown, Stax or Atlantic artists from the 1960s, although I used to like them a lot and still enjoy them if I hear them - but I don't really play these records a lot any more.

1. Joni Mitchell - first heard in 1968 and knocked me out. OK, not all of her later stuff is as much to my taste, but the first half a dozen albums or so were classics that I still enjoy today. A superb songwriter and a highly influential guitar genius to boot.

2. Bob Dylan - along with the Beatles, the most important and influential artist of the 1960s, who changed the face of popular music. His early albums (up to about 1970) are a must. Although he has been responsible for some forgettable stuff during the intervening years, his latest album isn't at all bad and signals a return to form of sorts.

3. Fairport Convention - many reasons for including them: pioneers of folk rock, and still going strong today after the best part of 40 years, writers of some fine original songs, and the number of superb artists who have passed through their ranks (Thompson, Denny, Hutchings, Swarbrick, Sanders and Leslie, to name just a handful). And of course if I had all the output of the band and their offshoots I'd have enough to listen to for some time to come! ;-)

4. Paul Brady - I first saw him in the late 1960s as part of the Irish folk band The Johnstons, of whom I was a great fan (and even played with a couple of times!). Has blossomed into a superb singer/songwriter over the past 20 years or so, but remains a fairly 'well-kept secret' as far as the public is concerned.

5. Show of Hands - one of my current favourite bands, who've been around for nearly 20 years but remain unknown to many outside the 'folk scene'. Actually they're a duo comprising one of my other favourite songwriters Steve Knightley, and talented multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer. But on their recent tour they were supplemented by the superbly talented Miranda Sykes who adds a new dimension to their sound.

6. Adge Cutler - well, thee's got to include'n, don'm? Just the thing to cheer me up during the cold lonely nights on the island. Hopefully there will be some apple trees there so I can make my own cider!

7. Bonzo Dog Band - uniquely entertaining inspired lunacy. I just wouldn't want to be without their albums. I'd like to include 'ginger geezer' Viv Stanshall's solo efforts too if possible (Teddy Boys Don't Knit, Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, etc.).

8. Daphne's Flight - a bit of a cheat, this one! As Daphne's Flight they only made one album, but I wanted to include my two absolute favourite female singers Chris While and Christine Collister (two sublime but very different voices I challenge anyone to beat!) who were both part of this project, along with Julie Matthews, who with Chris has been performing as a duo for several years. While & Matthews are among the best acts I've seen, with everything (vocals, musical ability and songs) being top class. Chris's daughter Kellie While is no slouch either, and their mother and daughter duets are also superb. I'd be well pleased if I could include everything from their various projects!

9. Lovin' Spoonful - one of my favourite 1960s bands, sadly very short lived. I consider their songs (mainly courtesy of John Sebastian) among the best of that wonderful era for pop music. I still love everything they did.

10. Kinks - the original songs of Ray Davies mostly stand up well today and I play them a lot more often than most other 1960s records, including those by the Beatles, the Stones or the Who - hence their inclusion in my list. I believe the Kinks influenced 1960s pop music (including the Beatles themselves) more than many people give them credit for. Although in a different vein from their later stuff, their first big hit You Really Got Me was way ahead of its time, too.

Regretfully I had to leave out Ralph McTell, Pink Floyd (and Syd Barrett), Buddy Holly, and many, many other heroes, but that's how it goes.

Extra item: a guitar with unbreakable strings  :)

There, it's done now and I can't change my mind any more. Happy New Year to all MVs!

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Mike Walters on 27.12.06 at 14:32
Like everyone, I've been hesitating because of the impossibility of the task, so there's nothing definitive about either of these lists (and certainly not about the order, with the possible exception of the top two or three in each case).  In the end, I decided not to think too hard but just to stick down the first names (songs and artists) that entered my mind on the basis that this would more probably reflect what I really like than if I tried to rationalise it too much.  So here goes...

Atkin songs

1. Hill of Little Shoes
2. Faded Mansion on the Hill
3. Canoe
4. Perfect Moments
5. History and Geography
6. Here We Stay ('Wag the Dog' version...)
7. The Trophies of My Lovers Gone
8. An Empty Table
9. Between Us There is Nothing
10. Road of Silk

Favourite Other Artists

1. Bob Dylan - the one authentic genius in popular music, IMHO
2. Richard Thompson - for songs, guitaring and the extraordinary '1000 Years of Popular Music'
3. Nic Jones - the great lost talent of the English folk scene
4. Billy Bragg - if you can get past the 'distinctive vocal stylings', the best songwriter to emerge post-1980
5. Grant McLennan - for me, the most poignant death of 2006.  A wonderful songwriter, solo and with The Go-Betweens.  Have a listen to his album 'Horsebreaker Star' - a double-CD without an ounce of filler.
6. Robert Wyatt - if we could just get him to cover 'Trophies of My Lovers Gone'...
7. Elvis Costello - he stretches my patience at times, but always in a good way
8. Michael Marra - support for Colin Boag...the most under-rated songwriter in Britain (Marra, not Colin)
9. Warren Zevon - intelligent witty AOR...how often do you find that?  
10. Leonard Cohen - not so much for the more familiar early 'Doom from a Room' stuff but for his playful old age...and for 'Alexandra Leaving', one of the most beautiful song-lyrics not written by Clive James.  

There - I'll stop before I change my mind.

Happy New Year

Mike

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 27.12.06 at 18:17
Here is the Bottom Ten so far (one vote each.)

Star Of Tomorrow
The Master Of The Revels
All I Ever Did
Wall Of Death
Sessionman’s Blues
Ballad of an upstairs window
Dancing Master
No Dice
Nothing Left To Say
National Steel

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 27.12.06 at 18:57
Well, I am still ruminating, but I think one of those will double its vote total if I get done by the end of the year.   :)

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by bobtaylor on 27.12.06 at 20:22
Good evening United Kingdom, here are the results from the spanish jury:
Atkin Top Ten:

Some more one vote wonders included, no comments, they all speak for themselves.

01. The Double Agent
02. A Dream Of Fair Women
03. Sunlight Gate
04. Tenderfoot
05. Between Us There Is Nothing
06. Over The High Side
07. Cold Bitches
08. Canoe
09. Wiseacre
10. The Faded Mansion On The Hill


Non-Atkin Top Ten:

01. Lucinda Williams: fab voice, diverse material, but few, if any votes.
02. The Handsome Family: discussed briefly by Pete; ¿will we see his own top tens?
03. The Allman Brothers: especially the early albums.
04. John Fahey: american primitive guitar. Influenced by Mississippi John Hurt.
05. Joe Walsh: especially the early albums.
06. Bob Dylan: ¿likely to win this section methinks? Back on form with his last 3 albums.
07. Brian Eno: ¿any other votes? Alongside Clive, man with a brain the size of a planet.
08. Focus: ¿who? Jan Akkerman - guitar, Thjs Van Leer - flute, keyboards and vocals.
09. Tom Waits: surpised he's not been mentioned, either.
10. Steve Earle: particularly fond of his bluegrass material, but a great rocker too.

Feliz año nuevo.

Title: Musicians Poll Latest
Post by David Morgan on 27.12.06 at 23:03
Following on from Ian's Bottom Ten, over on the musicians poll there are of course many one- (and no-) vote wonders: MVs' tastes are just as catholic as they were back in 2000.  With four days to go (not much time left to ponder!) there's a pattern emerging with a finger almost in its ear. Yes, the folkies are making a late run, with 60s/70s pop in the hottest pursuit. Top ten-and-a-few musicians as of this evening are:

Bob Dylan (by a very short head)
Joni Mitchell
The Beatles
Fairport Convention
10cc
Richard Thompson
The Beach Boys
John Martyn
Elvis Costello
Rolling Stones
Robert Wyatt
WA Mozart
F Schubert
June Tabor
Pink Floyd
Lucinda Williams
Miles Davis
Van Morrison
JS Bach
Bert Jansch
John McLaughlin
Steely Dan
Neil Young
Janacek
Gilbert & Sullivan
Leonard Cohen
Warren Zevon

Richard Thompson fans will note positions 4 and 6 - put those two together and RT would be well in front.

But we've not been so snowed with votes that this order (as also for the songs poll) can't still be turned inside out.  Thanks to everyone who's voted so far: others, for the sake of democracy in Midvodia, to your keyboards please!

David M

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 28.12.06 at 08:56
No names, no packdrill but the New Top Ten as it stands right now contains three songs that weren't in the last one (in terms of the number of votes, not in the list at Smash Flops which took into account other factors.) All this could still change, of course.

If I have time, I'll try to see what the best-represented album is.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 28.12.06 at 09:16
I wrote:

<<If I have time, I'll try to see what the best-represented album is. >>

Well, after a quick glance they all seem to be equally well-represented (in the sense that about 80% of the songs on each album have had at least one vote.) The exception is Live Libel but I suppose that's natural. It's interesting that the most recent albums have done as well as (if not better than) the older ones in terms of the spread of votes.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by jimscrivener on 28.12.06 at 12:01
1      Laughing Boy
2      Girl on a Train
3      Ice Cream Man
4      Last Hill (with all the original verses)
5      Canoe
6      Thief in the Night
7      Beautiful Stranger
8      Be careful when they offer you the Moon
9      History and Geography
10      All the dead were strangers


1      Bob Dylan
2      David Bowie
3      Jacques Brel
4      Morrissey
5      REM
6      Roxy Music
7      Harry Chapin
8      Lou Reed
9      Gilbert and Sullivan
10      Sibelius


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Cary on 28.12.06 at 16:19
Stunned into silence by the impossibity of the task - spurred into action by Pete's 'Newsletter'

In no particular order (they're just numbers!)

1. Top Ten Atkin Songs

1.      Canoe
2.      History and Geography
3.      Eye of the Universe (demo version)
4.      Rainwheels
5.      Hypertension Kid
6.      I see the Joker
7.      Sunrise
8.      Thief in the Night
9.      No Dice
10.      Search and Destroy

2. Top Ten (non-Atkin) Musicians

1.      Supertramp
2.      Capercaille
3.      The Jam
4.      Blondie
5.      David Bowie
6.      The Beatles
7.      Suzanne Vega
8.      Elvis Costello
9.      Simon & Garfunkel
10.      Kirsty McColl

Done!!


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Sylfest on 28.12.06 at 17:48
"It won't take a tick."
What is he on?

Here is my own favourites list, finely nuanced yet comfortingly run-of-the-mill:

Pete and Clive songs:

1.  I feel like midnight
2.  The faded mansion on the hill
3.  A hill of little shoes
4.  The road of silk
5.  The hypertension kid
6.  Between us there is nothing
7.  The prince of Aquitaine
8.  I see the joker
9.  The double agent
10  The pearl-driller

Runners-up: No dice, Senior citizens, Dancing master, and many more
To be honest, there's not much order below the top 5, which to me represent various blends of excellent songwriting and forceful expression. After all, the range of the songs is one of the most striking aspects of thier appeal.

Favourite artists:

1.  Joni Mitchell (easily)
2.  Richard Thompson (all flavours)
3.  Stan Rogers
4.  Randy Newman
5.  Paul Simon
6.  Leonard Cohen
7.  The Beatles
8.  Steely Dan
9.  Ry Cooder
10  June Tabor

Runners-up: Elvis Costello, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, U2, The Kinks, The Who, Scott Walker

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 28.12.06 at 21:33
Well, how about a top twenty?  :D

Atkin/James

Canoe

Beautiful Stranger (my first ever favorite)

Thief in the night

Sessionman’s Blues

Wall of Death

Payday Evening (the last two lines are superb)

The Pearl Driller

Thirty year man ( “an hour alone….”  still gives me shivers)

Secret Drinker

You alone will be my last adventure

And practically every other song from the pair of them  :D


Other Artists

Beatles

Steve Goodman (Been in America too long!)

Fairport

Dylan (of course)

Joni Mitchell (been in love with her for ever!)

Queen (need some rock, and I was at Imperial with some of them…)

Jeremy Taylor (NOT James – it is the Africa connection))

Robert Johnson (need some blues, and what could be better?)

Tom Paxton (Vietnam and America – been here too long!)

Mr. Fox (only the two albums, but they are superb)

I have been in the States a long time, and this has obviously influenced my singer/songwriter choices.  And anyone who lives near Chicago HAS to like Steve Goodman!

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Noam Greenberg on 28.12.06 at 22:26
This is so hard...

1. Payday evening.
2. Rain-wheels.
3. Canoe - with themes of self-reliance, ingenuity and melancholy, and, well, canoes, this should be the national anthem of New Zealand.
4. Eye of the universe (all recorded and performed versions, however dissimilar, express the energy this song contains.)
5. Beware of the beautiful stranger.
6. The double agent.
7. The ties that bind you.
8. Tonight your love is over.
9. Winter spring.
10. Be careful when they offer you the moon.

The list of "almost made it" is too long. Now to the rest; this is the product of the moment.

1. JS Bach. I've been listening to the mass in b-minor for four years straight with very little time off, and it is always fresh. And my piano education revolvs around the well-tempered clavier.
2. Mozart. For Don Giovanni, the string quintets and the piano concerti.
3. Brahms, mainly for the piano trios.
4. Dylan.
5. Natalie Merchant (with and without 10000 maniacs).
6. Mahler.
7. Sasha Argov (and Matti Caspi). It seems to me that the richness of English-language culture makes it easier for people in English-speaking countries to be ignorant of what the rest of the world has to offer. Argov may be Israel's best song writer.
8. Nick Cave, for "No more shall we part" and "kicking against the pricks". What a performer. (Has anyone seen "the proposition"?)
9. Meir Ariel. Another driving force of Israel's world class music.
10. Ennio Morricone. (I wanted to put Nino Rota, but "the good, the bad and the ugly" sealed it for me.)

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by peter_bushby on 29.12.06 at 08:31
Hmmmmm... Atkins / Jame

1. King At Nightfall
2. Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger
3. Driving Through Mythical America
4. Practical Man
5. Carnations On The Roof
6. Be Careful When They Offer You The Moon
7. Hypertension Kid
8. National Steel
9 You Alone Will Be My Last Adventure
10 On The Last Hill That Shows You All The Valley


Other Artists

1. Judith Small
2. Harvey Andrews
3. Mr Fox
4. Def Leppard
5. John Coltrane
6. Charmaine Neville
7. Leonard Cohen
8. Henry Gray
9. Stephane Grapelli
10. Sandy Denny

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 29.12.06 at 08:53
Excitement mounting over here in Paris: we now have a joint number one. Shan't tell you what they are but you can probably guess. One of them is ahead on goal average i.e. more votes than the other but all this can change. I feel that one of them must finish number one as the gap between two and three is quite large (25 points) but any of twenty songs could finish in the Top Ten.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 29.12.06 at 09:33
Another pointless activity: if you take each of the first 5 albums, add up all the points from each song on it and then divide by the number of songs, you get the following:

BOTBS 11.4
DTMA   22
AKAN   26.6
TROS   16.7
SD       10.7

which proves scientifically that (a) Pete's most popular album is AKAN and (b) I've got nothing better to do on my day off.  :(

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 29.12.06 at 10:26
Still no votes at all for the following songs:

Touch Has A Memory
Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow?
Luck Of The Draw
The Original Original ...
You Can't Expect To Be Remembered

Where Have They All Gone?
Lady Of A Day

Apparition In Las Vegas

The Man Who Walked Towards The Music
Car-Charmer Sleep
An Array Of Passionate Lovers

Time And Time Again
Little Sammy Speedball

The Magic Wasn't There
Sudden Arrivals
Let's Try The Whole Thing Again

With Her It goes Deeper
More In Anger Than In Sorrow
Early Days

So Loud I Couldn't Hear It
Daughter Of The Sun
Fat Cat

Now, I really must find something to do.

Ian C

Staving off the shopping in Pantin France


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Pete Atkin on 29.12.06 at 10:34
Not really for me to suggest - and it would need to be in a different thread -  but Car-Charmer Sleep makes me wonder if there's room for a one-letter misprint competition....
With Her It Goes Beeper, Sodden Arrivals ...

Pete

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.12.06 at 11:38
Atkin/James listing.

1.  Perfect Moments.
2.  Between us There is Nothing.
3.  Touch Has a Memory.
4.  Faded Mansion on the Hill.
5.  A Hill of Little Shoes.
6.  Thirty Year Man.
7.  Senior Citizens.
8.  Girl on the Train.
9.  The Flowers and the Wine.
10. An Empry Table.

Other artists.

1.  Mozart.
2.  Frank Sinatra.
3.  Peggy Lee.
4.  Randy Newman.
5.  Duke Ellington.
6.  Louis Armstrong.
7.  Willy Nelson.
8.  The Beatles.
9.  Jacques Brel.
10. Hazel O’Connor

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Robert Reid on 29.12.06 at 12:55
This has been a very difficult task for me I love so many of Pete's songs and my list can change by the hour. So here goes.


Atkin/James.

1. Payday Evening.
2. The wall of Death.
3. The Hypertension Kid.
4. Thirty Year Man.
5. The Road of Silk.
6. Carnations on the Roof.
7. You can't expect to be remembered.
8. Faded Mansion on the Hill.
9. Dreamboat.
10. Senion Citizens.


Other artists.

1. P.F.M.
2. Alasdair Fraser.
3. Caravan.
4. Horslips.
5. Stephan Grappelli.
6. The Tartan Amoebas.
7. Kraftwerk.
8. Salsa Celtica.
9. John Coltrane.
10. E.L.O.






Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by cjrt on 29.12.06 at 13:40
Top 25 - no problem. Top 15- painful, but I managed it. Top 10- No, I want that one. No, that one... And as for putting them in order-

I'm sure a musical psychologist (if there is such a person) could have fun comparing top Atkin/James songs with top bands.

Anyway-
1) The wristwatch for a drummer (I could listen to this time after time on my pod-alike - in fact sometimes I do)
2) Thief in the night (just beautiful)
3) Sunlight Gate (pure poetry- but then isn't it all)
4) An array of passionate lovers (the troops of love are pulling out/ you can see it from the air)
5) Laughing boy (makes me want to laugh and cry)
6) Black Funk Rex (A/J taking the mick are better than most bands doing it for real)
7) The Master of the Revels (grew up with this song- I wanted to be him)
8) The Joker (really evocative)
9) Little Sammy Speedball (Just SO totally airplay-hostile)
10) The Last Hill...

And the ones I really wanted to put in too- Search & Destroy, Fat Cat, The (album) original honky tonk night train..., Carnations on the Roof, The Rider to the Worlds end.

Others musicians-
1) Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson (still making amazing music- and you never know what you'll get next)
2) Goldfrapp
3) Led Zeppelin
4) Rolling Stones
5) The Who
6) Pink Floyd
7) The Stranglers
8) Kasabian
9) Uriah Heep
10) The Sisters of Mercy

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Gerry Smith on 29.12.06 at 15:08
Well, it's an impossible task, but here goes.  Favourite PA songs today are:

1 - History and Geography (I comb the ruins of a shattered world to find the bright face of an angel. Wow.
2 - The Faded Mansion on the Hill
3 - The Prince of Aquitaine
4 - The Flowers and the Wine
5 - Senior Citizens
6 - Thirty Year Man
7 - Payday Evenings
8 - Lady of a Day
9 - An Empty Table
10 - The Double Agent


Favourite Non-PA:

1 - JS Bach
2 - Pink Floyd
3 - Genesis
4 - Gregorio Allegri (just for his Miserere)
5 - Miles Davis
6 - Isley Brothers
7 - Pat Metheny
8 - Steely Dan
9 - Tord Gustavsen
10 - Simply Red

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 29.12.06 at 15:58

The Man Who Walked Towards The Music
Car-Charmer Sleep
An Array Of Passionate Lovers

How could I have missed Our Lady Lowness?

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jim Grozier on 29.12.06 at 16:18

on 12/29/06 at 12:55:15, Robert Reid wrote :
1. P.F.M.


(Off-topic ...) Nice to see PFM in there. I'd almost forgotten them. No, I'd forgotten them. Must seek out those old tapes sometime ...

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jon Philpot on 29.12.06 at 17:23
Quickly done, otherwise it would have taken over Christmas!

PA/CJ:

1. King At Nightfall
2. 30 Year Man
3. Hill of Little Shoes
4. Master of the Revels
5. Sessionman's Blues
6. Empty Table
7. Flowers and the Wine
8. I See the Joker
9. Canoe
10. National Steel

The rest:

1. Beach Boys
2. Elvis Costello
3. Beatles
4. Buena Vista Social Club
5. Bob Dylan
6. Ry Cooder
7. Miles Davis
8. Randy Newman
9. Bhundu Boys
10. Bob Marley

And a Happy New Year to you all!
Jon

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 29.12.06 at 17:28

on 12/29/06 at 10:26:00, Ian Chippett wrote :
Still no votes at all for the following songs:

Lady Of A Day


One of my favorite lyrics, as against favorite songs.  Parts of it have been in my sig at various times and various places.  But for me, this one is the words not the song.

Sorry Pete. :(

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Nedd on 29.12.06 at 17:39
This afternoon's list. No point in a near-misses list, I could just copy the discography.

1.      Wiseacre
2.      Tenderfoot
3.      The ties that bind you
4.      Between us there is nothing
5.      Practical Man
6.      The Original Original Honky-Tonk Night-train Blues
7.      If I had my time over
8.      The Eye of the Universe
9.      The Beautiful Changes
10.      Tonight your love is over




1.      J S Bach
2.      Jacques Loussier Trio
3.      Handel
4.      Jake Thackeray
5.      Tom Lehrer
6.      The Shrinks
7.      Rolling Stones (early stuff)
8.      Purcell
9.      Penguin Café
10.      Steve Reich


Happy New Year to all.

Nedd

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 29.12.06 at 18:52
B. Trumper wrote concerning Lady Of A Day

<<One of my favorite lyrics, as against favorite songs.  Parts of it have been in my sig at various times and various places.  But for me, this one is the words not the song. >>

If you look at Gerry Smith's chord transcription, you'll se that this is one of Pete's rare forays into the world of experimental music as he uses a whole-tone scale i.e. C D E F#Ab Bb C which is unusual in Western Music (though Debussy used it.) It means the music never really resolves and gives an impression of floating. I was never particularly fond of this one, I must admit, until I saw the transcription which made me think about it again.

Ian C

Taking a junior aspirin after a day of mental arithmatic in Pantin France

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 29.12.06 at 19:25
Hmmm.  I have very little idea what that lot means  :D  But it probably explains it  :)

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by George_class_of_71 on 29.12.06 at 20:58
It is extraordinarily difficult isn't it, but having "joined" via a Noel Edmonds introduction I appear to be wedded to the past and find it totally impossible to list them in the same preference order at any second glance - so

1. Beware of the Beautiful Stranger ( never got past - a globular fragment of star)
2. Practical Man ( 'Cause when you die they're what you're found with)
3. Thief in the Night ( Like a military order second class )
4. Hypertension Kid ( to find a graceful way of staying slid )
5. Thirty year man ( For an hour alone spells freedom...)
6. You can't expect to be remembered ( Very far beyond the early evening of tomorrow )
7. Touch has a memory ( touching has no defences )
8. Screen Freak ( Atlantis down in Bubbles and Atlanta....)
9. Flowers and the Wine ( I have never loved you more, see you anon )
10. Rain Wheels ( her Firestone go trailing spray, they slip, they grip they whip away )

Artists - well I just counted the albums, mostly, and although there were ties

1. Randy Newman
2. Billy Joel
3. Harry Nilsson
4. Tom Paxton
5. The Beatles
6. Sinatra
7. The Beach Boys
8. Kirsty MacColl
9. Paul Simon
10. Status Quo

Thanks for the opportunity

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by alanbaxter on 29.12.06 at 21:02
Top Ten Atkin / James Songs:

1. Between Us There Is Nothing.
This song has simply never even wavered  from being my favourite Pete / Clive track for more than thirty years now. Perfect arrangement which hasn't dated at all, great contributions from the session musicians involved (particularly Chris Spedding's superb guitar). The melody is just perfect, and lyrics such as "between us there is nothing but the shadow of the future that will never let us go to be together" could easily just bring a tear to the eye......
2. Perfect Moments.
You might think that introducing breathy saxophone lines immediately after the line "Charlie Parker playing My Old Flame" around two thirds of the way through a song could just turn out to be a fraction "corny." You might think that, but you'd be quite, quite wrong. Absolutely beautiful in every way.
3. Thirty Year Man.
Spare, natural piano is absolutely all that's needed on this tale of stoicism and hope - a timeless tale in any case, but particularly relevant in the current climate of young, U.K. jazz-tinged divas.
4. The Pearl-Driller.
Having spent a generous chunk of my time on earth seeking my very own "girl in the gold silk jacket," I think I can readily align with Clive's sentiments on this one.
5. Canoe.
Clive has successfully juxtaposed time and place-shifted story fragments before but, for me, never as cleverly and effectively as this time around. Superb tune and decent arrangement complete the picture.
6. The Road Of Silk.
I've always loved the vague, dreamy atmosphere of this track......"Easy, let him sleep now."
7. All the Dead Were Strangers.
Let's be frank, successful feature films have been built on less of a narrative.
8. Senior Citizens.
Haven't quite had any "of the day after" myself yet (as far as I know), but this one does seem to gather personal meaning for me as the years roll on. Pete has previously suggested "the late entry of the strings was a recording economy." One of the things which "makes" the arrangement for me, however, is the way the sparse, noodling electric guitar takes you in a quite logical way towards a fuller arrangement as the song develops.
9. Beware Of the Beautiful Stranger.
Well I never..., all that from a "globular fragment of glass" - with or without the recommended "regun." More information than anyone should ever wish to receive rises to the surface within this song, I would suggest.
10. The Faded Mansion On The Hill.
A beautifully symmetric lyric I've always thought, now can anyone tell me what on earth it's all about?

 

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 29.12.06 at 21:12
One great bonus from this thread (as far as I am concerned anyway), is the number of normally "quiet" posters that are volunteering their favorites. ;)

I like it.  The more the merrier.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by alanbaxter on 30.12.06 at 00:02
Top Ten of "Other Stuff."

I thought my selections below were rather strange and disconnected when I first wrote them down, but having now read all other postings, I'm significantly less worried! In no particular order then, here we go:

Nick Drake.
It's all got just a bit crowded for this man's music, with the Nick Drake Estate going "global" big-time in recent years (numerous film soundtracks, posthumous releases of unreleased material, speculative biographies, etc.), but the music itself remains as poised and intimate as ever, and indeed strangely fresh in 2006.

Free.
Paul Kossoff's best work was all behind him by the time he was twenty-one years old. The significant reappraisal of his talent which has taken place over the last decade or so was long overdue. Few soloists on any instrument can burn with the passion and soul he demonstrated.

Jake Thackray.
Since he died in late 2002, Jake has experienced a huge posthumous career revival with the full box-set treatment, an hour-long television documentary, archival releases, etc. - in truth, "the works." Sorry Jake old lad, but that's rock'n'roll for you!

Terry Reid.
For the first time in more than twenty years, Terry has been visiting his native U.K. on a "semi-serious" touring basis recently. His voice is as good as ever, and if you can catch him reasonably sober, prepare to be astonished by his undimmed vocal powers and fairly scary overall talent.

Jonathan Kelly.
Similar early career profile to Pete Atkin really, with five major label albums released between 1970 and 1975. However, he then vanished completely off the radar for nearly thirty years. Recent low-key resumption of his gigging career has resulted in me replacing all of his stuff on CD, and playing him to death over 2006.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
More comic book than anything else, I suppose, but a band of such power and authority only comes along very rarely indeed. (They're even fairly awesome when they appear with pick-up singers replacing Alex in the modern era).

John Martyn.
Hasn't been off my music system for more than thirty years now. For anyone who thinks his glories are all in the past, have a listen to "Under My Wing" (On The Cobbles), or "Excuse Me Mister" (The Church With One Bell).

Tubby Hayes.
Tubby has been very fairly dealt with in terms of CD reissue programmes in recent years. For those who care greatly about U.K. jazz, Tubby continues to shine very brightly indeed more than thirty-five years after his death.

Steely Dan.
Well, they're clever lads, aren't they. And, very unusually, the new stuff is right up there with the old, (have a listen to their last album, "Everything Must Go").

James Grant.
Many years after his serious stab at pop stardom (heavily pushed with the Gary Katz produced "Love and Money"), Grant still produces records of exceptional quality. Broadly speaking he now operates in the same "singer/songwriter territory" as Messrs. Atkin and James, and, for me at least, anyone who can incorporate the word "factotum" into his lyrics in a seamless, natural way just has to be worth a listen!    

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by David Morgan on 30.12.06 at 01:16
Votes pouring in - thanks to everyone, and also to Ian for the various fascinating cuts of the songs poll that we're getting as inspiration strikes him. It's harder to spot the patterns on the musicians poll - Bob Dylan and the Beatles are currently in front as might be expected, but multiple new names are still arriving with almost every vote. The Voices have the musical waterfront well covered.

Here's an illustration of how variegated a bunch we are: the following musicians/composers have each been placed in one MV's Top Three, without anyone else voting for them so far (I think!). In alphabetical order:

David Ackles
Allman Brothers
Harvey Andrews
Bartok
Brahms
Shawn Colvin
Debussy
Free
Genesis
Grateful Dead (that was me!)
Handel
Incredible String Band
Jethro Tull
Billy Joel
Nic Jones
Kate & Anna McGarrigle (would be in my Top 20, I must say)
Ralph McTell
Harry Nilsson
Ravel
Seatrain
James Taylor

Let's see if further support emerges for these folks in the final two days' voting. Ian & I hope to have the results out on 1 Jan - make that a date!

David M

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by David Randall on 30.12.06 at 16:16
Seems like a good excuse for my first post! Here is my contribution to the favourite songs/favourite musicians debate. I'm not sure that I can analyse or defend my choices in an appropriately erudite manner but I suppose that they are simply those that have meant the most to me over the years for whatever reason.

1.  History And Geography
2.  The Faded Mansion on the Hill
3.  The Hollow And The Fluted Night
4.  Ice Cream Man
5.  Driving Through Mythical America
6.  Payday Evening
7.  Tonight Your Love is Over
8.  A Man Who's Been Around
9.  No Dice
10. Practical Man

1.  Mozart
2.  Wagner
3.  Bach
3.  Bob Dylan
4.  The Beatles
5.  Neil Young
6.  Tschaikowsky
7.  Pink Floyd
8.  Ry Cooder
9.  Beethoven
10. Janacek

Happy New Year!

David Randall

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by petergknight on 30.12.06 at 16:29
Top ten Pete Atkin tracks... I thought this was going to be an impossible task, but fortunately I made a compilation CD for a road trip a couple of years ago that had 11 Pete Atkin tracks on it... looking through that list and cutting out just one seemed easier than looking through 30 odd years of recollections and picking 10.

1. Sunrise
2. The trophies of my lovers gone
3. Thought of you
4. Beware of the beautiful stranger
5. The prince of Aquitaine
6. The pearl driller
7. The hollow and the fluted night
8. You can't expect to be remembered
9. Dancing master
10. The road of silk


Today's top ten non-Atkin musicians/composers/artists:

1. Gustav Mahler
2. Frank Sinatra
3. Dire Straits
4. Annie Lennox
5. Kathryn Tickell
6. Sinead O'Connor
7. Oscar Peterson
8. Bjork
9. Marina V.
10. REM

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by rob ward on 30.12.06 at 18:33
It would be different every day but here goes

1. Senior Citizens
2. BOBS
3. Perfect Moments
4. Screen Freak
5. The Double Agent
6. The Wall of Death
7. 30 year man
8. All the Dead were Strangers
9. Between us there is nothing
10. Girl on a Train



1. Kirsty Maccoll (that doesn't change)
2. Little Feat
3. Eagles
4. Paul Simon (S&G)
5. Fairport
6. Don McLean
7. Fleetwood Mac (old & new)
8. Beach Boys
9. Buddy Holly
10. Who


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Rob_White on 31.12.06 at 11:08
I was initially drawn to PA/CJ songs by Pete’s music, whilst Clive’s teasing lyrics have been something of a bonus. Certainly I’ve always believed that a good tune with a bad lyric can still be a good song, whereas a great lyric with a bad tune isn’t worth getting out of bed for. As a result, when I play Pete’s albums the songs that I eagerly await are those with an unforgettable melody line, perhaps with an understated guitar solo and a well timed sax interjection, which makes me want to close my eyes and wallow (unless I’m driving at the time). But the best songs of all are where a killer melody line is fitted to meaningful lyrics which capture a situation perfectly, whether unrequited love, social injustice, or simply insights drawn from everyday life. I’m also a sucker for ballads and particularly like the somewhat old fashioned half-spoken-and-rather-lengthy intro leading to a delicately phrased line, as in SC & YCETBR.

1      Flowers & the wine
2      Faded mansion on the hill
3      Senior Citizens
4      The double agent
5      Commercial traveller
6      Perfect moments
7      You can’t expect to be remembered
8      Care charmer sleep
9      Between us there is nothing
10      Nothing left to say

[For me the first three titles in the list have never been surpassed as PA’s most outstanding songs.]

Near misses:- Tonight your love is over,  Sunrise,  No dice, My egoist, History & geography.


So, mostly ballads, many in a minor key, with some wicked chord changes, and spread fairly evenly over the first five albums. About twenty years ago I filled one side of a C120 tape cassette (ie 60 minutes worth) with what were for me Pete’s stand-out tracks, the ones that I really wanted to hear over and over again. My top ten (above) are all on that old cassette, except “Commercial Traveller” which wasn’t released back then.

Reading the E Mails from other Midvodians it’s clear that I’m not alone in thinking that there are so few duds that it comes as a surprise when their turn comes round when playing a CD. Without wishing to be disrespectful to Pete, maybe the next poll should be the songs we skip, the ones which no matter how many times we try they just don’t work for us. For me it’s inevitably the tunes which are the problem. My bottom three songs (ignoring the whole of Live Libel, which was a bit of fun but not - IMHO - to be taken seriously), are:-

1      National steel
2      Cold bitches
3      Our Lady Lowness


----------------------------------------------

TOP TEN NON-ATKIN MUSICIANS/COMPOSERS/ARTISTS:

This was rather easier to compile than the PA / CJ list, and is dominated by British acts from the 70s.


Tony Banks
Tony Banks is the keyboard player and unsung hero of Genesis. He wrote the epic tracks that brought the band a cult following in the 70s, and then followed that with several excellent solo albums /soundtracks, culminating in an orchestral CD reminiscent of Vaughan Williams.
     
Camel
A predominantly instrumental band (the Shadows meets Focus?), they were the pick of the prog outfits in the 70s and have continued to delight with every album.

Clifford T Ward
Generally regarded as a one trick pony, but wrote and performed many touching songs before his career was cut short by MS.
     
Crowded House
An ANZAC band, sadly disbanded ten years ago, who were blessed with a brilliant songwriter in Neil Finn. The best thing to come out of Oz since the All Blacks.

Gerry Rafferty
From his Humblebum beginnings with Billy Connolly to fleeting acclaim as the new McCartney, Rafferty’s unusual melody lines and harmonies are second to none.

Justin Hayward
The Moodies main songwriter, both quantitatively & qualitatively, with an uncanny ability to find beautiful melody lines.
     
Mark Knopfler
Evolved from a master craftsman of memorable hit songs as frontman of Dire Straits, to a superb solo artist. Arguably the best guitarist since Hendrix popped his clogs.
     
Beatles
No list would be complete without the pioneering band which, through my teenage years, took me from the moon ‘n june era to places where I could never have dreamt of going. So nice to see the gradual blossoming of George’s songwriting talents, and it’s difficult to see an album (by anyone other than Pete) even getting close to Sgt Pepper.

Elton John
Deserves to be included for nearly 40 years of writing the most hummable of tunes.
     
Chris de Burgh
This list seems to be getting more and more mainstream, but I can’t in all honesty leave out this man. He may be cheesy at times, but his songwriting is second to none, and how many other vocalists would even consider performing for three hours without a break.

Near misses:- Mike Oldfield, Decameron, Les Mis, Joe Jackson, David Gray, Karnataka, Annie Haslam, Happy the man, Enya

ROB WHITE

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Stewart Betts on 31.12.06 at 12:02
I wonder how many of those appearing in MV's other-artists top tens were satirised in Live Libel?  I know that at least one of mine was... is this a credibility issue?

Stew

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 31.12.06 at 12:27
Last chance to vote, MV's: Midnight Voices have until, well, midnight to voice their opinions. Last time's winner seems to have fallen at Beecher's Brook but you never know.

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by S J Birkill on 31.12.06 at 12:47
As remarked on by most, this is a near-impossible task. Do I list what I'm enjoying now, what I liked best at the time, what I keep coming back to, or what I recognise as great even though I might seldom listen? How to account for the fact that some songs, or their recordings, have meant an awful lot when the remainder of the same artist's output has left me cold? And how to shortlist ten, let along put them in any meaningful order -- perhaps I should be chronological even though it runs counter to the instructions? Do I cheat by mentioning similar artists/musicians that just missed, the better to give an impression of my (ahem) tastes rather than simply count in the poll? Heck, I don't know -- maybe a bit of all that.

The Beatles - showed me that pop could (at the start anyway) rise above that fake showbiz glitz or the fake street-punk cred that hung on in British pop since the teddy-boy era, despite the influence of Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Elvis and Motown; could mix R&B with R&R, sad and joyful melody, subtle vocal harmony and crisp timing, and could excite all over again. Post-Beatles it'd be George, Paul and John, in that order. Honourable mentions here also for The Hollies, Searchers and (later) Bee Gees.

Fairport Convention - Sandy Denny and Ian Matthews first, then the duelling strings of Thompson and Swarbrick, then Sandy again, and again. Related artists would include early Steeleye Span, plus other 'folk-rock' excursions by Hutchings and Carthy. Nic Jones for pure folk voice and guitar, Swan Arcade for perfect acapella singing in the folk style, with Yorkshire humour. Nice to see some of our members remember Mr Fox too. I should also find space to mention Rab Noakes, Gerry Rafferty, and The Incredible String Band!

Jackson Browne - for me the greatest of the West Coast singer/songwriters, but the list should go on, even pulling in a few easterners and some Canucks: Joni Mitchell, Paul Williams, Carole King, James Taylor, Neil Young, Judy Collins, Judee Sill, Todd Rundgren, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Simon & Garfunkel, and that Dylan fellow. And The Band.

Beach Boys - Lovely sunshine harmony. Don't forget near-misses Mamas and Papas, Lovin' Spoonful, Carpenters, Bread, Eagles, Poco and more. I guess I should include Abba as a contender here too, and perhaps the original (UK) Nirvana. Before all that, the Four Seasons.

Yes - their first four albums, before delicate dynamics and novel layerings gave way to pompous bluster and stadium domination. Runners-up Cream, Renaissance, Queen, ELO, Traffic, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Caravan.

Steely Dan - in a class of their own. Probably the closest I'll get to understanding something that's nearly jazz.

Al Stewart - his historical themes work for me. But other great British pop songwriters aren't far behind: Elton John, David Bowie, Terry Reid, Pete Townshend, Jack Bruce, Roy Harper. Plus, mainly for their voices, Colin Blunstone and Gary Brooker, their work with Alan Parsons as well as solo and with Zombies/Argent/Procol Harum.

Barenaked Ladies - After the punk revolution destroyed the distinction between commercial/novelty pop and serious/musicianly rock I closed my ears to the music and went underground like some tragic Brian Wilson figure. All the artists and bands which surfaced from the mid-70s, right through the 80s and 90s, including many in other MVs' top 10s, are just names to me, if that. Which might explain why the above-named artists are all of a certain vintage. But during the last 10 years Pete has encouraged me to listen to some new things, for which I'm truly grateful. Among them this Canadian band, who write and perform (very well) real songs with thoughtful lyrics and humour too. Not far behind are their countrymen Moxy Früvous.

Trisha Yearwood - Another Atkin introduction. Fabulous interpreter of country-style songs, though Shawn Colvin (Atkin again) is also a contender. I liked Emmylou too, back in the '70s.

J S Bach - I seldom listen to classical music these days, but I used to love JSB's density of texture and counterpoint, and mathematical precision. It'd be Mahler for choral, Elgar for English romance, Stravinsky for orchestral and Puccini for opera. Operetta, yes, must admit a weakness for Gilbert & Sullivan, and even operetta's bastard child the stage/screen musical: Les Misérables hit my spot (especially the Manchester production), as did (100 years earlier) West Side Story and The Sound of Music!

There! That was just ten, wasn't it? Did I forget anyone?

SJB

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Secret Drinker on 31.12.06 at 13:37

on 12/31/06 at 12:47:16, S J Birkill wrote :
As remarked on by most, this is a near-impossible task. Do I list what I'm enjoying now, what I liked best at the time, what I keep coming back to, or what I recognise as great even though I might seldom listen?


I think we all had (or maybe in some last-minute cases, are still having!) a similar problem in deciding what to include, or more to the point, leave out.

But as the original brief from David was "You can take eleven musicians’ complete recorded works to a desert island. One musician will of course be Pete Atkin, but who are the other ten?", I decided to exclude artists in Steve's last category, on the grounds that I would want stuff I enjoy listening to now. I think the results might have been different otherwise. I wonder whether everyone else has done the same though?

I admit the sheer volume of output of some artists also helped pick my "desert island" selection, although I can honestly say that was never the main criterion, and they would have to be a contender anyway, based on my perception of their quality as an artist (otherwise if quantity was the most important thing I could have just plumped for, say, Cliff Richard - oops, apologies to anyone who may have included Sir Cliff  :) ) . I would like to have plenty of choice during those long, lonely evenings under the palm trees with nothing but grass skirted dusky maidens and shipwrecked casks of malt whisky to keep me company...  hmmm, maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all...  ;D

Wishing all MVs and their loved ones a very happy and healthy 2007.

Cheers

Paul

Still able to communicate from a very wet Westmorland  :(

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Carole on 31.12.06 at 13:40
Atkin/James

    1. Here We Stay (rock version)
    2. Sunlight Gate
    3. You Better Face It Boy
    4. Standards Of Today
    5. Tenderfoot
    6. The Rider To The World's End
    7. Dancing Master
    8. History & Geography
    9. Faded Mansion On The Hill
   10. Screen Freak

Other Artists

    1. Barenaked Ladies
    2. Swan Arcade
    3. Neil Young
    4. Jackson Browne
    5. Eagles
    6. Johnny Cash
    7. Buddy Holly
    8. Mozart
    9. 10cc
   10. ELO

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Richard Bleksley on 31.12.06 at 13:42

on 12/31/06 at 12:47:16, S J Birkill wrote :
As remarked on by most, this is a near-impossible task. Do I list what I'm enjoying now, what I liked best at the time, what I keep coming back to, or what I recognise as great even though I might seldom listen? How to account for the fact that some songs, or their recordings, have meant an awful lot when the remainder of the same artist's output has left me cold? And how to shortlist ten, let along put them in any meaningful order


What a masterly summing-up of the problems of this poll by our noble webmaster! Every one of those thoughts went through my head when I was compiling my own list.

Now, Steve, when are we going to see your Atkin top ten?

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by cjrt on 31.12.06 at 14:08

on 12/31/06 at 11:08:58, Rob_White wrote :
My bottom three songs (ignoring the whole of Live Libel, which was a bit of fun but not - IMHO - to be taken seriously), are:-

1      National steel
2      Cold bitches
3      Our Lady Lowness


Interesting issue- because those would (while not in my top 20) certainly all be in my top 50% (and the worst of A/J's top 50% I'd regard as pretty good, and better than most other artists) -and I actually rather like most of 'live libel'! I guess that the music on LL is very different to Pete's usual work, since it's mostly musically pastiching the styles at the same time as the lyrics satirise their exponents. But the lyrics are still both funny and intelligent- CJ did, after all, make his new career as a master of (fairly) gentle satire- there are still several lyrics from LL that stick in my mind, along with the many from other albums.

I think I would argue that A/J didn't really do  ANY bad songs- just ones that appeal to different tastes. Further- I think that their 'best' songs are probably the ones that almost everyone loves (even though they may not be in everyone's top ten), while the weaker ones appeal only to those whose musical tastes they suit. Identifying which is which though - that would be tricky. Probably you'd have to get everyone to rate all the songs they know, then do some complicated statistical wrangling with the result. (I'm getting serious Deja Vu here, so apologies if I've said all this before on the old mailing list...)

Perhaps we could enter all the songs with only 0-2 votes in this poll in a 'weakest link' shoot out- people could list all the ones from the list that they're not that keen on, then the ones with the largest number of demerits are classed as having more limited appeal? Rather depends if anyone's got the time & inclination to work it out though...

Chris

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 31.12.06 at 14:29
Chris wrote:

<<Perhaps we could enter all the songs with only 0-2 votes in this poll in a 'weakest link' shoot out- people could list all the ones from the list that they're not that keen on, then the ones with the largest number of demerits are classed as having more limited appeal? Rather depends if anyone's got the time & inclination to work it out though... >>

Easy peasy: directly below are the ones that got one or two votes while further below are the ones that got no votes at all (I've wiped out all the stuff from Live Libel which I've taken as being non-representative while leaving in Star Of Tomorrow so as not to upset Paw Gunningham. Westmorland?!)

One or Two votes


Nothing Left To Say
The Beautiful Changes
Little Sammy Speedball  
Frangipanni Was Her Flower
Search And Destroy
Star Of Tomorrow
All I Ever Did


No Votes as yet

Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow?
Luck Of The Draw  

Where Have They All Gone?

Apparition In Las Vegas

The Man Who Walked Towards The Music  
Our Lady Lowness

Time And Time Again
Little Sammy Speedball

The Magic Wasn't There
Sudden Arrivals
Let's Try The Whole Thing Again

With Her It Goes Deeper
More In Anger Than In Sorrow
Early Days

So Loud I Couldn't Hear It
Daughter Of The Sun
Fat Cat


This would still make a bloody good CD IMHO.

Ian C



Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by cjrt on 31.12.06 at 14:43

on 12/31/06 at 14:29:50, Ian Chippett wrote :
This would still make a bloody good CD IMHO.


Mine too- there's a few in there I'd skip on the cd player, and a few more I'd have to listen to again to comment on- but also several that nearly made my top ten.

Perhaps we should start a new thread on this once the results are in from the poll? - so as not to bury the poll results in a load more posts.

Chris

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by sjm on 31.12.06 at 17:53

ok, I can't resist.........


TOP 10 “PETE SOLO” SONGS

I have to learn
Thief in the night
Between us there is nothing
Perfect moments
Senior citizens
History & geography
Canoe
Laughing boy
No dice
Errant knight


TOP 10 “NOT PETE SOLO” ARTISTS

The Shrinks
Terry Hall (for his solo albums)
Peter Bellamy
David Bowie
Rodney Crowell (for The Houston Kid)
Jake Thackray
Nick Lowe
Elvis Costello
The Kinks
Johnny Coppin


NEARLY MEN: Leonard Cohen, Loudon Wainwright III
Gasworks, ELO, The Beautiful South, Donovan
Kirsty MacColl, The Proclaimers, Sam Apple Pie


While I'm on, I would just like to also recommend and congratulate London Daily Photo. Great work Ham, and may it long continue!


Steve M.


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by S J Birkill on 31.12.06 at 18:57
(Deep breath)
1. Canoe
2. History and Geography
3. No Dice
4. Tenderfoot
5. Femme Fatale
6. The Double Agent
7. You Alone will be my Last Adventure
8. Tongue-Tied
9. Payday Evening
10. The Rider to the World's End

(Reserves: Eye of the Universe, All I Ever Did, Faded Mansion, Last Hill, The Road of Silk, The Trophies of my Lovers Gone, The Beautiful changes, My Dreams are Troubled, Lady of a Day, Between Us there is Nothing)

Steve

PS: A Happy 2007 to all!

Title: Re: Agonies of choice for the desert island
Post by David Morgan on 31.12.06 at 19:27

on 12/31/06 at 13:37:36, Secret Drinker wrote :
I think we all had (or maybe in some last-minute cases, are still having!) a similar problem in deciding what to include, or more to the point, leave out.

But as the original brief from David was "You can take eleven musicians’ complete recorded works to a desert island. One musician will of course be Pete Atkin, but who are the other ten?", I decided to exclude artists in Steve's last category, on the grounds that I would want stuff I enjoy listening to now. I think the results might have been different otherwise. I wonder whether everyone else has done the same though?

Thanks, Paul  - your comment above about Steve's problems in picking his desert island musicians was spot on: it's all about whose music you most want to have with you, bearing in mind that you'll have just ten others (including Pete, of course) to listen to for quite some time! Like you, I hope this is what most people have done - based on Steve's comments against his choices, it looks like he has.

David M

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 31.12.06 at 19:49
The desert island aspect certainly changed my selection - there are artists I do not listen to all the time, but would be essential in long term isolation!  Of course, if we all stranded on the same desert island at the same time, and could borrow each other's choices every now and again......

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by David Morgan on 31.12.06 at 19:53
Wow, Bogus - if the famously variegated MVs all got stranded together we'd have practically the entire musical output of the known universe on tap! Good wheeze.

Title: Alert to Ian C!
Post by David Morgan on 31.12.06 at 20:05
Ian

I have a couple of votes to send to you, but your IM inbox is full.  Clearance time, I think!

Thanks, D.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by JtJ on 31.12.06 at 20:43
Hi there!

Happy New Year to all.  Everything you wish yourselves.

Here's my top ten:

A Hill Of Little Shoes
An Empty Table
Be Careful When They Offer You The Moon
Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger
Daughter Of The Sun
Driving Through Mythical America
Errant Knight
Flowers And The Wine
Girl On The Train
History And Geography
Master Of The Revels
Practical Man
Star Of Tomorrow
Sunlight Gate
Thief In The Night
Touch Has A Memory

Yes, I know....but they're ALL so good!


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 01.01.07 at 01:36
Richard Whiting wrote:

<<Please make it a top 20 next time...and in no particular order too. >>

1    A King At Nightfall
2    I See the Joker
3    Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger
4    The Faded Mansion On The Hill
5    Laughing Boy
6    Lady Of A Day
7    All I Ever Did
8    Luck Of The Draw
10  Payday Evening  

Right you are, mate but are you sure you can count that high? You managed to miss out on number nine...  ;)

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 01.01.07 at 01:58
And the definitive PA Top Ten (until next time) is :

Faded Mansion on the Hill
Canoe
Thirty Year Man
Beware of the Beautiful Stranger
Between Us There is Nothing
Perfect Moments
Payday Evening
Thief in the Night
Senior Citizens
A Hill Of Little Shoes


The next Ten are pretty good too:

History And Geography
Tenderfoot
Flowers And The Wine
I See The Joker
Sunlight Gate
Hypertension Kid
Girl On The Train
The Double Agent
Carnations On The Roof
Last Hill That Shows You All The Valley


It's interesting that GOTT is at Number 17 when it was the winner last time.

The Bottom Ten are:

My Brother's Keeper
Luck Of The Draw
Nothing Left To Say
The Beautiful Changes
Little Sammy Speedball
Lonesome Levis Lane
Frangipanni Was Her Flower
Search And Destroy
Star Of Tomorrow  
Ballad of an upstairs window


but I haven't included the songs that got no votes at all which are:

Have You Got A Biro I Can Borrow?  
Where Have They All Gone?
Apparition In Las Vegas
The Man Who Walked Towards The Music  
Our Lady Lowness
Time And Time Again
Little Sammy Speedball
The Magic Wasn't There
Sudden Arrivals
Let's Try The Whole Thing Again
With Her It Goes Deeper
More In Anger Than In Sorrow
Early Days
So Loud I Couldn't Hear It  
Fat Cat

Now I'm definitely going to bed: Happy New Year or at least what's left of it.

Ian C


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 01.01.07 at 10:39
Songs with the most voters : Faded Mansion On The Hill and Thirty Year Man (18)

No less than 25 different songs were somebody's Number One. Three people put A King At Nightfall as their favourite but only one other person voted for it at all. You either love it or hate it, it seems. Nobody put Thirty Year Man as Number One though it got more votes than  any other except Faded Mansion.

Only 1 album (Secret Drinker) doesn't have a song in the Top Ten. The highest-placed was Tenderfoot (12)

Album with most songs in the Top Ten : Road Of Silk (3)

Biggest surprises (for me anyway): only one person voted for Touch Has A Memory, My Egoist (me), two for Secret Drinker and Nothing Left To Say while Tonight Your Love Is Over which got into the Top Ten last time thanks to statistical manipulation got nowhere this time. Similarly, Girl On The Train, the winner last time, came 17th.

Thanks for spoiling us, Pete!

Ian C


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Secret Drinker on 01.01.07 at 15:58
Thanks to Ian for doing all the work in collating the responses. And of course to David (although I haven't seen the results from the 'other artists' poll yet).

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the 'artists' poll - but if it's not too late, could I ask if Pete could come up with his? I'm sure it would be of great interest to all of us!

Hope your hangovers aren't too bad today.  :-/

Cheers

Paul

Still recovering in wet Westmorland

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 01.01.07 at 17:14
Paw wrote

<<I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the 'artists' poll - but if it's not too late, could I ask if Pete could come up with his? I'm sure it would be of great interest to all of us!>>

He already has, mate or at least half of it. Clickez ici:

http://www.peteatkin.com/topfive.htm

IC

Title: Musicians Poll: Results
Post by David Morgan on 01.01.07 at 22:32
And, at last, the results of Poll Two are……

The musicians most wanted on the Midvodian desert island are the following, with their points* totals:

1.  The Beatles - 114
2.        Bob Dylan - 93
3.        Joni Mitchell - 71
4.        Fairport Convention - 59
5.        JS Bach (the early folk-rock pioneer) - 57
6.        Mozart - 53
7.       The Beach Boys - 52 (a tie between the Beach Boys and Mozart would have been fun, but they couldn’t quite squeeze it)
8=  Elvis Costello – 40
8=  10cc - 40
10.  Paul Simon - 39
11= Randy Newman – 37
11= Pink Floyd – 37
13. Steely Dan – 34
14= Leonard Cohen – 33
14= The Rolling Stones – 33 (Mick’n’Lenny – nice pairing, don’t you think?)
16. Richard Thompson – 32 (put this score together with Fairport’s and he’d be in third place)
17. Jake Thackray – 31
18= Miles Davis – 28
18= Kirsty MacColl - 28
18= John Martyn – 28
21.       Neil Young – 27
22= David Bowie – 23
22= Mahler – 23
22= Frank Sinatra – 23
25= R.E.M. - 22
25= June Tabor – 22
27.  Robert Wyatt - 20
28.  Schubert - 19
29.  The Who – 18
30=  Caravan – 17
30=  Gilbert & Sullivan – 17
30=  Billy Joel – 17
30=  Led Zeppelin - 17

After that the field gets crowded (many 16 & 15 scores) but also less meaningful in a relatively small poll, of course. There was an astonishing spread of musicians included in the votes – if we all get stranded together we’ll have an enviable library (and hopefully a large enough island to keep cacophony at bay!). As I pointed out earlier, a strong indicator of our varied tastes is that many people (including your humble pollster) included in their Top Three a choice so individual that no-one else voted for that musician at all.

When you look at our collective favourites in the list above, much is unsurprising – the names at the top could have been forecast, I think. In terms of musical genres, a bias towards folk(ish) performers and 60s/70s pop/rock is very clear, with the core classics as our primary ‘diversification’. Jazz, blues and other 20th century forms didn’t come through so strongly - Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra are the only names above - though many performers in these fields got one or two votes.  I suspect that more voting time might have brought out further support for Robert Johnson, John Coltrane and others.

Stewart Betts asked how many of our favourites were satirised on Live Libel - more than one! Exact answers on a postcard, please.....

I was surprised by some musicians getting few or no votes who I would have thought likely to appeal to many MVs (based on similarities to Pete’s work and/or their generally recognised qualities as writers and performers). David Ackles, Harvey Andrews, Jacques Brel, Jackson Browne, Ralph McTell, Morrissey/The Smiths, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits spring to mind. Maybe they lurk just outside many of our Top Tens.

There must be two further ‘honourable mentions’: The Shrinks polled 16 points (so were in 34= position) and the legendary Adge Cutler got 6 (Ickleford jury once again!).

When all’s said and done, even when you were limited to ten musicians, the variety of names that came in was the most striking thing about the poll. And this was exactly what Nigel Long said about the previous survey of MVs’ listening habits in 2000. You can find Nigel’s results here (http://www.peteatkin.com/elephant.htm) for comparison – the leading names are very similar in both polls, which I guess we should expect. MVs’ general tastes haven’t moved around as much as our preferences for Pete’s songs have done – another illustration of the agony of choosing just 10 of those gems, of course.

The variety of our tastes is a great MV quality, I think. I’ve already made the painless New Year’s Resolution to listen harder, or for the first time, to some of the less familiar musicians: voters’ reasons for liking them are helpful as well. Apart from the fun and curiosity value, these discoveries may be the best justification for rerunning this poll!

Thanks again to everyone for participating, and a Happy New Year to all.

David M

* A reminder about the scoring: Being placed first by a voter gave 10 points; a second placing gave 9; a third 8; 4th or 5th - 7points; 6th or 7th – 6 points; 8th, 9th or 10th – 5 points.

Title: Re: Musicians Poll: Results
Post by BogusTrumper on 01.01.07 at 23:07

on 01/01/07 at 22:32:56, David Morgan wrote :
I was surprised by some musicians getting few or no votes who I would have thought likely to appeal to many MVs (based on similarities to Pete’s work and/or their generally recognised qualities as writers and performers). David Ackles, Harvey Andrews, Jacques Brel, Jackson Browne, Ralph McTell, Morrissey/The Smiths, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits spring to mind. Maybe they lurk just outside many of our Top Tens.


Several of those were in my top 20, but again, some had to be dropped down the list because of the variety I needed for the desert island.  Some of my top 10 I actually listen to far less than other musicians, but I was following the rules... :D

Title: Musicians Poll: Results
Post by David Morgan on 02.01.07 at 09:49
Regarding Bogus's point above, I think that most/all of us had huge trouble with getting down to 10 musicians - probably even more than with the 10 Atkin songs. Maybe I should have asked you all for 20 names? 30? For a level playing field, of course, we needed to get the same number from each voter, and I thought at the outset that a larger number might be too much of an imposition, for both voters and pollsters(!). But with hindsight it would probably have been easier to write down more names than to agonise over the choice of just 10, and this would have left more space for second-favourites in various genres.

This change would probably have had little or no impact on the final Top Ten, but might have led to more of those 'songwritery' names sneaking into the Top Thirty. Ah - speculation about what might have been is at least as much fun as the real thing!

David M

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jim Grozier on 02.01.07 at 16:32

on 01/01/07 at 10:39:36, Ian Chippett wrote :
Three people put A King At Nightfall as their favourite but only one other person voted for it at all. You either love it or hate it, it seems.


I would have voted for it, but I have to confess that one of the desperate stategies I adopted for cutting my list down to 10 was to give songs a lower rating if I felt I could be pretty sure my girlfriend would include them, and AKAN was one of those. Trouble is, she never got round to voting, despite being reminded about it a few times!

She would also (I'm pretty sure) have voted for All the Dead were Strangers, and also (like me) Trophies.  --- I have to say I was pretty gobsmacked to find that the latter song was not among the most popular, as indeed I am also utterly gobsmacked to find that no-one else seems to have voted for Philip Jeays, who I would have thought was a natural for PA fans. Never mind - his time will come!

Jim.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Secret Drinker on 02.01.07 at 18:43

on 01/01/07 at 17:14:24, Ian Chippett wrote :
He already has, mate or at least half of it. Clickez ici:

http://www.peteatkin.com/topfive.htm


Ah, but (a) that was several years ago (so Pete may have discovered other artists since then), and (b) it is Pete's top five individual tracks, as opposed to artists. The artists results could be different, for the reasons people have given in previous posts in this thread  :)

Cheers

Paul

Enjoying the first dryish day so far this year up 'ere

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 02.01.07 at 18:53
Here's the Top However Many It Was in descending order by album. Lots of things here to think about like how could You Alone and I Feel Like Midnight  put together get fewer votes than The Wall of Death, a nice song but not quite in the same class. Just my opinion, of course.Then The Magic Wasn't There gets no votes at all and yet it's (still just my opinion) one of the best of the early songs.

Ian C

Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger

Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger 99
Girl On the Train 43
Rider To The World’s End 32
Laughing Boy 30
Sunrise 21
Be Careful 17
You Can’t Expect To Be Remembered 14
Master of the Revels 12
Tonight Your Love Is Over 12
Touch Has A Memory 8
The Original...5
All I Ever Did 5
Luck Of The Draw 3
Frangipanni Was Her Flower 2
Have You Got A Biro...? 0

Driving Through Mythical America

Faded Mansion 138
Thief in the Night 73
Flowers And The Wine 48
Sunlight Gate 45
Driving Through Mythical America 36
Practical Man 24
Prince of Aquitaine 23
No Dice 15
The Pearl Driller 10
Lady Of A Day 8
Where Have They All Gone? 0

A King At Nightfall

Thirty Year Man 103
Between Us There Is Nothing 95
Hypertension Kid 45
The Double Agent 43
Carnations On The Roof 42
The Last Hill 39
A King At Nightfall 32
Wristwatch For A Drummer 22
Screen Freak 13
All The Dead Were Strangers 10
Apparition In Las Vegas 0

The Road Of Silk

Perfect Moments 94
Payday Evening 73
Senior Citizens 68
The Road Of Silk 37
Hollow And The Fluted Night 29
The Wall Of Death 25
Shadow and The Widower 8
An Array Of Passionate Lovers 7
My Egoist 7
Care-charmer Sleep 3
The Man Who Walked Toward The Music 0
Our Lady Lowness 0

Secret Drinker

Tenderfoot 49
I See The Joker 45
Rain-Wheels 21
Tongue-tied 18
Sessionman’s Blues 14
Secret Drinker 9
National Steel 5
Nothing Left To Say 2
Little Sammy Speedball 2
The Man Who Walked Toward The Music 0
Time And Time Again 0

Lakeside Sessions Volume One

Canoe 108
History and Geography 62
Femme Fatale 28
A Man Who’s Been Around 18
I Feel Like Midnight 16
Dreamboat 10
Get It Out Of Your Head 10
Wiseacre 10
Over The High Side 5
Urban Guerrilla 4
My Brother’s Keeper 3
The Magic Wasn’t There 0
Sudden Arrivals 0
Let’s Try The Whole Thing Again 0

Lakeside Sessions Volume Two

Icecream Man 36
The Eye Of The Universe 30
The Trophies Of My Lovers Gone 28
The Ties That Bind You 19
The Commercial Traveller 10
Just For Me 10
A Dream Of Fair Women 9
Landscapes 9
You Alone Will Be My Last Adventure 7
Cold Bitches 4
Search And Destroy 1
With Her It Goes Deeper 0
More In Sorrow Than In Anger 0
Early Days 0

Winter Spring

A Hill Of Little Shoes 64
An Empty Table 38
I Have To Learn 19
Thought Of You 17
Winter Spring 7
Dancing Master 7
Prayers Against The Hitman 3
So Loud I Couldn’t Hear It 0
Daughter Of The Sun 0
Fat Cat 0


Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by JtJ on 02.01.07 at 20:56
Hi there!

I'm not seriously suggesting this for a moment but....

It would be interesting, wouldn't it, to have a seperate poll for "old songs" and "new songs".

I've been scrolling up and down this album list for some time now, hearing each song in my head and often thinking:  I should have included this on my own list.

The great attraction for me is that there are so many GOOD songs here.  And a wide variety of styles also.

Just a random thought or two!

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 02.01.07 at 22:54
I don't know if it statistically significant, but I notice the new songs seem to be less favored than the old.  Many years of familiarity bringing the old ones to mind more easily?  Probably true in my case.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by cjrt on 03.01.07 at 06:53
Well, Winter Spring doesn't seem any less popular than Secret Drinker- And Lakeside vol 1, which I believe were old compositions but was only recorded recently, did better than either (though mainly because of Canoe- vol 2 was much less popular).
Conversely, in my case I've only discovered Secret Drinker and most of the others around the same time as Winter Spring- I grew up (literally- it was my parents' LP) with BOTBS and nearly half the tracks on it are among my favourites.

Chris

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Richard Bleksley on 03.01.07 at 09:48
One thing that interests me about Ian's complete song score sheet is that several of the songs that got no votes at all are ones that I actually quite like - just not enough to put them in my top ten. Which leads me to suspect (always assuming that I'm not a wierdo who likes a lot of songs that nobody else does) that many of them may have been near-misses for other people too, and that their lowly position in the poll is a result of the voting system (like the Lib-Dems' representation in Parliament) rather than meaning that nobody likes them.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jan on 03.01.07 at 10:38
I agree Richard, five of my top twenty got no votes at all.
Jan

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 03.01.07 at 11:00
Well, I got 6 of the Top Ten in my own choice: the other four Black Funk Rex 9 points, My Egoist 7 points (all mine), A Man Who's Been Around 18 points , Nothing Left To Say 2 points were miles away. Anyone get more than 6 out of 10? Did anyone get none of the Top Ten?

Ian C

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 03.01.07 at 13:29
Well I got 5 of mine in the top ten.

What we need now is some complex statistics to see who was the closest to the final poll, and hence who is the nearest to an "average" Pete and Clive fan!  :D

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Richard Bleksley on 03.01.07 at 14:47
I got an average-to-modest four songs in the top ten. Ah, but I've also got one of my top ten musicians (Robert Johnson) in Pete's five favourite tracks list. So there.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Secret Drinker on 03.01.07 at 15:42

on 01/03/07 at 09:48:50, Richard Bleksley wrote :
One thing that interests me about Ian's complete song score sheet is that several of the songs that got no votes at all are ones that I actually quite like - just not enough to put them in my top ten. Which leads me to suspect (always assuming that I'm not a wierdo who likes a lot of songs that nobody else does) that many of them may have been near-misses for other people too, and that their lowly position in the poll is a result of the voting system (like the Lib-Dems' representation in Parliament) rather than meaning that nobody likes them.


I don't think you're any more of a weirdo than any other of us Pete Atkin fans, Richard  ;)

I don't think any of the songs are bad, but there are some I probably don't like as much as others. However, like you and (I suspect) everyone else, I had extreme difficulty in narrowing down my choice to ten - and the ten I ended up with are fairly arbitrary in that there are many others I like equally but just couldn't include because of the limit. In the end I didn't literally draw lots, but I might as well have done.

I was surprised, for example, that "Biro" got no votes at all - that's a fairly commercial song (well, it would have been if it could have been played on air!) and I think many of us like it and would perhaps have included it in the top 20. But nobody included it in their top ten so it scored nowt.

So, is Pete going to base his album of re-recordings on this poll, or should we have another one where we say which 20 songs we'd like to see on it?  ;D

Cheers

Paul

Getting very wet again today  :(

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 03.01.07 at 16:21
Paw wrote!

<<So, is Pete going to base his album of re-recordings on this poll, or should we have another one where we say which 20 songs we'd like to see on it?>>

I think he should avoid anything in the Top Ten: after all, he's already done a pretty good job on them (though a funk version of Between Us there Is Nothing in 4/4 might be fun.) I'd like to see him go for some of the rockier, bloozier songs (Touch Has A Memory could almost fall in this category if you slow it down, play it in 12/8 with a screaming lead guitar and Hammond Organ.) The problem with the faster stuff (none of which got into the Top Ten) is the good taste Pete always shows on his records: the guitar and sax solos are always under control which is not really a rock 'n roll attitude. It would have been better if Pete had been a member of a band where concessions had to be made to drunken egoistic guitarists: that way, I See The Joker would only have 3 verses but it would also have an earth-shattering solo between verses 2 and 3. It's probably true that none of us would be MVs now if that had been the case but I'm just presenting an Alternative Universe scenario. Bon, returning to the point, if Pete wants to revisit his past, I think he'd do well to loosen up, find some musos who can play (like the Shrinks, who better?) and go for it even if it means going over the top. My ex-band once did a version of "Perfect Moments" which  transformed itself into a kind of reggae-brassband 30-minute epic that can only be described as indescribable. I'd love to see Pete doing the same!

Ian C

Losing what he hardly knew was there in Pantin France

Title: Re: Top Tens and Twenties
Post by David Morgan on 03.01.07 at 16:58
The debate above about why certain songs fared badly, while being Top-20 candidates for many voters, illustrates the same pattern that I think occurred in the musicians poll, as per my note below.


on 01/01/07 at 22:32:56, David Morgan wrote :
I was surprised by some musicians getting few or no votes who I would have thought likely to appeal to many MVs (based on similarities to Pete’s work and/or their generally recognised qualities as writers and performers). David Ackles, Harvey Andrews, Jacques Brel, Jackson Browne, Ralph McTell, Morrissey/The Smiths, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits spring to mind. Maybe they lurk just outside many of our Top Tens (italics added for emphasis).

It seems, as Richard observed, that there are certain songs and musicians that benefit from a first-past-the-post election (or at least one-of-the-first-ten-past-the-post). An example is AKAN, which we love or hate as per Ian's analysis. Others, meanwhile, await proportional representation: The Magic Wasn't There (appropriate title in this context!), with no votes at all, strikes me as a standout example of this group.

David M

Title: Re: Top Tens and Twenties
Post by Secret Drinker on 03.01.07 at 19:51

on 01/03/07 at 16:58:30, David Morgan wrote :
The debate above about why certain songs fared badly, while being Top-20 candidates for many voters, illustrates the same pattern that I think occurred in the musicians poll, as per my note below.

It seems, as Richard observed, that there are certain songs and musicians that benefit from a first-past-the-post election (or at least one-of-the-first-ten-past-the-post). An example is AKAN, which we love or hate as per Ian's analysis. Others, meanwhile, await proportional representation: The Magic Wasn't There (appropriate title in this context!), with no votes at all, strikes me as a standout example of this group.


Harvey Andrews and Ralph McTell would probably have been in my Top 20 but in the end didn't make my Top 10, if that helps confirm your theory David! I say "probably", just in case there's ever a Top 20 poll - don't want to give away too much, do I?  ;)

Cheers

Paul

Wondering how to get to the pub across the road without flippers  :o

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by BogusTrumper on 03.01.07 at 23:03

on 01/03/07 at 14:47:02, Richard Bleksley wrote :
I've also got one of my top ten musicians (Robert Johnson) in Pete's five favourite tracks list. So there.
Ditto  :D

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Jan on 03.01.07 at 23:21
Would the Atkin top 10 be a suitable candidate for the Atkin FAQ thread?

(After a long period of ... well nothing really... this thread has recently sprung into life with a useful explanation about the unavailable CDs which can be used when future new MVs ask why they can't buy them and will save Pete explaining it all over again)
Jan

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Richard Bleksley on 04.01.07 at 00:36

on 01/03/07 at 16:21:51, Ian Chippett wrote :
I'd like to see him go for some of the rockier, bloozier songs (Touch Has A Memory could almost fall in this category if you slow it down, play it in 12/8 with a screaming lead guitar and Hammond Organ.)


Now there's a funny thing. I've often thought myself that Touch Has a Memory, with a little manipulation, could be turned into a nice slinky slow blues...

Richard

(getting the New Year blues in Sutton, Surrey)

Title: Reading the poll results
Post by Pete Atkin on 05.01.07 at 12:18
Well, first of all, my personal thanks to everyone who participated.  Individual choices and comments were often just as interesting as the final outcome.  And just one of the reasons the final outcome was so interesting was that the voters, yourselves, have had a few additional years to live with the revival since the last vote; in other words, there was perhaps less of a nostalgia factor this time, which may account for the slippage down the list of Girl On The Train -- I don't know.  At least there's nothing in the top twenty that made me think 'Oh Gawd!'.   More positively, I was specially pleased to me to see a good sprinkling of 'orphans' in people's lists - The Double Agent, Tenderfoot, The Hollow And The Fluted Night, for instance - songs that have rarely been requested or discussed much, even if they didn't all make the final cut.    And I was neither surprised nor upset that the list comprised mostly older songs, not least since I know that not everyone has heard the newer stuff.  They're all things I remain proud of.   Phew.

I'll post separately what might have been my own contribution to the other poll.   Even before I've considered it carefully, I think it's unlikely my choices would have greatly affected the result.

Thanks again, voters all.

Pete

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - A Pointless statistic
Post by Nedd on 05.01.07 at 14:32
Of the thirteen Voices who sent in their lists for all to see and who use a reference to a song in their id or signature, only 6 had the song they quoted from in their list (and that's including JtJ who gave M of the R 11th place. )
It must be quiet here this afternoon.  :)

Nedd.

Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - A Pointless statistic
Post by BogusTrumper on 05.01.07 at 15:30

on 01/05/07 at 14:32:18, Nedd wrote :
Of the thirteen Voices who sent in their lists for all to see and who use a reference to a song in their id or signature, only 6 had the song they quoted from in their list (and that's including JtJ who gave M of the R 11th place. )
It must be quiet here this afternoon.  :)

Nedd.


And one of those said  :D


on 12/29/06 at 17:28:20, BogusTrumper wrote :
One of my favorite lyrics, as against favorite songs.  Parts of it have been in my sig at various times and various places.  But for me, this one is the words not the song.

Sorry Pete. :(



Title: Re: The Top Ten Polls 2006 - Vote Here!
Post by Ian Chippett on 05.01.07 at 18:03
Pete wrote:

<< I was specially pleased to me to see a good sprinkling of 'orphans' in people's lists - The Double Agent, Tenderfoot, The Hollow And The Fluted Night, for instance - songs that have rarely been requested or discussed much, even if they didn't all make the final cut.>>

The Double Agent is a beautiful song but like some of Pete's other songs it contains surprising chord changes: well, not exactly surprising but not typical of a song like this. Whereas the chords which accompany the line "my lovers eyes have not a word to say" are quite conventional (see Here, There and Everywhere by the Beatles) the chords which accompany the opening line aren't. I spent a decade or two (with interruptions for work, sleep, eating etc) trying to fathom them out and failing, not because they are particularly difficult, just because they're "wrong" in this case. Anyone else would have used the same H, T and E chords both times. (For "wrong" read "unconventional.") This must unconsciously disturb listeners who haven't already fallen in love with the songs. There's a similar example in The Hollow And The Fluted Night"just before Pete sings "the one loved most etc..." where the chord changes abruptly from A to Eb (the old triton.)

Ian C



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