Top Ten Tunes- 1962

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1962.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

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In 1962, Ipswich Town win the Football League First Division title, the last trolleybuses run in London, the UK’s first legal casino opens in Brighton, The Beatles play their first session at Abbey Road Studios, a heavy smog develops over London, the Rolling Stones make their debut at the Marquee Club, London, Jamaica gains independence, Trinidad and Tobago also gains independence, the Beatles first single Love Me Do is released, Uganda gains independence, the world’s first successful hip replacement takes place at a hospital in Wigan, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, Marilyn Monroe sings Happy Birthday to JFK, James Meredith became the first black student to enrol at the University of Mississippi despite protests becoming a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, Marilyn Monroe dies of an overdose at the age of 36, Algeria gains independence and the films Lawrence of Arabia, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear and the first James Bond film Dr No are released. 

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So, the 60s just seems to be getting stronger with each passing year. I’m really starting to think I was born in the wrong decade. I’m also very aware that this week’s playlist looks a tad like the Dirty Dancing soundtrack (okay there’s just 3 songs that featured in the film are in this week’s list). Spotify playlist at the end as always.

1. Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs

2. Big Girls Don’t Cry by Four Seasons

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3. Love Me Do by the Beatles

4. Do You Love Me? by the Contours

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5. Let’s Twist Again by Chubby Checker

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6. My Baby Just Cares For Me by Nina Simone

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7. The Locomotion by Little Eva

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8. Let There Be Love by Nat King Cole

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9. These Arms of Mine by Otis Redding

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10. What Now My Love by Shirley Bassey

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Oh get lost, as if I can pick a favourite out of this lot. These Arms of Mine is beautiful, Let’s Twist Again is a brilliant perfect pop tune, then there’s Nina, the Beatles and Nat King Cole not to mention Green Onions which has got to be the coolest track ever. Fine, ok…I’ve thought long and hard and my favourite this week is Nina followed closely by Otis and Chubby. Are you more decisive than me? If so, which is your favourite?

See you next week for 1963!

Top Ten Tunes- 1961

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1961.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

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Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space

In 1961, the farthing ceases to be legal tender, the Beatles perform at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time, Sierra Leone gains independence from the UK, betting shops become legal, the act of suicide is decriminalised, the first Mothercare store is opened, police arrest over 1,300 people during a CND rally in London, a volcanic eruption on the South Atlantic British territory Tristan de Cunha causes the entire island population to be evacuated and rehomed in…Surrey, the first edition of Private Eye is published, birth control pills first become available on the NHS, the border between East and West Germany closes and the construction of the Berlin Wall starts, Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space, US Cuban exiles and the CIA attempts and fails to overthrow Fidel Castro, John F Kennedy is inaugurated as the new US President, the USSR tests the largest nuclear bomb ever and America is instructed to build bomb shelters by Kennedy, South Africa becomes an independent republic and the films Breakfast at Tiffany’s, West Side Story, The Misfits, The Parent Trap and Babes in Toyland are all released. 

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Don’t squish the cat!

What a year! I love 1961 for music, lots of strong choices. Here they are, in no particular order. Spotify playlist at the end as per.

1. At Last by Etta James

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2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles

3. Blue Moon by the Marcels

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4. Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles

5. September in the Rain by Dinah Washington

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6. Runaway by Del Shannon

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7. Take Good Care of My Baby by Bobby Vee

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8. Save the Last Dance For Me by the Drifters

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9. Cupid by Sam Cooke

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10. Moon River (Choral Version) by Henry Mancini

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While At Last is a stunner, it’s Ray Charles that’s my favourite this week. Let me know below, which one is yours.

See you next week for 1962!

Top Ten Tunes- 1960

Top Ten Tunes is back! After doing Top Ten Tunes for every year of my life, I have decided to go further back in time and start from 1960. So every Friday, I will be publishing my top ten songs from a single year from 1960-1975.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

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In 1960, the Queen gives birth to her third child and second son, Prince Andrew- he is the first child born to a reigning monarch since 1857, American musician Eddie Cochrane is killed in a car crash in Wiltshire- he was 21, 60,000 people demonstrate in London against nuclear weapons, Princess Margaret marries photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones in the first televised royal wedding, 38 miners are killed in an explosion in Monmouthshire, Cypress gains independence from the UK, British Somaliland gains independence from he UK and forms the Somali Republic with the former Italian Somaliland, The Beatles perform their first concert as the Beatles in Hamburg, Germany, the Olympics takes place in Rome, the first traffic wardens are deployed in London, Nigeria gains independence from the UK, the first successful kidney transplant takes place in the UK, Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case, the first episode of soap opera Coronation Street is aired, the last man is called up for national service as conscription ends, both Fairy Liquid and black bin bags are introduced, John F Kennedy wins the US presidential election, the US sends 3,500 soldiers to Vietnam, the new capital city of Brazil, Brasilia is officially inaugurated, the book To Kill a Mockingbird is published, a soviet missile shoots down the US U2 spy plane, the world’s first female prime minister is elected in Sri Lanka– Sirimavo Bandaranaike Ceylon, a tidal wave kills 12,000 in Agadir, Morocco and the films Psycho, Spartacus, The Apartment, La Dolce Vita, The Magnificent Seven and Ocean’s 11 are all released.

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Well, this first year of the 60s was a difficult one for me personally to find 10 songs I love, but I got there. 1960 was still very much influenced by both rockabilly and swing. We are yet to see the emergence of the pop & rock music genre- populated by those four lads from Liverpool, but it will be here soon. Very, very soon…Here’s my personal favourites from 1960 in no particular order.

1. Shakin’ All Over by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

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2. Footsteps by Steve Lawrence

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3. Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin

4. What Do You Want To Make Those Eye at Me For? by Emile Ford & The Checkmates

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5. Nice ‘N’ Easy by Frank Sinatra

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6. I’m Sorry by Brenda Lee

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7. Cradle of Love by Johnny Preston

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8. Clementine by Bobby Darin

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9. As Long As He Needs by Shirley Bassey (Here she is- Dame Shirley- showing ’em how it’s done)

10. The Theme From “A Summer Place” by Percy Faith & His Orchestra

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Whilst, Frank, Bobby & Dame Shirley are obviously strong contenders, it’s actually Brenda Lee that’s my favourite this week. Which one is yours? And what would you include that isn’t here? I’m very aware that I was’t around during these times (obvs). My taste in music stems from Generation X , so some of the artists from the very early 60s don’t do it for me personally. However, I know there will be some of you who remember this era and have their favourite artists that they would have included in their own top ten. I’d still love to hear which track from this year is your favourite, even if it doesn’t appear here.

See you next week for 1961!

Top TV Theme Tunes

I mean, I am so obsessed with listing my favourite things, I have now gone as far as telling you my favourite TV theme tunes. It’s an important one. Deciding which ones are my favourites and then putting them diligently in order for you. I know you’re grateful, I can sense it via the internets and you are most welcome. So here they are, 15 of my favourite TV theme tunes in order and yes I have done a Spotify list at the end, which I know you will listen to all day. Also, if you don’t like my list, but want to check out a similar list, why not pop over to sex God Phil Taylor’s blog and read his post HERE and see what TV theme tunes he’s included (we have a few in common).

15. Big Brother UK 

The original of course and I was absolutely obsessed with it. Yes, I used to listen to it in my flat at full volume. Cos I was cool like that.

14. Panorama

I just love the dramatics, man.

13. University Challenge

For those of you who don’t know, University Challenge is a delightfully nerdy quiz show where different universities compete with each other with their general knowledge. I can usually only answer one or two questions per episode at the most. This theme tune suits the programme and its contestants perfectly.

12. Blockbusters

If you’re of a certain age, you probably loved this programme. It was a kind of a less geeky version of University Challenge, but with secondary (high) schools instead of universities. And with a block grid thingy. And the theme tune was absolutely solid. I was never more excited to hear it than when my very own school featured on it. I *think* we did quite well.

11. Grange Hill

80s British childhood succinctly represented with one perfect theme tune. Watch out for the sausage!

10. The A Team

Of course.

9. Cheers

Featuring this classic theme tune is not helping my current Ted Danson obsession any.

8. Bergerac

So we all danced to this theme tune in a kind of embarrassing reggae style with our best mate on a regular basis….didn’t we?

7. The Flintstones

Hearing this theme tune tells me it’s almost dinner time! How long will dinner be, Mum? I’m staaaaarrrrrving!

6. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Come on then, let’s do this rap together word perfectly.

Top 5

5. Cagney and Lacey

Best cop show ever. Don’t argue with me. And I love this theme tune so much, it is the actual ringtone on my phone. Fact.

4. Happy Days

Quite possibly one of the most cheerful TV theme tunes out there suiting it’s programme perfectly.

3. Ski Sunday

Oh yes, I did. Come on, it is fucking brilliant. Incidentally, it is also my highest ranking British TV theme tune. Oh and I couldn’t find a clip of the opening titles, so have an actual orchestra playing the theme tune instead.

2. The West Wing

Possibly my all time favourite American TV drama, but that aside this is a wonderful theme tune. Both my husband and I are such fans of this show that at our wedding we walked back down the aisle to this theme tune together. I told you I was cool.

And my all time favourite TV theme tune is…..

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1. The Muppet Show

If Happy Days is a cheerful theme tune, then this is cheerful whilst smacked up on E numbers on Christmas Eve. Hearing the theme tune reminds me of the start of Saturday evening TV and cosy Saturdays with my family in the 80s. It makes me feel warm and safe inside. This theme tune and of course the programme itself is, in short, everything that is right with this world.

So, you know the score. Please tell me which is your favourite TV theme tune in the comments below.

Next week, Top Ten Tunes is starting up again, so see you next week for 1960!

Top Tunes From Musicals

So, here’s a little unknown fact about me. I love me a musical. I love all that singing and dancing at inexplicable moments. I love the cheesiness. I love how cheery musicals are quite often made about dire and disturbing subject matters (Oliver! is quite often described as cheerful, but is essentially about maternal mortality, orphans, homelessness, poverty, child exploitation, crime, prostitution, domestic violence, child abduction and murder. Oom-pah-pah indeed). I love the formulaic storylines. And love all that thigh slapping (who doesn’t?). But here’s a tough question. Which song out of all those heart rending/heartwarming musicals, is the best? I tried to make this a Top Ten, but as I am weak, it is a Top 15 instead. As always, there’s a little Spotify list at the end- a bumper playlist of 40 songs from musicals. Heres my personal favourite 15 songs from musicals in actual order this time.

15. Tradition– Fiddler on a Roof

14. And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going– Dreamgirls

13. The Man That Got Away– A Star is Born

12. All That Jazz– Chicago

11. Take Me or Leave Me– Rent

10. Time Warp– Rocky Horror Picture Show

9. Cabaret– Cabaret

8. Do-Re-Mi– Sound of Music

7. You’re the One That I Want– Grease

6. Memory– Cats

 

TOP 5

5. When I Grow Up– Matilda

4. Over the Rainbow– The Wizard of Oz

3. As Long As He Needs Me– Oliver!

2. Defying Gravity– Wicked

And my all time favourite song from a musical is….

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1. One Day More– Les Miserables

And for the record, my all time favourite musical is Oliver! I could have made this top 15 up with the majority of songs from Oliver!, but you’ll probably be thankful that I restrained myself. So any other fans of musicals out there? Which is your favourite song from a musical? And which is your all time favourite musical?

See you next week for Top TV Theme Tunes!

Top Ten Tunes Review

Hey there gang. As you may have or may have not realised, I am taking a little blogging break at the moment. It’s nothing personal, I just needed a bit more extra time in my personal life (hey, don’t we all). Anyway, despite the break, I still carried on doing my weekly Top Ten Tunes posts. Partly because I am loyal to y’all, but mainly because I have loved dong them so much. I am one for nostalgia, so it’s been a lovely trip down my musical memory lane. So, I thought I’d do a little review of my Top Ten Tunes post from over the years. Some kind of conclusion, if you like. And at the end of this post, there’s a little announcement, that I’m verrrrr excited about (because I am a musical geek. And proud). Oh and I have done one big massive Spotify playlist of my favourite songs from each year at the end.

My Favourite Years

What’s interesting is that there were definitely some years that I found easier to think of my top ten than others. Some years, I struggled to narrow it down to ten and other years it was difficult to come up with ten. Some years were definitely weaker for music, but it might also have been because what was going on in my life at the time. I have had a little think and these were my favourite years, musically:

1977

1984 1985 1986 1989

1992 1993 1994

2006

2016

And my absolute favourite year is 1989. I struggled more than any other year to narrow my songs down to only 10. 1989 = best year of music ever. No need to argue with me.

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Top 5 Nationalities

I don’t think the top 2 will be of any surprise, but these are the top 5 nationalities that appeared the most in my top tens.

5. Canada (appeared 5 times)

4. Iceland & Sweden (both appeared 7 times)

3. Australia (appeared 14 times)

2. U.S.A. (appeared 153 times)

1. United Kingdom (appeared 204 times)

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A map of the UK and where all its famous musicians hail from.

Top 10 Acts

And here are the 10 acts that appeared in my top tens the most. Can you guess who appeared the most?

5. Kate Bush & Amy Winehouse (both appeared 5 times)

4. Bjork & David Bowie (both appeared 7 times)

3. George Michael & Beyonce (both appeared 8 times)

2. Blur & Kylie Minogue (both appeared 9 times)

And the act that appeared more than any other is:

1. Madonna (appeared 10 times)

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My most surprising observations of these playlists is that I seem to like Rhianna and Adele more than I thought I did. That two of my all time favourite artists didn’t appear as much as I thought they would (PJ Harvey and Tori Amos). The 00s was a terrible decade for music and I’m clearly more of an 80s & 90s girl. And I won’t ever apologise for it either.

And an observation that I had about the news sections: it’s always been bit of a shit storm quite frankly.

Oh yes, I promised you an announcement…

So, here’s the thing. Well, here’s 3 things:

  1. I loved doing these playlists
  2. I love music and talking about music a lot.
  3. I love music from the 60s and the rest of the 70s that wasn’t included in my top ten posts.

As you may have guessed, I am continuing to do these lists, by going back in time. Back to when I was merely a twinkle in my father’s eye and beyond. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be doing two slightly different top tens posts, but then after that I will continue doing my Top Ten Tunes starting with 1960! Oh yeah, imma gonna go there. So, it will be slightly less nostalgic for me, as clearly I have no personal memory of those times, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the music from those eras any less. Expect plenty of Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Aretha, the Kinks, Beach Boys- ooh it’s going to be grand.

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One Last Thing

What I’ve been really grateful for with doing these weekly music posts, is the interaction with other people. Hearing, what their favourites are and discussing music and the world events from that year, has been something I look forward to every week. The following lovely bloggers have been regular visitors to these Top Ten Tunes posts over the “years”. I encourage you to have a wander around their blogs:

Rachael Stray

Angela Noel at You Are Awesome

Willowdot21

My Mashed Up Life

Ritu at But I Smile Anyway

Cherie at thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany

Phil at The Phil Factor

Music 2 Commute 2

Em at A Brummie Home & Abroad

Sonia at Losing the Plot

Here’s the mega playlist, I promised you. And my most favourite from it and from the past 42 years? Video Killed the Radio Star. Now, I know I don’t really need to remind you, but please let me know which one is your favourite from the list in the comments below. Hope to see you all in the 60s and 70s!

For all the previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

See you next week for my Top Tunes From Musicals! And Top Ten Tunes returns on Friday 5th October.

Top Ten Tunes- 2017

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week, we’re finally all caught up- it’s here, it’s the turn of 2017.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

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So, 2017 wasn’t much of an improvement on 2016. In 2017, millions of people march in the Women’s Marches across the UK and the world in protest of reality TV star Donald Trump’s inauguration as the US President, a petition to stop reality TV star Donald Trump from entering the UK gains 2 million signatures, Ian Stewart is found guilty of killing his fiancee- the children’s author Helen Bailey, a terrorist attack takes place in London when a car ploughs into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge– killing 6 and injuring over 40- the driver then stabs a police officer to death, the UK invokes Article 50 which triggers the formal withdrawal from the EU, a terrorist attack takes place in Stockholm, Sweden where a lorry is driven into crowds and then crashes into a department store- 5 people die, one of which is British and 14 are injured, Ian Brady- the Moors Murderer- dies at 79- he was Britain’s longest serving prisoner, a female zookeeper is killed by tiger at a zoo in Cambridgeshire, 8 people are killed and 48 are injured in a terrorist attack when a vehicle ploughs into people on London Bridge and then subsequently the attackers stab several people to death on the street- the police shoot all 3 of the terrorists dead within 8 minutes, the UK general election takes place, but the Conservative party fail to gain enough votes for a majority win– they have to form a coalition with the DUP as a result, 1 person is killed and 10 are injured when a van deliberately rams into people outside a mosque in Finsbury, London, the Duke of Edinburgh retires from public duty at 96 years old, 15 people are killed in two terrorist attacks in Spain, Prince Harry announces his engagement to American actor Meghan Markle, the Me Too movement against sexual harassment and abuse spreads globally and results in many allegations against people especially in Hollywood (here’s my little “fuck sexual harassment” post HERE), Emmanuel Macron becomes the new French President, at least 90 people are killed in Texas as Hurricane Harvey strikes the US, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car crashes into a crowd at an anti-racist rally and kills 1 person and injures 28 others, in Texas a gunman attacks a baptist church killing 26 people and injuring 20 others, 58 people are killed by one gunman in Las Vegas as he opens fire on a crowd of concert-goers from his hotel room.

A major fire engulfs Grenfell Tower (a 24-storey block of flats in London), which causes the deaths of 72 people and injuring 70 others. It is the worst residential fire since the Second World War. The fire was believed to have started from a faulty fridge/freezer. However, the rapid spread of the fire was caused by the exterior cladding. A new review on building regulations and fire safety has since been published.

On the 22nd May, Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber during an Ariana Grande concert. 22 people were killed and 139 were injured. More than half of the victims were children. The youngest person killed was 8 years old. Two weeks later, Ariana Grande returned to Manchester (and a day after the London Bridge terrorist attack) for the One Love Manchester concert in honour of the victims of the attack and to raise funds for the injured and the bereaved. It was attended by over 50,000 people and watched by over 22 million in the UK and across 38 different countries around the world. Shortly afterwards, in a unanimous vote by councillors, Ariana Grande was made an honorary citizen of Manchester city.

The films Dunkirk, Get Out, Wonder Woman, Baby Driver, Call Me By Your Name, Ladybird, Lion, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, IT, Beauty and the Beast and T2 Trainspotting are all released and I turn a mere 41 years old.

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Have we really reached the end?! Phewee- 42 posts later and here we are in 2017. So, here’s the top ten tunes from 2017 and it’s probably one of the least commercial playlists, I’ve done. Thank you so much for sticking with me through this journey. Next week, I’ll be doing a little review of these Top Ten Tunes post where I’ll provide a bumper playlist plus they’ll be a little announcement…

1. Green Light by Lorde

2. Don’t Kill My Vibe by Sigrid

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3. Tomorrow by Anni

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4. Everything Now by Arcade Fire

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5. 1998 by the Dears

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6. Issues by Julia Michaels

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7. Fior Di Latte by Phoenix

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8. Dear Life by Beck

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9. New York by St. Vincent

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10. Fireworks by First Aid Kit

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Special bonus as it’s the last weekSomewhere Over the Rainbow by Ariana Grande

At the end of last year, I said that my favourite song from 2017 was St.Vincent HERE, but almost a year on, I would now say it’s Julia Michaels. Which one is your favourite?

 

See you next week for the Top Ten Tunes Review!

Top Ten Tunes- 2016

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 2016.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Boris Johnson And Michael Gove Address The Nation After EU Referendum Victory

Full of so much joy that they won

Oh 2016. Ok, let’s do this.

In 2016, junior doctors strike over contract conditions, former Eastenders actor Sian Blake is murdered along with her two sons by her partner, all four members of British indie band- Viola Beach are killed along with their manager in a car crash in Sweden, a major incident is declared as one person is killed and three remain missing after an explosion at Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire, 6 people from Rotherham are jailed for a combined sentence of 103 years for the grooming, sexual assault and the rape of 15 teenage girls, three bombings take place in Brussels and are declared a terrorist attack- 35 people are killed and over 300 are injured, thousands of people protest austerity cuts in central London, the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday, for the first time in history Leicester City win the Premiership defying all odds, Labour MP Sadiq Khan is sworn in as the new Mayor of London, a shooting takes place in an Orlando, Florida nightclub and 49 people are killed, Andy Murray wins the Wimbledon Mens Singles for the second time, a terrorist attack takes place in Nice, France when a lorry plows into a crowd at a Bastille Day fireworks display and kills 86 people many of whom were children, the Olympics take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Team GB finish 2nd in the medals table, the BBC loses the rights to broadcast Great British Bake Off, 7 people are killed and 50 are injured when a Tramline tram derails in Croydon, a terrorist attack takes place at a Christmas market in Berlin leaving 12 people dead and 56 injured, people of Syria are mercilessly bombed for several months by their government in an attempt to bomb and starve them into submission- tens of thousands of lives were lost.

Labour MP Jo Cox is shot and stabbed to death in public by far-right supporter Thomas Mair. She was 41 and had two young children.

51.9% of people that voted in the United Kingdom’s EU referendum vote to leave the European Union. It becomes the first country in the 59 years of the organisation to vote to leave it. David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister and Theresa May replaces him.

In the USA, reality TV star Donald Trump is elected as President of the United States.

And Pete Burns, David Gest, Kenny Baker, Frank Kelly, Paul Daniels, George Martin, Liz Smith, Leonard Cohen, Ronnie Corbett, Terry Wogan, Caroline Aherne, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood, Muhammed Ali, Prince, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, George Michael and David Bowie all pass away.

FFS.

The films Zootopia, Arrival, Deadpool, La La Land, Moana, Moonlight, Ghostbusters, Manchester By the Sea, Sully, the BFG, I, Daniel Blake and Hackshaw Ridge are released and I celebrate my 40th birthday.

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I mean, fuck 2016, right? But, we did have the Olympics and Paralympics and I had my 40th and there is all the below music. I’m a big fan of this week’s playlist, but it is quite the emotional one. There’s Bowie, there’s Beyonce, there’s Gaga and then there’s Nick Cave laying his emotions bare. Spotify playlist at the end as per. List in no particular order as per. I don’t like to change things round here much.

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An embarrassing display of photos of me throughout my life for all to laugh at, at my 40th birthday party.

1. Tilted by Christine and the Queens

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2. Where Are You Now? by Lady Leshurr

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3. Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange

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4. Formation by Beyonce

5. Secret Love Song by Little Mix featuring Jason Derulo

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6. Best to You by Blood Orange

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7. The Orange Monkey by PJ Harvey

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8. Lazarus by David Bowie

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9. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga

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10. Distant Sky by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds– where do I start with this song (and performance). I can barely listen to a few seconds of it without the tears starting. For those of you that don’t know, Nick’s 15 year old son, Arthur, died in a cliff fall whilst Nick was recording the Skeleton Tree album that this song is taken from. If you ever get a chance to watch the accompanying film One More Time With Feeling, I strongly recommend you do. It is both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

While Formation and Secret Love Song are close runner-ups, my favourite is undoubtedly the stunning Distant Sky. Come on, don’t be shy- let me know which is your favourite.

See you next week for 2017! And then we’ll be all caught up, gang!

Top Ten Tunes- 2015

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 2015.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

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In 2015, 12 people are killed and 11 are injured in a terrorist attack at French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo‘s offices in Paris, an arson attack takes place in Crowmarsh, Oxfordshire where a large council office building is destroyed (FYI, my parents live next door to this building and they were terrified when they were woken in the early hours of the morning by a noise that sounded just like a bomb. For some inexplicable reason, this meant that my brother was then featured on Sky news, various radio stations and national newspapers as an eye witness), Gary Glitter is found guilty of sexually abusing three young girls and weatherman Fred Talbot is found guilty of abusing 2 young boys, TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson is suspended from Top Gear and the rest of the series is cancelled after he punches his producer in the face and racially abuses him because his dinner wasn’t hot enough (BTW- he recently claimed the “youth of today” are too sensitive), an estimated £200,000,000 worth of jewels are stolen from Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in meticulously planned heist, an earthquake in Nepal kills 6,000 people, Princess Charlotte is born– daughter of Prince William and Catherine, the Conservative party wins the general election, which secures David Cameron a second term in office, former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy dies at the age of 55, a serious collision happens on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers which results in 5 people being seriously injured, a terrorist attack takes place on a beach in Sousse in Tunisia– 30 of the 38 people that are killed are British, singer and television star Cilla Black dies aged 72, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning British monarch– surpassing Queen Victoria, Jeremy Corbyn becomes the new leader of the Labour party, on Friday 13th November a series of terrorist attacks take place across Paris killing 137 and injuring 413, astronaut Tim Peake becomes the first Brit to step afoot on the International Space Station, a former disgruntled news anchor shoots dead two of his colleagues live on air in Virginia, USA, the films Inside Out, Star Wars: A Force Awakens, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight, Brooklyn, The Big Short, Spectre and Amy are all released and I turn 39 years old.

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Another shitty year for news, but a pretty good year for music. On a personal level, 2015 was the year I had a total of 3 hen dos and oh yeah- got married. So, here are all those songs that remind me of one of the happiest days of my life and the year it took place (in no particular order).

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1. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

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2. Black Magic by Little Mix

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3. WTF (Where They From) by Missy Elliot featuring Pharrell Williams

4. Ghosttown by Madonna

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5. 4 Degrees by ANONHI

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6. Shut Up and Dance by WALK THE MOON

7. Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party by Courtney Barnett

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8. Ong Ong by Blur

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9. Stay Gold by First Aid Kit

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10. God Knows (You’ve Got to Give to Get) by El Perro Del Mar

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Well, it’s an easy pick again this week. As Uptown Funk was the absolute THEME of both my hen dos and wedding, I have to pick that. Which one is your favourite, gang?

 

See you next week for 2016!

 

Top Ten Tunes- 2014

 

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 2014.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

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One of the first gay marriages to take place in England. This happy couple married at the stroke of midnight- as soon as it was legal.

In 2014, severe floods hit the UK, the first gay weddings in England and Wales take place, teacher Ann Maguire is stabbed to death by a pupil in front of her class in Leeds, publicist Max Clifford is convicted of eight indecent assaults on women and girls and is jailed for 8 years, the World Cup takes places in Brazil and is won by Germany, Rolf Harris is found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault and is jailed for almost 6 years, the Tour de France starts in Leeds, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes over Ukraine- 298 people are killed (10 are Britons), the Commonwealth Games open in Glasgow, British actor and director Richard Attenborough dies aged 90 years old, an independent inquiry into child abuse in Rotherham concludes that over 1,400 children were abused between 1997-2013, the Scottish independence referendum takes place and the “No” vote wins with 55% of the votes, Nicola Sturgeon becomes the leader of the Scottish National Party, 6 people are killed after a refuse lorries crashes in the centre of Glasgow, Robin Williams takes his own life aged 63, Philip Seymour Hoffman dies aged 46, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears somewhere over the South China Sea, Ebola strikes West Africa, 276 Nigerian schoolgirls are kidnapped, protests takes place in Ferguson, USA after the police shoot dead Michael Brown, a siege took place in a cafe in Sydney with a gunman claiming alliance with ISIS- 3 people are killed including the gunman, the films Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Birdman, Whiplash, The Imitation Game and Selma are released and I turn 38 years old.

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Another year that I absolutely love musically. As you can tell, whilst I still love the odd commercial chart song, I was (and still am) listening to less commercial stuff. 2014 saw my other half finally getting round to getting down on one knee and asking me to be his wife after 15 years together. I said yes. Obvs. Here’s my favourites from 2014. Spotify playlist at the end for y’all.

1. Living for Love by Madonna

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2. The Beigeness by Kate Tempest

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3. Digital Witness by St. Vincent

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4. Mr Tembo by Damon Albarn

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5. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit

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6. Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware

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7. ***Flawless by Beyonce

8. Chandelier by Sia (I’ve also included the piano version of this too on the playlist as it is also fantastic).

9. Glory by Common & John Legend

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10. Just One of the Guys by Jenny Lewis

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Whilst Glory, First Aid Kit and Bey are all close runner-ups, Sia is my clear winner this week. So, tell me- which one is yours?

See you next week for 2015!