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!

Madonna’s 60th Birthday

If I was a proper writer, I would start this post my telling you about how much Madonna means to me. However, in all honesty I just find it hard to articulate. I did attempt to explain it in this post HERE. But you see, to put it succinctly, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. Throughout her life and career she has defied the norm, enabled sexual expression for women and exuded unapologetic confidence. In a piece that Sali Hughes recently wrote, she quite rightly points out that Madonna is continuing to do this by redefining what it means to be a woman growing old and entering her 60s. The words icon, idol and legend and far too easily banded about these days, yet when it comes to our Madge, they quite rightly fit her perfectly.

So, in honour and in celebration of Madonna, I’m going to firstly take you through the different eras of Madonna. Then I’m going to give you my top 10 Madonna albums, on to a short note on her music videos and then end with my top 20 Madonna songs of all time. Spotify playlist at the end, as always.

Madonna Through the Ages:

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Madonna as a child

 

Madonna as a teenager

 

Just before fame

“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay”

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Madonna during the First Album era (1982/83)

 

Like a Virgin era (1984)

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Like a Virgin tour (1985)

“Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred years as a sheep”

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Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

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Madonna & Sean Penn’s wedding day (1985)

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Shanghai Surprise (1986)

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True Blue era (1986)

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Who’s That Girl (1987)

“I hope that I inspire women to believe in themselves, no matter where they come from; no matter what education they have; what particular background they come from”

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Like a Prayer era (1989)

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Dick Tracy (1990)

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Vogue (1990)

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Iconic. Blonde Ambition tour (1990)

“If your joy is derived from what society thinks of you, you’re always going to be disappointed.”

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In Bed With Madonna (1991)

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A League of Their Own (1992)

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Erotica era (1992)

“Sick and perverted always appeals to me.”

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Sex book (1992)

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Bedtime Stories era (1994)

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Evita (1996)

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Ray of Light era (1998)

“Everyone probably thinks that I’m a raving nymphomaniac, that I have an insatiable sexual appetite, when the truth is I’d rather read a book.”

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Madonna & Guy Ritchie’s wedding day (2000)

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Music era (2000)

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Die Another Day (2002)

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American Life era (2003)

“We learn our lessons; we get hurt; we want revenge. Then we realize that actually, happiness and forgiving people is the best revenge.”

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Confession on a Dance Floor era (2005)

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Hard Candy era (2008)

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MDNA era (2012)

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Rebel Heart era (2015)

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Celebrating her 59th Birthday with all 6 of her children (2017)

 

TOP ALBUMS:

10. Bedtime Stories (1994)

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9. Music (2000)

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8. I’m Breathless (1990) Shut up, I LOVE this album.

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7. Rebel Heart (2015)

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6. Like a Virgin (1984)

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5. Madonna (1983)

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4. True Blue (1986)

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3. Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005)

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2. Ray of Light (1998)

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1. Like a Prayer (1989)

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Madonna’s Worst Album: Hard Candy. What a crock of shit.

BEST VIDEO:  Being the all round amazing artist that she is, it is of no surprise that Madonna’s music videos are also of good value. I’m a fan of her early videos especially the ones that told a story (Borderline, Papa Don’t Preach, Material Girl), I even love the simplicity of the low budget Lucky Star, then there’s her iconic videos (Like a Virgin, Frozen, La Isla Bonita and Express Yourself) and then there is the amazing Like a Prayer (both iconic and tells a story). However, my all time favourite Madonna video is the stylish, sexy and sensational Vogue.

“Don’t just stand there, Let’s get to it,

Strike a pose, There’s nothing to it,

Vogue.”

TOP 20 SONGS:

20. Material Girl (1985, no.3, Like a Virgin)

19. Falling Free (not released as a single, MDNA)

18. HeartBreakCity (not released as a single, Rebel Heart)

17. The Power of Goodbye (1998, no.6, Ray of Light)

16. Bad Girl (1993, no.10, Erotica)

15. Like A Virgin (1984, no.3, Like a Virgin)

14. La Isla Bonita (1987, no.1, True Blue)

13. Papa Don’t Preach (1986, no.1, True Blue)

12. Crazy For You (1985, no.2, Vision Quest)

11. Frozen (1998, no.1, Ray of Light)

10. Holiday (1983, no.2, Madonna)

9. Human Nature (1995, no.8, Bedtime Stories)

8. Borderline (1984, no.2, Madonna)

7. Promise to Try (not released as a single, Like a Prayer)

6. Express Yourself (1989, no.5, Like a Prayer)

5. Hung Up (2005, no.1, Confessions on a Dance Floor)

4. Live to Tell (1986, no.2, True Blue)

3. Vogue (1990, no.1, I’m Breathless)

2. Ray of Light (1998, no.2, Ray of Light)

1. Like a Prayer (1989, no.1, Like a Prayer)

The one that almost made it: Living for Love (2014, no.26, Rebel Heart)

“Does somebody ask Steven Spielberg why he’s still making movies? Hasn’t he had enough success? Hasn’t he made enough money? Hasn’t he made a name for himself? Did somebody go to Pablo Picasso and say, “Okay, you’re 80 years old. Haven’t you painted enough paintings?” No, I’m so tired of that question. I just don’t understand it. I’ll stop doing everything that I do when I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ll stop when I run out of ideas. I’ll stop when you fucking kill me. How about that?”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADONNA!

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Which Madonna song and album are your favourites?

 

 

 

Top Ten Tunes- 2013

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 2013.

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

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In 2013, Margaret Thatcher dies at the age of 87, Fusilier Lee Rigby is murdered in a terrorist attack outside army barracks, Sarah McClay a 24 yr-old zookeeper is killed by a tiger at a zoo in Cumbria, Andy Murray wins Wimbledon– the first British man to do so since 1936, same-sex marriage becomes legal in England and Wales, Prince George is born and becomes third in line to the throne, 8 people are killed and 19 are seriously injured when a police helicopter crashes in to a pub in Glasgow, World War II computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing, who had been chemically castrated in 1952 following his conviction for homosexuality, is given a posthumous royal pardon, Lance Armstrong admits to doping in all of his Tour de France wins, two bombs explode at the Boston Marathon finish line killing 3 and injuring 264, Sopranos star James Gandoifini dies at 51 and Nelson Mandela dies at 95, the films Gravity, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, Frozen, American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave are released and I turn 37 years old.

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Music is back on track this year. I love this year. Lots of great new tunes and first time appearances from several acts. Plus Beyonce is here again and after several years missing from these lists, Bowie is back. Here’s my favourites from 2013, in no particular order.

1. Gun by Chvrches

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2. Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz

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3. Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monae & Erykah Badu

4. That’s Alright by Laura Mvula

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5. The Wire by Haim

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6. Sacrilege by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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7. Royals by Lorde

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8. XO by Beyonce

9. Strong by London Grammar

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10. Where We Are Now? by David Bowie

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This week, my favourite is the wonderful Janelle Monae with Queen Erykah. Which one is yours?

See you next week for 2014!

Top Ten Tunes- 2012

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 2012.

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

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In 2012, Gary Dobson and David Norris are jailed for life for the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence back in 1993, the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years on the throne and there is a 4 day bank holiday int he UK to celebrate, David Rathband the policeman blinded by Raoul Moat in 2010 is found dead at home, the tallest building in Europe, the Shard is opened in London standing 1,016 ft tall, London hosts the 2012 Olympics and it was amazing, Great Britain comes third in the Olympics medals table, London then hosts the 2012 Paralympics, which was also amazing, a documentary reveals that deceased TV presenter Jimmy Saville sexually abused underage girls, Scotland Yard launches a formal criminal investigation into Jimmy Saville after over 200 sexual abuse victims come forward, Hurricane Sandy hits the US East coast and the Caribbean killing over 200 people, US President Barak Obama is re-elected, a 20 yr-old gunman kills 26 people– most of whom were children- at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong dies, Whitney Houston dies in a bathtub at the age of 48yrs, the films Skyfall, The Impossible, The Avengers, Brave, Argo, Lincoln and Les Miserables are released and I turn 36 years old.

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2012 will always be synonymous with the Olympics and the feel good factor it created across the UK (and hopefully across the world too). I obsessively watched both the Olympics and the Paralympics and forced my two year old daughter to do the same. Even though she had no idea what was going on, she still joyfully waved her Team GB flag at the TV screen. In other 2012 news, I also somehow got Glandular Fever which in turn gave me hepatitis. So, you win some, you lose some. I struggled again in finding 10 songs I loved from this year (maybe because I was either obsessed with sport or very, very ill in 2012), but there are some real gems in this lot. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware

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2. Wild Ones by Flo Rida featuring Sia

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3. Skyfall by Adele

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4. Wisely & Slow by the Staves

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5. Under the Westway by Blur

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6. Age by Lianne La Havas

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7. Laura by Bat for Lashes

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8. Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia

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9. Read All About It Part III by Emeli Sande (yes I know we all got a little sick of her in 2012, BUT this is still a stunning song with an important message)

10. I Am What I Am by Beverley Knight (watch Bev OWN the stage at the Paralympic Opening Ceremony)

In 2012, my favourite may have been Emeli Sande, BUT now it most definitely is Titanium. So, which one is your favourite gang?

See you next week for 2013!