16. THE KINKS: You Really Got Me/ It's Alright (1964)
Thanks to Dave Davies' guitar distortion, You Really Got Me is credited with inventing heavy metal. It's equally a paradigm of visceral '60s beat economy. Its primeval riff, clipped verses and stomping chorus cut a swathe through the docile jangle of 1964 pop. Of course, distortion had been around since Link Wray's Rumble and three-chord pop nirvana since The Champs' Tequila, but nobody had  put the two together before. Whatever the historic nuances, any public airing of You Really Got Me will dare you not to bawl along.
Availability: The Ultimate Collection Sanctuary CD
15. THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Walk Right Back/ Ebony Eyes (1961)
Walk Right Back should never have been a hit. Intended as the flip to Ebony Eyes, it ended up higher in the charts than the original A-side, probably because it was a lot more fun, Penned by Sonny Curtis of The Crickets, and given to the Everlys shortly before Curtis entered the armed forces, it was really a work in progress, half-finished and lacking a second verse. But Don and Phil recorded what they had and, thiygh the song was basically about being lonesome, it had an upbeat, feel-good energy,making it an instantly infectious hit.
Availability: Walk Right Back WARNER BROS CD  


The Minutemen made punk rock that sounded like overheard conversation, with brief, angular song fragments flowing together in thew rhythm of babble. Guitarist/ vocalist D. Boon, bassist Mike Watt, and drummer George Hurley mixed and matched these fragments with the surgical precision of beboppers, splicing their hardcore rant with folkie didding and jazz skronk. But they never sounded arch about it; their songs were earthy and almost always funny, the handiwork of three regular corndogs from San Pedro, lifelong friends who wore ugly black computer watches and didn't worry about their cholesterol intake. They accepted propaganda into their conversational mix because it was part of their language, and they let their fragmentary rhythms dramatize the chaos and internal contradictions of their propaganda. Their music always generated its own chatty energy, from Boon's guitar blurts to lyrics like "Force-fed sifted tin can turn handle puppet (pull toy)."
Double Nickels on the Dime is overkill at its most humane, pilling on the babble, cracking jokes, submerging intense musical climaxes into the "Spillage" of urban routine. The Minutemen haven't gotten the hang of writing songs about other people ("Jesus and Tequila" is facile satire worthy of Joe Jackson), but they nail down the details of their own lives, whether it's the rage of "This Ain't No Picnic," the loneliness of "Storm in My House," or, most importantly, the loyal fellowship of "History Lesson (Part II)." The splendidly titled "Do You Want New Wave (Or Do You Want the Truth?)" (answer:yes) admits the role of doubt and confusion in their politics, and when Boon sings "fuck advertising," it sounds like "fuck Eric Clapton." A jovial masterpiece that made its own unique place in a season that also produced Zen Arcade, Let It Be, and Meat Puppets II.


"So man if you don't dig this super cool black... stay away from the box office you motherf--." That, at least, was how one critic greeted the arrival of the original Mr T-- not the A-Team star, but the hero of this blaxploitation film. Another reviewer obviously felt threatened by Hooks' bullet-proof private eye ( who can close halls with a stern glance), complaining that the character looked " so cool as to make one suspect it isn't Coke he is constantly drinking but antifreeze". The soundtrack is by Marvin Gaye and it's a pity he didn't write the script. It's a pity somebody didn't write the script.
Director: Ivan Dixon Cast: Robert Hooks, Paul Wonfield, Ralph Waite



18. THE SMITHS: How Soon Is Now/ Well I Wonder (1985)
Sire boss Seymour Stein called it, "the Stairway To Heaven of the '80s" which may well be on the money. Certainly, it's expansive, ambitious--and, importantly, formed the musical backdrop to many a teenage night out. In that sense, it's a great Saturday night record-- but only if you've endured the kind of minor nightmare that was Morrissey's meat and drink:" There's a club if you'd like to go/ You could meet somebody who really loves you/ So you go and you stand on your own/ And you leave on your own/ And you go home, and you cry and you want to die." Lyrics apart, its most remarkable aspect is the musical backdrop created by Marr, Rourke and Joyce; the former's Bo Diddley-gone-sci-fi guitar part in particular. It was recorded under light bulbs by minds taken to the next level by heavy weed intake-- an unlikely example of Moz-assisted stoner rock The B-side is a falsetto-strewn ballad, bolstered by one illustration of Marr's grasp of jukebox aesthetics: the grafted-on sound of a downpour, inspired by The Ronettes' Walking In The Rain.
Availability: Hatful Of Hollow WEA CD
17. BETTY WRIGHT:Clean Up Woman/I'll Love You Forever Heart And Soul (1971)
Miami-born Wright was only 17 when she cut this delectable slice of sun-kissed Florida soul for Henry Stone's Atlantic-distributed Alston imprint. Co-written by the eminent southern soul man and TK Records' in-house tunesmith, Clarence " Blowfly" Reid, the song's distinctive rhythm guitar reflected the influence of cheery Caribbean music on the Miami soul sound. Wright, who evinces an astonishing maturity, claimed to have disliked the song on first hearing. Ironically, it proved her biggest US hit.
Availability: The Best Of Betty Wright Rhino CD


If the Melvins had chops, if Rush did acid, if the Police were skatepunks and smart enough to like metal-- well, none of them could have been Primus, a band as hopelessly original as Don Knotts or the platypus. Such invocations are useful, though, if only to derail the more looming one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom theb Bay Area trio shares little more than bass slaping and blame for the early-'90s plague of post-punk minstrelsy known as "thrash funk." Actually, Primus play funk simply to the degree that leader Les Claypool's phenomenal bass playing gobbles up local influences like Larry Graham.
Frizzle Fry reveals Claypool the urban raconteur and fisherman. Folksy ruminations about late-night TV and crackhead acquaintances borded "John the Fisherman" and "Too Many Puppies,' slightly more straight-faced rock songs that bring Claypool's nasally operatic, Ethel Merman-meets-Mr. Magoo wail to the fore. It's not a pretty thing, but then neither is Primus, whose fan club has copyrighted the slogan, "You suck!"


This tale of obsessive sex between an innkeeper and a servant was seized by US customs in the year of its release, hit by an obscenity charge in Japan and only came to British cinemas in 1991. The appeal may pale if your passion for onscreen passion doesn't match the director's but this is no porn film. For once, the sex really is vital to the development of the central characters as it takes over their lives until, finally, violence has its way.
Director: Nagisa Oshima Cast: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda



Farmer John Warner
Do You Love Me? Oriole
Let The Four Winds Blow London
Help Me Pye International
Diddy Wah Diddy A&M
I'm Gonna Make You Mine Buddah
You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything Warner Bros
Love and Happiness London
I Want You Back Tamla Motown
Reasons To Be Cheerful(Part 3) Stiff                   


20. CHUCK HIGGINS: Broke/ I'll Be There (1954)
Usually at home on low-budget LA labels, the summer of '54 saw honking Hollywood sax man Chuck Higgins in the relative splendour of Specialty, working with pianist HB Barnum and future James Brown guitarist Jimmy Nolen. A  carefree tale of high times and squandered riches, Broke is a brazen celebration of skintness--"Now I'm a low down dirty bum/ Right back where I started from!/ Broke! Broke! Broke!" Backed with I'll Be There's rocking doo wop, it's the perfect single for the end of the night, when the money's all gone but no one's going home.
Availability: Pachuko Hop Specialty/ Ace CD 
19. SAM THE SHAM AND THE PHARAOHS: Wooly Bully/ Lil' Red Riding Hood (1965)
"Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro!" It takes only this daft polyglot count-in to cheer up anyone familiar with the great Wooly Bully. The work of Domingo Samudio and his Memphis-based ensemble, it's one of the most remarkable Nuggets-era 45s for two reasons: firstly, it doesn't just ape a British Invasion sound but has its own Tex-Mex flavour; and second, it's not about long hair, groovy chicks or acid. In fact, it's not about anything the rest of us can fathom, making it the best bit of nonsense in all of rock'n'roll.
Availability: Nuggets Rhino 4-CD Box Set 


David Bowie has a justly earned rep as a karma chameleon, repackaging himself as Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, the Man Who Fell to Earth, and various other disguises. But his enduring persona, the one that owns him body and soul, is Major Tom, the glam-rock space cadet, too beautiful for physical desires, who floats above the audience in a ghostly satellite. Major Tom's space capsule is where Bowie found a safe synthetic place to explore his gay and bi identities, in his "Space Oddity" and "Ashes to Ashes." Bowie's influence on modern music can be measured by the dozens of songs rewriting the tale of Major Tom, from Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)" to Joy Division's "Disorder," from Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" to U2's "Bad," from Spacemen 3's "Come Down Easy" to Nirvana's "The Man Who Sold The World." Bowie gave punk its most pernicious beautiful-loser myths as well as some of its most provocative poses. He can't sing worth a damn, of course, but then, neither could C-3PO.
With Ziggy Stardust, Bowie reinvented himself as a glitter-rocking starchild, composing an eleven-song operetta on the subject of the rock star as isolated aesthete, hopelessly in love with distant objects and, ultimately, distance itself. Nobody has ever really deciphered this sucker-- who the hell are all those spiders, anyway?-- but Bowie came up with catchphrases worthy of Mick Ronson's electric guitars, from "making love with his ego" to "let the children boogie," not to mention the useful idiom "she's a total blam-blam."


Wahlberg is the porn star (Dirk Diggler) who is so blessed by nature that if he hung around Newmarket when a race was going off he'd be dragged into a paddock. After a prolonged build up, we finally get see the organ known as Mr Torpedo Area at the end of this dazzling memoir of the 1970s porn business. Reynolds is excellent as a sleazy but sincere porn baron. Anderson shows off with the camera to good effect, especially in the scene around Reynolds' swimming pool which is worthy of Altman. Sadly by the end of the movie, Diggler is shouting: "I'm ready to shoot my scene right now!" A reminder that those who live by Mr Torpedo Area, may die by it too.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore



22. THE CLASH: (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais/ The Prisoner (1978)
Between their first two albums, The Clash were deeply into reggae, at one point recording with Lee Perry when he was staying in London. This rough-skanking tune came about at a reggae gig,where Joe Strummer entered into a searing meditation on the point of it all-- cultural exchange, political purpose, punk in the face of their contemporaries who were, as Joe put it, "turning rebellion into money"-- all with the awesomely humane bottom-line that he was, "only looking for fun." The finest legacy of a brilliant, searching mind.
Availability: The Clash On Broadway EPIC/LEGACY BOX SET
21. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA: Mr Blue Sky/ One Summer Dream (1978)
Before Jeff Lynne produced the real Beatles on Free As A Bird, he had to content himself with his own Fab soundalikes, the Electric Light Orchestra. Cloned from the middle section of A Day In The Life, Mr Blue Sky's joy de vivre sparkles through the passages-- the breathless intro, the heavy harmonies on the chorus, the operatic vocals and the orchestral coda. There's also a Vocoder in there to remind you that ELO live in a flying saucer. The flip is a more pastoral take on life. 
Availability:Out Of The Blue SONY CD 


Public Enemy is, hands down, the most influential and important group in the history of hip hop. By roughly stitching together contrapuntal noise and prophetic rabble-rousing, the avant-garde group quickly became rap's conscience. The contrasting personalities of PE's duo-- straight man and heavy-duty lyricist Chuck D and trickster sidekick Flavor Flav-- play off of one another to great effect. PE's work in toto has confronted, and at times embodied, most of the conflicts faced by young blacks over the last two decades. Racist white media and sellout black bourgeoisie. Black-Jewish relations and the woes of interracial relationships. The narrowness of black radio and the betrayal of blacks by dope dealers. Through it all, PE has maintained its integrity and vision. This even as the group's themes-- and popularity-- have had to take a back seat to the mass appeal of gangsta rap in the '90s.
From its first words-- a British voice introducing the group as if to indicate the essential foreignness of what's to come-- to its final beats, the revolutionary It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back lunges far beyond anything in rap's past to help secure its future. Just one year after Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell cemented rap's commercial appeal, It Takes a Nation gave the genre ideological vitality. Bombastic beats and clashing polyrhythms ferociously leap off the sound-scape, a tribute to production crew the Bomb Squad's orchestrated cacophony. On "Bring the Noise," Chuck's startling, irrepressible flow, punctuated by snippets of Flav's off-kilter commentary, strikes close to home. "Radio stations I question their blackness/ They call themselves black, but we'll see if they play this/ Turn it up! Bring the noise!" And on "Don't Believe the Hype," Chuck and Flavor rap over a repetitive shrieking noise, intermittent scratching, a ghoulish moan down the vocal scale, and a breezy bass. Chuck proclaims himself the "follower of Farrakhan/ Don't tell me that you understand/ Until you hear the man." As the song boomed out of car stereos across the US in the summer of 1988, it was clear the group's leader had truly accomplished his stated goal: "Teach the bourgeois, and rock the boulevard."


The daddy of all those 1980s slasher movies(including its own five sequels-- Part III, Season Of The Witch doesn't count), this grips from the opening long single take that introduced the world to Michael Myers. Fifteen years after slashing his sister to death and being institutionalized, Myers returns to his hometown of Haddonfield for a knife-wielding reunion. Shot in only three weeks for just $300,000, Halloween marked the feature debut of "scream queen" Jamie Lee Curtis (who also starred in Carpenter's The Fog and two of Halloween's sequels) and became an incredibly influential horror movie. From the stalk-and-slash "he's behind you" shocks that have been ripped off ad infinitum to Carpenter's unforgettable score and direction, this classic has caused whole generations to check what's behind the wardrobe door before going to bed.
Director: John Carpenter Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence



24. THE PREMIERS: Farmer John/ Duffy's Blues (1964)
 In two short years, The Premiers made it from the barrios of East LA to Hollywood, where they cut this furious party number. Despite those high-pitched screams, Farmer John was recorded in a studio, rather than, " live at the Rhythm Room" as the label proclaims. The girls were brought in from the Chevelles' car club to spice up the atmosphere and The Premiers' simple 1-4-5 chord progression and sing-a-long lyrics make this a popular number at the booziest of late night joints even today.
Availability: Nuggets Rhino 4-CD Box set
23. STEVIE WONDER: Superstition/ You've Got It Bad Girl (1973)
It's almost impossible to imagine today, but 30 years ago, Superstition almost signalled the death knell of Stevie Wonder's career. On its first airing in front of the Harlem Apollo crowd, the song was booed. Originally written for Jeff Beck, Superstition's insistent down-tempo shuffle, spiky clavinet and southern-style horn flourishes, surrounding Stevie's paranoid vocal, soon caught on with the US public, who bought enough to take it to number 1. It still sounds startling-- a record this far ahead of its time will never go out of fashion.
Availability: Talking Book Motown CD


"You didn't leave me anything/ That I can understand/ Now I'm left with all of this/ A room full of your trash." Richard Butler's plaintive cry to a disorganized ex-lover, from "All of This & Nothing," could refer as easily to the Furs' messy career. At times a mess like a great party in progress, with honking horns and way over-flanged guitars thrown over a raucous mix, at other times a mess like the huge slick spot you find after the party (champagne, beer, hairball), they were the self-conscious post-punks who listened hardest to their marketing departments and paid for it.
Talk Talk Talk has real playing and songs less snotty and more complete. Butler doesn't sing actual notes, but fortunately no one's slipped him any throat lozenges. His persona of either denouncing socio-political hypocrisy-- you get the impression he went to a lot of parties he detested, and didn't vote for a lot of other parties-- or singing love songs about quirky girls, like "She Is Mine," a ballad even more clumsily tender than Modern English's "I Melt With You." Not surprisingly, the Furs' most successful songs combine Butler's two favorite subjects. "Pretty in Pink" denounces the sexist double standards of quirky girl Caroline's ex-boyfriends, gathered together to trash her. "The one who insists he was first in the line/ Is the last to remember her name/ He's walking around in this dress that she wore/ She's gone but the joke's the same." Butler's devotion to uncovering sanctimony would ring truer if Talk Talk Talk's second half did not include not one but two paeans to unadulterated lust, "Into You Like a Train" and "I Wanna Sleep With You."


Cronenberg's fantasy masterpiece interweaves various parts of writer William S Burroughs' bizarre novel with episodes from his real-life experiences. Bill Lee (Weller) accidentally shoots his own wife and is embroiled in dodgy dealing in a shadowy port called Interzone. Then his typewriter morphs into a giant cockroach. Viewers who are unfamiliar with Burroughs' work are quite likely to feel utterly lost in this film, and even reading the original novel is unlikely to throw a great deal of light on the subject. Best just to accept the film as a discussion about drug-induced creativity and destruction, rather than a coherent story of a man's life. Be warned though-- while watching this, you may start to suspect that someone has slipped something in your popcorn.
Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Peter Weller, Judy Davis 



26. STEVE HARLEY AND COCKNEY REBEL: Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)/ Another Journey (1975)
Written as a sardonic riposte to former band-mates who wanted to get in on the songwriting royalties, Harley hit on a pop formula that was as potent as it was unorthodox. Melodic, immediate and made pleasingly annoying by Harley's vocal affectations, there's an undertone of acerbic regret that's timeless. The PRS names it as one of the most played records in the UK. "It's quite vicious, lyrically," Harley says, "but you still want to sing and dance to it."
Availability: The Cream Of Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel EMI GOLD CD
25. BOB DYLAN: Subterranean Homesick Blues/ She Belongs To Me (1965)
For the multitudes who never heard his flop 1962 single Mixed Up Confusion, this was the first sign that the poet of protest had rock'n'roll pumping through his veins. Part tribute to Chuck Berry's Too Much Monkey Business, part identikit instruction for the post-beat generation, this was a rapper's delight. US urban terrorists The Weathermen stole their name from this song, but they weren't alone in liking it: every hung-up outsider recognized it as an anthem.
Availability: Bringing It All Back Home Columbia CD


Throwing Muses' melodic hooks,willed riffs and hypnotic rhythms are islands rising out of chaos-- safe but slippery stones leading across a river of needs and disappointments. Originally a group of Newport, Rhode Island, teenagers inspired by Velvet Underground records to create odd songs with dark moods, the Muses have become an accomplished vehicle for principal songwriter Kristin Hersh's intense salvos in her battles against depression and domesticity. Hersh's obscure yet intimate lyrics, and unique sense of songcraft and guitar-playing,recall Nick Drake or Joni Mitchell, but the Muses splice skittering punk into their folk, raising the decibels on their confrontations with confusion.
Following a seven-inch EP and an excellent but hard-to-find self-distributed cassette, Throwing Muses, the first release of an American band on 4AD, captures the angst of a gifted, strong-willed adolescent struggling not to get swallowed into the compromises of womanhood. "A kitchen is a place where you break things, and clean up," Hersh sings in "Vicky's Box." Hersh moans, screams and shakes her voice in a death-rattle vibrato; she has admitted suffering from often severe depression. Her songs are complex assemblages patterned more on mood swings than trad song forms, with inventive mixtures of rock, reggae, tribal and martial rhythms, and the band veering suddenly from a loping waltz to a mad march-- as if the tunes were breaking down and recovering in front of us. Guitarist Tanya Donelly's two Throwing Muses compositions contain similar sonic elements poured into a more melodic pop form and sung in her sweeter voice.


The first problem Furie, Caine and producer Harry Saltzman had when filming Len Deighton's novel was that the spy in it didn't have a name. They wanted a really boring name and Caine finally said Harry was the most boring name he could think of. There was a stunned silence while Saltzman's acolytes waited to see if the boss would take umbrage. But he laughed and just said: "Harry it is. My real name's Herschel." Saltzman said the most boring man he'd ever met was called Palmer and so Harry Palmer was born. Saltzman also suggested Caine wear glasses, which he did in real life, because the producer was sick of seeing actors who didn't wear glasses in real life mishandle them in movies. They did have one difference of opinion: Saltzman was worried a scene where Palmer pushed his own supermarket trolley would be taken to mean the spy was gay. (They solved this by making him use the trolley as a weapon.) It's a toss up between this and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold for the best spy movie of the 1960s.
Director: Sidney J Furie Cast: Michael Caine, Nigel Green



28. THE WHO: Won't Get Fooled Again/ I Don't Even Know Myself (1971)
It doesn't sound like the greatest idea: hauling Pete Townshend's eight-minute treatise on the contradictions of revolution off Who's Next; crudely hacking down its synth parts and ensemble passages; and squeezing it on to a 7-inch single. In fairness, though, enough of the song's elemental force remains to allow Won't Get Fooled Again to boom forth with a righteous fury-- and besides, there's the added pleasure of a flipside that deals with the all-too-familiar subject of inner emotional turmoil, and points squarely in the direction of 1973's Quadrophenia.
Availability: Who's Next Polydor CD
27. ARETHA FRANKLIN: Respect/ Save Me (1967)
Respect seems to speak to everyone, which is why it became an anthem for all the social movements of the late '60s. It wasn't just civil rights campaigners who adopted the song; so did feminists, despite the fact it was written by no less a man than Otis Redding. Franklin's most-requested song was given a rattling, bouncing arrangement, over which Aretha's vocals soar without inhibition, showing that Lady Soul had found her spiritual home in the musical embrace of the Muscle Shoals rhythm machine. And in Save Me it boasts one of the greatest B-sides ever.
Availability: Respect- The Very Best Of Warner Bros CD 


In the punk movie Jubilee, Derek Jarman cast the Slits as a wild girl gang marauding the streets of London. That was how the Slits liked to project themselves: as urban primitives who'd just picked up their instruments for the first time-- which most of them had. Viv Albertine, Ari Up, Tessa Pollite and Palmolive launched the Slits in 1977 (Albertine having already played in Flowers of Romance, a short-lived band with Sid Vicious and Keith Levene), thrashing out a gleeful punk-reggae pandemonium of loose rhythms, warbly unison vocals and proto-feministic lyrics.
Cut is the Slits' true masterpiece. Dubmeister Dennis Bovell's crisp and spacious production enables us to hear, for the first time, just how mutinous and eccentric the Slits' version of rock'n'roll is. Their music pulsates with the fitful biorhythms of adolescence. Continually shifting tempos lunge between bravado and hesitancy; girl-harmonies clash and overlap; guitars scrape and stutter. Every verse is an adventure full of unrepeatable collisions and unexpected noises ( a spoon dropping, coins clinking, vaporous voices from some distant radio).
"Typical Girls," the closest they get to an anthem, pokes wicked fun at conventional zombified females who "Don't create/ Don't rebel" but instead "worry about... unnatural smells." The songs' targets-- consumer capitalism, normative notions of romance and gender-- were standard issue in the post-punk era. But unlike their agit-pop contemporaries Gang of Four and the Au Pairs, the Slits inject their cultural critique with so much joyous abandon that they sound riotous, not righteous. "Shoplifting" transforms that most female form of delinquency into glorious liberation: "We pay FUCK ALL!" Ari's earth-shattering howl dissolves into bladder-busting hilarity as she giggles, "Ooh, I pissed in my knickers!"


Repellent, fascinating, surreal-- this is the kind of film for which critics ransack their entire vocabulary of adjectives. Never comfortable viewing, with the tone set from the opening shot of impossibly blue skies and white fences contrasted with wet, dark beetles. MacLachlan plays Jeffrey Beaumont, a character with certain similarities to the director (echoes which the actor played up by dressing and buttoning his shirt like Lynch) who finds a human ear and is embroiled in a horrific small-town mystery. Underneath all of Lynch's trickery, this is a very personal film. Many scenes (including the controversial scene where Hopper rapes and degrades Rossellini) have some link to the director's childhood memories. That may be why, for all the violence, this story always has a weird logic which propels it relentlessly forward.
Director: David Lynch Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper



30. DAVID BOWIE: Changes/ Andy Warhol (1972)
He'd had three UK flop singles since Space Oddity, and this fared little better in the charts. His debut single on RCA-- and the opening track on the Hunky Dory LP -- represented a sea change for both Bowie and pop music. A charged, accusatory lyric, a colourful volley of piano and sax and then you're into that irresistible chorus. Guaranteed to stop any pub dead in its tracks, the ch-ch-changes stutter is a real masterstroke. The B-side, Andy Warhol, reflected Bowie's fascination with the avant garde and enhanced his sense of mystery and danger all the more.
Availability: The Best Of Bowie EMI CD
29. JAMES BROWN: It's A Man's Man's World/ Is It Yes Or Is It No?
 From Prisoner Of Love to the epic I Cried, the Godfather of Funk never hid his concurrent ambition of being America's baddest balladeer. Ignore the gimmicky title, a pastiche of the movie, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: this passionate howl from the heart softened its raw( and undeniably sexist) emotion with a lavish Sammy Lowe orchestration. Brown was inspired to write the song when his girlfriend commented sarcastically on his habit of lauding himself to the skies. His performance mixed arrogance and anguish in equal measure, to create a masterpiece of self-pity which doubled as a statement of pride.
Availability: The 40th Anniversary Collection Polydor CD  


Northwest indie rockers back when grunge was still just something that ringed your bathtub, the Screaming Trees have spent their entire career trying to reconcile punk and classic rock. Singer Mark Lanegan, guitarist Gary Lee Conner, his brother bassist Van Conner, and drummer Mark Pickerel erupted from Ellensburg, a dull cow-town on the wrong side of Washington's Cascade Mountains. Like many early indie bands, especially rural ones, the Trees had few prior reference points besides classic rock yet couldn't ignore the siren call of DIY punk.
Released at the height of Seattlemania, produced by Don Fleming (Teenage Fanclub) and mixed by Andy Wallace (Nevermind) , 1992's fantastic Sweet Oblivion promised to be the band's commercial breakthrough. The album contained song after catchy song about self-laceration drenched in Catholic guilt--Lanegan's reading of the old spiritual "Peace in the Valley" on the "Dollar Bill" single (along with an inspired cover of Sabbath's "Tomorrow's Dream") says it all. "Nearly Lost You" was a certifiably great single, while "Dollar Bill," straight out of the "Feelin' Alright"/ "Can't Always Get What You Want" songbook, is a Lanegan tour de force. Slyly quoting bands like the Who, Small Faces, and Cream, the Trees were finally making some classic rock of their own. It never did hit, but Sweet Oblivion is still the Trees' best album by far.


James Caan turned down Nicholson's role because there'd be "too many white walls", a fact for which we and Jack should be eternally grateful. Nicholson and his character Randle McMurphy seem to merge in this harrowing tale of life and rebellion in an asylum. Many of the group therapy scenes were refilmed with actors adding detail and nuance as they went along. Danny DeVito has a small role and Anjelica Huston is a member of the crowd on the pier when McMurphy and the boys go fishing. Ken Kesey, who wrote the book, says he'll never watch it. It's his loss. Nicholson would return to similar territory with As Good As It Gets (1997) which isn't as good as Jack gets but is one of the few Hollywood films where a patient is seen getting effective medical treatment.
Director: Milos Forman Cast: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher



32. IKE AND TINA TURNER: River Deep Mountain High/ I'll Keep You Happy (1966)
Some records are cut so loud and dense that the needle can jump out of the grooves-- purpose-built for the heavy-weight arm of a jukebox. River Deep Mountain High isn't just dense; it's a black hole. Phil Spector's intention was to take R&B to a new dimension, sucking in and spitting out the folkniks, jug bands and longhairs who had stormed pop's citadel since his last major hit-- The Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' in late '64. It was a last throw of the dice. Back came his favourite songwriters, the semi-retired Barry and Greenwich with a weirdly innocent/ intense lyric about rag dolls, puppy dogs, schoolboys and pie. In came the searing Tina. For the only time he used two drummers. It was do or die, and in the States it duly died at number 88. Still, in Britain ( where it made number 3), Spector's Waterloo pumped out of Wurlitzers across the land, destroying everything in its path.
Availability: River Deep Mountain High A&M CD
31. GENE VINCENT AND HIS BLUE CAPS: Be Bop A Lula/ Woman Love (1956)
Gene Vincent's debut 45 made immediate contact with teenagers the world over. Delivered with an intensity that's scarcely been matched since, Gene sounds like he's about to explode. It's more of a Marlon Brando film script than a song, with impending tragedy lurking at the end of every line and one million teens' sexual frustrations jam-packed into the strained yet restrained 45. Perhaps that explains why Elvis Presley's mum thought it was her own offspring singing the song.
Availability: Blue Jean Bop! Capitol CD


When Trent Reznor went gold in a genre that had never been there, singing "Head like a hole/ Black as your soul/ I'd rather die than give you control" on the first Lollapalooza tour, the key to his triumph wasn't just adding extra guitars to Pretty Hate Machine's teenybop death disco-- it was writing an industrial song with the word "I" in it. In the music Reznor loves, artists reject the confessional to act like carnival barkers, drawing you into the fun house: the goal is to blast or pervert a listener clear out of any settled individuality. But Reznor is different. Though it clearly embarrasses him-- causing him to hide behind the name of a nonexistent band, shy from putting his face on his records, and let friends like Foetus and Coil spend an album's length of time removing his personality from his songs( the Fixed remixes of the Broken EP)-- his instincts as an artist ultimately serve the superbly egotistical, needy rock star within. No wonder Axl Rose wanted NIN to open for GN'R.
On Downward Spiral, Reznor opens up his palette, which for this artist is as brave and idealistic as anything he's ever permitted of himself. One minute into "March of the Pigs," the industrial raving strips down to a regular old piano tinkle; Reznor sings, "Now doesn't that make you feel better?" Well, yes, actually. Didn't think you had it in you, Trent. With interplays of hard and soft, electronic and acoustic, hyper-masculine and falsetto, ranting and crooning, the pacing and buried surprises on this album are close to perfect. Besides the lurching, Zeplike "Reptile," the peak moment is "Closer". An arch new-wavey vocal dallies over a riff like Bowie's "Fame." Reznor gets to the chorus-- "I want to fuck you like an animal/ Iwant to feel you from the inside"-- and the song finds a groove, powerful without fraying off into white noise. Central to the innovative soundscape, which includes King Crimson's Adrian Belew on "texture generating guitars," are NIN's multiple nods to classic rock. As Sonic Youth taught us long ago, an anti-rock sound embracing rock forms is as delicious as it gets.


Watch this and feel Hammer's pain. He's driven over a cliff, given a needle, knocked out by a blackjack, strapped to a bed and worked over by heavies and finally shot. Not since Rasputin has one man taken so much punishment and lived. Of course, the mad monk was finally thrown into a river with weights attached, one of the few kinds of violence not seen in this flashy, brutal, movie. (The highlight, or lowlight for the squeamish, is when a woman gets tortured almost to death with a pair of pliers.) Hammer's only mistake is to give a lift to a woman he finds running along the road. And some mistakes you never stop paying for. But then Hammer, played here by movie heavy Meeker, is not a character we are encouraged to like. Just as well because most of the sympathetic characters get killed in Aldrich's vision of an America run by con men, fascists and gangsters. Probably the biggest single influence on the French Wave, this is a thoroughly nasty gem.
Director: Robert Aldrich Cast: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker



34. CHIC: Good Times/ A W arm Summer Night (1979)
Strip away the mirror balls and you'll find that Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were actually acute social observers. By the late '70's, the fruits on America's vine were withering; recession was taking hold and form its jet airliner take-off, Good Times was an ironic recreation of the Depression-era standard, Happy Days Are Here Again. With the "disco sucks" movement taking hold in the US, Chic's career effectively collapsed the very same moment Good Times hit number 1. For unlike other bands who "went disco", they had no pre-disco past to fall back on.
Availability: Risque Atlantic CD
33. BLUE OYSTER CULT: (Don't Fear) The Reaper/ R U Ready 2 Rock (1976)
That a hard rock supergroup could come up with such an exquisite evocation of such a timeless theme is one of life's mysteries. Disturbingly blissful in its exhortations to accept oncoming death as part of Nature's cycle, the song assures listeners that, "Forty thousand men and women everyday" succumb to said portent of doom, but no worry, it's no big deal. After all, there's that great, nagging guitar riff accompaniment to take your mind off it. Best keep off the gin, though-- and demand your money back if you get the short version, without the eerie middle section.
Availability: Don't Fear The Reaper: The Best Of The Blue Oyster Cult Sony CD


Ice Cube's obsession lies in lyrically unearthing the horrors and subversive pleasures of the South Central ghettoes he helped cloak in rap mythology. Even when he misses the mark, the furious intelligence and rhetorical skill of his gangstAfronationalist aesthetic manages to provoke and inspire. Breaking with N.W.A at an extraordinarily young age for one who'd already given gangsta its most believable character, Cube went gone on to imprint his blunt anger over several crucial solo albums, flourishing the self-contained doomy presence that also gained him critical acclaim apart from music in the film Boyz N the Hood.
On AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Ice Cube seizes the spotlight. On "The Nigga Ya Love to Hate," he is "kickin' shit called street knowledge," demanding to know " Why more niggas in the pen than in college?" The track is bolstered by a swaggering bass line, the key to an aural assault that, throughout the album. is presided over by Public Enemy's Bomb Squad. Cube relentlessly exposes the terror of police brutality ("AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted"), yet mirrors such treatment in his own attacks on the fairer sex ("Once Upon a Time in the Projects" and "I'm Only Out for One Thing"). Cube also gets delirious joy in rattling the pieties of the black bourgeoisie; "Turn Off the Radio," a  propulsive synthesis of horns and psychedelic guitars, acerbically blasts the R&B lovers who in the late '80s crowded rap off the black airwaves.


An epic stunner about the effects of the Vietnam War on the lives of the people from a small industrial town in Pennsylvania, especially three young steelworkers who enlist in the US army and find themselves caught up in a brutality they had never bargained for. The film is long (three hours) and slow in places, but this is a deliberate and effective ploy to make sure the audience is totally involved in the lives of those on screen, and is shattered as events both during and after the war change the men's lives forever. The Russian roulette scene with De Niro and Walken will have your heart in your mouth as well as serving as a powerful metaphor for the whole business of going to war. The scene where the plane gets snagged on the bridge was accidental, a member of the crew actually frees it and Cimino just kept the cameras rolling.
Director: Michael Cimino Cast: Robert De Niro, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Cazale



36. JANE WIELDIN: Rush Hour/ The End Of Love (1988)
The first to bail from the Go-gos, in 1984, rhythm guitarist Jane Wieldin was widely considered "most likely to succeed" in the pop mainstream, on the strength of her self-titled debut album. But the affections of a fickle public eluded her until this 1988 single from her second album, Fur. The cutesy stylings of singer Belinda Carlisle may have hit pay dirt quicker, but Rush Hour was the perfect setting for Wieldin's helium vocals and ebullient new wave sassiness. It's also a master-class in the kind of rounded vowel sounds that made 17-year-old boys come over all "unnecessary".
Availability: Now That's What I Call Music 1988: The Millennium Series EMI
35. RAY CHARLES: What'd I Say (Part 1)/ What'd I Say (Part 2) (1959)
What began as an on-stage jam session when Brother Ray and his band ran out of material one night resulted in a defining moment in the evolution of R&B. Atlantic chopped the original six-and-a-half minute tune in two and spread it over both sides of a 45. Part 1 features a lengthy instrumental intro, dominated by Charles' bluesy electric piano, over a propulsive Latin-tinged groove. The flipside arguably contains the most exciting segment, when Charles and The Raeletts engage in a churchy call and response vocal interplay that leads to an incendiary climax.
Availability: The Definitive Ray Charles Warners CD


Freed from Dinosaur Jr. in 1989, tune machine Lou Barlow has chiseled out a body of work that spans the spectrum of '90s postpunk. Barlow has both followed post-Nirvana moves toward the mainstream by making the sloppy college-radio fave Sebadoh into a tight construction of indie tune and hard rock, while continuing to lead the lo-fi avant-garde, reinterpreting rock and folk cliches from the privacy of his living room.
 Sebadoh III consolidated Barlow's folk and punk sides into a lengthy, varied summation of college-rock, beginning with an anthemic dis of either former bandmate J Mascis or an ex-girlfriend ("Freed Pig), and running through a catalog of acoustic love and confusion ("Truly Great Thing"), lo-fi guitar mess ("Limb by Limb"), and offhanded pop catchiness ("Kath"). The album was a meeting place for indie universes, the lyrics encapsulating a post-grad world equal parts earnest good sense and absurdity, the music adding abstraction and a hard edge to R.E.M.-style folk-pop.


Griffith reminds everyone what a fine comic actress she can be in this affectionate satire about the movie business. She plays a star who is kidnapped by a cult leader (Dorft) to be used as part of his revolutionary assault on mainstream cinema. Griffith queens it as an egomaniac star who is made over to look more and more like Waters' departed muse Divine. The gags are fast, furious and usually funny ( the cinema multiplex they attack is showing Patch Adams: The Director's Cut and Gump Again) and movie in- abound. The scene where Griffiths rejects her limo because it's the wrong color really happened (Ginger Rogers did the spurning). Thank God for John Waters.
Director: John Water Cast: Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt, Ricki Lake, Patty Hearst



38. THE SKATALITES: Guns Of Navarone/ Marcus Garvey (1967)
One of the foremost pioneers of Jamaican music, The Skatalites were together for just over a year, but in that time they invented ska; a bold, boisterous mix of R&B, bebop, big band swing and Latin rhythms, courtesy of trombonist Don Drummond. They backed a who's who of reggae stars, including Jackie Opel, The Maytals and The Wailers; and recorded the biggest selling ska single of all time with this, their glorious take on Dimitri Tiomkin's theme to the 1961 film. Originally credited to the group's tenor saxist, Roland Alphonso in Jamaica in 1965, it gave them their first and only pop hit (number 36) in the UK two years later. By this time they'd already split, but with its rebel rousing horns, exuberant shouting and irresistible dance beat, Guns Of Navarone set alight the Soho clubs and provided a stark contrast to its B-side. Where's Marcus Garvey? was the group's ode to the political leader, featuring the spirited vocals of Rastafarian, Bongo Man Byfield. It all ended badly for Drummond, who committed suicide in 1969 after murdering his girlfriend.
Availability: Guns Of Navarone Trojan CD
Swirling, mystery-filled and with a touch of the Bayou, as befitting a singer from Lake Charles, Louisiana, this gave the man John Phollip Baptiste one-hit-wonder status but remained ever-memorable, gaining a fresh audience when it lent its title to a 1989 Al Pacino thriller. A cover by The Honeydrippers, a band comprising Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Jeff Beck and Nile Rodgers also charted in the '80s.
Availability: Various Sea Of Love Spectrum CD


It's not just that the Velvets redefined rock as bohemian underground rather than youth culture. It's that their underground sound proved nearly as big, as spacious and fertile, as rock. As all aboveground rock. One band's sound. Now, when punk is your image of  rock you prize rebellion above sound: Iggy Pop or Johnny Rotten's ability to freeze time and stand outside the world, rather than VU or the Ramones' ability to reshape how we live inside it. The one is a rupture; the other a gesture of state-building. The one sparks an inferno; the other lays the foundation for a school.
This distinction is worth holding in mind when listening to the Velvets, for what you hear, a generation later, has as much in common with blues and especially gospel as it does punk. There's call-and-response vocals, more giggly and burbling than anything Lou Reed would ever offer the world again, with little exhortations thrown into the empty spaces; there's testifying music that rides on its chord changes and ramrod beats like congregants sweaty and happy to have called down the Lord. To be sure, the tunings are odd, and the lyrics dark, and this mattered too, but only as devices to escape the oppressive do-re-mi of hippie sounds ripe for embalming on FM. The Velvets sound the way they do for the same reason a great singer will hit a note slightly flat and just behind the beat: that's where the rapture is waiting. The secret of the band's endurance is that it was never at war with rock; it just heard it differently. Correctly.
So you really do need to hear every note of every album. The Velvet Underground & Nico is the prototype: La Monte Young monorail rock on "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "Run Run Run," "Heroin" and "Venus in Furs" paperback tales of drugs and S/M, "The Black Angel's Death Song" and "European Son" dangling viola and guitar chaos, "I'll Be Your Mirror" and "Sunday Morning" improbably lounge-ish, the stolen Marvin Gaye riff that powers "There She Goes Again" demonstrating Reed's pop savvy. John Cale's Cageian sonic disruptions and Andy Warhol's famously absent production prevent the album from ever finding a full groove (the guitars, especially, remain bound to 1966), but history's plowed a groove in anyway, helped by Tucker's oceanically gongish, backbeat-indifferent drumming.


Dahl's work has a streak of cruelty in it which children familiar with such fairy tales as Hansel and Gretel quickly latch on to. Most of the children who win a tour of a chocolate factory come to decidedly sticky ends. Wilder plays Wonka superbly, at times seeming firm but fair and at others downright perverse. Keep an eye out for the scene where the Paraguayan newsreader holds up the photo of the man whose chocolate bar contained a lucky ticket; the photo is of Nazi exile Martin Bormann.
Director: Mel Stuart Cast: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum



40. LOU CHRISTIE: I'm Gonna Make You Mine/ I'm Gonna Get Married (1969)
Lou's bubblegum smash was the perfect accompaniment to days bunked off school in the corner cafe. The falsetto washed the tea down, the harpsichord and bicycle bell percussion sound-tracked the daydreams. The A-side was penned by Tony Romeo, then of The Trout, later to rackup hits with The Partridge Family. The flip was written by Christie and his gypsy queen sidekick, Twyla Herbert. At a gig in Birmingham two years later, Lou met Miss UK, Frances Winfield, and duly popped the question.
Availability: Gonna Make You Mine Camden CD
39. RAINBOW: Since You've Been Gone/ Bad Girls (1979)
Richie Blackmore's decision to take Rainbow on a poppier road after the 1978 departure of Ronnie James Dio was cemented by the addition of vocalist Graham Bonnett and Blackmore's old Deep Purple sparring partner, Roger Glover, on bass. Plus this choice of a Russ Ballard-written song, previously a minor US hit by Head East. With its high-Blackmore solo, its key change after Bonnett's incredible "uh" two minutes, 15 seconds in, and its sing-song finale, this gave the group their first UK Top Ten single, reaching Number 6  in September 1979.
Availability: Various: Music Of The Year 1979 Spectrum CD


The Cars defined the wing of American synth-pop that wanted to brush your rock'n'roll hair. They were Lou Reed fans who cheerfully mixed glossy keyboards with rockist guitar hooks. Ric Ocasek tried laughably hard to sound jaded and ironic (" alienation is the craze," eh?), but that only made his songs of adolescent yearning sound gawkier, and therefore more accurate.
Candy-O is the Cars' stickiest synth-gunk, and their finest hour. "Let's Go" unforgettably serenades a barefoot muse with a risque mouth. Chaste young geeks pine away for hopelessly distant objects of desire in "Double Life," "Dangerous Type," and my personal favorite, "It's All I Can Do."


In the course of this curious movie, Lugosi ( a mad scientist on- hey!- a jungle- covered Pacific island) injects a de-evolution serum into " entertainer" Duke Mitchell, turning him into a single gorilla. After watching 74 minutes of this film, the only rational conclusion is that a similar serum must have been used on Beaudine and scriptwriter Tim Ryan. Mitchell and Petrillo were the B movies' answer to Martin and Lewis who, in turn were the less expensive version of Hope and Crosby. This movie's only purpose is to emphasize how far Lugosi had sunk since he personified Dracula for Universal in 1931. There was worse to come, including a chance comic encounter with Old Mother Riley later in the same year. By 1935, Lugosi had succumbed to drug addiction and died a year later. The final indignity came when Martin Landau won an Oscar as Lugosi in Ed Wood in 1994, an honor the Hungarian horror king had never won.
Director: William Beaudine Cast: Bella Lugosi, Sammy Petrillo, Duke Mitchel



42. FRANKIE VALLI AND THE SEASONS:The Night/ When The Morning Comes (1972)
Recorded during a brief spell at Motown, The Night is an unusual blend of the group's early harmony pop and their Valli-less disco hits. It opens with a touch of menace: a creepy bass-line over a church organ, and the guys breathing: "Beware of his promise..." Suddenly, the voices explode: "Before! I go forever!" and Frankie takes the lead for a pounding, irresistible tune. A regular in Northern Soul clubs before it hit the Top 10 in 1975. Soft Cell covered it.
Availability: The Definitive Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons Warner CD
41. ABBA: SOS/ Man In The Middle (1975)
A Top 10 UK hit in late summer 1975, SOS cemented Abba's reputation as exotic Euro-pop prodigies, paving the way for the string of number 1 smashes we all know and love. Switching between forlorn verses and thumping glam choruses, the glory of this ode to a failing relationship lies in its keening, almost childlike evocation of the sadness and anger behind an unfathomable break-up. Just check out those simplistic, Swedish-into-English lyrics: "All this over baroque, quasi-classical keyboard flourishes and beefy power-chords that invite a rousing, air-guitar-enhanced pub sing-along.
Availability: Abba Gold: The Greatest Hits Polar/Universal CD 


Nobody really knows where Bryan Ferry came from. All you can tell from Roxy Music's records is that at a tender age, Bryan suffered a vision of beauty too intense for mortal eye. Ever since, he's been condemned to wander the earth in exile, haunted by its memory, changing wardrobes every twenty minutes and mixing great martinis. Not a bad trick, coming on like a sad-eyed wandering minstrel and a haughty supermodel at the same time. But Ferry's forlorn croon makes all his guises credible, since he offers so much emotional succor in return for your belief. No matter how intricate his songs, no matter how tight his toreador pants or how arch his lounge-lizard falsetto, Bryan Ferry always convinces you he cares. Tired of the tango, fed up with fandango, he performs the rituals of romance like a high priest who loves the rituals as much as the romance.
Siren is Roxy Music's masterpiece, with elegantly funky rockers and strangely humble ballads. In "Could It Happen to Me?" and "Just Another High," Ferry faces the music and dances into the realization that "my old-world charm isn't quite enough," which only adds to his old-world charm.


Despite Warner Bros giving the film only a limited release and the critical slaughtering at the hands of New York Times critic Bosley Crowther ( he later changed his review and subsequently left the newspaper), the film became an unprecedented success with the public and created ( or so it seemed at the time) a new Hollywood. The old Hollywood wasn't that impressed: studio boss Jack Warner, after a private screening, scolded Beatty about its length: "This is a three-piss picture." The tale of a 1920s gang of bank robbers led by Chris Barrow and Bonnie Parker is essentially a film about reacting against the establishment, a kind of Rebel Without a Cause but with a gun. Although Splendor In The Grass had been a hit for Beatty in 1961, Clyde made him, and was a turning point in the careers of Faye Dunaway and Gene Hackman. Funnily enough, Beatty had originally wanted to cast Bob Dylan as the "runtish" Clyde but was encouraged to star himself. Penn wanted the final scene where a bit of Clyde's head is blown away by a bullet to remind viewers of the assassination of JFK.
Director: Arthur Penn Cast: Warren Beatty, Faye Danaway

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