The Definitive Musicalphabet

Earlier in the year on Twitter (@music_waffle) I started the #musicalphabet, whereby each week was dedicated to artists beginning with a certain letter of the alphabet. #aweek was quite quiet, but the tweeps soon picked up on the idea and shared their contributions. It’s been an interesting process which has led me to discover artists I’d never heard of before and given me an insight into the tastes of my followers. Each week there were “gimme” artists and songs who immediately came to mind, and finding out other people’s “gimmes” was fascinating.

I couldn’t let the opportunity pass without trying to come up with a definitive alphabet, which is of course by no means definitive … each day and mood suits something different, and I can’t believe I’ve come up with a list that excludes Coldplay, Muse, Royal Blood and Kaiser Chiefs, but in election terms these are the artists/songs I’d put my cross next to in the ballot box, if push came to shove.

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed, but a special mention for the following enthusiastic participants: @Koala_Cube, @ru_ank, @_sararusso, @chosenturbo and @KaiserCousin.

A) Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm

Alex Turner uses his Yorkshire vernacular to brilliant effect, being quite the lyrical genius – often tongue in cheek, always a fascination, the lad has a way with words. This track races along at speed, and IT’S NOT “Brainstorm” people!

B) The Beatles – The Long And Winding Road

There was no option to leave these guys out, and I could have picked many many tracks from the best group ever, but this is so emotional and touching.

C) Cocteau Twins – Carolyn’s Fingers

The words are a load of nonsense, but Liz Fraser is the only female vocalist I’ve ever truly loved, and she literally has the voice of an angel. This ascends to heaven.

D) Drenge – Nothing

The Loveless brothers snarled onto the scene with their brand of teenage roar and continue to spread their undercurrents of drama with the new album Undertow. There’s some top skipping stunts in the video for Nothing, but what’s with the worms guys?

E) Elbow – The Birds

There are so many wonderful song options from the cuddly bear that is Guy Garvey, but this one caught my eye particularly on their recent tour. Talk about knowing how to build a song.

F) Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out

During the #musicalphabet process, some songs and artists were posted and received a great reaction from the Twittersphere. There’s a lot of love for the Ferds out there.

G) George Ezra – Did You Hear The Rain?

The boy’s got a fabulous deep voice and an endearingly fun personality. Just the pronunciation of “Loose-eee-fear” is enough to secure its place in the list.

H) Hozier – Take Me To Church

Another gorgeous deep voice combined with the charm of the Irish. I feel a religious conversion coming on when I listen to this.

I) Ian Brown – For Everything A Reason

I love the fact that all the lines in this song begin with the letters F, E, A, R. A bit blummin clever that.

J) Jake Bugg – Broken

Such a touching song from the talented young man from Nottingham. Sung live, it’s a huge moment when he hits his “Whoa-o-o-a-o-o”. *shivering*

K) Kasabian – Fire

Tom Meighan singing like Elvis Presley – what’s not to love? A barnstorming epic from the pen of Sergio Pizzorno, the man who knows how to connect with a stadium.

L) Labrinth – Earthquake

There’s a lot of tedious popular music about, but Labrinth is someone that manages to cut through the fog better than most. Plus he looks admirably geeky with the glasses on. *Spec respect*

M) Matt Cardle – Higher Power

I’m a bit ahead of the game with this one. By the time Matt finishes his Shaftesbury run as Huey Calhoun in Memphis The Musical in October, the new album, with its atmospheric electronic sound, will be due an imminent release. This is a promising indicator of  the new material.

N) Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Riverman

The man is an absolute legend, who manages to back up his verbal proclamations with the gravitas of some decent music. This is a classy track from the new album (whose title, Chasing Yesterday, he of course loathes!).

O) Oasis – Wonderwall

It’s only right that these two go side by side – a legendary group after a legendary individual. I could, of course, have picked many Oasis tracks, but this one nailed them to my heart back in the day.

P) Pendulum – Propane Nightmares

The audience are the stars of this video – festival goers that frankly make you proud to be British. They are admirably unselfconscious as the band steamroller along with this track.

Q) Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Hard to pick any other, a song that showed that sticking to the “normal” rules for deciding what works as a single can actually be trashed from time to time. For a long time I thought “monstrosities” was “pork sausages” (but then I was a little ‘un at the time).

R) Radiohead – Pyramid Song

Spooky, eerie and a bit weird. A song of the goosebumple variety.

S) The Smiths – What She Said

“What she read, all heady books shed sit and prophesise. It took a tattooed boy from Birkenhead to really really open her eyes…” Need I say more?

T) The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

One of those undeniable tracks that justabout everyone (excluding aliens and extremely odd people) love.

U) U2 – The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)

Leaving aside the *feigns shock/horror* dreadfulness of implanting their work into the public’s ITunes accounts, it’s great to see a continued quality of output from a band as big as this.

V) The Verve – Drugs Don’t Work

A shoe-in. And when a song’s got a strong message, it gives it an extra bit of specialness.

W) Waterknot – Ready

I’ve got a soft spot for these guys. Hailing from New York, we connected on Twitter, and blow me if they didn’t turn up in a pub in North London recently. A proper rock band.

X) XTC – Making Plans For Nigel

I always loved Andy Partridge’s boffin aura. They lacked the frilly shirts of the New Romantic era they found themselves in, but XTC were an essential nugget of the early 80’s. And let’s face it, we all knew a Nigel.

Y) Yes – Owner Of A Lonely Heart

The gorgeous voice of Jon Anderson and Trevor Horn inspired synth blasts, transform this from a straightforward rock song to a game changer for the Prog Rock outfit.

Z) I’m struggling a bit here … I think we may have to end at Y …

Here’s the full playlist:


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