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TOP 30 SONGS OF 2016

“The time has come again…”

For better or for worse, it is closing time for the year 2016. Which means it is time for our annual tradition of naming a top 30 songs. The usual rules apply so no repeating artists and only music that made a significant impact during the 12 months, so there is some flexibility on release dates (single date/album date) or it may be it was on the soundtrack of a film released or re-released this year. I think we can justify each of our selections but feel free to contest the inclusion/exclusion of any old song with comments at the foot of this page. Now we’ve split it out again for 10 songs each, in alphabetical order, it’s Alix up first:

A is for Alix

01. Lazarus – David Bowie

I’m not going to pick out David Bowie’s best ever track, as tempting as that is. What a way to bow out this is, like a great movie with a devastatingly sad ending but all perfectly executed. We especially enjoyed Adam Buxton’s Bowie Bug Show which included an amazing insight into the construction of this video from the mouth of Director Johan Renck. There are snippets of the interview found in the excellent accompanying podcast available here: THE ADAM BUXTON PODCAST – BOWIEWALLOW

02. Honey Sweet – Blossoms

We said back in our top 30 list for 2015 that big things were expected of them with their debut this year and they did not disappoint. Our Twitter followers put it quite nicely:

Maybe the only thing now is how far can they go? Biggest selling debut in the UK, it’s been a year of watching others discover and enjoy them and now the usual feeling for me of wishing they maybe weren’t as successful because for a minute I had them to myself… Coming to an arena near you very soon for sure!

03. Twice – Catfish and the Bottlemen

I sometimes turn my nose up to a band like Catfish because of the huge following – I realise writing this and the comments for Blossoms before it I’m a snob – but Van McCann’s song writing and his voice really pack a punch. The soundtrack to your night out.

04. Dark Necessities – Red Hot Chili Peppers

05. Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots

Technically a 2015 song but it made huge waves in 2016, you couldn’t escape this and you couldn’t stop singing it either. I had to check – but that isn’t a permanent tattoo.

06. De La Salle – Courteeners

07. Strange Diseases – Gang of Youths

08. Threat of Joy – The Strokes

What can I say about The Strokes? Quite possibly my favourite band of all-time. But they are included on merit, this showcases them as slick as ever, the EP wasn’t their strongest collection of songs but I loved this and just when you think they might have a “can’t be arsed” approach to working together and releasing new material they come up with this well-crafted promotional video. Still doing the retro-stylings-thing and sounding as cool as ever. If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.

09. Burn The Witch – Radiohead

Great video, more importantly – great song. Because the song without the images is like a movie in itself, feel that momentum building. Gorgeous vocals, as ever.

10. Cheap Thrills – Sia

Do you know the humble beginnings of this anonymous short-arse wonder? Read this.

J is for Joni

11. Miracle Aligner – The Last Shadow Puppets

Probably a step on from the sixties themed first album, although there is still plenty of that on offer on Everything You’ve Come To Expect (2016), this collaboration continues to surprise and delight with bold sounds and statements.

12. Boys That Sing – Viola Beach

13. Praying For Time – George Michael

Another death in the world of music for one too young. Such a talented man, it was refreshing to see the reaction from some unlikely people which underlined the impact George Michael had:

Liam Gallagher went on to pick this gem out, and we can’t think of a song that is better suited. So much so it’s one of my favourite bittersweet moments of the year.

14. Easier Said – Sunflower Bean

It came recommended to me by YouTube. I liked it. A lovely summer song. I am open to suggestion.

15. Keep Me Around – Turin Brakes

16. A Woman’s Wisdom – Wild Nothing

17. Work – Rihanna featuring Drake

18. Human Performance – Parquet Courts

I don’t know how I stumbled across this but I can tell you I thought it was from the mid-nineties when I heard it. And that is no bad thing. Probably why I included it in my Tarantino playlist.

19. Go! – M83 featuring Mai Lan

We did a little feature on Twitter about the producer Tony Hoffer, he’s worked on some stellar bands and albums we treasure dearly and this one from M83 is another fine piece of work.

20. Brooklyn – Fickle Friends

U is for Una

21. Pillowtalk – Zayn

22. Loveblood – Sundara Karma

23. All For One – The Stone Roses

24. Heart of Gold – The Sherlocks

25. Isombard – Declan McKenna Now the original version of this article had Paracetamol on there, hence the Liar EP artwork at the top of the page… But I changed my mind. Yes, I am allowed to do so. This is epic:

26. Sign ‘o’ the Times – Prince

I’m not saying this is Prince’s greatest ever song (it arguably is but that’s for another time) but it’s the first song I heard played on the radio after the news broke that he had passed away. I wept as his vocals kicked in. A very personal choice as it has given me great comfort in the year as I found myself returning to this again and again. Reminds me of the power and vision of the man, his audacity and his talent is all evident within this song. I think with Prince, actually, we’ll see his impact on pop culture strengthen in his absence as his songbook is a goldmine for any young artist to tap into, don’t be surprised to see more of songs covered in the near future with great success.

27. Hymn For The Weekend – Coldplay featuring Beyoncé

28. Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Can’t help but dance and feel happy when this is played. Possibly because my wife and 4-year old son love it too – it appears in Dreamworks’ Trolls if you were wondering…

29. Waste A Moment – Kings of Leon

30. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars

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