The end of the year. In blogging terms, I like the end of the year. It gives me an excuse to reflect on the year here in blogging, re-read some of the stuff I’ve written, and glow red with shame at some of the drivel that bypassed my editorial control first time around whilst simultaneously basking in the glow of a well-turned phrase or two that helped shape one post or other from good to really good, or sometimes elevate it to really great, even if I say so myself.
What I can’t stand about the year end is the continual palaver of pollsters pontificating on the best/worst/most/least so and so and such and such of the year. It’s a load of rubbish really, one man’s meat being another man’s poison and all that. Sometimes a list might point you in the direction of a gem of a record that escaped your attention first-time round, but most of the time the lists are full of stuff that seem to be a marketing man’s idea of hip eclecticism. Like a more extreme, international version of the Mercury Music Prize nominees, you’ll find a motley crew of apparently “essential listening” – A posh-boy grime artist here. Some skinny-jeaned soul-baring twonk in daft hair there. A facially-fuzzy bunch of weedy Brooklyn vegans in brogues that were the main topic of conversation round Kate Moss’s dinner table three weeks ago. If you read Plain Or Pan you’ll know what my best/worst/most/least so and sos are for the year, so I’m not about to foist another self-important list of uber-hip nonsense in your direction. Besides, Plain Or Pan has never been about the hip stuff. Here, we only deal in the good stuff. Outdated music for outdated people, as the strap-line goes. David Quantick loved that, so he did.
Outdated music for outdated people since 2007, to be more precise. Aye, the end of 2012 means that Plain Or Pan is now 6 years old. And as is customary, the backroom team take time away from their families at Christmas to break out the spreadsheets, dust down the bar graphs and pin up the pie charts to work out what the biggest-hitting downloads have been for the year. This has been made doubly difficult this year due to the sudden deletion of various Plain Or Pan file sharing accounts by The Man, swooping undercover with his big, fat virtual Staedtler eraser and hitting me for six when I’m not paying attention. They’re ruthless, they really are.
I’m thinking in the New Year that I’ll be going more for an inbuilt media player layout, with a monthly compilation of the most-played tracks, but I’m still weighing up the options. Certainly, any blogger’ll tell you how regularly they have their accounts tampered with, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s almost enough to have you give up blogging at times, it really is. Anyway, I like to tell myself that most folk come here first for the writing, with the mp3 being an added bonus (a bit like those Mojo magazine CDs – mainly crap and unlistenable, but now and again a good one comes along. You read the magazine regardless though. My backroom team have worked out that each visitor here reads on average 2.3 posts, which I like to think means they find what they came for first, liked what they read, then had a wee scroll through some of the other high quality stuff with a pleasantly surprised look on their face).
Ach, who am I kidding?! Most folk come here via Google and scroll straight to the links, tut that it’s been deleted or tap their fingers impatiently if the file still exists and is downloadable, then disappear with their newly-acquired crappy mp3 of whatever and stick it on their iPod to never play it again. But thanks! I mean it, I really do! And by way of saying thanks, here’s 37 covers, curios and hard-to-find classics that, due to those aforementioned undercover men with big fat virtual Staedtler erasers meant you probably missed first-time around;
World Of Twist – Sons of the Stage (12″ version)
The Third Degree – Mercy
The Roots – The Seed
Ronnie Hudson – West Coast Poplock
Stevie Wonder – You Haven’t Done Nothin‘
The Flirtations – Nothing But A Heartache
Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby (Long Version (16+mins))
Bobby Womack – If You Want My Love Put Something Down On It
Jerry Lee Lewis – Over The Rainbow
Tony Allen & Damon Albarn – Every Season
The Raconteurs – Steady, As She Goes (BBC Session, 25.3.06)
The Artwoods – Goodbye Sisters
The Daily Flash – Jack Of Diamonds
Spacemen 3 – Revolution
Led Zeppelin – Thank You
Ennio Morricone – Once Upon A Time In The West
The Durutti Column – Sketch For Summer
Noonday Underground – Barcelona
The Beach Boys – Only With You
Lightships – Do Your Thing
Carly Simon – Why? (12″ Mix)
Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie & Clyde
Blur – Money Makes Me Crazy (Marrakesh Mix)
Inspiral Carpets – Greek Wedding Song
The Honeycombs – Have I The Right
Little Willie John – I’m Shakin’
The High Numbers – I’m The Face
William Bell – My Whole World Is Falling Down
Irma Thomas – Time Is On My Side
The Supremes – Coca-Cola ad
Tom Jones – Coca-Cola ad
Nyah Fearties – Red Kola
Diana Ross – Upside Down (Original Chic mix)
The Beastie Boys – Shambala
The Tornadoes – Telstar
Neu! – Hallogallo
Get them quick, before they disappear like snaw aff a dyke, as they say round here.
CD1 can be found here, or here, or here.
CD2 can be found here, or here, or here.