20 for 2020 - post your lockdown year top tracks

Dr_Grip

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By initiative of @public , here's a thread to share our end-of-year playlists. So basically, the wordy, curated, nerdy version of the Spotify Year End thingy.

This is a thread-starter post, I'll work on my personal top 20 in a separate post.
 

eizbaer

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So basically, the wordy, curated, nerdy version of the Spotify Year End thingy.
Good stuff right there, since my wife crashed my spotify top 20 by listening to the same damn playlist for her home workout every single day before spotify came up with their duo subscription.

I'll get to work.
 

public

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Right! Here’s what it’s sounded like in my head or in my car this year. I’m hopeless at finding out new stuff, so mostly this is just old music I’ve either discovered or re-discovered and nearly worn through. That said, not everything here is ‘80s or ‘90s stuff, as a couple newer artists have managed to pierce the near impenetrable wall of “things I liked at 20-25 so will enjoy forever”. I’m terrible at listening to anything that other people recommend to me, so mostly I’ll just put this out there to get it out.

1. Bat For Lashes – The Hunger (from Lost Girls, 2019)
If I have to recommend one thing this year, it’s this. Bat for Lashes combines the kind of cinematic ‘80s inspired synth sound with breathy vocals, thumping bass and well timed drums that I cannot be anything but transfixed by her. Especially The Hunger manages to sound most like an early-90s car advert and at 1:45 there’s the best bassline I’ve heard all year. But the entire album is all killer no filler, and her back catalogue is very much recommended.


2. Simple Minds – Promised You a Miracle (Live) (from Live in the City of Light, 1987)
I’m a huge fan of the classic Simple Minds albums. Granted, the newer their output the more stadion rock it is, and sometimes Jim Kerr sounds more Bono-ish than would strictly be preferred. However, I really like this live version of Promised You a Miracle as it’s given a refresh compared to the (itself very good) original from New Gold Dream. It’s been such a shit year that the optimism that permeates the entirety of that album is more than welcome, and the live version shows how good the band was live in their absolute heyday. Also, East at Easter from the same live album is superbly Bono.


3. Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior (from Romantic Warrior, 1976)
I listen to quite a bit of jazz fusion at home and apparently this is the top track I’ve played all year. Return to Forever was one of Chick Corea’s all star outfits and Romantic Warrior is a superficially silly concept album about knights and sorcerers. However, as piano-led, scientological ‘70s fusion jazz comes, this is some of the very best. The album is dedicated to L. Ron Hubbard, but don’t let that put you off. Really great classical guitar here by Al di Meola, too.


4. Jukka Linkola Octet – Athmos (from Protofunk, 1979)
More fusion jazz, this time from Finland. I heard Protofunk in a record shop earlier this year (there’s a recently opened one in a nearby town and I want to support it a lot), and really got into it. This is the final track on the album and it’s probably the tightest one with some really sharp horns.


5. Pat Metheny Group – San Lorenzo (from Pat Metheny Group, 1978)
The opening track of the famous jazz fusion band’s self titled debut. Not exactly an unheard great, but I’ve come to love it and I'd highly recommend it to anyone seeking to get into jazz fusion. Seems like I pick up on new things every time I listen to it.

(Impossible to find a YouTube clip of the album version)

6. Steely Dan – Jack of Speed (from Two Against Nature, 2000)
I listen to a lot of Steely Dan, or at least I say I do when someone asks what I like. One of my lasting memories from the past summer was mowing the grass while listening to the band’s 2000 comeback album. The highlights of the album are this and West of Hollywood, which is the last track. I picked this one for the list as it’s a little funkier.


7. Toshiki Kadomatsu – 52nd Street (from Sea is a Lady, 1987)
I keep this album in the CD changer all the time. It’s basically Gran Turismo level City Pop, but with a bit more electric guitar. It makes you want to live on a city island in Japan in the late ‘80s, above a garage with tons of rare metal parked in there.


8. Kassu Halonen – Trans Sahara (from Trans Sahara, 1982)
For some inexplicable reason there’s a City Pop inspired album recorded by Finnish session musicians. The title track is probably the best one off the album, and there’s a publicity photo of the singer with a Saab 900 in the dusk. Cool stuff.


9. Gang of Four – Is It Love? (from Hard, 1983)
Gang of Four has done some great driving music even if the post-punk band mustn’t have set out to accomplish exactly that. The otherwise patchy fourth album has some excellent driving tracks, such as the opener. Good for long sweeping bends.


10. Heikki Silvennoinen – I Will Wait for You (from Mature & Cool, 1992)
This album was a flea market find for pocket change, but turns out it’s probably the best Clapton pastiche album recorded by a Finnish comedian in 1992. Ridiculously good driving music when you drive a Volvo with a beige interior across the country. Mature and cool.


11. Gregg Allman – I’ll be Holding On (from Black Rain OST, 1989)

The main title track from Ridley Scott’s 1989 film. Epic driving music with the sort of lyrics that allude to “I’ve done a lot of dumb shit but at least it was on-brand”. Best listened to behind the wheel when driving in the rain on the highway and blowing past trucks on the passing lane with effortless turbodiesel thrust.


12. Herbert Grönemeyer – Jetzt oder nie (from 4630 Bochum, 1984)
FinalGear find! The album found its way to me from a stack of records that was distributed at Ringmeet, and Dr_Grip brought it over when visiting. I instantly became hooked to a bunch of tracks here, especially this particular one as it has the kind of melancholy driving ballad qualities that I enjoy, complete with early ‘80s synth backing. Makes me want to buy an Ascona C. You might also know Grönemeyer from Das Boot, the movie.

(Again, difficult to find the album version on YouTube and live cuts seem sub-par)

13. John Cale – Dying on the Vine (from Artificial Intelligence, 1985)
I’ve been a huge fan of John Cale for ages. I think he’s the biggest genius to whom Velvet Underground gave a platform. Artificial Intelligence isn’t his strongest work, but hey – ‘80s synths and general decadence and cinematic feel again. Probably works for anyone who likes mid-‘80s Leonard Cohen as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMJvAAlB15M

14. Robert Palmer – The Silver Gun (from Pride, 1983)
Probably one of the strangest works by Palmer. If you like My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Eno & Byrne, this leans towards that direction. It’s sung in Urdu, there are evocative strings and a dynamic bassline, the lyrics are apparently about horses as well as guns. I’ve gotten stuck with this and kept playing it on repeat for extended periods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31gnJxnKmYg

15. R.E.M. – Low Desert (from New Adventures in Hi-Fi, 1996)
This year I decided that ...Hi-Fi is my favorite R.E.M album. I also spent a lot of time imagining myself as a fresh graduate driving a new-ish Neon through American urban sprawl to my first real job while listening to ‘90s college rock on the car’s OEM stereo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-DXNxIlU1I

16. DAF – Brothers (single, 1986)
Gabi Delgado-Lopez passed away earlier this year, and out of the electro duo’s entire output I’d like to lift this as a sample.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W7yUFhR_fQ

17. Annie – American Cars (single, 2020)
Textbook synthwave. Only add Corvette.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HqTDoScPI4

18. Patrick Leonard – Main Title (from At Close Range OST, 1986)
Basically the entire film score is an extended edit of Madonna’s Live to Tell (also written by Leonard). I haven’t even seen the film, but the score and especially the main title make my hairs stand up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyf2pyGXjwo

19. Jürgen Knieper – You’re Dead Without a Story (from The State of Things, 1982)
Creepy soundtrack stuff from a Wim Wenders movie. I think this one is played over the ending credits and there’s great sax to be had. The album I got features the Knieper soundtracks to three films: The State of Things, The American Friend and River’s Edge.

https://soundcloud.com/camp-zama/jurgen-knieper-youre-dead-without-a-story-from-the-state-of-things

20. Will Ferrell & My Marianne – Volcano Man (from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, 2020)
There was no Eurovision Song Contest this year which sucks, and in addition to local contests all we got was a pretty dumb Will Ferrell movie. The theme song is great, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdW6BBF22AY

There it is, the complete list! In actuality I probably listened to several tracks off the same albums a lot more, but I wanted to stretch it out so that there's only one nomination per artist. You can do whatever you like.
 

DaBoom

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Right! Here’s what it’s sounded like in my head or in my car this year. I’m hopeless at finding out new stuff, so mostly this is just old music I’ve either discovered or re-discovered and nearly worn through.

I might have opposite issues.. :mrgreen: Although I've been listening to quite a few complete albums throughout the year, which isn't very normal for me. Usually I shuffle around all artists, genres etc. I know I shouldn't spend time on this, but I'll probably try to compile a list of some form as well.
 

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CraigB

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I'm not nearly as eloquent as @public on this sort of thing. So I'll present these songs without (much) comment.


1. The Dead South - In Hell I'll Be in Good Company

I found this song on YouTube and it's been my go to this year for some reason. I never thought I'd find myself liking bluegrass/country, but this is just too darned catchy.



2. Mud Honey - Touch Me I'm Sick

Grant on Sirius XM's Lithium did a deep dive into the origins of grunge. This song I keep coming back to. It's dirty, it's grungy, and oddly, it's rather fitting for a pandemic.



3. Uncle Lucius - Keep The Wolves Away

Apparently the algorithm decided that since I liked The Dead South that I wanted something a bit more dark. It hits home a bit as dad was injured while driving a semi in a warehouse accident while I was young. Ending his driving career (though sending him down a path to own a dragstrip).



4. Mad Season - River of Deceit

Another from Grant's deep dive. This one is not nearly gritty as some of the others, but I again find myself turning it up when it comes on.



5. The Dead South - Broken Cowboy

I guess there may be a few from The Dead South. I feel this song describes parts of my life, I don't know why, I'm not a cowboy.



6. Cake - The Guitar Man

A classic song by Cake. My most favorite band. There might be another one or two in this list by the time I finish.



7. Johnny Cash - Hurt

This needs no introduction. I find it better than the original and sing along anytime I hear it play.



8. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - S.O.B.

For some reason the mix of a gospel sounds and the rough lyrics has this one in constant rotation for me in 2020.



9. Cake - Cool Blue Reason

A perennial favorite of mine.



10. Cake - Dime

Let's make it a Cake two-fer. This is another one I find listening to over and over. Even if one particular line is a bit difficult to follow as a rhyme.


Side 1 complete, flip cassette over for side 2.
 

CraigB

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11. Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies

Not much of a drinker myself and it's rather sad being about The Troubles, but this song is a favorite of mine



12. Flogging Molly - The Worst Day Since Yesterday

Another favorite that I come back to year after year.



13. Monty Python (Eric Idle) - Penis Song

This song I sing a lot... Don't judge.



14. Soul Coughing - Circles

Everyday. Circles.



15. The Decemberists - The Mariner's Revenge Song

Quite an odd little song, but it's a great way to kill nearly 9 minutes.



16. Big Data - Dangerous

Watch the video at your own risk, quite violent.



17. Gramatik - Balkan Express

A few instrumentals towards the end.



18. Too Many Zooz - Bedford

Love this band all they can do with just a few instruments and an empty subway.



19. Too Many Zooz - Warriors



20. Marcy Playground - Sex & Candy

I have listened to this song for 20 years and still dig it.

 

Dr_Grip

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Here's my 20 tracks. The rules I gave myself is to put aside standards I listen to all the time (Fagen, Floyd, Metallica, etc) and focus on stuff that really made a difference to the weird year of 2020.

EDIT: WTF - The Forum only allows 10 media links?

Trixie & The Trainwrecks - No Good Town
Something personal and special. Over the last 10 or so years, I have followed Trixie/Trinity across two pseudonyms and three bands in Berlin's rockabilly subculture, have seen her and her sound mature from "look at me I'm hot and I play the drums" to "working blues mom". In the context of 2020, her gig in a small suburban bar was the last concert I attended before covid struck.


Abba - Lay All Your Love On Me // Does Your Mother Know? // Gimme Gimme Gimme

OK, here's a wild thesis. Abba, while coating everything in melodies even smoother and more sugary, more bubblegum happy, than silky jazz pop, are rivaling Becker and Fagen when it comes to cruel (self) observation or social commentary. The despair of loneliness being on full display in Gimme Gimme Gimme and the jealous women almost cruelly describing how she is making a fool of herself in Lay All Your Love on Me are a great start, but what really drives it home is the musically slightly ill-fated excursion into the Glitter Beat - the glam rock "Does Your Mother Know", which in a remarkable smutty way conveys the thought of an older man (in his twenties or early thirties) being hit on by a teen. In hindsight, knowing what Gary Glitter did, almost a prophetic track.


RuPaul - Rock It To The Moon

In all it's autotune-y intentional camp, this song should be far from any "best of list". Especially far from mine. But after hearing it as the closing track of most episode's of RuPaul's Drag Race, the song has entered my subconsciousness and provides surprisingly sticky, and re-listenable over and over again.


The Pushtwangers - My Father's Name Was Dad

My go-to "mindless fun" track, especially while driving. Direly needed during the 'rona. Also, it is one of the best descriptions of how puberty really feels like.


William Shatner - Common People

Shutdowns and covid rules mean home drinking. Home drinking means listening to weird vinyl. Like my Shatner records. While I can not understand my drunken support for his Deep Purple cover attempts, his take on "Common People", like Cash's version of NiN's "Hurt", adds a new layer to the song's emoptional tapestry, enabling the song to proudly stand next to the original even to the sober listener.


Guns N Roses - Down on the Farm

Another drivetime rediscovery. When GNR released The Spaghetti Incident, it was seen by critics as a half-assed cover album with the main purpose of fulfilling a record contract. And rightly so. But for a teenager growing up in rural Germany the 90s, before music streaming, before even Napster and MP3s, it was something completely different: A door opener toward tradition punk rock, the first time many of my generation got a taste of the UK Subs or Johnny Thunder.


The Boys - Brickfield Nights

During the same time, German pop punk pioneers Die Toten Hosen recorded their own tribute album towards early UK punk. Much more a labour of love than the GNR effort, it even featured a guest performance by train robber Ronnie Biggs. And like the GNR album did to punk, it introduced me to power pop, making "Brickfield Nights" another 2020 rediscovery.


Operation Ivy - Take Warning

Here's something you did not know about @_Jules_ - she can't stand ska, linking the typical ska beat to the oompah oompah of polka. I, on the other hand, am impressed how an album that contains as many straight hits as Operation Ivy's "Energy" can be that unknown. Basically inventing ska punk, Operation Ivy played their last gig with Green Day performing for the first time, opening for them. They changed the world of punk rock, giving us Rancid and NOFX, but also paving the way for pop punk.


Cock SParrer - Take 'em All

2020 also marks the year I have to come to terms with losing my hair, having to probably shave it off in 2021. But there's an upside to everything - a world of polo shirts, suspenders, and bar fights lies ahead as skinheadism is the only way to grow old in a subcutural way with one's dignity intact. Cock SParrer's subtle commentary towards record company business practices is included here to celebrate this fact.


Hällas - The Golden City of Semyra

Hällas from Sweden are not easy to like, at least they weren't for me. While the music is pretty perfect epic 70s style prog, including the medieval/fantasy inspired lyrics that come with the territory, their singer is... something else. With a very weird intonation and pronunciation, he puts into question whether the languages he sings in is actually english, and annoys the hell out of the casual listener.

But once you are hooked, you can't get it out of your head. I had the pleasure to see Hällas as support for Kadavar back in Januar, their headlining gig in a very small local club in March fell victim to covid, of course.

 
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Dr_Grip

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Darkthrone - The Hardship of the Scots

WTF is that? Discovered through my wife's Best of Dark Metal playlist, Norwegian Black Metal godfathers and all around badasses Darkthrone are showing why Fenriz is thought to be one of the most knowledgeble scolars of extreme metal: They are doing the incredible and sound like Dio or other early-80s hard rock and like Black Metal at the same time!


Megadeth - Endgame

The title track from Megadeth's awesome 2009 comeback album shows thrash's finest band at the height of their rediscovered powers. Sadly, while their lyrics always had conspiracy themes, "Endgame", with it's references to death camps, FEMA boxes and 5G tracking, marks Dave Mustaine's decline into MAGA madness and Obama Birtherism. It also is eerily prophetic looking at 2020's covidiots.
I don't want Megadave on here.


Zeal & Ardor - Wake of a Nation

From my point of view Zeal & Ardors "Wake of a Nation" EP is the most hard-hitting piece of cultural commentary supporting the BLM movement so far. Also, it expands their fusion of black metal and gospel to also include rap, making this song in a way the spiritual successor to Body Count's Cop Killer.


Emperor - Cosmic Keys To My Creations and Times

Since Emperor's "Into The Nightside Eclipse" is my pacekeeping album while running, I have listened to it three times every week since February. Surprisingly, it still does not bore me. On the contrary, I learn more about it all the time and begin to actually prefer it over my former favorite Emperor album "Anthem To The Welkin At Dusk". Especially Faust's errie, otherworldly lingering drums are a feature unique to "Nightside", mostly because Faust had to go to jail for murder and thus could not participate on later albums. #justblackmetalthings


Paara - Riitti

Technically speaking an album, not a song, but with four tracks on it, it should see it as one. Awesome Finnish-language athmospheric Black Metal.


Alcest - Delivrance

It's @_Jules_ and my wedding song. That's all there is to say.

Also, listen to more blackgaze. It's an awesome genre. Except for Burzum. Don't listen to them, no matter how great they are.


Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss

Slayer's slo-mo thrash hymn (ballad? Dare I say ballad?) about mental illness, torture, and mindless violence somehow fits this year better than it should.


The Bleak Engineers - Multidimensional Way

Did you known The Messer Chups' Zombierella has a dark wave side project? And did you know it's awesome? If you watch the video closely you can clearly see that like most instrumentalists she has no idea what she shall do with her hands now that she is singing instead of playing the bass. I remember seeing Helloween/Gamma Ray singer/guitarist Kai Hansen do a guest vocalist appearance years ago where his left hand clearly was playing a non-existing guitar, eventhough he did his hardest to do standard metal singer poses...


Lebanon Hanover - The Last Thing

Follow cold wave duo Lebanon Hanover to a gig in a depleted German industrial estate... as dire and depressing as covid.


Laibach - Brat Moj (revisited)

The ever-updated live version of Laibach's early track "Brat Moj", in all it's coldness, has been my personal highlight of Laibach's shows for the last few years. I remember a 2011 gig in Berlin's Heimathafen Neukölln, where I first got goosebumps and shivers from the latest update of the song.
With the Laibach Revisited Boxset finally making it to me over two years after pre-orders started, the current amazing guise of the song is for the first time available as an official studio recording and it makes my life even better.


Scooter - Fuck 2020

I would have never dreamt of saying that out loud, but watching this clip, listening to this song for the first time was the most mindless fun I've had in a very long time. It's not a complicated message, it's not about public safety, about the economy, about how dire it all is. It's just Scooter being Scooter. For 2020.

 
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gaasc

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Honestly, lockdown hasn't affected my listening habits all that much. Nevertheless, here's the 20 tracks I've listened to and enjoyed the most throughout the year or that caught my attention for the first time over the last 11 months. They are not in any particular order either. Surprisingly there is very little overlap with my top 10 songs of all time (which is another thread we need to do with a hard 10 limit so we all have to do very difficult choices :p )

Huey Lewis & The News - Trouble in Paradise - I wish I was clever enough to say that there is a story that merges everything that has happened on the world this year and my location in a tropical paradise and relates it to Huey's relationship troubles as expressed throughout his song. In actuality I just like it very much and I love my bands in business suits.


Oingo Boingo - Elevator Man (Alive Version) - A certain man from Texas introduced me to Oingo Boingo properly a year or two ago when I dismissively referred to Danny Elfman as the "lalaLALA-diddly diddly-dum DUM" soundtrack guy. Since then they quickly reached the top of my playlists (second from the top in 2019 actually). Weirdly, despite having no output since 1994, I keep finding music that I haven't heard from them. One was their version of "Ain't this the life" from the film Urgh! A Music War, but then I heard this one on a recording of a Halloween concert they did. I like it very much.


Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis - Not all of them can be bangers, sometimes one has to have some more relaxing music to do things. It is unfortunate that nothing else that Marc Cohn that I've heard captures this particular magic, as the end result is a very lovely song.


The Housemartins - Happy Hour - Not all of them can be bangers. This one is. Just a fun, fast paced song dealing with the ennui of post-office BS


Michael Markie - I'm Not Like You - Have you heard about Viscerafest? I did back in June and it looks amazing. I also discovered the term "Boomer Shooter", which seems like a giant misnomer on account that it was the boomers who wanted to give shooters like these the ax back when Doom and Quake were cutting age. I guess GenX shooters don't quite pop :p . In any case, the game is still not out, though it has my money when it does. In the meantime, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing, as you can see here


The Go-Go's - Our Lips are Sealed - I don't feel anything in particular about this song honestly. But iTunes tells me it's the one I've heard the most this year. So here it is.


Dean Martin - Ain't That A Kick In The Head (Ocean's 11 version) - Few things will make me listen to a song more than being unable to find that particular version somewhere else. This is the case with this one


"Weird Al" Yankovic - eBay - Okay, I guess this one has a lockdown connection in that I have bought so much crap online between upgrading the corolla, the Impala, and getting a new PC built, plus all the crap that's hard to find in here, this song plays rather frequently on my head. Not a complain though.


The Cult - Rain - There was a hurricane around, this songs makes its way to my playlist when it rains. do the math.



XTC - Making Plans for Nigel - You want a song to make you feel oppressed and as though there is no escape from your current situation which, more likely than not, you are very uncomfortable with? Here you go. Also, the end of the song is when Nigel shows up with a shotgun and recreates that one thing we have more of in other years.

 

gaasc

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Polecats - Make a Circuit With Me – I don’t mind the fact that we have tried to revive the 50s in some way every single decade. Even the ones where everyone said they hated it. Add some extremely dweeby lyrics and you end up with a fun song


Barry Manilow – Can’t Smile Without You – Again, not related to the pandemic. I was doing spring cleaning…in the summer, when I found my Essential Barry Manilow CD between some furniture and was reminded of why I bought it.


Bob Seger – Shinin’ Brightly – Barry Manilow made “Looks Like we Made It”, this is the superior version of that. The album with this song also has Long Twin Silver Line and the titular Against the Wind, why may make it one of my favorite albums of all time.


Jamiroquai – Automaton – I liked it when it came out, I still like it now.


Mr. Big – Green-Tinted Sixties Mind – The answer to the question “Did Mr. Big do another song as good as To be With You?” If you ask me, it should be the other way around


Walkin' On The Sun – Smash Mouth – Yes, the meme band. But the song is actually quite excellent. I asked a friend who is considerably more well-versed on 90s music if there was any music that sounded like this and he never got back to me, either there isn’t and the ska revival was the closest, or I’ve lost him on 90s lounge…answers on the thread replies.


France Gall - Ella elle l'a – As it turns out, Clairefontaine notebooks, Brie, Baguettes, the Citroen SM, and Daft Punk are not the only things out of France that I like…speaking of.


Daft Punk – NightvisionDiscovery is a special album for me. It’s the only album in which I really like every single track in it. I’ve tried to keep to one song per artist (for variety if nothing else) and Nightvision just edges it out as the most 2020 song in the album for me.


Frank Sinatra - You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – I got a copy of Frank’s live performance compilation Standing Room Only, and he absolutely crushes this song on live performances. I just really enjoy it.


Thomas Dolby – Hyperactive! – What happens when you don’t get to go out on long walks anymore and you basically maintain a sedentary lifestyle after literal years of getting used to do a lot of walking in a vain attempt to control your weight?


Honorary mention: Prefab Sprout - When Love Breaks Down – You know that song that you want to remember its name but never do? This is it, it was for me at least.
 

gt1750

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As usual, I spent most of 2020 listening to techno, electro and house sets. 2020 was a terrible year for the dance music scene, clubs were shut down and no big events took place... To keep some of the vibe going, many artists and promotion channels organised and streamed events without audience from derelict places or their own homes. From those sets or other recommendations, some tracks stood above the rest and here are 20 of my this year's additions to my playlist:

1. Credit 00 - R You Ready 2 Jack (2019)

An absolute banger that took me by surprise thanks to the very strong beginning. Great set opener.


2. Mall Grab - Sunflower (2020)

Ever since I heard this one at the end of Mall Grab's 2019 Boiler Room set, I knew it's pure magic. At one point I listened to it 5 times a day.


3. Stef Mendesidis - Memorex (2020)

A strong, melodic track with classic Detroit flavour.


4. Alan Dixon - Motel 4000 (2019)

Excellent Nu Disco track that was actually suggested to me by Spotify. Well done, Spotify.


5. Kraftwerk - Aerodynamik (Francois K Aero Mix) (2004)

A classic in an excellent remix, well worth a listen.


6. Patricia Kokett - Szamanka (2020)

A dreamy, trancey track for the slower parts of the day.


7. Embargo - Blackout (Nathalie De Borahs Straight Ahead Remix) (2000)

Let's get up to speed again with a remix that enhances the rather simple original in every way. I heard this wonderful track in Dooms Night Mix CD by Azzido da Bass back in the early 00's and someone brought it to my attention again by uploading to Youtube recently.


8. Bryan Kessler - Even My Cigarettes Taste Like You (2013)

Melodic techy piece that gets going after nearly 2 minutes. Well worth getting thhere and beyond.


9. Oden & Fatzo - Cats Love Jazz (2020)

Nice house track with a jazzy vibe, that I can't get enough of.


10. Detroit's Filthiest - Most Expensivest (2020)

Lovely melodic electro filled with optimism.

 

gt1750

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11. VTSS - Atlantyda vs. Cardi B - WAP (2020)

Let's kick off the other ten with a killer mashup from VTSS' own track, that she played in her set for Hör Berlin. Unforgettable.


12. Beroshima - This Could Be Love (2003)

Kick-ass techy pop song that I can't get out of my head.


13. Wolfram feat. Peaches - Automatic (2020)

Riding the retro wave with this awesome Italo Disco song. Rex the Dog's remix is also great.


14. Jori Hulkkonen - Science (Aril Brikha Remix) (2005)

Awesome remix of a rather melancholic song, that works with the mood rather well.


15. DJ Hell, Bryan Ferry - U Can Dance (2009)

Excellent, moody track accompanied by great vocals. A keeper on the playlist for sure.


16. Passarani - Wonky, Wonky Wonky (2017)

Not new, but a nice, optimistic track with great bassline and melody that I can't get enough of.


17. Marlon Hoffstadt - To All Believers (2020)

When a fresh track gets played twice at one BR event, you know you're dealing with a hit.


18. Rove Ranger - Stutenlove (2020)

Let's get faster and harder. And dreamy...


19. MRD - Save Me another Time (2020)

Continuing the faster theme, this time with a healthy dose of Italo Disco and Eurobeat.


20. Opus III - It's a Fine Day (1992)

Let's close this with a classic of classics. Was played more than once to add some much-needed optimism into 2020.

 

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William Shatner - Common People

Shutdowns and covid rules mean home drinking. Home drinking means listening to weird vinyl. Like my Shatner records. While I can not understand my drunken support for his Deep Purple cover attempts, his take on "Common People", like Cash's version of NiN's "Hurt", adds a new layer to the song's emoptional tapestry, enabling the song to proudly stand next to the original even to the sober listener.



Was this the one good song? lol

It really is good, and compared to some of the songs he tried to speak, this one is probably the best.
 

DaBoom

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i won't post 20, since my top list over a whole year primarly consists of led zeppeling, the rolling stones, jimi hendrix, cream, the white stripes, eels... songs everyone knows...but a few worth mentioning:

Band of Skulls - Death By Diamonds and Pearls: one of my favourite songs of one of my favourite bands

The Black key - Shine A Little Light: whatever they do, it sounds awesome

Creature With The Atom Brain - Transylvania: songs that queens of the stone age would make, but cleaned up

Little Hurricane - Ain't no sunshine: best cover EVER!! (arguable better than the original if you ask me)

JD McPherson - Lucky Penny: i think by now my taste in music should become obvious :D

Lead Belly - where did you sleep last night: i love the originals of popular covers

millionaire - busy man: local band that keeps punching way above its weight (lead singer = tim vanhamel - he was guitarist during the first tour of Eagles of Death Metal)

dEUS - Suds & Soda: one of the best belgian bands, can't be left out
they guys of soulsister heard this song when it came out - and promptly split "what are we doing making music easy on the ears - this is the real deal, good bye :D"
 
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RdKetchup

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Here is my list of 20 songs that were in my regular playlist for 2020. In many cases, multiple songs from the album could fit, but I'm limiting myself to 1 song per artist, and give precedence for stuff that came out recently,

1: Tool - Pneuma

Tool has been my favorite band for over 25 years. Their most recent album is a masterpiece in my opinion.

I have had the chance to see them live the last time they came to Montreal. I also had a ticket for a show in April of 2020, but then, 2020 hit. One thing that blew me away when I saw them live was how good the sound was, thanks to both a perfect technical setup, and the raw talent of all members of the band.

Here is the best representation of the live talent I'm talking about, with one of the best songs from their latest album.



2: A Perfect Circle - The Doomed

I discovered APC when I was in University, when they released their first album, Mer De Noms, in 2000.

Eat the Elephant, their latest album, was released 2 years ago but it took a lot of time to grow on me. But eventually it did, and now I have a hard time picking my favorite song.



3: Bullet Train to Iowa - Puscifer

Can't have only 2 of Maynard's project in here, can we?

I only got into Puscifer a few years ago, and I was instantly hooked on some songs, while other left me cold. But like the latest APC album, usually, with a bit of time, most of the tracks end up on my regular playlist.

The latest album was released roughly a month ago, and is great overall. Bullet Train to Iowa is the stand-out track in my opinion.


4: All Things Will Pass - Opeth

I discovered Opeth a bit over 10 years ago, when a coworker shared the "Blackwater Park" mp3 with me. For a while it was the only track I knew from them. Then, with the rise of streaming, I started listening to more and more of their stuff. Initially, I was only interested in their heavier stuff, and what I probably liked most was the transition from heavy riffs and growling to super melodic parts. So when I listened to the most recent albums, I was, let's say sceptical at first. But tastes evolves, and now I can enjoy both old and the recent material.

The closing track of their latest album is my favorite track from that album.



5: My Curse - Killswitch Engage

I only discovered Killswitch Engage in 2020, when someone posted a youtube video of "Metal in Public". It's a name I had heard numerous times, without ever listening to their music. The first riff played in that video is for "My Curse", and it's been my favorite KSE song since.




6: Memento Mori - Lamb Of God

I have been a fan of LoG for a few years now, and while my favorite album is "VII: Sturm und Drang", and my favorite track is "Embers" (probably because it features Chino Moreno from Deftones), the opening track of their latest album is great, and has been a regular fixture in my playlist of the past few months.




7: Genesis/Ohms - Deftones

Deftones have been one of my favorite bands for the past 20 years. Their last 2 albums are still growing on me, still not up to the level of most of their earlier stuff IMHO, but there are still some excellent tracks on them. Genesis (the opening track) and Ohms (the title track) are probably my favorites.



8: High Road - Mastodon

Another band I had heard of so many times, yet never listened to until streaming services made it convenient. It is now one of my favorite band, and still the only band I managed to push myself to go see a live show by myself. So many songs could be included in here, so let's just put this one for the video.

 
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RdKetchup

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9: World to Come - Gojira

One of the beauty of streaming services is recommendations. While listening to Mastodon, Gojira was offered, and being a name I had heard of before, I gave it a chance and was blown away. "L'Enfant Sauvage" is the first album I listened to, and still my favorite.



10: Year Zero - Ghost

Another of the recommandations from Mastodon playlists, Ghost. While I enjoy a lot of their stuff, the one track that is truly above the others for me is "Year Zero".

Spoilered for censored boobies, uncensored version of the video also exist on other video services like Vimeo.


11: The Revelation (Misinterpretation Mix) - Pig

One more streaming recommandation that stuck, Pig. Risen is so far my favorite album from them.



12: Månelyst - Kvelertak

Yet one more discovery from Mastodon (that band had such an impact on my playlist of the past few years, it's insane).

Their first 3 albums have been on my playlist regularly. I need to give their newest album some attention, see if I like it as much as the other 3. A number of songs from these 3 albums could be included in here.



13: We're goin' in. We're going down. - Cloudkicker

I discovered Cloudkicker while reading an article online. Not only is his stuff available on streaming services, it is also available for download at a name your price (starting at 0$) on bandcamp.

The Beacons album is a masterpiece of instrumental music. To think it's all made by a single guy is incredible.

He also made a live show with Intronaut, I wish I could have seen it in person.



14: Uku-Djent - Stevie T

While Stevie T is not taking himself too seriously, and his channel is mostly humorous, the guy is talented, and his Ukulele Djent song is actually quite catchy.



15: MEGITSUNE, BABYMETAL

I read about Babymetal online a bit this year, and decided to give them a listen. I was actually positively surprised.

Made my kids listen to it, and they loved it. Win.



16: Dance Monkey (Metal Version) (feat. Hannah Boulton & Rabea Massaad), Leo/Frog Leap Studios

Adu made me discover Leo when discussing cover version of Baby Shark. It was an instant hit with my kids, and now his whole playlist is now a goto when I need to find music both the kids and I love in the car. Dance Monkey, Africa, Carry On Wayward Son and Feel Good Inc. are among our favorites.



17: Fat Faded Fuck Face, Die Antwoord

I heard about Die Antwoord on a college radio station many years ago, and kept a mental note to check them out.

Then I forgot about them until one night I watched the David Letterman late show, and saw them perform "I Fink U Freeky".

Ten$ion became one of my favorite album, and I've been listening to them since,

Spoilered for uncensored boobies.
Seriously, don't watch this at work.

An even more NSFW version exist on Vimeo.


18: Word Crimes - "Weird Al" Yankovic

An hallmark of my teen years, it's incredible to see that not only does Weird Al still put out great stuff, he seems to be on a Keanu level of immortality.

 
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RdKetchup

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19: Ragamuffin/Lazy Eye, Silversun Pickups

I have been a fan ever since I heard "Lazy Eye". So many great songs throughout the years, like the afore mentioned Lazy Eye, Ragamuffin, Substitution, The Royal We, and many more. For this post I'll go with Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance).



20: Live Life - Tom Holkenborg

I binged watched "White Lines" on Netflix this summer, a series taking place in Ibiza, with a great electronic music soundtrack by Tom Holkenborg, "Live Life" being my favorite track.

 
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DaBoom

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So, here’s my list. It’s pretty much a timeline of how the year went for me. And pretty much the opposite of how many have experienced this year. I started the year by recovering from depression and then getting a new job. Then my house flooded in the spring and despite everything I still managed a roadtrip to Ringmeet, visiting 8 countries on the way.. So it has been eventful, not just sulking at home.

Staind - Mudshovel
Something from the early 00s I actually rediscovered in February 2019. The bass riff started playing in my head and that was all I remembered of the song. Eventually I found it and in the progress built a playlist around it. But for this year and list, I found the tone and lyrics (using you in plural form) to describe quite well how well I was feeling at the start of the year and indeed eventually for a while ended up disconnecting myself from all social media and most people.

Igorrr - Very noise
The release of the album Spirituality and distortion in March is basically the start of what I remember listening to this year. This album got top playtime for months. And usually when I picked any song from the album I ended up listening through the entire album. This song blended into the album, so I didn’t pay too much attention to it, until I saw the music video.

Parov Stelar - Come back home
This just stayed in my memory, as I discovered it around the same time when @loose_unit got stuck in New Zealand due to lockdowns.

YUP - Paha vaatturi
Somewhere around March-April I got over the worst of the depression and it seems music I listened to did a similar reset to rest of mind. Spotify shows that I basically reran what I listened to from my early teens to early 20s. This is one of my earliest memories of moving from radioplay to albums that normally don’t get radioplay. And while the lyrical brilliance is lost on non-Finns, at least this song has an excellent fan-made video.

Redman - Time 4 sum aksion
Whut? The album has the questionable credit of being the first CD I copied myself. Back when that process took like 4 hours. :mrgreen: No idea where I got the idea to look this up this year, but itl stood out still, when going through the timeline..

Fun factory - Pain
Euro dance is always in the mix, when I’m feeling better, so this fits the going through teenage years - timeline.

Holly Valance - State of mind
I remember this starting to play in my head out of nowhere. Same way how I ended up going through the YUP discography. I’m sure I had not listened to this for at least 15 years, who knows where these ideas come from.

Scandroid - Phoenix
And from the ashes of my youth rises Phoenix. Not really related in any way, but when I was compiling this playlist this seemed like a very fitting storyline.

S3RL - Cherry pop
Another genre that only appears when I’m in a good enough mood. Then again, the clue is in the title; happy hardcore. This came about as a side discovery when I was listening to DCX. I was thinking of presenting something a bit more toned down that I found later while browsing through singles, but hey, the whole point of the genre is full retard, right? :mrgreen:

TheFatRat - MAYDAY
After discovering the feature vocalist Laura Brehm here, through Varien, I found TheFatRat. Several singles ended up being something I listened to most often for weeks.
 

DaBoom

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Devin Townsend - Namaste
When the quarantine started, Devin started doing podcasts about his albums and what was going on in his life at the time of said albums. This episode about Physicist album came out in April and the album was made when he was going through the worst times of his depression, so I found a lot to relate to. I found the musical theme explanation quite interesting too. A lot of paraphrasing and cutting corners, but the creative process of the previous album Infinity brought on the depression. And the whole album continues with similar fast and monotone tempo, with the idea that trying to escape from infinity is pointless, it doesn’t matter which direction you pick, or how fast you try to get away.

Emika - Sleep in the day
This is all about the mood of the song, I still haven’t even really listened to the lyrics. Throughout the quarantine I was doing home office work, which I knew wouldn’t suit me in the long run, so I got occasional waves of stress and depression from that throughout the summer. And the echoes in this song really fit in with the idea of being isolated in an empty space. The piano still brings chills every time I hear it.

Dr Phunk - Victory
If Emika describes bottom of those waves, this would be the crest. Always a sign I’m in a good mood, when I can discover and take in new trance/dance music.

Rage of light - Mechanicals
My only clear musical memory from 2019. Even when I didn’t really enjoy listening to any music then, this felt special somehow. And around July/August I rediscovered this and this debut album was music I played most during early autumn.

Celldweller - Own little world
Just expansion on what else I was listening to. Not much story behind this for me, but themes of the song fit this year.

Dan Bull - Reaper’s delight
Same goes for Dan Bull. I wanted to include some hip hop and as I haven’t found much interesting new stuff from the US, I’ve mostly listened to UK based artists. The hard hitting vocal style and the humour is very much to my liking.

Hit’n’hide - Space invaders
Another euro dance touch. I forget why, but I ended up discussing the genre with @93Flareside and more specifically the Danish contributions to the genre (Aqua, Hit’nHide, Daze and Toy-Box). Colorful additions to the genre, in a literal sense.

Samantha Fish - Bulletproof (Tangle eye mix)
Co-worker shared this with me, I think. Not too much story behind this, I just really liked how different it is to everything else I was listening to at the time.

Ayreon - Listen to my story
I’m trying to stick to the 1 song / artist limit and I was pondering if I should present something from the previous album The source, as I finally “got” the story of the album, just in time before Transitus was released, late September. It has gotten more playtime, so I’m picking that instead then. This song is my pick, as this probably works best as a separate song, rather than part of the story, as these Ayreon albums always are. Simone Simons and Tommy Karevik are quite a combo of voices.

Ad Infinitum - Marching on Versailles
More echoes from 2019. When it was added to my favourites I didn’t even notice the same singer from Rage of light. And similarly only one album, which has gotten plenty of airtime. Calmer and slightly darker sound in comparison and I really hope this project continues.

Bonus: Imelda May - Stay
As this isn’t really a song, more a poem, I didn’t feel like including it to the top 20. But if anything it’s very much related to this year. This was released early June and I happened to hear it on the drive home from work. Clear sunny day, driving in the middle of an open field and an empty road, as most people were either starting their summer holidays or working from home.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAoUhWfkf8
 
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