1. Trees | Fool
Trees are a Folk band from the early 70s (that's 1970s, future readers sat in spacesuits!) that my dad used to play when I was a wee one. Celia the singer has one of the most beautiful singing voices ever and she actually contributes vocals to Dodson And Fogg, which is amazing when I think about it. This is a great song, very haunting and full of wonderful sounds.
2. The Beatles | Strawberry Fields Forever
This reminds me of being a kid. My dad played The Beatles all the time and these tracks take you back to your own childhood. Beatles became so Avant-Garde and surreal but stayed massive. It just wouldn't happen now. We will never have a band come anywhere near The Beatles.
3. Bob Dylan | Hurricane
I first heard this song in film Dazed And Confused when I was a teenager and I have always loved it. The violin by Scarlet Rivera has always got to me. I am honoured she appeared on my After The Fall album. The 14 year old me would have been chuffed. It's a song that really cries out for justice without much poetry and frilly wordplay. It is straight to the point and it is great to hear Dylan being so literal.
4. Black Sabbath | Iron Man
Sabbath were the first band I loved, where I saved pocket money to buy their vinyl starting from when I was 9, so the Paranoid album, in whole and especially this song, really have a special place for me. My dad bought me it from a record fair in the Leeds corn exchange.
5. Neil Young | After The Goldrush
Amazing, simple and heart-breaking. I love Neil's voice. I've heard this a lot on his Greatest Hits and then I got the ...Goldrush album and heard it for what it was in the context of that LP.
6. The Incredible String Band | Creation
This was another my dad used to play. It's the closing song to their Changing Horses album and is about 16 minutes long. As a kid it puzzled me, because it refused to end, and they kept coming back in with kazoos and weird sounds. Nowadays I find it amazing, I could listen to it all day (well, not really, I would end up mad!). There's a purity in the ISB that I find staggering. I did a book on their Music and I just loved the experience. Recently my dad and I went to see Mike Heron live, and I chatted with him afterwards. Such a nice laid back fellow. Always smiling.
7. The Kinks | Animal Farm
This is off their Village Green album, which I bought when I was about 18 when I worked at a toy shop. This song really jumped out at me, Ray Davies longing for country simplicity away from the bad city. I used to listen to it in the stock room while putting toys away. It takes me back to that time.
8. Lou Reed | Perfect Day
I love a lot of Lou's solo work and his Velvets stuff obviously, like the whole Berlin album especially, but to be predictable I will go for Perfect Day. It is an amazingly beautiful song and there is a reason it's his most remembered track. It reminds me of being a kid, my mum had this on vinyl, which I have now, the original vinyl. I love the strings and the sad lyrics. Simple and perfect indeed. (see what I did there?)
9. King Crimson | 21st Century Schizoid Man
A monstrous mad epic. Another from childhood (God, I feel like I'm seeing a psychiatrist here, taking me back to the route of it all). It was on a sampler record my dad had and still has, and I think it is an amazing piece of Music, I really do. Even today the musicianship, power and brutality of it amazes me. I love the whole album though, but this is just a classic.
10. Leonard Cohen | Suzanne (Judy Collins Cover)
Another example of a perfect song, so weird and beautiful. I love the first Cohen album and wish he'd ditch the keyboard beats and go back to this kind of stuff. I love every thing about this song. I remember when I first heard it when I was about 20 and I listened to it about 10 times in a row.