Making a list, checking it twice

Everyone loves a good list, something to argue about down the pub or on an internet forum. I’m not immune to this – see previous blog posts on NME’s best albums lists – but then I’m not immune to making my own lists as well. I must admit I’ve never felt the need to create an all-encompassing list of my favourite albums, but on the 9th September 1983 I wrote an entry in my diary listing my top 30 songs of all time. Every three years from there ’til 1998 I compiled a similar list on that date and recorded it in my diary, also making compilation tapes to accompany them – ’92 was a classic, as I recall.

Which is why this piece of paper is interesting because it shows a Top 30 in progress. On one side it is headed “Top 30 songs – 13th April ’86” and a list of possibilities, song titles with numbers next to them, some changed and some amended. On the other side is the actual list. Along the way a few songs are lost – notably “My love my life” by Abba which is marked as 30 provisionally gets missed out, as does “Kama Sutra” by the Monochrome Set. Though New Order is listed, they get no songs nominated. Odd.

So here’s the list. This is how I felt at the time, mid April ’86. It fits nicely with the next piece I’m writing, when some music would come along and make me rewrite some of this list completely. The only thing I would say is this – “Promise” by OMD at number 5????

1 – “Statues” – OMD
2 – “All that love and maths can do” – The Durutti Column
3 – “The in-psychlopedia” – The Teardrop Explodes
4 – “Neon lights” – Kraftwerk
5 – “Promise” – OMD
6 – “e.e.” – The Durutti Column
7 – “Eight days a week” – The Beatles
8 – “The eternal” – Joy Division
9 – “Her body in my soul” – OMD
10 – “Tanzmusik” – Kraftwerk
11 – “Royal infirmary” – The Durutti Column
12 – “Triangle” – Quando Quango
13 – “Julie with…” – Eno
14 – “Ouch monkeys” – The Teardrop Explodes
15 – “All wrapped up” – OMD
16 – “Autobahn” – Kraftwerk
17 – “Everything merges with the night” – Eno
18 – “The culture bunker” – The Teardrop Explodes
19 – “Simple thing as love” – Andy Williams
20 – “Sketch for Summer” – The Durutti Column
21 – “Equinoxe pt 6” – Jean Michel Jarre
22 – “Doot doot” – Freur
23 – “Rachael built a steamboat” – The Teardrop Explodes
24 – “2/2” – Eno
25 – “Computer love” – Kraftwerk
26 – “Elegance of an only dream” – Felt
27 – “King’s lead hat” – Eno
28 – “The great dominions” – The Teardrop Explodes
29 – “Over the wall” – Echo and the Bunnymen
30 – “Silver” – Echo and the Bunnymen

PS – Yes my handwriting is shocking. Sorry.

Next time – I open the door to an empty room…

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