Legit Bosses: 2021’s 121 Greatest Songs

You know it’s all about that boom! Legit Bosses, baybay!*

(*yeah, that song isn’t actually included. It’ll be on Legit Bosses 2022 though! I’m just a bit slow with these things…)

So, only 121 this year, a marked decline on 2020’s 125. So was it a notably worse year? Absolutely chuffing not. Despite the 2.928% drop in numbers, the quality on show is outstanding. Never mind the weight, feel the quality. The top maybe twenty songs especially are on some next level shit, and you haven’t seen so many GOATs since you traumatically happened upon Weird Uncle Colin’s problematic porn collection back in 92. I also shaved a few songs last minute, mainly because they were from albums due to be released in 2022 and I decided to make them Next Year Alex’s problem. Also, one or two I realised… weren’t… actually… that… good… So that just means the 121 that made the cut are all of such spectacular quality that you may want to warn the people around you before you start reading this list, as the floor between your legs is about to get soaked.

No, no, hey, maybe it’s you that’s too gross, ever considered that??

Anyway, let the festivities begin, here are the playlists:

Spotify

YouTube

Continue reading “Legit Bosses: 2021’s 121 Greatest Songs”

1 Low: HEY WHAT (Greatest Album of 2021)

2018 #3

It’s probably too late now, isn’t it? For you, I mean. This is it in your life. How old are you? Older than those kids you see on YouTube and on TikTok. What are you even doing watching YouTube and TikTok?? Both of those things are full of vitality and with ruthless optimism! Neither of those things are for you. How old did you say you were, I must have missed that? 28? Nah, dude, you’ve just not been counting recently, because your life is now a dehumanising repetition of routines and obligations, you’re actually 32 now. Shit, no, because of your meaningless demands and crushing inevitabilities, you couldn’t find time to read that last sentence all at once, you’re now 44. Shit! You’re now in your fifties!

That’s you, that is

It’s over though, right? Seriously, if you haven’t worked out your entire life by aged 21 you’re too late, and whatever you’re doing now – whatever you are – is officially set for all time. The only ‘change’ that is now permitted is a occasional change in the brand of washing up liquid you buy. And is that even allowed?? What will people say?? That person who works at the checkout counter in Tesco, the one you now know by name, what will they say?? No, you’re too old to be doing shit like this, people will mock you behind your back, say that you don’t even realise how monstrously old and past your prime you are. Put the washing up liquid back, Thomas, say in your fucking lane. Your past the era of change now, this thing now, these cruxes you’ve built to support yourself, these crosses that you’ve accepted to bear, this is your everything and shall always be. This is your life.

WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE SEEN EVERYTHING

5 Ultrasound: Everything Picture (Deluxe Edition)

A synthesised orchestra bursts into life. And I mean bursts. If this were in a Disney movie and meant to signify the first buds of spring in some fantasy netherworld ruled by a giant and intimidatingly amiable field mouse, you’d still ask them to tone it down a bit. The orchestra repeats itself for a few bars, as if sweeping its arms across the landscape. Isn’t it beautiful?, it says, this world you believe to know? Isn’t life just idiotically charming when you don’t know any better?? Then, the orchestra stops, to be replaced by a single foreboding organ while the sounds behind it seem to be dripping out the last of their good will. Drip. Drip. Drop. Drip. The droplets seem to both become sparer and start to resemble a ticking clock, winding down to some unknown but anxiety inducing conclusion. The same music that had previously swept its hands in overt astonishment as the landscape that is now starting to melt away, now grabs you roughly by the collar and pulls you forward. It opens a hand to you containing a red pill and a blue pill. Before throwing them both in rage at the still deforming landscape.

“Nah, fuck that”, they say. “That trope has been done to death to such a point where it now somehow represents Men’s Right Activism. There aren’t just two routes anyway, there are an infinite ways to comprehend reality, let me show you them all“.

I’LL SHOW YOU MINE

24 MARINA: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land

2019 #79, 2015 #37, 2010 #8

Dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada:

Dugudda-dugudda-dugudda-dugudda

Whooooo!!

Na, na-na naaaaar! Na-na-ni-n-ni-na!

[‘WHOOOOO’ AUTHOR’S OWN]

Sigh, remember the good old days of this blog? I would have definitely have illustrated that with photos of me singing it shirtless, wouldn’t I? Maybe even make a YouTube video. I’d sing songs shirtless at the drop of a fart back in those days, wouldn’t I? I barely even illustrate my posts with selfies any more, and that used to be near enough all I’d do.

Ancient reads in a more land

Necessary Evil 2021 (50 – 41)

50 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: B-Sides and Rarities II

(2021 #63, 2020 #1!, 2016 #=6, 2014 #45, 2013 #22, 2008 #12 (with the Bad Seeds) 2010 #11, 2007 #13 (with Grinderman) )

Nick Cave album number two!

Ah, fuck, am I including B-Side collections now?? I guess that shouldn’t be much of an issue, considering that there’s only a tiny, Jeremy Beadle handful of artists I would even considering purchasing a B-Side collection of. Just so you know, Manic Street Preachers‘ last B-Side collection was back in 2003. The Bad Seeds released ‘B-Sides and Rarities’ part one in 2005, so the Manics are already embarrassingly behind schedule. Sort it out, Wire. Although, to be honest, I was all ready to announce that the inherent importance of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have lead to them releasing the first B-Sides collection to be featured on Necessary Evil, until I remembered that Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2016 B-Side collection made #31 that year, so there really is no rhyme nor reason to it. Also, the featured image to that blog post is Al Pacino shoving cocaine into his face in Scarface, so let’s not pretend any of us has any idea what’s going on around here.

What a collection though, aye? Ammi right? Ammi right? I’m right. ‘B-Sides and Rarities’ part one was no slouch at all, containing a smattering of wonder that showed how harsh the band’s quality control had been during the first two decades of their existence considering the excellence of some of their cast-offs. It was clear that the bar to entry onto a Bad Seeds album was more stringent and difficult to pass than the best American colleges even if your mother used to be in Desperate Housewives. There were also other bits and bobs that settled debates such as whether Shane MacGowan did the best version of Lucy. He did. Debate over.

Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2021 (50 – 41)”

Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs

Right, holy shit, so am I actually doing this…?

“Repeat after me…”

The Manic Street Preachers are the greatest rock band ever. That’s not an opinion, it’s a conclusion that I’ve reached and am now saying it loudly and not listening to any dissenting voices, which in 2021 counts as a ‘fact’.

Their greatness is… complicated… and not easy to explain in a simple intro to a blog post… These 100 tracks aren’t necessarily the greatest songs ever. Even as a pathetically dedicated Manics stan*, even I would argue that they’ve only ever released one indisputable, stone cold classic record from front to back (see if you can guess which one after you read the list!). They may have supernatural control over melodies and how best to ensure a chorus hits just there, but at the end of the day they’re just a rock band. They have never really challenged the very boundaries of music, never pushed things forward or necessarily introduced anything new sonically. I would argue that only one of their albums is truly challenging and experimental, rather than just being a break from what the band usually produce (yeah, it’s the same album…). I mean, Jesus, they once shamelessly released a song including the lyric “The world is full of refugees/They’re just like you and just like me“. That’s unforgivably bad, isn’t it? They can’t come back from that, artistically.

“You stand there and you think about what you’ve done”

(*I may occasionally use cool, groovy, young person lingo like ‘stan’ so you think I’m a hip young gunslinger. Not, y’know, old enough to be a Manics fan)

I’m not able to explain their magic here, but over the next one hundred (!) entries you’ll hopefully all have a better idea. It’s not as dominated by the 90’s as I was worried it might be, and every album is represented (apart from one. Because their tenth album is worse than Hitler). I’ve been wanting to find the time to do this for ages, partially inspired by the great What is Music podcast covering their entire discography and reminding me of how many big veiny stonkers this band had bulging out of their collective musical swimming trunks. They’re talking about Muse on that podcast now, a band for morons, so you only need to listen to the last season. My major blind spot is I don’t think they’ve done a decent b-side since 2001. Now, I’m sure I’m wrong, so please correct my ignorance in the comments. Tell me how wrong I am. Post your top tens. Your top hundreds. The Manic Street Preachers’ fan community is one of the greatest in the world, and no other band are as connected with their fanbase and feed off their adoration as much as The Manics. So let’s celebrate that by calling me a fat slut in the comments because I didn’t choose Little Baby Nothing.

If you don’t have time for such nonsense, here’s the Spotify playlist and here’s all the songs in order on YouTube.

And, er, you might wanna bookmark this page – motherfucker’s gonna be long. Your next 500 trips to the toilet are sorted.

Continue reading “Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs”

Necessary Evil 2020 pt.5 (60-51)

#60 Halsey: Manic

Halsey sits in that awkward position of being an extremely, very, absolutely great artist, but at the same time being weighed down by almost being suffocatingly overrated by some corners. Also, she’s often really annoying.

Now that last (factual) statement may actually be problematic. Would I refer to Halsey’s objective annoyingness if she were a man? Truthfully, if she were a man I’d probably call her a ‘cunt’, but I’m always aware of how vicious it can sound to use such violent language when referring to a woman, so I’m slightly more polite. Is that sexist? To self censor my language and treat women more ‘gentlemanly’? Am I actually doing it because I feel that the curse is hilariously infuriating to a man but actually hatefully offensive when said to a woman? Is that idea sexist?? Should I maybe not be calling anyone a ‘cunt’??

Jump in any time, these are good topics.

If you show me that you understand this reference, I will honestly send you £50
Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2020 pt.5 (60-51)”

My Life in Albums (part 2 97-06)

You want an intro? You got that in part one! Let’s get down to the dirty, sticky and dangerously unhygienic business:

1997

This was an important year for me, this was when shit got real. Yeah, Labour won the election, which I was aware I was supposed to celebrate but not yet conscious enough to know exactly why, just that ‘our team won*. Princess Diana died, inspiring a nationwide reaction that even 13 year old Alex Palmer recognised as being a bit fucking much**. All that was meaningless background noise though, as most importantly 1997 was the year that I became really switched on to new music. Before this point, most of the albums I’ve listed would have been discovered by me later and posthumously lusted after in the kind of nostalgic necrophilia that I would later grow to despise. Yeah, sorry if you’ve already imagined me as an incredibly cool seven year old bopping his head to Soon by My Bloody Valentine. From this point on, these important albums in my life and personal development were pretty much all discovered as contemporaries. Seriously though, ‘It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah’ was the first CD that I ever owned. Yeah. I’m that cool/weird.

young-man-mohawk-carried-personalised-floral-tribute-while
“Dad, this is why you’re only allowed to see me one weekend every other month…”

Continue reading “My Life in Albums (part 2 97-06)”

Rumble in the Bumble pt.4

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

I know I promised that I wasn’t going to do another one of these until next week, but over the period of about nine hours yesterday Bumble dragged me on a roller coaster of emotions, potential and of reaching ridiculously over my limits as a physically attractive entity*. I have to assume that you’ve all read Shawn Michaels’s esteemed memoir ‘Heartbreak and Triumph’? Well, that could well be the title of this episode of my delve into the grottiness of online dating. Except that there was very little triumph involved. ‘Heartbreak and Heartbreak’ might work a little better. Except that repeated word is a little functionally unnecessary, isn’t it? Yeah, the book of yesterday on Bumble would be called ‘Heartbreak’. Do you see where this is going?

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(* though… maybe… really below… my mental attractiveness…? I don’t want to be cruel… Well… maybe I do, just a little, but as will soon become brutally clear I really need to claw back some self-respect out of this hideous situation)

What’s that? You think I’m far too obsessed with wrestling? Really?? Let’s see if that comes into play.

Continue reading “Rumble in the Bumble pt.4”

From ‘From Her to Eternity’ to…?Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Albums Officially Ranked

OK, first off we all have to admit how ridiculous it is to rank The Bad Seeds’ albums, chiefly because of the fact that the form demands that certain albums need to be ranked toward the bottom of the list and be therefore deemed the band’s ‘worst’ albums or in some way ‘substandard’. Albums you or other weirdos like you might deem their favourites may well prop up the list and you may receive a jolting shock to your cultural sacks that you likely won’t recover from. The reason this list is likely to offend more than similar ones is because over the course of their nearly 30 years career The Bad Seeds have never released a bad album. I’d argue that they’ve never released even a subpar one. No, that one you’re thinking of? Get over yourself, that has brilliant moments and is number thirteen. The worst/least brilliant albums by The Bad Seeds would still be career highlights of lesser contemporaries like Pearl Jam or The Cure or The Beastie Boys. Just see this as 16 Bad Seeds albums ranked in order of their amazingness. If number 16 is your personal favourite, then your personal favourite is still an amazing album. Just be aware that ‘your personal favourite’ is subjective, while this list is official and objective. So it’s the 16th best. As long as you’re cool with that.

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Perhaps my own personal perspective has to come into this. I first encountered Wavey Cavey and his Stinky Eggs as a precocious and hormonally operated  thirteen year old with 1997’s The Boatman’s Call. This has probably meant that my entire idea of Nicholas and his Naughty Nuts has been through the frame of an achingly beautiful smack addict singing delicate odes to PJ Harvey (and probably, let’s face it, smack). If you’re disgustingly old enough to first come across The Bad Seeds when they first set sail in the 1980s- or even through Cave’s previous band The Birthday Party– then…

Well, then first of all you really are too old and decrepit to possess any worthwhile opinions. Your should be ashamed of your advancing years and retreat into functional alcoholism. I’m not explicitly saying that you should kill yourself, I’m just making sure that you’re aware that your death will have no real impact on the wider world and on a functional level you may as well kill yourself. OK? Good. Glad that we all understand.

Also, approaching  The Bad Seeds from an ‘OG’ perspective may lead you to rate his earlier none more goth albums- the ones that are occasionally punctuated with distorted screams of “THE ORGAN GRINDER’S MONKEY FUCK’S THE VIRGIN MARY BLOODY CUNT WITH A RUSTY CRUCIFIX!”, and the like- a lot higher than I have. That’s cool. We’re all friends. But, scientifically, I’m correct and you’re wrong. And horrendously old. Seriously, what’s that smell? Oh. It’s you. That’s just what old people smell like. Ew.

Before we start, a few rules:

Continue reading “From ‘From Her to Eternity’ to…?Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Albums Officially Ranked”