Friday, 9 December 2011

Best of 2011 - Top Five Compilations

Whether it's a 'Various Artists' mixtape or a 'Best Of' CD from a legendary band, I've always found that the best way to find great songs is through compilations. Even with any song that we could possibly want at our fingertips, having a collection of songs put together by someone as an endorsement still means something to me. That's why I went and put my a Keep Pop Loud compilation CD out this year. Obviously, I think the Keep Pop Loud CD is AMAZING. That's why I put it out. It's not on this list though. You'd think me biased.

#5 Big Scary Monsters - 5-a-side Football Tournament CD

Rarities and whatnot from the Alcopop!/BSM stable. Johnny Foreigner, Stagecoach, Tubelord, Tall Ships, Talons etc etc. And all for charity. Couldn't ask for anything more really.
Key Track: The Xcerts - 'I Am Home'
Read the KPL Review

#4 Franz Ferdinand - Covers EP

If it ever needed proving that Franz Ferdinand are an incredible pop band then this did the job. With everyone from ESG to Stephin Merritt doing (fairly faithful) renditions of tracks from the least-favoured FF album, they showcased the breadth of its songcraft and influences.
Key Track: LCD Soundsystem – 'Live Alone'
Read the KPL review

#3 Art Is Hard Records - Dry Route To Devon

The map that this compilation came on provided us with a literal overview of what's going on in Devon right now. There's not a duff track and it introduced us to Hysterical Injury, Gorgeous Bully and of course, Big Wave
Key Track: Big Wave – 'Wild Strawberries'
Read the KPL review

#2 Alcopop! Records - We Were Raised On A Diet of Jurassic Park and Sensible Soccer (and all we have left is this lousy record label)

A summary of five years worth of incredible indiepop. Ute cover Elephants who in turn provide the unofficial World Cup anthem of The Ivory Coast. There's a newbie from The Attika State and a gem from My First Tooth. An oldie from Johnny Foreigner and the PoP 3” CD from long lost Encyclopedia. Endlessly playable. Mighty fun.
Key Track: Stagecoach – 'We Got Tazers'
Read the KPL review

#1 Manic Street Preachers - National Treasures – The Complete Singles

The Manics may have an unfair advantage here, thanks to soundtracking most of my life, but thanks to their recent purple patch I'll take any chance to give them the credit they deserve. Across the two career-spanning discs there's everything on National Treasures from the decade-defining anthems to the classy numbers rescued from mis-firing albums. All are superb on some level and imbued with a level of magic and glamour that is never seen in the modern pop charts. On top of this (and the stunning artwork) there's also the feeling that the title was an attempt to be self-aggrandising or confrontational. Wonder what it must have felt like for them to have been repeatedly told that they've under-sold themselves.

Key Track: Any

Keep Pop Loud

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