25 Oct 2015

10 songs I'd physically kill someone to hear for the first time again

There's very few experiences just as amazing as hearing a song you'll love for the rest of your life for the first time. Like, maybe most recently I remember hearing Ought's Beautiful Blue Sky for the first time through computer speakers at work, and Viet Cong's Death whilst out on my bicycle. These are songs I'm fairly sure I'll always love to bits because they are masterpieces in their own right, but there are some songs I've heard that I just wish I could hear for the first time over and over again. Here's a list of such songs, and the measures I'd go through to hear them for the first time again. [disclaimer : some of these might resort to hyperbole, a bit, maybe]

LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
This is so cliche, but it's just one of the best few songs ever written. Never has music been this euphoric, with that whole sorta pushing on momentum. Leaving home this September, it's something I'd love to have been able to hear for the first time around this period - imagine feeling just a little bit down, and just allowing this masterpiece to overcome you slowly and euphorically. I'd literally saw a traffic warden in two to be able to hear it for the first time, and saw them in two just before rush hour at that.

Beach House - Myth
Recently I've fallen so, so in love with Beach House and I'm 99% sure that they've put out enough great records to be Officially The Best Band Of This Decade. This song is the one song of theirs, as well as Norway which isn't quite as good, which I loved to pieces before this major Beach House obsession took hold. A really, really beautiful dream-pop song that is just one spiritual journey, sounding kind of like what I'd imagine being a cloud is like with the whole movement thing being really cloudlike, and Victoria Legrand's voice just being like a beautiful shower of rain after a game of football. To hear this for the first time again, I'd happily punch a dolphin in the nose. It'd be so worth it.

Slowdive - When The Sun Hits
Another shoegazey number, this is the sorta poppy number from the Souvlaki album that revolves around a slow trickling verse and then a powerful chorus that just really hits me. I've heard it a million times and it still sounds fresh, but if I could make it sound a little bit fresher it would probably be worth killing someone, but maybe a bad person like Theresa May or Michael McIntyre.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
I don't think I'd kill anyone to find out, but I reckon it would be really, really incredible to hear this for the first time aged maybe 16 or 17 having never ever grown up hearing it round every corner. In my home, this song was everywhere growing up. It was on the CD player a lot. On the radio. In the fridge. I had to buy a nightlight to make sure it wasn't out to get me while I lay in bed, aged 6 or 7. But now, I'm thinking maybe I'd at least take a small child's action man away to test my theory out.

My Bloody Valentine - Sometimes
This is just a song I love to bits, but can't really listen to because it reminds me of people from the past. Unlike most MBV, which I just find unlistenable because during my first S H O E G A Z E R phase, I played Loveless on repeat and it got played so many times that it was just unbearable. But Sometimes is different, because it's just that much better than everything else they ever did, as a pop song, and a euphoric sonic masterpiece, and to be able to listen to it without welling up with sentimentality, well, to be able to do that I'd definitely at least seriously wound someone I deeply love, like Chris Packham or Flavor Flav.

The Smiths - This Charming Man
Again, I grew up hearing the Smiths occasionally, living in a 6music powered house, and GOD I FUCKING HATED THEM. Morrissey's droney voice. Chimey guitars that didn't sound very much like Arctic Monkeys at all. Lyrics about charming men. This was all recipe for my 10 year old self to hate The Smiths, I HATED THEM. But when I turned about 14, adolescence happened, and for two years straight I just loved The Smiths so much, and I felt like only Morrissey got me. If I could delete every memory from BOTH those phases of my life and put This Charming Man on having never heard it before, I would definitely fire bomb a post office.

The Housemartins - Happy Hour
Imagine having never heard The Housemartins. Imagine. What a world awaits you. This is on the list because it's quite literally ecstacy in the format of a pop song, and hearing it for the first time again would be like, the same as trying a mug full of Jack Daniels aged 13 for the first time. It's just that important. I would go back in time and kill JFK myself to hear it again, because it's just that amazing.

The Kinks - Lola
"Wait. This isn't a normal boring love song is it?! Is it?! OH GOD NO, IT'S NOT". I'd kill to have that realisation about this #2 single from the early seventies. Every 12 year old music fans goes through this, and I'd definitely wrestle Cecil the Lion to the ground if it meant I could hear it for the first time once more. But it's not just the realisation of what the subject matter is, IMAGINE HAVING THAT CHORUS IN YOUR HEAD FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL OVER AGAIN. Okay, I'm sold, where's my lion wrestling suit at?

Grandaddy - The Crystal Lake
BBC 6 used this as a soundbed for TIME, and I feel like the majesty of its amazing outro was just ruined because of this. The BBC owe me the pleasure of hearing this without going 'ahhhhh, it's that soundbed, isn't it?' and because of this I think they should make George Osbourne sleep with the fishes on behalf of me, because they owe me big time, and realistically, I'm never going to unhear that synth as the backing music to Marc Riley's show. GIVE ME JUSTICE. I WANT JUSTICE.

Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
This is quite literally the most overrated song of all time, made worse by the fact it's an out and out ripoff of a song by Spirit, who are also not very good. You name it, and I'll kill it, if it means getting back all the minutes I've spent trying to work out what's so great about this song.

(written by calum cashin)