Monday, September 30, 2002

TEN YEARS AFTER: The NME has just announced the tracklisting for One Love, the 50th anniversary CD where stars cover number ones from the last umpteen years in aid of charity. Here, elegantly cut and pasted from their website, is the rundown:
Starsailor - 'All Or Nothing' (The Small Faces, 1966)
Feeder - 'The Power Of Love' (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 1984)
Sugababes - 'Killer' (Adamski, 1990)
The Muse - 'House Of The Rising Son' (The Animals, 1964)
Stereophonics - 'Nothing Compares 2 U' (Sinead O' Connor, 1990)
Faithless/Dido - 'Dub Be Good 2 Me' (Beats International, 1990)
Oasis - 'Merry Xmas Everybody' (Slade, 1973)
Elbow 'Something In The Air' (Thunderclap Newman, 1969)
Ms Dynamite - 'Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) (Soul II Soul, 1989)
Manic Street Preachers - 'Out Of Time' (Chris Farlowe, 1966)
Badly Drawn Boy - 'Come On Eileen' (Dexy's Midnight Runners, 1982)
Prodigy - 'Ghost Town' (The Specials, 1981)
Jimmy Eat World - 'Firestarter' (Prodigy, 1996)
McAlmont And Butler - 'Back For Good' (Take That, 1995)
Darius - 'Pretty Flamingo' (Manfred Mann, 1966)
More Fire Crew -'Dreams' (Gabrielle, 1993)

Now, there's a couple of things there we'd like to hear - particularly the McAlmont/Butler Back For Good and we're curious to see what the More Fire Crew do to Gabrielle - but there's a sense of disappointment about the whole project - Oasis covering Slade isn't an event, it's almost their career; the Stereophonics are probably going to batter the life out of Prince's song and still think they're being emotionally raw; and Darius being there at all feels wrong (probably guarantee a few extra quid for charity, but even so...)

Compare this, though, with the NME's Ruby Trax, same idea, only ten years ago. Firstly, the ambition was greater - a triple album, featuring a range more top drawer acts than the new effort, and more space for surprises and delights - like the Mission taking on Atomic, EMF battering Joe Dolce and the Neds Never Being To Me. Indeed, the fact that so many artists chose to try and find the sublime in the throwaway suggests that the artists of the 90's were more attached to the charts and music in general back then; embracing the Top 40 for the quirks it used to throw up rather than scouring the list of number ones for something they could do which came with the credibility hard-wired. Yes, Sugababes doing Killer will be worth hearing, and their people have chosen a great tune for them, but wouldn't it have been better to get them doing Una Paloma Blanca? And yes, Ms Dynamite, you know your r&b history choosing Back To Life, but couldn't you have found space in your schedule to serve up The Chicken Song for charity?
Suggestion for your 60th, NME - get the bands, and put the songs in a hat. The random element will make for a spicier listen.
(That Ruby Trax listing in full:)
Disc 1
1. the wonder stuff - coz i luv you
2. billy bragg - when will i see you again?
3. the jesus and mary chain - little red rooster
4. the mission - atomic
5. the fatima mansions - (everything i do) i do it for you
6. st etienne - stranger in paradise
7. the wedding present - cumberland gap
8. aztec camera / andy fairweather-low - (if paradise is) half as nice
9. dannii minogue - show you the way to go
10. welfare heroine - where do you go to my lovely?
11. the blue aeroplanes - bad moon rising
12. senseless things - apache
13. teenage fanclub - mr tambourine man

Disc 2
1. another brick in the wall - carter usm
2. maggie may - blur
3. ashes to ashes - tears for fears
4. rock your baby - the house of love
5. i'm a believer - the frank & walters
6. shaddap you face - emf
7. brass in pocket - suede
8. ring my bell - tori amos
9. lady madonna - kingmaker
10. like a prayer - marc almond
11. don't you want me? - the farm
12. i've never been to me - ned's atomic dustbin
13. my sweet lord - boy george

Disc 3
1. jesus jones - voodoo chile
2. bob geldof - sunny afternoon
3. johhny marr & billy duffy - the good, the bad and the ugly
4. cud - down down
5. the fall - legend of xanadu
6. sinead o'connor - secret love
7. world party - world without love
8. inspiral carpets - tainted love
9. elektric music - baby come back
10. ride - the model
11. vic reeves - vienna
12. tin machine - go now
13. curve - i feel love
14. manic street preachers - suicide is painless

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