My top tunes of 2006

At the end of each year I like to make a CD of my favourite music of the year. Last year I didn’t, either because there wasn’t enough I really liked, or I was too busy, or too computered-out, or all three. But this year I suddenly had a bit of time and there’s been loads of good stuff. And, below, is what I’d put on this year’s CD, complete with MP3s (for a limited time only), for your clicking pleasure. I decided to simply order them chronologically, according to when they grabbed me, and restricted myself to only one track by each artist.

  1. Uffie — Pop the Glock
    Heard on Radio 1’s Blue Room and although I haven’t listened to it for a while I played it a lot earlier in the year. See her MySpace page.

  2. Go Home Productions — Girl Wants (To Say Goodbye to Rock and Roll)
    One of my friend Ted’s favourites from 2005 and this bootleg/mash-up/whatever has a well-deserved place on my “Tunes to pick me up when I really need to be happier” playlist. Mark Vidler’s site.

  3. Lily Allen — LDN
    I wasn’t sure about including songs that everyone knows but that would hardly be fair, as this is still good and I loved it when I first heard it. By the time I could buy it I was tiring of it of course. Buy Alright, Still.

  4. Minnie Riperton — Les Fleur
    I think I heard this on the Blue Room and although I’d heard it before I ended up playing it rather a lot. Buy Les Fleurs — The Minnie Riperton Anthology.

  5. Fujiya & Miyagi — Ankle Injuries
    I heard this on the Blue Room and liked it, wasn’t sure how to get hold of it, and then they did a session for the show, which I recorded and from which this is taken. Buy Transparent Things.

  6. Sébastien Tellier — La Ritournelle
    This was played quite a bit on, yes, the Blue Room show in 2005 but for some reason it didn’t grab me until this year when I had it on repeat many times. Glorious. Buy Politics.

  7. Jamie Radford — This is a Breakup Song
    I came across this at Said the Gramophone and after months of listening it’s probably still the “newest” sounding track here. Buy the album at his website.

  8. Loki — Across the Room
    Another from Said the Gramophone’s peerless Sean. I love the loping, tinkling backing with the aggrieved Glaswegian rapping. No idea where to buy it unfortunately, but here’s the label’s MySpace page.

  9. Jacob Borshard — Vincent and Theo
    Said the Gramophone again, with a track from my favourite and most-played album of the year, which is also free to download! The world is sometimes a wonderful place.

  10. Camera Obscura — Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken
    I love Camera Obscura and somehow they’ve managed to keep up the standard of gooey, catchy, loveliness on the album Let’s Get Out of This Country.

  11. The Mountain Goats — No Children
    This one, in which an audience at a San Franisco gig sing the song for Mountain Goat John Darnielle, may not have the same effect on you if you don’t already love the Mountain Goats, but it sends shivers down my back every time. Via Largehearted Boy.

  12. Mark Ronson — Ooh Wee (feat. Ghostface)
    I somehow feel slightly bad about including this, as I know little about it. I just know that I could play it over and over and it gets stuck in my head like a fun-loving sticky thing. Via Soul Sides. Buy Here Comes the Fuzz.

  13. Minor Majority — Motor Away
    Copy, Right? is usually a good source of bizarre covers, but this cover of a Guided By Voices track that I don’t know isn’t bizarre and wormed its way sorrowfully into my mind. Buy If I Told You You Were Beautiful.

  14. Merry Clayton — Gimme Shelter
    I think I read about this somewhere and was interested enough to seek it out. Clayton sung the backing vocals (“Rape! Murder!”) on the Rolling Stones version and does a fantastic job on her own. Yes. Available on the compilation Gimme Shelter: Kaleidoscopic Funk Collision.

  15. Fionn Regan — Put a Penny in the Slot
    Somehow it’s very nearly too sickly, but only nearly. Via Sean at Said the Gramophone yet again (he brightens up my life) this is from Regan’s The End of History album.

  16. Frank Turner — Nashville Tennessee
    The only song here that I first heard on live radio, Radio 1’s Zane Lowe show, a show which is enormous fun in a “pretending to be a teenager worried about exams” kind of way, marred only by the presence of Zane Lowe’s gibberish. I’m not sure how well this track stands up to repeated listening, but it’s very Billy Bragg and it grabbed me on first listen and hasn’t quite let go yet. Buy Campfire Punkrock.

  17. James Yorkston — Woozy With Cider
    Heard on the Blue Room again, I think I heard this in 2005, but didn’t get hold of it until I bought the slightly patchy Folk Off compilation. Mournful Scottish bloke talking over gentle backing track — it’s hard to go wrong.

  18. Pocketbooks — Cross the Line
    Their MySpace page lists lots of influences beginning with “The Sundays, Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura”. Say no more. Fab, catchy, twee, cynical and joyful. Via the Take Your Medicine podcast.

  19. Los Campesinos — You Me Dancing
    I heard this a few times, again via the Take Your Medicine podcast but, unimaginably, it didn’t do much for me at first. I’ve no idea why, as I can stick on repeat now and swiftly whip myself up into as close as I’m likely to get to a frenzy. See their MySpace page.

By the way, if you use to track your listening you might want to have a look at your personal chart pages, as the rolling one year charts will currently show you what you’ve been listening to most over 2006. Over there my top artists for the year are:

  1. The Mountain Goats (292)
  2. Jacob Borshard (190)
  3. Vince Giordarno’s Nighthawks (170)
  4. Belle and Sebastian (150)
  5. The Wedding Present (140)
  6. Kate Rusby (112)
  7. Final Fantasy (109)
  8. Gene (94)
  9. Camera Obscura (89)
  10. Fionn Regan (88)

My musical resolutions for this year: Listen to more Late Junction; listen to more pop; listen to more electronic music. If you know of any good MP3 blogs that feature any of those kinds of music, do let me know.


  • So much music and so little time...

  • Thanks for these, Phil - had a quick listen to a few earlier on. Not heard of James Yorkston before but that's a pretty affecting track right there. Streets ahead of similar offerings.

    Agree with the Late Junction resolution - it's grand stuff.

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Thursday 28 December 2006, 7:18pm

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28 Dec 2006 at Twitter

  • 11:20pm: Too grumpy and restless for bed, so fiddling online while listening to John Hodgman.
  • 8:20pm: Enough computering. Now to continue with more Christmas leftovers in front of more 'Deadwood'.
  • 7:19pm: Starting to wonder who Bobigail's friend Perry is, and why he/she can only be communicated with via Twitter :)
  • 5:46pm: Moving from designing and HTMLing to making everything work in four intertwingled Movable Type blogs. I fear the problems are only beginning.
  • 10:15am: Leisurely start to the day, now ensconced at my rightful place before the computer.