Category Archives: TOP 10 LISTS

Top 10: Remixes

Roland TB303For this month’s exercise in list making, please compile your favorite remixes: productions that transform a track into something new, different, danceable, or perhaps completely unrecognizable. Any era, any style, from disco to dubstep—pick the mixes that tickle your fancy. Also, feel free to include commentary explaining your selections. And based on responses to prior Top 10 posts, I fully expect to see a few lists including more than ten tracks :-)

Shelf’s Top 10 Remixes (in chronological order)

My Bloody Valentine “Soon” (The Andrew Weatherall Mix) | 1990
Remix > Andrew Weatherall

EMF “They’re Here” (D:ream Dream Mix) | 1992
Remix > Peter Cunnah, Al McKenzie & Brian Cox

One Dove “Breakdown” (Secret Knowledge Light Mix) | 1993
Remix > Kris Needs & Bent Recknagel

The Other Two “Selfish” (That Pop Mix) | 1993
Remix > Terry Farley & Pete Heller

U2 “Lemon” (The Perfecto Mix) | 1993
Remix > Paul Oakenfold & Steve Osborne

Chris & James “Fox Force Five” (Big C’s Break Of Dawn Mix) | 1995
Remix > Andy Cato

De’Lacy “Hideaway” (Deep Dish Remix) | 1995
Remix > Ali ‘Dubfire’ Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi

Depeche Mode “It’s No Good” (BT Trance Vocal Mix) | 1997
Remix > Brian Transeau

React 2 Rhythm “Intoxication” (Bedrock Mix) | 1997
Remix > John Digweed & Nick Muir

Madonna “Ray Of Light” (Twilo Mix) | 1998
Remix > Sasha

Top 10: Cover Songs

Songs IconThe act of recording another artist’s composition can produce a brilliant interpretation that often rivals the original. And then there are cover versions that stay faithful to the source, celebrating the song’s creator. However, more often than not, tackling someone else’s tune results in rubbish intended to make money. Today, we’re in search of the the ‘good ones’, if you will—please list your ten favorite cover versions from any genre and any era, and feel free to include comments.

Shelf’s Top 10 Cover Songs (in chronological order)

Yellow Magic Orchestra “Firecracker” (1978)
Original Artist > Martin Denny (1959)

Japan “I Second That Emotion” (1980)
Original Artist > Smokey Robinson And The Miracles (1967)

Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (1981)
Original Artist > Gloria Jones (1965)

This Mortal Coil “Song To The Siren” (1983)
Original Artist > Tim Buckley (1970)

Peter Murphy “The Light Pours Out Of Me” (1985)
Original Artist > Magazine (1978)

Pet Shop Boys “Always On My Mind” (1987)
Original Artist > Elvis Presley (1972)

Renegade Soundwave “Biting My Nails” (1988)
Original Artist > Geneviève Waïte (1973)

They Might Be Giants “Istanbul [Not Constantinople]” (1990)
Original Artist > The Four Lads (1953)

Saint Etienne “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” (1990)
Original Artist > Neil Young (1970)

Happy Mondays “Step On” (1990)
Original Artist > John Kongos (1971)

Visit Jumping Someone Else’s Song for covers galore.

Top 10: Dance Tracks

Disco BallCall it Desert Island Disco. Compile your top 10 dance tracks of all time—the tunes you never tire of, from any genre and any era. In addition to hands-in-the-air anthems from your old clubbing days, you might also consider songs that evoke a memorable event, like a school dance, university party, concert, or wedding. Further adapting the Desert Island Disc format: next, pick your preferred beverage, and lastly, select the DJ with whom you’d most like to be stranded.

Shelf’s Desert Island Disco

01 Billy Idol & Generation X “Dancing With Myself” (Uptown Mix)
02 Dead Or Alive “You Spin Me Round” (Murder Mix)
03 New Order “Bizarre Love Triangle” (12″ Version)
04 Front 242 “Headhunter” (V 1.0)
05 Pet Shop Boys “Can You Forgive Her?” (Rollo Remix)
06 Leftfield Lydon “Open Up” (Full Vocal Mix)
07 Chris & James “Calm Down” (Original Club Mix)
08 The Chemical Brothers “Chemical Beats” (Original Mix)
09 Sandy B “Make The World Go Round” (Deep Dish Remix)
10 Paul van Dyk “For An Angel” (E-Werk Club Mix)

Cocktail: Stoli Vanil vodka and Seagram’s ginger ale

DJ: Paul Oakenfold

Shelf’s Desert Island Discs (2013)

Last year’s September 6 post featured my Desert Island Disc list compiled back in 1987. Given the passage of 25 years, it seemed time to refresh the selections. That prior post discussed the original BBC format (8 songs, a book, and one luxury item) and the Tower Records Pulse! variation (ten albums), upon which my old chart was based. For this update, I employed both respective criteria and created two lists comprised of all eighties choices (arranged alphabetically by artist).

Shelf’s Desert Island Discs 2013 (Pulse! format)

Cocteau Twins “Victorialand” (1986)
The Cure “Disintegration” (1989)
Dead Can Dance “Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun” (1987)
Depeche Mode “Music For The Masses” (1987)
Japan “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” (1980)
Peter Murphy “Love Hysteria” (1988)
New Order “Power, Corruption & Lies” (1983)
Pet Shop Boys “Please” (1986)
David Sylvian “Secrets Of The Beehive” (1987)
Various “Lonely Is An Eyesore” (1987)

Shelf’s Desert Island Discs 2013 (BBC format)

Dead Can Dance “Cantara” (1987)
Depeche Mode “Stripped” (1986)
Japan “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” (1980)
Joy Division “Atmosphere” (1980)
New Order “Temptation” (1982)
Pet Shop Boys “Left To My Own Devices” (1988)
The Smiths “How Soon Is Now?” (1984)
David Sylvian “Orpheus” (1987)

Book: The Trouser Press Record Guide by Ira A. Robbins
Luxury item: mosquito net

Please share your own list (either format) in the comments section. And thanks to Ric at Annual Chart for reinforcing the ‘proper albums only, no greatest hits’ rule for the first list – cheers, sir.

Shelf’s Desert Island Discs (1987)

This year marks the 70th anniversary of long-running BBC 4 radio program, Desert Island Discs, first broadcast on 29 January 1942. For those unfamiliar with the show’s premise, each week a celebrity guest is asked to select eight pieces of music, a book, and a luxury item to accompany them during an imaginary stranding on a deserted island. As the interview unfolds, discussions of the guest’s choices provide fascinating insights into their life.

That very successful concept has been borrowed and adapted worldwide on radio, television, and in print. For those who remember Tower Records, the retail chain published a magazine called Pulse!, available for free at store locations. Among the periodical’s most popular features was reader submissions of their Desert Island Disc list (consisting of ten albums, as opposed to the BBC’s criteria). Recently rummaging through some old memorabilia, I came across the November 1987 issue of Pulse!, in which my DID selections were documented.

To preface the list, I was 18 at the time and a freshman in college (also, I wouldn’t earn the nickname ‘Shelf’ until three years later). Thanks to the influence of two uncles (mom’s brothers), my musical tastes were very varied and eclectic. Their vinyl collection is really old school: classical, big band, radio shows, soundtracks, comedy, instrumental, exotica—nothing more recent than the 1960s. Growing up, those records were my musical entertainment and education; while my friends jammed to Led Zeppelin and Van Halen, I was grooving to Martin Denny and Herb Alpert.

So here’s the Desert Island Disc list that I created 25 years ago (alphabetical by artist; please forgive the glib descriptions):

Tower Records Pulse!
November 1987

Sanity Maintenance

Dear Pulse!,
I offer you my Desert Island Disc list, carefully compiled while keeping in mind that variety is necessary to maintain sanity.

01. James Bond 10th Anniversary—John Barry
James Bond is God.

02. Endless Summer—The Beach Boys
What else would you listen to on the beach?

03. Standing On A Beach—The Cure
The evolution of a cult phenomenon.

04. The Luxury Gap—Heaven 17
Some frivolous pop-dance paraphernalia.

05. Exorcising Ghosts—Japan
Impeccable music without classification or compare.

06. Greatest Hits! Volume 1—Dean Martin
Soothing, sing-along swing from my goomba, Dino.

07. A Memorial 1944-1964—Glenn Miller
Packards, F.D.R., WWII, and the music of Glenn Miller.
My image of the early ’40s.

08. Gone To Earth—David Sylvian
Music for watching the stars and moon reflect off the ocean.

09. The Joshua Tree—U2
Compelling music with soul, meaning, and drive.

10. Die Walküre—Richard Wagner
Stirring, pulse-pounding opera.

Your publication is top-notch, quite often the only thing worth reading each month. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely yours,

Christopher Martin
Philadelphia, Penn.

I guess it’s time for an update, eh? Coming soon in a future post… in the meantime, start thinking of your own DID list.