Top 5

Nathan pinged me so I have to do this. I am currently suffering at home with an infection, rather than out drinking and chatting with the London Lotus crowd. Bah! What a disappointment. Anyway, here goes (although it’s a top 5, it’s not in any particular order: coming up with the list was hard enough, never mind ranking it)…

  1. One Little Victory - Rush. We’ve discussed the production quality of this album before, but there’s no question about the power of this as an intro to Vapor Trails. Awesome.
  2. Runnin’ With The Devil- Van Halen. Of course. The first track of their eponymous debut has to be in any list like this doesn’t it??
  3. Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve, from Urban Hymns. Those strings, oh, those strings…
  4. A Pain That I’m Used To - Depeche Mode. A System 700 kicks off Playing The Angel, one of my favourite albums of 2005, with full-on analog raucousness
  5. Radio Musicola - Nik Kershaw. This is the title track of the album, and also opens it (obviously). The intro to the track is great, but live it’s even better, as Kershaw does one of his trademark Holdsworth-ian guitar solos over the beats. I never tire of this song

That was hard. In fact, knowng me this list will probably change all the time, but what can you do.


  1. Man, I love Depeche Mode, and A Pain That I'm Used To. I just figured the hardcore DM fans wouldn't want us picking something so new. But man, what a great song huh?

    I think that album may be one of their all-time best!

  2. It certainly comes close. I think Violator pips it to number oneā€¦Ben Poole#
  3. Playing The Angel restored my faith after Devastator. I like A Pain That I'm Used To, but that into nearly makes me jump out of my skin! I also really like Precious. As for DM albums, I'm partial to Music For The Masses, in particular I Want You Now (and of course Strangelove). I picked up a two-disc import that included a bonus CD with remixes of Enjoy The Silence. There's an 11 minute version that includes a segment played by a string orchestra that is just stunning.Charles Robinson#
  4. @3 - Charles, if you got the extended versions of Enjoy the Silence, then you should have the Riki Tik Tik mix. That's my personal favorite.

    Of course, all my favorite DM tunes are the ones where Wilder takes the basic song structure and just goes insane in ProTools. (Kinda like Shinoda on the Reanimated tracks, only old school.) The Highland mix of Strangelove is another good one for that. And of course, on Masses, you have the Never Let Me Down - Aggro Mix, which was one of the very first riffs I ever learn to play on a synth. (Right behind the 7/8 lead from Tom Sawyer, actually.)

    Post-Wilder DM was never the same for me. And therefore I often recommend checking out Recoil, Alan's solo project. Faith Healer, the opener from Bloodline, almost made my "Top 5 you don't listen to" list.

    Anyway, interesting choices, Ben! Fun to see OLV on there. The Vapor Trails mastering stuff was before I was a reader here, but I'll weigh in with a "Brian Gardner needs a new mixer, or a new set of ears." But still, Secret Touch, Nocturne and Freeze are definitely peak moments for the band.

    Note: if I were picking a Rush opener besides Tom Sawyer, I'd have to go with Animate. "one two three four one two…"

    Or maybe Force Ten… that opening choir in A-min with that meaty guitar and the jackhammer samples. *SHUDDER*

    Or perhaps Dreamline. Or The Big Money. Or Distant Early Warning. Or The friggin Spirit of Radio!!!

    Okay, crap…. I give up. Rush always starts albums brilliantly. Even Bastille Day just riffs your face off in the opening bars.Nathan T. Freeman#

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