My Top 5 Playlist of 2014

What a strange sonic world I live in! My Top plays on iTunes each year is an absolute revelation of how bizarre my tastes are. So here they are: The songs I listened to most in 2014:

1. Pistol Packin' Mama by The Andrews Sisters - I have always adored the Andrews Sisters, and one of thier songs is in my Top 5 every year. Strange that this year I was obsessed with this little paean to gun violence. But what a fantastic track. Besides, in its final line it contains a prayer for peace: Lay that crazy pistol down!

2. Come on and Find Me by Helen Terry - An album track from Blue Notes, a forgotten 80s classic from Culture Club's super-talented backing singer Helen Terry. An incredible voice, and this is a wonderfully soulful song, with plenty of gospel elements.

3. Cry and be Free by Marilyn - Probably Marilyn's best song, this is a song about being emotionally available which, it was rumoured, was dedicated to Tom Bailey, lead singer of the Thompson Twins (no scandal, Marilyn just had a crush on him and thought helooked sad). When he appeared on Top of the Pops singing this, Marilyn was at his most utterly beautiful.

4. Freeway of Love by Aretha Franklin - This is something of an anthem of my youth, and I can never quite figure out what she's saying here. But I'm certain it's some kind of sexual analogy. True 80s soul.

5. Blue Bell Knoll by The Cocteau Twins - Again, there is always a Cocteau Twins song on my Top 5. I have been in love with them since I was a child, and there is no occasion when you can't put on a Cocteau Twins song. This one's kind of mysterious and Hammer, slightly Kate Bush-ey. Love it, and it gets me motivated.


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