This is likely one of my last Alphabetti Spaghetti’s for a while - it’s taken quite a bit out of me really - although I did promise to do an Anime one at some stage. I’ve been putting this one off for the longest time, as it’s the most complex really in every way.
Certain songs grab your attention immediately as nagging earworms. but can then become cloying and annoying - while others creep into your conscience and become pretty constant perennials. Truth is that this is forever in flux - some of your favourite tracks could be overlooked at any moment, or you choose to demote them and favour others. For me, as with most things - it’s very susceptible to mood, emotion and occasion.
Nevertheless I’ve tried my best to deep-mine all my lifetime favourites, although chances are I’ve overlooked a fair few, and possibly promoted others unfairly. In any case I have thousands of favourite songs and tracks across a vast variety of genres, and I’ve tried to include most / many of those here. It’s a really tough challenge though, and I tried to set myself some arbitrary rules initially, but soon threw those out the window - there should be no rules here really.
For those that struggle with this exercise it’s a matter of checking through your playlists - and seeing what stuff you listen to the the most, and what maintains a lingering affections even after all these years. It’s physically impractical and impossible to cover absolutely everything - which is why the emphasis is really just on selecting songs for each of the 27 categories - numbers, then full alphabet as I have done. Some categories have more options and alternatives than others, yet many are heavily conflicted.
I’ve tried to maintain some control over balance here - as I really have quite a broad pallet, yet some categories will always be under-represented, and others rather overblown. In any case - Enjoy!
Note 1 - I will likely edit this periodically and the preferred cuts may change at any given time!
Note 2 - Alternatives up for consideration are listed alphabetically below each chosen highlight
Note 3 - This is but a carefully curated small fraction of the whole - I’ve tried to be very selective here in trying to attain a good balance of genres, I have very deliberately not listed all my favourites - that list would go on for ever ...
I was sort of torn here between the chosen one above and 3 AM Eternal - for now it's Azealia Banks for the win!
The first of my slightly obscure ones - some great alternatives here - but 'Are You The One' still does it for me - a worthy winner!
I'm a huge fan of music with interesting percussion, and Bureaucrat of Flaccostreet is a real standout cut all these years later - it really should be more popular than it is!
I picked this one up from American Honey - my favourite film of 2016 - it had a great soundtrack - including this catchy jam.
One of a few guilt pleasures here - great opening hook to a song - and yes I will still get on the dancefloor to this - I can't explain it, there's some euphoric ingredients in the mix here which are still addictive all these years later.
Of course I grew up with the Rocky movies and I recall hearing this on the car radio on the way to the appropriate movie at the time - another song with a great opening. Works well in the film too!
One of my Classic Vocal House dancefloor favourites - pretty much always works for me - must have dance to it a thousand times and I still like it.
A super rarity that I used to start my set with on occasion back in my sometime DJ days - made by Renaat Vandepapeliere founder and the 'R' in legendary Belgian R&S record label. (The 'S' is for his wife Sabine).
For the longest time the only Smiths track I truly loved, have warmed to others since then. Really love this track - that vibey tremolo sounds amazing - have lots of different versions of this - remixes, bootlegs and covers, but the original is still strong - just a perfectly produced track.
I really have a thing for twittery synth hooks, and this has one of the best - One of my favourite songs ever. Just a perfect confection of superb production and arrangement which has all the right hooky elements in the mix - this is probably the perfect template of a track for me.
Another funky Jam that was all over those early London raves back in the day - very liberally 'borrows' from Derrick May's 'Strings of Live' - but funks it up into a hip-house style. Some of the purists don't like this, but it works well on the 'floor!
I'm a huge fan of Grimes / Claire Boucher and have everything she has released to date - this one is probably my favourite of all her singles.
David Bowie is one of my 3 favourite musicians - alongside Björk and Prince of Course. Favourite track of his is split between this and China Girl. Nile Rodgers really worked his magic on this - another class opening hook and funky as.
Another slightly leftfield choice here from my favourite Japanese Hip Hop Jazz album - just beautifully tasteful Jazz 'n' Beats - sheer class!
All of Sigur Rós's sophomore album is genius - the way the atmosphere builds and slightly unworldly sounds evolve to blend elegantly with emotive melodies. It's the kind of music you just melt into.
One of the best basslines of all time - the rhythm section just kills it on this track. This has been a perennial favourite since I first witnessed the video on MTV.
Just a great stand-out track, not necessarily immediately recognisable as Depeche Mode in style - but the vocals are unmistakably Dave Gahan.
Not a huge selection for 'Q', but all those featured here are still classics, including this mid-tempo latinesque house groove - proper grown-up house!
iiO's debut album could easily have been called 'Enduring Club Classic Vol 1' but was named Poetica instead, and every track still sounds amazing. The combination of Nadia Ali and Markus Moser has rarely been bettered, and this is their signature track - wonderful middle-eastern inflected vocals make it sound all the more exotic - pretty much everyone loves this particular track.
Simply gorgeous - it's incredible that Massive Attack can still keep on delivering these beautifully emotional beat poems with such regularity. It's sort of melancholy yet simultaneously uplifting.
I've always felt that there was a direct lineage between this and 'The Chemical Brothers' - the 'Beat'-les were decades ahead of their time in sound production and engineering - a timeless modern track.
Probably my favourite 'Club Track' of all time - just wonderful atmospherics here - hauntingly beautiful!
Another very percussively interesting track with rhythm section changing and evolving throughout - pretty much as equally timeless as the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows - and equally ahead of its time.
This is simply the most beautifully evocative awe-inspiring track I know - truly emotional!
Another perennial big room club classic - chunky, throbbing, blissful, dancefloor blazer. Not much for X as such, but still a handful of goodies.
There have been many versions of this, including the Jamie Principle original, but in my mind the best version is #2 - with Frankie Knuckles in on the collaboration with some deft studio touches.
Video can be found here - www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxp8-JP2rM
It is alas not embeddable! Great modern melodic instrumental house though. Generally quite slim pickings for 'Z' not surprisingly!
I had no idea how much effort this would take when I headed down this rabbit hole - it's been rather physically, spiritually and emotionally challenging, but quite euphoric in the end too.
I set out to create not a fully comprehensive, but eclectically representative list of some of my favourites - the full list would simply be ludicrous. I initially entertained some arbitrary rules about how often a particular artist could appear in these listings, but in the end I was more concerned with covering as broad a field as possible.
There is a somewhat random element in here as some may feel certain categories over-represented and others at the opposite scale. Nevertheless I have tried to achieve some sort of balance - not necessarily in frequency, but in the depth and width and scope of material covered - ranging across a good 6 decades of musical evolution.
We feature original, covers, collaborations, mashups, reworks and remixes - so hopefully there is something for everyone here. I would love to know what your own Alphabetti lists are too! - just the 27 highlighted ones of course...