5 of the Best: Victory

With today’s fantastic result for my beloved QPR against our superstar arch-rivals Chelsea (1-0 to the R’s, in case you don’t know) in mind, here’s 5 of the Best to do with sweet, sweet victory.

Gregory Isaacs – The Winner: Syncopation – check, easy vibe – check, super-smooth vocals – check. It’s definitely Isaacs then (the first two are emblematic of any given reggae track to be honest). On what is nearly the first anniversary of ‘Cool Ruler’s’ death (Isaac’s sadly left us on 25 October last year) it feels necessary to include this and place it at the top.

Abba – The Winner Takes it All: Most may not have me down as an Abba fan, but I am. There, I said it. Now let’s move on. The melodies in this song (and countless others in their repetoire) are astonishingly catchy. Though it’s about a break-up (generally not seen as something to cheer about) its title says it all for me today.

 PJ Harvey – Victory: Wonderful, stripped-back garage/alt rock. All the necessary ingredients are there: basic, slow-yet-somehow-frenetic bass line, sloganistic chorus, distorted guitars. Why it’s straight out of the Stooges/MC5 songbook. Great song.

Patti Smith Group – Till Victory: Talking of a lady who likes a bit of garage rock… This, however, has a far bigger feeling of grandeur than the aforementioned Harvey track. Smith’s vocals are, as usual, utterly enthralling and the Baba O’ Reilly-ness of it all highlights the amazing contrasts which can appear from song to song with Patti Smith’s back catalogue. Compare this with Rock and Roll Nigga, for instance, and you’ll know what I mean. Also, that first burst of guitar does remind me of This is the One by the now-reformed Stone Roses. I wonder if they had this in mind when writing that…

David Bowie – Win: Just a lovely, calming sonic experience from Young Americans. That trebly, chorusy guitar, Bowie’s equally chorus-affected vocal, those soulful backing vocals of “It ain’t over, no”, it all just makes one tingle a bit. There are very few people in his bracket.


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