You are about to enter The 143.
In the first half of 2013, I decided to make a playlist for my proprietory MP3 player consisting only of the very best songs ever committed to vinyl, disc, tape or the ether. I made some rules for myself, because without rules, you have anarchy, and because I am a man. No artist would be allowed more than one song, unless they recorded under another name, or with another artist (thus, the Wu Tang Clan are allowed one, and Ghostface Killah is allowed one; the Supremes, and Diana Ross; Blur, and The Good, The Bad & The Queen; and so on). This way, I would be forced to select only the very pinnacle of any chosen artist’s repertoire to enter the hallowed halls of The 143.
I intended to create a playlist of 50. Bearing in mind I only had the 11,988 songs already uploaded to and stored in my proprietory digital library to choose from, I was still amazed how quickly I flew by the 50 mark, and then the 100 mark. I stopped when I had gathered every vital song in my library, and I had 143. These were The 143. I have been playing this playlist in my ears ever since, shuffling it randomly, and constantly updating it, so that if a song fails to match my memory or it, it is removed, and replaced. The 143 is fluid.
This blog is an attempt to cement that playlist. Each entry will be logged here, and to varying degrees, described. I am a writer. I’ve been writing about music since the electric typewriter, sometimes for money, so it should not be beyond my descriptive powers. (That said, writing about music is like dancing about architecture, so we’re all on a hiding to nothing before we start.)
In a perfect world, each entry will inspire rapture or enmity, and a dialogue will begin. These choices are by their nature personal. They are mine. I’m hoping our tastes will cross over more than once. There is no carving into tablets of stone here. If it generates a few happy memories, then none of it will be wasted.
Come on, as those cartoon hippos on the early 21st century yogurt advert used to implore, dive in.