From the category archives:

Songs to Learn and Sing

#1093: 1988, The Fall, Big New Prinz

January 26, 2018

I was a first year student at the LSE in 1988, fresh with the excitement of the big city. My main reason for wanting to study at the LSE, had nothing whatever to do with that institution (though my Dad liked the fact that Mick Jagger was briefly a student there) or my chosen subject. […]

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#1092: 1979, OMD, Electricity

January 26, 2018

Yesterday…. my house…. youngest child (to me) – ‘Dad, what does OCD stand for?’ me (dismissively and attempting a lame joke) – ‘Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.’ youngest child – ‘well my brother has got Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark….’ Made me laugh. Also made me revisit their debut single – I hadn’t appreciated what […]

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#1091: 2017, Portugal, The Man – Feel It Still

November 12, 2017

As a rule I hate my kid’s music. They’re little, they’re yet to listen to anything that remotely has an edge to it, indeed most of it appears to consist of shouting the same lyric over again, because it doesn’t scan with the tuneless nonsense that passes for a melody. I suppose it’s not meant […]

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#1090: 1988, Michelle Shocked, Anchorage

August 26, 2017

This year, my almost annual visit to the USA has taken me to “the largest state in the Union” – both the USA’s and my 49th state. There are a number of songs I could have picked to reflect this: perhaps Dwight Yoakam‘s North to Alaska (or the Johnny Horton original). Or, if I was […]

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#1089: 2012, Viv Albertine, Confessions of a Milf

January 31, 2017

Last weekend, the lads of All That’s Left went away for a weekend in the country. As well as drinking what the experts tell us is the safe amount of alcohol for a month over 36 hours, there was a lot of music. One of my picks was this, my favourite find so far of […]

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#1088: 2016, Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker

December 6, 2016

It seems like years ago since I last posted a song. And, it’s true, in that time, much seems to have happened, and most of it seems to have been bad. One of the worst things has been the death of Leonard Cohen – one of the true giants, a poet, a musician, a legend, […]

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#1087: 1978, Kate Bush, The Man With The Child In His Eyes

December 2, 2016

2016 really has been a godawful year in so many ways.   Perhaps the winner of the ‘worst year since the Second World War’ competition.  Politically – Brexit, Trump, the Labour Party descending into an unelectable leftist cult, the rise and rise of Marine Le Pen in France.  Artistically – the deaths of David Bowie, […]

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#1086: 2016, Kate Tempest, Europe Is Lost

October 10, 2016

Pretty good angry analysis of so much of what’s going wrong from the poet/rapper Kate Tempest. I’m usually a bit more positive but quite hard when you put it like this and with everything going on. “I can’t see an ending at all, only the end” Um…

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#1085: 2016, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree

September 15, 2016

When Nick Cave’s 15 year old son Arthur died of head injuries after falling from a cliff last July, a parent’s greatest fear and worst nightmare became so horribly real for him. After a period of private mourning, Cave has now released a breathtakingly beautiful, grief-strewn album about the tragic loss of his son. A […]

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#1084: 1980, Grace Jones, Private Life

August 10, 2016

There are great albums and then there are very good albums. For me, truly great albums are a pantheon of about 50 or so and few artists record more than one. For example, taking The Beatles, Revolver, Abbey Road and Sergeant Pepper are great albums whilst Help, Rubber Soul and The White Album are very […]

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#1083: 2009, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Home

July 25, 2016

We had a couple of days of sunshine up here – which was strange as it was July, school holidays and up here, is North Wales where things don’t tend to get sunny. What was even stranger was that the sunshine co-incided with me having a few hours off work – so, I decided to […]

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#1082: 1977, Suicide, Ghost Rider

July 23, 2016

Last week saw the sad death of Alan Vega, the lead singer of New York electronic punk act, Suicide, who have so far never had a song in Songs To Learn and Sing. With their minimalistic electronic sounds and repetitive drum machine backing, Suicide were in their way almost as influential as Kraftwerk. Famous for […]

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#1081: 1957, Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock

July 7, 2016

A couple of reasons for my pick today.  Firstly I went to see Elvis & Nixon with Jackie South last Sunday.  A small but entertaining enough film (with a superb performance by Kevin Spacey as Richard Nixon) about the bizarre true story of the King of Rock N Roll turning up announced at the White […]

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#1080: 2016, Meilyr Jones, Refugees

June 23, 2016

Our ‘europop’ theme on Songs To Learn And Sing has faltered and lacking inspiration for it myself I’ve decided to post this instead – a beautiful, touching song from my current favourite album, 2013. In some uncertain indirect way it feels appropriate on this big political day with so much at stake. PS Bear with […]

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#1079: 2005, Tiësto, Adagio for Strings

June 10, 2016

Welcome to the second song in our Euro 2016 / EU Referendum Europop theme week. Adagio for Strings by Dutch DJ Tiësto was released in January 2005. The song is a cover of the original composition by classical composer Samuel Barber. It was voted by Mixmag readers as the second greatest dance record of all […]

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#1078: 1993, Haddaway, What is Love?

June 9, 2016

Oh yes! C’est Oui! Ja Ja! Siiii! (er I’m struggling now) It’s a uniquely Eurotastic time for all of us! Tomorrow the European Championships start (I’m actually struggling to get enthused about them), and next week is the Euro Referendum (I’m starting to worry about my will to live on that score as well). So […]

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#1077: 1996, Manic Street Preachers, Australia

May 24, 2016

On today’s Channel 4 News: an item on the Northern Irish football team’s preparations for the European Championship, including a discussion about replacing God Save The Queen as their national anthem for something more inclusive of all their communities. Surely, the obvious candidate is the greatest song by the province’s greatest ever band: Teenage Kicks? […]

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#1076: 2009, Kasabian, Underdog

May 16, 2016

I’m watching the news, to be more specific I’m watching 150,000 ecstatic people who have lined the streets of Leicester to pay tribute to their football team for winning the league. It’s amazing. This is the night none of these people every expected to see. It’s a Roy of the Rovers night, jubilation against all […]

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#1075: 1985, The Redskins, Bring It Down (This Insane Thing)

May 2, 2016

Today is May Day.  International Workers’ Day.  Well  by the time this post is up, the Bank Holiday to celebrate it.  So time for a proper socialist song. This is from an era, the mid-1980s, when even the pop bands like Wham! and Simply Red were political. The Redskins were the real thing though, giving […]

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#1074: 1987, Prince, Sign ‘☮’ The Times

April 25, 2016

Prince RIP. Prince was quite possibly the most difficult artist to pigeonhole. Throughout his incredible career, he was a musical magpie hopping around rock, pop, R&B, funk, soul, jazz, blues, disco and gospel. Personally, like most people, I love his imperial phase through the 1980s – where he produced some of the best albums of […]

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#1073: 2016, Iggy Pop, Gardenia

April 18, 2016

Gardenia comes from Iggy Pop’s recently released superb album Post Pop Depression. It is quite possibly the most David Bowie Berlin era sounding song ever recorded by someone who isn’t David Bowie. Iggy Pop co-wrote and recorded the album with Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and it completely recaptures his Berlin era collaborations […]

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#1072: 1969, Merle Haggard, Hungry Eyes

April 6, 2016

Country legend Merle Haggard sadly died today, on his 79th birthday, from pneumonia complications. Somehow, we have got to song 1072 without a song by the Hag, and so this tribute is well over due. Haggard often gets a bad rap from the left: his most iconic song, Okie from Muskogee about a conservative Oklahoman view […]

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#1071: 2012, Savages, Husbands

March 19, 2016

2016 has been a busy old time for us all here at All That’s Left one way and another in our lives beyond this blog, hence our frankly shameful lack of output this year. For me, it has also meant that I haven’t been to any gigs this year until Thursday. But what a great […]

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#1070: 1978, Earth Wind and Fire, September

March 13, 2016

There have been a number of sad deaths of music greats this year so far. We have paid tribute to David Bowie, Paul Katner and Signe Toly Anderson from Jefferson Airplane and George Martin. In addition Glen Frey of the Eagles and this week prog-keyboard legend Keith Emerson passed away (the latter from suicide apparently). […]

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#1069: 1963, The Beatles, Please Please Me

March 9, 2016

George Martin has died today, aged 90. I have to say, we went mental on these pages about David Bowie and his influence on music and popular culture, which was quite right, but, in my opinion, the influence of George Martin is just as profound. Without the wonderful production of Martin, the Beatles wouldn’t have […]

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#1068: 1976, Billy Joel, Prelude/Angry Young Man

February 23, 2016

Angry Young Man is taken from Billy Joel’s 1976 Turnstiles album. The song paints a picture of youthful activism and rebellion that is ultimatly futile and leads to the character in the song becoming an angry old man, ulimately failing to change the world and left to rage against the world without ever being able […]

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#1067: 2014, Parker Millsap, Yosemite

February 15, 2016

I meant to post this yesterday as my contribution to Valentine’s Day. A lovely song from the (very) young singer-songwriter taken from his great 2014 self-titled album. Makes me want to go to the national park. One of these days I’m going to strike it rich I’m going to take you to Yosemite Park And […]

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#1066: 1966, Jefferson Airplane, Blues From An Airplane

February 9, 2016

2016 has been a busy year for Rock’N’Roll’s Grim Reaper. Whilst we were still reeling from the demise of Lemmy in the closing days of 2015 we had the devastating loss of the genius of David Bowie. Then last week, Maurice White, the outlandish and eccentric driving force of Earth Wind and Fire shuffled off […]

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#1065: 2013, Jason Isbell, Stockholm

February 4, 2016

Although I am still revelling in the sheer number of superb gigs I went to in 2015, we are now in a new year and increasingly my mind is turning to the exciting gigs in the diary to come. My first taste of live music this year came a couple of Fridays back with Alabaman […]

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#1064: 1982, The Clash, Straight To Hell

January 30, 2016

In another time and another place, I spend the summer in Bow working for a computer wholesaler. My first year at University has ended and I have decided to stay in London rather than go home, which has caused a bit of unhappiness with my mother. My job is to deal with customer complaints. I […]

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