CMU Playlists

Playlist: Best Of 100 Playlists

By | Published on Thursday 22 March 2012

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Since we began running our weekly playlists in 2010 we’ve had contributions from many of our favourite artists, presenters, comedians and labels, including the likes of Mary-Anne Hobbs, Yann Tiersen, School Of Seven Bells, James Lavelle, Mogwai, Deerhoof, Imogen Heap, Kid Koala, Bloc Party, and the staff of Ninja Tune. Their selections have been eclectic, surprising, inspiring and, sometimes, confusing.

Looking back through the archive, there are countless interesting points thrown up by hindsight, such as the fact that ‘X-Factor’ presenter Dermot O’Leary selected ‘Many Of Horror’ by Biffy Clyro for his playlist two and a half months before Matt Cardle was crowned the winner of the show and released a cover of it as his debut single. Coincidence? I dunno, maybe.

Very soon after we launched the playlist feature, we realised that it was actually a very interesting way to interview people – getting them to talk about their favourite songs often throwing up insights or stories you perhaps might not otherwise get out of them. As this week marks the publication of our hundredth playlist, we thought we’d take a look back through some of our favourite responses.

Look and listen back through the entire playlists archive here.

Click here to listen to the playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about why each track was chosen.

01 REM – Nightswimming
Russ Leetch, Editors: I remember making out with a girl in school whilst learning the piano to this. I thought about telling REM about this when we supported them, but eventually decided things like that should never be said to the song’s owners. Oh well, it’s on the internet now. Thanks Mike Mills, you sexual diva.

02 Kate Bush – Feel It
Scroobius Pip: Gotta love Kate Bush! This is one of the songs that switched me from casual fan to the sitting-in-a-tent-outside-her-house sort.

03 Elbow – Friend Of Ours
Tom Bellamy, Losers: Pete (Elbow’s bass player) told me about eighteen months before this record came out that he was gonna start plumbing with his brother cos it wasn’t looking good. He would have been such a good plumber too.

04 Rihanna – Russian Roulette
Mark Hamilton, Ash: Rihanna is a superstar and this song is awesome, but how long before someone actually pulls a trigger and she finds herself in court with charges of inciting suicide/death? It’s quite a brave and bold move for a major label to release this song, as they’re usually so paranoid with such a taboo subject. Our 2001 hit ‘Burn Baby Burn’ was renamed because Mushroom wouldn’t release it with its original title, ‘Slow Suicide’. During that recording session Rick (our drummer) and I actually did play Russian roulette and I literally ended up shooting myself in foot. Luckily it was only a CO² Beretta.

05 En Vogue – Don’t Let Go
Jeremy Pritchard, Everything Everything: We love this. If I could be in any girl group it’d be En Vogue. Or Destiny’s Child. Anyway, you can taste all the sumptuous drama. It also always reminds me of dark Sunday evenings doing homework in the 90s!

06 The Divine Comedy – Sweden
Tim Key: When I first moved to London I bought a bad version of an iPod and couldn’t make it work so I only had one album on it – ‘Fin De Siecle’. Pretty happy with it though. This song’s stupid but comfortably makes my top ten.

07 Slick Rick – Children’s Story
Wrongtom: Slick Rick made the first record I ever bought. I almost put ‘La Di Da Di’ on here but ‘Children’s Story’ is actually a better track. He set the benchmark for story telling in hip hop here – funny, compelling and catchy without even needing a hook. He was born in Wimbledon too – Womble forever.

08 The Human League – Being Boiled
Gary Numan: Another band that were doing things somewhat differently to the norm. This should have been the song that heralded in the electronic movement to the masses. Luckily for me, it wasn’t.

09 The Fall – Dr Buck’s Letter
Adam Buxton: Mark E Smith is one of the few genuinely funny people in rock and is on good form on this track in which he reads out sections from an interview with Pete Tong, featuring a list of things the house record playing genius never leaves home without. Smith starts to chuckle at one point, apparently amused by the banality. “I was in the realm of the essence of Tong”, he concludes winningly.

10 Patience And Prudence – Gonna Get Along Without You Know
Cassie Ramone, Vivian Girls: Patience And Prudence have been a huge influence on Vivian Girls over the past year and a half. Their songs are innocent and creepy. We aspire to their level of innocence and creepiness.

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