“Tom’s Diner” is a curious track with a fascinating history. The version most of us know is a dance remix, and at the time was an unofficial dance remix under the threat of being banned for not having cleared rights to the Suzanne Vega vocal. That vocal has been cited as being the final test for mp3 compression during its creation. Here it is reinvented again as an androgynous sex-robot electronic stomper of a track, the narrative untouched but yet with the story utterly reinvented.
Of course the piece of paper on which I had written songs for consideration on this blog has great big lines of scribble through some choices. This is the most scribbled. I remember feeling genuinely conflicted about the song when I first heard it, uncertain about the great big neon light reinvention and in particular Britney’s pop robot vocal treatment. The song has not truly stood up without the 90s dance reworking with which we’re so familiar, so why should one tinkering be accepted while another is not? Perhaps I will remain conflicted for some time yet.
Back in 2013 I had an idea. You can see the Index for that idea here. Very pop-orientated. Very mainstream. I have pop sensibility and like a chorus strong enough to use as ballast, but really, I’m surprised by my choices coming across as more Radio 2 than 6Music. I would not choose the same list, nor put it in the same order now.
One year later is my 2014 Index . It is certainly less mainstream, maybe not organised quite how I would if doing it again (opening with Katy B, now there’s a misunderstanding about drawing in readers).
This year has seen my Spotify, SoundCloud, and ‘tucked in the back of the brain’ longlists growing by the week. Soon I will confirm the results of all that here – and as ever, the chosen 24 songs are presented in no particular order. In so many ways, this ain’t a chart.