Unless you’ve had your head under a rock for the past week, you’ll know all to well the Guardian newspaper over here in the UK has been running a glorious series over the week of ‘1000 songs you must hear’. Today’s theme was ‘Party Songs’, and we thought we’d be nice boys and girls and serve you up five of our favourites for download. Yum yum.
Dare was the tipping point for Gorillaz, the moment the music eclipsed the annoying virtual band concept. It starts with a Shepard scale; an auditory illusion that sounds like it’s continually rising, but in fact never gets any higher. A lot like the song itself. There’s no verse-chorus structure, just Damon Albarn’s falsetto, fuzzy synth bass and a guest appearance from Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder on loop, but the excitement keeps on building throughout. Clever stuff.
A seemingly effortless meld of Don Was’s slick big-band production, Fred Schnider’s fairground bark, the piping harmonies and Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson and the dirty blues guitar and Keith Strickland. Love Shack gave the B-52’s their first mainstream hit more than a decade into their career. Inspired by the cabin in Athens, Georgia, where the band wrote their early songs, it was a tribute to original guitar Ricky Wilson who died of aids-related illnesses in 1985.
Get the girls on the floor and you’ve got yourself a party. Got Your Money is a hip-hop party all on its own. Produced by The Neptunes when they were at their peak, MCed by the sadly departed Ol’ Dirty Bastard and featuring Kelis, Got Your Money was an all-star cast of late 90’s talent – and it shows. A Tune that never fails to ignite the party.
Chas Jenkel’s musical nous and Ian Dury’s wordsmithery combine to perfection on this blast of brilliant nonsense that sold nearly a million copies on its initial release. The music is a thick funk gumbo (largely down to Norman Watt-Roy’s heavy, busy bassline) as Dury rhymes the likes of “Borneo” with “Bordeaux”, “Eskimo” with “Aprapho”, and “Milan” with “Yucatan” before breaking in the glorious nutty chorus. Davey Payne’s double saxophone break is manicl; the Blockheads never hit these heights again.
Having been on the indie radar since the early 1990’s, when they set fire to a picture of Morrissey outside EMI’s office, it took a speeded up remix by Norman Cook to bring Cornershop to the masses. The East meets West dual celebration of the aspirational power of Indian cinema and the seven-inch single (“Mines on the 45”) struck a chord, reaching number 1 in the UK.