No round numbers, no meaningless anniversaries to celebrate: it's just another standard one of those Pick Of The Year compilations I've been making since 1982, cramming my favourite tunes from the preceding twelve months into an arbitrary 120/180/90/80 minute framework depending on the storage medium used. (It's 80 minutes this year, as it has been since 1998. Although for the first couple of those years I was using a crappy CD burner that gave up after somewhere in the low 70s.)
Once again, there's going to be a competition (closing date 11.59pm GMT on January 31st 2015) for anyone who wants to win a CD copy of this compilation: and to give you a bit of a heads-up, passing familiarity with the previous 32 may be helpful to you this year. But we'll get to that eventually: for now, here are my 17 favourite songs of the year, with videos for the 16 of them whose rights aren't being administered by over-zealous Japanese record companies. For example, this first track coming up below.