Picks Of The Year 1982 - 2022: The Video Playlists

Picks Of The Year 1993 - 2008 inclusive. There isn't enough image space on the page to include them all, sorry.[Updated 27/01/2023 to include the playlist for 2022.]

At least one of the links below tells you the full story, so I won't go through it all again. But in brief: since 1982, I've been producing an annual series of Pick Of The Year compilations, collating my favourite tracks from that year's music releases. From 1982 to 1989, they were gargantuan twin-tape affairs: between 1993 and 1997, they were single 90 minute cassettes: and since 1998, I've been burning them onto CDs. (I didn't make compilations at the time for 1990-1992, but two decades later I created some CD-length ones as a best-guess approximation with the benefit/hindrance of hindsight.)

1998 was the year that I started writing about these compilations on the interwub, as they were being produced. The years before then have been subsequently been documented on this site, with a lot of ironic pointing and laughing at the sort of junk I used to listen to. Put all that together, and you've got a hefty collection of tracks covering my musical interests from 1982 to the present day.

And thanks to YouTube, you can hear most of them right now. The playlists below aren't complete, inevitably: some artists are less happy than others about letting their product be heard for free. But the vast majority of the songs I've chosen are there in some form or other - from official record company videos, to slapdash fan-made tributes consisting of a single still image with the song playing over the top. (I guess my own Felix Project videos fall somewhere in between those two stools.)

Anyway, you've got a couple of days' worth of music here that I've liked at one time or another. And I'll be updating this page each time I produce a new POTY compilation. Enjoy.

For those of you who don't want to look at videos, there are also Spotify playlists available for each year, although many of them have at least one track missing. See the relevant pages covering the years 1982-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009 and 2010-2019. And if you make it all the way to the bottom of this page, you'll be rewarded with a single 773-song, 62 hour playlist of the whole damn lot (though the widget only displays the first hundred tracks, the coward).

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BrewDogging #82: Upminster

i just come out of the ship talking to the most blonde I ever met shouting lager lager lager lager shouting lager lager lager lager shouting lager lager lager shouting mega mega white thing mega mega white thing mega mega white thing mega mega shouting lager lager lager lager mega mega white thing mega mega white thing so many things to see and do in the tube hole true blonde going back to romford mega mega mega going back to romford how am i at having fun i know why you're on your way to a new tension headacheFor those of you who are counting, I've been in my current Moderately Responsible Job In The Computer Industry for just over four years now. It's fun to look back on my first Christmas there, when I had to explain to my new colleagues that I was going to be spending the festive season in Cardiff: not because we knew anybody there, but because we wanted to go to a bar and get them to put a little stamp in our Beer Visas. As I said here at the time, it led to a series of awkward conversations with people who were only just getting to know me, but "I'm sure they'll get used to it eventually."

Four years later, I'm telling the same people just before Christmas 2022 that I'm going to see a panto in Hornchurch because there's a newly-opened BrewDog bar a couple of miles down the road from it. They don't bat an eyelid. See, they did get used to it.

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Simian Substitute Site for January 2023: Monkey Climber Magazine


Books: Our last audiobook of 2022 is a welcome return to showbiz fluff. Trevor Horn says as much in the opening sentences of Adventures In Modern Recording, making it clear that the family tragedies that have been a major part of his life this century won’t be covered here. Instead, this is a memoir focused on his life in the music business. Horn’s professional career started as a bass player precisely at the time when big bands like the one he was in were falling out of fashion, to be replaced by beat groups. He eventually made it onto Top Of The Pops as frontman of The Buggles, but gradually realised he was better suited as a producer than a performer. The book breaks down neatly into individual chapters looking at the stories behind specific records he worked on: the chapter on Duck Rock is one of the wildest, as Horn and Malcolm McLaren wander round Africa and America recording everything they hear without having the faintest idea what sort of record they want to make. Truth be told, Horn isn’t an especially elegant writer, but he’s at his best coming up with neat verbal illustrations of his processes: like programming a precisely calibrated bass and drum track, getting the band to play along with it, and then taking the programmed bits away, which he describes as being like using tracing to come up with a picture of your own. (Except for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax, where he threw away the tracing paper instead. But that’s another story.)

Theatre: I mentioned in my review of 2022’s Edinburgh Festival that we were a bit short on theatre events, and to be honest that’s been true for the last 12 months. Happily, with just a couple of days left in the year, I finally got to see something that counts as a theatrical highlight. The Wife Of Willesden is Zadie Smith’s reworking of Chaucer’s The Wife Of Bath, transplanted to present day north-west London – it’s running at Kilburn’s Kiln theatre until February 11th. Smith keeps Chaucer’s original structure from The Canterbury Tales, with more time dedicated to our introduction to the narrator than to the actual tale she tells. Alvita (Clare Perkins) has been married five times and survived them all, so when she says she has a story about how men and women relate to each other, you need to listen. Robert Jones’ gloriously immersive pub set – pay the extra few quid to sit at one of the tables, you won’t regret it – is the perfect setting for Indhu Rubasingham’s energetic production, with a smallish cast juggling multiple roles superbly. God knows what they’ll make of it in Brooklyn when it transfers there in April, but hopefully they’ll know a good time when they see it.

Travel: Well, not travel as such. For the second year in a row, The Belated Birthday Girl and I decided to stay in a central London hotel over Christmas and let them do all the work. (Malmaison London, since you ask.) Still, along the way we got to pretend to be tourists on a couple of occasions. One was a visit to Lift 109, the newly-opened elevator ride up one of the chimneys in Battersea Power Station. Aside from disappointment at one of London’s most iconic buildings being converted into another fucking shopping centre, the main potential cause of disappointment is not being aware that even though your ticket pays for a 45 minute ‘experience’, only 8 of those minutes will be spent admiring the view at the top of the chimney – the rest of the time will be spent queuing, or interacting with low quality video displays. Go in expecting that, and you’ll have a fine time - the view from the top is lovely, especially on a clear night. But for more low-tech, longer-lasting thrills, go to the Postal Museum and its history of Britain’s world-leading post service, because your ticket price includes a 15 minute ride on the little underground train they used to use to ferry mail from one side of London to the other. The ticket gives you unlimited access to the non-rail bits of the museum for 12 months, which isn’t that terrific a deal unless you’re particularly interested in their temporary exhibits (to be fair, the current one about postcodes is pretty cool, though it's only sticking around until January 8th). But one ride on the train and a look around the exhibits is well worth fifteen quid, particularly if you check out their collection of GPO films.

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Living For The Weekend: A 2023 Diary By The BBG

At least it's not a picture of bloody Iceland this time.It was announced in November 2022 that we'll be getting an extra Bank Holiday in 2023, to mark the coronation of King Charles III. It'll be happening on May 8th, in case you were wondering.

By now, you've probably picked up a new diary or calendar for next year. Do me a favour, will you? Have a look at it now and see if that May 8th Bank Holiday is listed or not. It almost certainly isn't.

Once again, it would appear that publishing a diary just days before the end of the previous calendar year has its advantages.

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Take The Drums Out: Pick Of The Year 2022

It's the second time this picture's been used on the site this year, if that helps.Anniversaries? We’ve got ‘em. The 41st of my annual Pick Of The Year compilations, in which the best music from the previous twelve months is squashed onto the most common storage medium of the day, hits several milestones: it’s the 5th one to get a Christmas Day release, the 25th one to make it onto a CD, the 30th one that Lou has been given a copy of, and then there’s the small matter of it being 40 years this month since I first attempted to compile one. Last year, I wrapped up the 40th compilation by saying “I think ultimately, the test is going to be this: has it become a chore trying to find 80 minutes of new music that I enjoy each year? When we hit a year when that’s the case, then I guess I’ll stop. But it hasn’t happened yet.”

Still not happened.

So, with the usual season’s greetings from myself and The Belated Birthday Girl, here’s 78 minutes of the best music of 2022 in text, YouTube and Spotify form. And at the end of this page you can find the usual competition to win a copy of it as an actual CD. Can you beat Dave this year? I’ll be interested to find out.

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