“So in up over my head I was seeing red
I had the ten-year Tory blues
Down in my pointed shoes
And all hell to pay”
So sings Jonathan Beckett in the early stages of this, the final of our trio of Occultation releases from 2010, before eventually unfurling a list of musicians who helped him through the dark days. One rather hopes that at the end of this decade we will not have anyone feeling a similar way, although it must be admitted that there is something remarkably heartening in seeing how just a few months of Tory rule has sparked fires of discontent. Whatever...
Now Umberto Eco has said that we like lists because we don’t want to die, so at least it’s nice to know the reason for all those Saturday morning hours spent completing Facebook memes... Anyway, I’m guessing he thinks this is the same reason we like list songs. Songs where we can make easy, immediate connections. Songs where we can both empathise and argue the toss.
My guess is that anyone who regularly drops by the world of Unpopular would find themselves smiling at the groups and artists Jonathan lists in ‘1989’. Even if, like me, you do not quite hold with his retreat from blissed-out beats... Of course as a reflection on the value of their influence the list is far from exhaustive and as Jonathan says some artists were chosen as much for the cadence of the name as anything else, but nevertheless it’s a list you feel tempted to use as the basis of at least one mix tape.