Lots to choose from in ‘N’. Please continue to add your own choices. Any artist, album, band or song, as long as the name begins with ‘N’.
After the end of Joy Divison came New Order. This British band formed in 1980, and took the burgeoning dance music scene by storm, with their driving electronic beats, and a style just perfect for this new craze. In 1983, they released a record that became one of the biggest sellers of all-time, and remains an anthem to the genre, to this day.
Odyssey were one of the New York soul and dance groups that emerged in the 1970s, and produced many hits that have endured ever since. Still played all the time on radio stations, and much-loved as party music too. Their first worldwide hit was also one of their best. It feels like it has never dated.
Native New Yorker
This next song is always associated with the smooth sound of Nat King Cole. He released this ballad as long ago as 1948, and it still sounds great now. I could have snapped up the chance for a double ‘N’ by using Nat’s version. However, I have always liked to hear George Benson sing this song, so I chose him instead, from the wonderful album ‘Give me the Night’.
American band Nirvana have a huge number of fans, and I confess that I am not one of them. But as I always like to be completely honest, I have to admit to a great admiration for their biggest commercial success, from 1991. So here it is.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Some songs get better every time you hear them. And some actually improve on the original, albeit rarely. And sometimes, not actually liking the person that much can put you off a song, but not in this case. Not only arguably one of the best love songs ever written, this is also possibly the best cover version to ever improve on an original. Everyone knows it, but I could not leave it off. It is just too good to hope that someone else would mention it. Despite thinking the original from Prince was just marvellous, I was completely blown away by this epic version from Irish singer, Sinead O’Connor. Quite simply one of my favourite songs of all time. Musical magic.
Nothing Compares 2 U
No Steely Dan today, but a ‘sort-of’. One half of that great American duo, Donald Fagen, released a solo album in 1982 called ‘The Nightfly’. This has a Jazz feel to it on some tracks, but the unmistakable voice and great song construction made it seem just like the ‘next Steely Dan album’ to me. So, a double ‘N’ for The Nightfly, and this great song from it too.
My top pick today is from someone you might never have heard of. Scottish singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini took the charts by storm with his debut release, in 2006. A second album cemented his fan base, and gained yet more critical acclaim. He then had a five-year absence before his last release, in 2014. Although he still tours and performs, he has never managed to recapture that early success. No matter, as he left behind one of my favourite songs of the 21st century. It will be in my head all week now.