Monday, 7 January 2013

My Top Ten Only One Songs

No. Not 'One & Only'. Chesney Hawkes fans, I'm sorry, there's nothing here for you today...

10.  The Clint Boon Experience - Only One Way I Can Go

Mr. Boon... play that tune!

9. Arctic Monkeys - Only Ones Who Know

A timely ditty from the second Monkeys album...
And I hope you're holding hands by New Year's Eve,
They made it far too easy to believe,
That true romance can't be achieved these days
8. The Sundays - You're Not The Only One I Know


7. Jimmy Ruffin - Maria (You Were The Only One)

Michael Jackson also recorded this. But with all due respect... not half as well as Jimmy.

6. Karine Polwart - Only One Way

The Scottish singer-songwriter whose first name I stole for one of my characters in Department of the Peculiar. (Not bought your copy yet? Get it here.)
And when a genocidal maniac talks about grief
And you kinda get the feeling that there’s nothing underneath
But you can’t believe a man would lie through such nice teeth
There's only one way
5. Billy Bragg - The Only One
The chain that fell off my bike last night
Is now wrapped round my heart
Sometimes I think that
Fate has been against us from the start
 No one writes 'em like Billy.

4. Harry Chapin - There Was Only One Choice

14 minutes long... and not a second wasted. A masterclass in songwriting... all about writing songs.
Strum your guitar -- sing it kid
Just write about your feelings -- not the things you never did
Inexperience -- it once had cursed me
But your youth is no handicap -- it's what makes you thirsty
3. The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet

OK, that rule I have about not including band names in my Top Tens? Breakable if the song's as good as this one. Space travel's in my blood...

2. Huey Lewis & The News - The Only One

A belter from Huey's second album, Picture This. The story of a high school hero whose later life leads to tragedy. You know, the sort of kid you think: he's got it made... and then, years later, you find out how much he blew it. I'd forgotten how much I loved this song when I was a teenager. Perhaps I was maliciously wishing a similar fate on some of the "popular" kids I knew in high school...

1. The Charlatans - The Only One I Know

The Charlies' biggest hit has a fantastic funky intro, and a Hammond organ that could only have come from the early 90s.

I chose ten... but you can have only one. Obviously.


  1. and I've had 'I am the one and only' earworm since I first saw you had posted. This is not a good thing.

    1. Hey, it's not my fault if your ears lead you that way.

  2. Just for The Sundays alone, I love you.

  3. I don't have any good suggestions, I'm just glad the bloody Levellers aren't on this list.

    1. You'll be disappointed to learn that I woke up at five o'clock this morning thinking*, "Shit, I forgot The Levellers!" and then had to content myself with the fact that the song's only called 'One Way' even though they sing "There's ONLY ONE way of life..." throughout.

      It was shallow consolation... until now.

      (*And yes, my life IS that sad.)

  4. Lesley really liked the Levellers when we met, has several of their albums, and even dragged me along to see them a couple of times, but that's still the only song of theirs I could name.


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