Maths lessons continue. This week: subtraction. Take it away...
10. Pavement - 5-4 = Unity
Malkmus goes jazz. It makes sense on the album, and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is arguably the very best Pavement album. There is a rare version with vocals, but I think I prefer the instrumental... and you won't hear me say that very often. Yeah, I know the 5-4 is a time signature, not a subtraction... but it looks enough like a sum to make the grade.
Of course, this track owes a huge debt to my Number #2 this week... but we'll get to that soon enough.
9. Charlie Louvin - Two Minus One
Here's country pioneers The Louvin Brothers minus one (Charlie's brother Ira). No wonder he's lonesome.
8. Marion - Minus You
Britpop casualties, though this out-take from their second album (released only on the Japanese version) stands up strong, if you like that Suede-y sound. Marion are touring the 20th anniversary of their debut record this month. It's good to see there's life in the old dogs yet.
7. Tavares - Don't Take Away The Music
Ralph, Pooch, Tubby, Butch and Tiny give it their all in this triumphant disco anthem. Not as good as Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel or Whodunit, but few things are.
6. Dr. John - Me Minus You Equals Loneliness
Voodoo blues direct from New Orleans. Perfect for a warm summer evening... sorry, Ihave a feeling we saw the last of those for a while this week...
5. Paul McCartney - Take It Away
80s cod-reggae McCartney: do I apologise now or later? Look, it's got George Martin on keyboards! Look, it's got Ringo on drums! Look, it's got John Hurt in the video! Look it's got...
How is it possible to be so annoyed by one smugly-slappable star yet find so many of his songs addictive? I wish I understood pop music.
4. Beck - Minus
Remember when Beck sounded mad and scary like this? It seems so long ago...
It's a sensationYeah, thanks, Beck. Nice Beck. Don't hurt me, Beck.
A bankrupt corpse
In the garbage classes
With the crutches of frogs
Frogs! Frogs! Frogs!
3. ABC - All Of My Heart
Add and subtractSee, I could have featured this last week, but it strikes me that this is a song of loss, so the subtraction has already won out over the addition.
But as a matter of fact
Now that you're gone
I still want you back.
Epic. Majestic. Heartbreaking.
Don't let anyone tell you the 80s were rubbish...
2. Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five
I'm not the world's biggest jazz fan, and certainly no expert, but I won't turn away any genre in my search for a good tune. And Take Five is more than a good tune. It's a masterpiece.
Plus, the composer, Paul Desmond, left the royalties to charity on his death. The American Red Cross make around a hundred grand a year off this song (and other, less famous compositions Desmond bequeathed them).
1. Frank Sinatra - They Can't Take That Away From Me
George & Ira Gershwin. Frank Sinatra at his peak. It doesn't much get better than this.
Of course, there are many other fine versions, by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Robbie Willia--
See you next week.
Which one takes you away?