Are these the best album tracks ever recorded?
23 March 2019, 10:00 | Updated: 2 April 2019, 11:36
As Radio X gets ready to count down the Top 100 Best British Songs Of All Time on Easter Monday, let's take a look at some of those gems that lurk in the grooves of your favourite LP...
On Easter Monday, 2 April, Radio X will be counting down the Top 100 Best British Songs Of All Time - as voted by YOU. Will any of these classic tracks be on there? Find out more!
The Stone Roses - I Am The Resurrection
Originally the climax of the stunning 1989 self-titled debut album, The Stone Roses, this 8 minute epic achieved fame thanks to its cheeky quote from Jesus himself and a thrilling instrumental section that takes up half of the song’s running time. “I kept saying to them, ‘Look you’re great’,” singer Ian Brown later told MOJO magazine. “Let’s do a 10-minute song where you’re just playing and playing and playing.” And that’s what he got.
The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows
Inspired by John Lennon’s experiments with the hallucinogenic drug LSD, this is perhaps The Beatles’ most complex recording of all. Taking acid guru Timothy Leary’s book The Psychedelic Experience as a starting point (itself based on The Tibetan Book Of The Dead), Lennon used phrase that were intended to guide the curious adventurer through an LSD experience. The music reflected the psychedelic chaos - against a monumentally heavy drum track, various homemade tape loops or sped-up guitar and voices fly in and out, while Lennon intones the lyrics as if he were preaching from the top of a mountain. Tomorrow Never Knows still sounds like nothing on earth.
Arctic Monkeys - Mardy Bum
Alex Turner seems a lot older than the 19 years he was when he wrote this track from the band's debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. A kitchen sink drama that uses the Yorkshire phrase for someone who's sulking for attention, it was never released as a single, but quickly became a favourite among Monkeys fans.
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
The title track of Pink Floyd's ninth album relates to the theme of absence and opens with the sound of a radio tuning away from the previous track, across a station playing Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and on to Dave Gilmour playing the delicate acoustic guitar intro. Roger Waters later claimed that the song was about his grandmother's final years and how she would think the bassist was her long-dead husband. The sad introspection of the music sums up the mundane tragedy perfectly.
The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
An unlikely romantic sentiment as Morrissey pines for some special time with his beloved, claiming "And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side... what a heavenly way to die." A typical slice of dark humour from the lyricist is complemented beautifully by Johnny Marr's swooning music: lush strings, delicate guitar, the lot. Originally the penultimate track from The Queen Is Dead, the song was later released as a single after the band's demise.
Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
Mystical stuff from the British rock gods, taken from their untitled fourth album from 1971. also known as “Zoso” or “Four Symbols”. The stuff of rock ’n’ roll legend in so many ways, over the years there have been many, many theories about what the lyrics mean, plus what happens if you play the song backwards (it’s something Satanic, presumably).