The Tab’s Top Ten Tracks

GEORGE OSBORN lists the best stuff you can’t find on Spotify

Alvarez Kings Amplive Beatles Bloc Party Burial George Osborn Godspeed You! Black Emperor Look See Proof Open Pink Floyd Polysics Harajuku Radiohead Ross Davies Top Ten Tracks

Some people have accused the Tab of being for dummies: a bit low brow, not always funny and certainly not intelligent or engaging. While the first may be true and the second is definitely true of Rob Smith’s furious recent rant about Varsity reviews (ok that was actually very funny), I feel a tad insulted when someone says the Tab isn’t intelligent. We’re intelligent in a different way, some may say, by appealing to your “duh I’m on the internet and my attention span is five seconds long” brain and baby feeding you stuff that you may care about more than “House Demolished on West Road” or “This is a TCS Headline, boring boring boring”.

But to prove that we do have a brain cell or two, welcome to a slightly post modern Top Ten tracks: the Top Ten Tracks that aren’t on Spotify. Split into five sections, not only will this playlist have you questioning the nature of erm stuff, it’ll also hopefully make you think about the nature of the music industry and whether the mainstream music taste is occupied by nothing more than a glut of corporate rubbishness. Yeah, told you we could use our brains, like.


End of our Affair– Ross Davies

A singer songwriter based in Birmingham, Davies has one of the most impressive repertoires of songs yet to be picked up by a record label. This track is built simply but the richness of Davies’ voice combined to his perfect arrangement lends the track massive depth. Could be the British Willy Mason if someone throws him a chance.

You, Me, Them, Us – Alvarez Kings

Mixing indie styles of the Rapture, Hot Hot Heat and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Alvarez Kings may well end up on the Spotify list and in a gig venue near you. This is a seriously hot indie track; exciting, vigorous and rabble rousing which is just what you want to hear.

Too Left Field

Static – Godspeed you! Black Emperor

Probably best described as rock does classical music, Godspeed reinvent prog as a devastatingly powerful and shimmering art form. The highlight of the track is the sermon that kicks in about 4 and a half minutes in, turning an evangelical message of hope into a despair laden moment of devastation via strings, guitars and muffled vocals. Life affirming.

Shell of Light – Burial

You’ll definitely find a track or two of his on Spotify, but his ethos of not writing for anything other than his own artistic pleasure means you’ll be unlikely to find any of his full albums on here. Which is a shame as he fuses dubstep with grime and garage to create music with real soul and texture, something rarely found in modern repertoires.

Defunct, deceased, ended

Casualty – Look See Proof

The first piece of music journalism I ever did was interviewing these guys and after a bit of scepticism that they would be worth my effort, Look See Proof turned out to be pretty good. Casualty was a highlight, a genuinely great indie track with nods to The Futureheads, Bloc Party and Mumm-Ra throughout, that ended up on the Euro 2008 computer game soundtrack.

Close my Eyes – Open

A genuinely unique, one of a kind band who combined elements of indie to jazz to ambitious rock, Close my Eyes is the triumphant opening track from their first album which roots around in morose piano chords momentarily before exploding into a joyous guitar driven celebration. Such a shame they split up.


Luno (Polysics Harajuku mix) – Bloc Party

Taking the nuttiness of the original song and turning it into an electro heavy, violently pulsating track, Polysics continue to push the boundaries of normalcy. Just a shame that the original came on a free CD with NME so barely anyone will have heard it.

Faustz – Amplive

In honour of Thom Yorke’s appearance at the Corn Exchange, this beat heavy chopping up of Faust Arp by producer Amplive had to go on here. Part of the vaguely illegal Rainydayz Remixes, it is probably one of the best examples of how to turn the original track upside down and retain the quality since the Grey Album.

Too Big

Piggies – The Beatles

George Harrison’s rant against capitalism (and the idiocy of the Beatle fan base) is probably a pertinent example of why big bands don’t sign up to Spotify: they have so much cash and support that they don’t need to bother to put their back catalogue up. I enjoy the bizarreness of the song, most people don’t.

Money – Pink Floyd

Still wading through the piles of cash that they amassed in the early years of their career, Money is a fair reason for why they became rich: catchy, inventive and in its own way slightly anthemic. Probably why the Karaoke version online you get instead of the actual song is reasonably popular.

The Tab’s Top Ten Tracks not on Spotify