WARMER MIXTAPES #1666 | by Brian Cleary (The Movies) of Radar Brothers and Strange Parade

I could never pick a definitive Top 10 favorite songs. There are too many and it would take me centuries to choose. So I just went with 10 from the (much bigger) list that came to mind first and in no particular order.

1. Nice Drake | Which Will
Tough call with about 10 other ND songs, but this was my first. I heard this while taping a College radio show in Boston around 1983. It was the only Nick Drake song I had for a few years until I picked up a Best Of collection. I think it’s a perfectly written and perfectly executed song. The lyrics are some of his simplest and most direct but not shallow. And I love the equating of decisions with dominoes.

2. The Chameleons | Second Skin
Epic. I got this album about a year into doing my first radio show. It was an amazingly creative and rich time for New Music already. This album blew me away altogether, but this song in particular is epic (in the actual sense of the word)... The structure goes through various movements, passing to and from each one so organically. Plus you can play it as loud as you want and it only sounds better and better. Plus it’s just a freaking good song.

3. The Beatles | Flying
+ Blue Jay Way... From about the time I was 4-5, I’d spend all day going back and forth from the piano in our basement to my brother’s tape player upstairs. Magical Mystery Tour was my favorite. It still is. It’s hard to pick a favorite Beatles song, but I’ve never grown sick of this little combo. It also gets extra points for sheer originality. I’m counting it as one song because it always felt that way to me and should be heard that way. I can never hear one without the other. Yes, I’ve cheated.

4. Mission Of Burma | Einstein’s Day
I remember listening to this right after I saw that TV movie The Day After when it aired for the first time and it somehow perfectly captured my teen rage on the subject. I think I’d never felt angrier about the world outside of mine. I don’t even know if the song has anything to do with nuclear war really, but something about the imagery and thoughts provoked at the time felt right about that. It was a powerful moment for me. And I’m from Boston, so there’s a bit of bias here.

5. Matt Johnson | Another Boy Drowning
Another song I taped off the same radio show where I first heard a few of these others. I bought this record in 1982 as an import in Boston. It was my first import and first 4AD record. It was later re-released under his band name The The. It’s one of the trippiest, most Psychedelic records of the 80s and great all the way through. He did it all himself at the age of 20 (outside of one song with help from Graham Lewis of Wire & Dome). This song completes the album perfectly.

6. The Fall | Paintwork
I had to include one from one of my favorite bands of ever. Something about this one makes me turn it up every time it pops on my shuffle. Never get sick of it. The way the production suddenly shifts and brings you into different rooms is something few bands (like much of what The Fall did) ever venture to try. It breaks all the rules beautifully.

7. The Rolling Stones | Lady Jane
It was a tough call between this and Ruby Tuesday, but I went with the least obvious one, just to sound more interesting. They are both so beautiful, but this one takes the welding of Old World/New World to a level of Perfection I’ve rarely seen. I think Brian Jones was more of a musical genius than he’ll ever get credit for.

8. Bob Lind | Unlock The Door
I’ve only discovered Bob Lind in the last few years and it was very hard picking one song. I first heard his music (unknowingly) when John Otway covered his gem, Cheryl’s Going Home for the classic concert/compilation film, Urgh! A Music War (a MUST-HAVE for any fan of good early 80’s New Wave/Punk). Once I discovered Bob, there was no turning back. AMAZING songwriter. This song has a certain mystique and dark beauty that reels me into its world every time it comes on.

9. The Rain Parade | This Can’t Be Today
I first head this song on the way to a party, riding in the bed of a pick up truck after sneaking out of my mom’s house for the night in Florida. I was 15 and I think I listened to it about 2,538 times that summer. The whole album is a bit of a masterpiece to me.

10. Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno | An Ending (Ascent)
If I could re-arrange things, this would be the song I’d hear while being born. Seems like Perfect Birth Music. I’m sure I would have still cried, but I’d know somehow that everything will be okay.