London - Songs to Define the City

In association with Time Out Magazine, Universal Music has released a musical souvenir of the world’s music capital.  Presented as a collection that 'takes you on a musical journey across London from Electric Avenue to Warwick Avenue, from Baker Street to Primrose Hill.'

The collection features artists such as The Kinks, The Jam, David Bowie, Pulp, Pet Shop Boys, Duffy, The Small Faces and John and Beverley Martyn.

As you'd expect from a collection made up of songs that have to fit a certain theme rather than genre, the tracks are more than a little incongruous but there is, nevertheless, much to like.  Just a fleeting glance at the title and you will have guessed some of the collection; Waterloo Sunset, Baker Street and Electric Avenue are all obvious choices but they find themselves nestled in amongst some rather excellent albeit lesser known and less obvious songs.  Pulp's 'Bar Italia', The Pogues' A Rainy Night in Soho' or The Jam's 'Strange Town' would not have sprung instantly to mind and are not the usual compilation fodder and John and Beverley Martyn's 'Primrose Hill' is one track that may well be new to many listeners.

Despite the aforementioned incongruity, its not a bad listen, although I can see people skipping the fabulous Bert Jansch and John Renbourn's 'Soho' because its just so far from the style of the other songs and way too folky for the average mix CD listener's pallet and probably Saint Etienne's 'London Belongs to Me' because, well, it's rubbish.

A well chosen selection of your favorite tracks would make a very cool playlist but I can't see anyone selecting the admittedly obligatory and ubiquitous  but no less irritating 'Streets of London'

 

 

Roxy Music – Do The Strand
Jamie Cullum – London Skies
The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
Squeeze – Piccadilly
Kirsty MacColl – Soho Square
Pet Shop Boys – London
Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
Simple Minds – Chelsea Girl
Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue
Pulp – Bar Italia
Duffy – Warwick Avenue
The Jam – Strange Town
Ralph McTell – Streets of London
Small Faces – Itchycoo Park
Bert Jansch, John Renbourn – Soho
David Bowie – The London Boys
Caetano Veloso – London London
The Pogues – A Rainy Night In Soho
John Martyn, Beverley Martyn – Primrose Hill
Saint Etienne – London Belongs To Me

 

 

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Chris Davis - chris@musicutopia.co.uk
Claire White - claire@musicutopia.co.uk
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Tom Wigley
 
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