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2015 – Uptown Funk

July 2nd, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

When I first decided to put together a playlist with one track from each year I have been around I expected that I would agonise over what to include in the years of the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and struggle to find anything new in the 21st Century, having lost touch a bit with what the charts look like these days. I just looked at the list of 50 best-selling singles for 2015 and couldn’t tell you how 49 of them go, the exception being the track I put on my playlist for this year – Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson.I know it was released as a single at the end of 2014, but the album (Uptown Special) came out in 2015. It is one of those songs, like Happy by Pharrel or Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, that you can’t escape from and don’t want to because it is just so catchy and feel-good-y. I liked Mark Ronson’s previous album (Record Collection), especially the track The Bike Song. There was a lot of stuff released in 2015 that I liked, but none of it makes me smile as much as Uptown Funk.

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So what else was there to be excited about in this year? For a start there was an album from the Rezillos, only 37 years after their last proper studio album. I don’t think it can top their first album because, like Gang of Four, they peaked with their debut album, but it was still OK. I got to see them play live as well, supported by Spizzenergi in London. Subsequently I also drove all the way to Leeds to see them again.

A couple of other bands of a similar vintage also released new material: Public Image Ltd released What the World Needs Now… and Selecter released Subculture, both decent albums. Blancmange released two new albums, making up  for the gap of 25 years in their career, and Duran Duran had the surprisingly good Paper Gods album.

The prog side of things was catered for by David Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock album, and Better Late Than Never by the Anderson Ponty band. Anderson Ponty is, as the name suggests, a collaboration between Jon Anderson and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and this is a live album. Its a thing of beauty, with Anderson’s distinctive voice and Ponty’s distinctive violin combining perfectly.

The disappointment of he year has to be the Strypes’ second album. Not that it was bad, but they had moved on a bit from sounding like Dr. Feelgood/Yardbirds and sounded a lot more polished, while I was really up for more of the same.

Surprise of the year was the collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, called FFS.

Other things that tickeld my fancy during the year were Blur’s The Magic Whip, albums from Beirut, John Grant, Snoop Dogg, and Gaz Coombes. Boz Scaggs joined his peers by putting out a late-career album to rival his 70’s peak, and Jean-Michel Jarre had an album that made a nice companion piece to the John Grant one.

All very good, but its Uptown Funk that I am more likely to still be humming, which is why it elbowed everything else out of the way to get on my playlist.

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