My iPod currently contains 1230 songs. The fact that this number ends in either a 0 or a 5 will, of course, come as no surprise to you. I think the most I've ever had on it is 1300 and the least something like 1150. The longest one of these tracks (excluding podcasts and the like) is In A Silent Way/It's About That Time by Miles Davis at 19m57, the shortest is currently Round Up The Usual Suspects by Barry Adamson at 43 seconds.
When adding new stuff as a control freak, of course, one has to be mindful of both disc space and frivolous numerological issues. In putting some things on, some things will have to come off to make space but equally, some will have to come off to make the overall number of tracks one which is acceptable to me.
Choosing which ones will go is something of an artform. There are 173 stand-alone artists in that 1230 song list, that is, people with only one appearance. These are the ones who you'd think would be the first to suffer. But they are not. They are often sacrosanct. The precise reason they only have one song is because it's so perfect or has sufficient meaning for me to disregard all its brethren. The usual victims of my culls, then, are the Beatles (currently 125 songs) and Bob Dylan (102). I'm sure their huge financial security offers either act a crumb of comfort in this difficult time.
Today, a list of ten of the artists who only have one song in my 29.8.2011 vintage iPod playlist.
Alice Cooper - I'm Eighteen
This is a brilliant, defiant and fragile rock and roll classic. It was a favourite of Malcolm McLaren and the song which John Lydon did his audition for the Sex Pistols for, singing along to the jukebox in McLaren's Kings Road shop.
Belle & Sebastian - Wrapped Up In Books
Belle & Sebastian were one of those acts that people slightly more trendy than me were all over when I was a student. Listen to Belle & Sebastian, they all told me. Of course, telling me something like that was simply bound to end in my not doing it as I am awfully stubborn. However, I chanced upon this song about 10 years ago whilst channel-hopping around during the Glastonbury Festival. I loved it and still love it. Oddly, though, I've never wanted to hear anything else of Belle & Sebastian. Maybe because of it. I am worried they'll not live up to the perfection of this.
DB Boulevard - Point of View
I am a sucker for electro, pop music, Italian disco music and old episodes of Sex and The City. This song ticks all of those boxes. One of the most lovely, sunny, electro pop songs I know.
Donna Summer - I Feel Love
Donna Summer, disco queen and soul music legend. Ideal credentials for me to have loads of her work. But again, this is too perfect to take the risk. The most perfect single ever released, and that's simply the end of that.
Louis Armstrong - Wonderful World
Jazz singing is something which either engages me or makes me want to pull teeth. At its very best, though - and this IS its very best - it is delightful. This should be the national anthem of every country on Earth.
Rob 'n' Raz featuring Leila K - Got to Get
Remember how I'm a sucker for electro, pop and Euro Dance? This one fulfills all those criteria once again. I don't even know if anyone involved in this record ever made anything else and nor do I care. It's also fused in my mind with certain times, places and people, so its awesome hold over me grows ever stronger. I am simply unable to hear this song - or even just see it in the playlist - without smiling.
Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)
Because it's the greatest song-film tie-in of all time and because I increasingly base all my fashion decisions on Ally Sheedy.
George McCrae - Rock Your Baby
Another for the "did they do anything else? don't care" list. A proto-disco/soul classic. I get the feeling this song is achingly uncool and simply don't care about that, either.
Sugarcubes - Hit
I remember hearing this when it first came out and thinking it was a bit exciting, a bit left-field, whilst still being accessible. Of course, this later became Björk's USP. A perfect pop record, with just the right amount of silly.
White Town - Abort, Retry, Fail (Your Woman)
WHO REMEMBERS THIS ONE? I suppose White Town was the prototype modern-day MySpace pop star, really. At the time, though, he was just a weirdo in his student digs with a brilliant, brilliant pop song. I believe that everything else he made was rubbish, which of course makes little difference here. I was ill for all of January 1997 - two ghastly internal infections and then influenza. Listening to this on the radio remains a strong memory.