Various Artists - Time Out Presents London: Songs To Define The City
London, London, so good they named it twice…oh wait, wrong city. It may not have one undeniably iconic song like the Big Apple has but there have been plenty of cracking tunes about the big smoke and Time Out magazine has pulled together some of them for this collection. I say some because, although there are stone cold classics here, we also have to suffer through some less than stellar offerings.
Things kick off superbly with Roxy Music’s ‘Do The Strand’ but only the most perverse of listener could possibly appreciate the segue into a typically anaemic offering from Jamie Cullum. Thanks heavens then for The Kinks, whose classic ‘Waterloo Sunset’ is always welcome. That gives way to the wonderful Squeeze and ‘Piccadilly’ before Kirsty MacColl's dulcet tones on ‘Soho Square’ remind us of just what was lost when she was so tragically taken from us. There are a few delightful surprises on here: the twanging guitar of the late great Bert Jansch on ‘Soho’ and the maudlin ‘Bar Italia’ by Pulp being particular highlights. Of course given the nature of this type of collection, there are some dull and frankly bizarre inclusions from the likes of Duffy, Adele and Caetano Veloso (no, me neither) but no room can be found for The Clash, Blur, Madness etc etc. If you can see past these omissions, there are enough nuggets of brilliance to keep you interested.