Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Top Ten Misery Songs

In a change to the expected programme, we take a break from Top Tens about popular beverages, and take a request from the floor instead. Kelvin didn't actually ask for a Top Ten Misery Songs... but he's getting it anyway.

10. Graham Coxon - Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery ( From Happiness in Magazines)

Kelvin thinks this sounds suspiciously similar GC's solo Blur outing Coffee & TV. I'm not sure I agree. You?

9. The Beatles - Misery ( From Please Please Me)

Yes, yes, I know, it's the friggin' Beatles. But always better a miserable Beatles than some happy-happy joy-joy grinning-Macca Beatles.

This was the first Lennon & McCartney composition to be covered by another artist. Originally written for Helen Shapiro, but she rejected it, the honour of being the first ever Beatles cover star actually went to comedian and singer Kenny Lynch. Yep, this guy...

8. Pink & Steven Tyler - Misery ( From M!ssundaztood)

Pink and Steven Tyler... now that's what I call scary.

7. Frightened Rabbit - Not Miserable

I will always remember the night that I almost drowned
All alone in a house

And the love that I lost
With all of the shit that came out in the wash
Just a pocket of fluff

And I'm not put upon
I'm free from disease, no grays, no liver spots
Most of the misery's gone
Gone, gone to the bone

No, lads, not miserable at all.

Taken from the album Winter of Mixed Drinks- which might be my album title of the year - even if the record itself isn't a patch on their last one.

6. Green Day - Misery ( From Warning)

Green Day write their own version of Walk On The Wild Side... the rest is misery.

5. The Pet Shop Boys - Miserablism ( From

Just for the sake of it
make sure you're always frowning
(Angst! Angst! Angst!)
It shows the world
that you've got substance and depth

Thank you, Neil, you made me feel good about myself... for a flickering millisecond. Was it worth it?

4. Half Man Half Biscuit - Reasons To Be Miserable (Part 10) ( From Back in the Dhss)

A fairly attractive girl walks past a building site and from underneath an industrial safety helmet you hear (wolf whistle) and you stand there witnessing the whole Neanderthal situation, wanting to twist your own brain out as they sit satisfied on their newly-built wall, laughing their hods off...

Reasons to be miserable
Another good excuse to be dead
It’s one more thing to gripe about
As I while away my days in bed

3. Brendan Benson - Misery ( From My Old, Familiar Friend)

Brendan Benson sounds more like mid-period Elvis Costello with every new record. If you're going to sound like anyone, that's a good place to start.

2. Tom Waits - Misery Is The River Of The World ( From Blood Money)

On which Tom plays calliope - or steam-powered organ. Forget guitars, we need more calliopes them in pop.

1. The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now ( From Hatful of Hollow)

Come on, you all knew where this was going... it was this or Miserable Lie. No contest really.

The song most often mocked by non-Smith fans (i.e. me, circa 1985) who claim the band are miserablists... and just don't get the irony.

Apparently this is one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Which is pretty cool for all kinds of reasons.

So... what's your favourite misery music?


Steve said...

Kenny Lynch. Now that is someone I never ever thought would appear on your blog. Who next: Stan Boardman?

Now that really would make me miserable.

As for songs I enjoy when I enjoy being miserable... anything by David Sylvian usually does it for me.

Tone said...

Misery by Soul Asylum, naturally.

Rol said...

Steve - just for you, my next post will be all about the Jermans.

Tone - yes, but what about a song? (Badum-tish.)

kelvingreen said...

I acknowledge no responsibility for any of this.

But yes, Bittersweet Bundle of Misery is jsut Coffee and TV with the serial numbers filed off. Fact.


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