Category Archives: Also…

Top tracks of 2016 #8 – Daughter, Syd Arthur & Jaguar Ma

Twenty eight tracks nominated so far by three pundits across twenty-eight different artists and finally we come to our inevitable artist overlap. As nominated by Roy at #10, this is the sublime Daughter, but a different track from the same album.

I’ve gone for ‘How’, for the simple fact it is slightly more shoe-gazey than Numbers and I also like the video more (shallow I know).

Still no overlap on actual tracks, but as our winding roads converge towards the top of the charts surely that is inevitable?

Scroll down for Andy and Roy’s choices, whilst the list so far is here.


Top tracks of 2016 #12 – Beck, Slaves & Trentemøller

No stranger to our lists over the years, Beck released what seemed to be something of an ‘orphan’ single earlier in this year which apparently indicated a return to his poppier phase. I have been keen to hear more, but this has been it so far. Beck seems to float around (rather like this track), being influential, moderately commercially successful and tastefully chameleonic:  winning Grammies but being unlikely to turn up dueting at the X Factor finals, for which we can be grateful.

Scroll down for today’s choices from Roy and – joining us for the final dozen – Andy. Check out the countdown so far here.


Welcome to ‘The Uncertain Smile’

Just a quick note to subscribers to the Richardmlive blog  – as you may have noticed I’ve changed the name of the blog from  my Twitter handle to ‘The Uncertain Smile’. This reflects the happy fact that a number of people are also regularly posting on the site, but other than that the site remains the same.  The new URL is but the old URL will still redirect.

Why “The Uncertain Smile’? Well it’s a tribute to one of my favourite tracks of all time, but more importantly I just thought it had a ring to it. ‘Uncertain emotions force an uncertain smile.’

You may not like everything we post, but hopefully it will raise a smile from time to time.

Thanks for your support as we embark on our difficult second album.


Is it time to revive Top Of The Pops?


I rarely post the media industry articles I write, but in my June column for Mediatel Newsline I take a bit of a detour from discussing media measurement and industry politics to argue that the time is right – from both a broadcasting and a music industry perspective –  for the BBC to revive Top Of The Pops as a weekly prime time show.

You can read the column here

For those of you outside the UK, it was a weekly TV chart show running from the 1964 to 2006 that was the heartbeat of the music industry at its peak.

The column which you can read here, got a lot of coverage and precious little disagreement so, BBC, over to you. In the meantime here’s one of my all-time top performances from 1981:

Top Tracks of 2014: Number 19s – Future Islands, Honeyblood & Cate Le Bon

Future Islands


From the city that bought you The Wire, my number 19 is ‘Waiting on You’ by Futures Islands. It’s a nice song, with an 80s feel to it, but this performance elevates it to another level. Our second Letterman clip already, this appearance changed their lives.

The truly unique dancing, combined with a voice that – after teetering on the brink-  finally turns into full Napalm death at 3:10, sent it viral. I have watched it many times and it always brings as big a smile to my face as it does to Mr Letterman’s afterwards.

Check out Roy & Andy’s nominations for today below and catch up on our Top 20s so far here….

Top Tracks of 2013 – Number 13


At the start of the year I would have given you pretty long odds on Beady Eye featuring in my top twenty –  I have always been a loyal Noelite.

However the less than imaginatively titled BE album is actually very good, with a number of standout tracks including Flick of The Finger and this, the lead single, ‘Another Bite Of the Apple‘. Dave Sitek has worked wonders in producing a sound that moves on from Oasis.

2013This performance clip is intriguing – Beady Eye performing on The Voice results show. It reminds me of a mash up someone did of John Lennon appearing on The Voice, but Liam is actually there. So are the judges also there or were the edited in afterwards, nodding away approvingly? A couple of shots seem to indicate they were present, which really does seem bizarre, although we don’t get to hear whether Tom Jones particularly appreciated the lovely echoey horn breakdown towards the end…..

Scroll down for Andy and Roy’s choices, or catch up on our tracks so far here

Top Tracks of 2013 – Number 18

2013At number 18 I am going for another instrumental – ‘Says’ by Nils Frahm. Now I know what you’re thinking – nine minutes of a guy with headphones playing a keyboard, life’s just  too short – but once it gets going all sense of time is lost and if you think you know where it is headed after a few minutes, you’re wrong.

nilsI first got into Nils with his Screws album (available for free here) which he wrote and played whilst recovering from a broken thumb, with necessity being the mother of invention of some beautiful melodies. However on the excellent Spaces album, out last month, he has both hands in full effect. The only reason it’s not my number one is that I only heard it for the first time two weeks ago, and didn’t want to skew the list to things that are top of mind.

Afterwards, scroll down for Andy and Roy’s number 18s..