Two top 30s. Loads of points. Everyone happy(ish).

I don’t have much in way of opinions on this year’s Oscars apart from, it would have been nice to see some of the films at the cinema, or at all, wouldn’t it? I really miss going to the cinema. The last thing I saw at the cinema was Tenet. I know a lot of people didn’t like it but I thought was good fun. I think a lot of the difference in opinion on it stems from whether you see Nolan as a arthouse director who has mainstream appeal or a mainstream director who has arthouse appeal. I say the latter, and went to see Tenet looking for little more than an enjoyable action movie. And I got that. Things went backwards and exploded and then exploded backwards and I had a thoroughly good time. Does it make sense when you think about it for more than a second? I don’t know. Does Fast & Furious 8? Does it matter?

Oh. Actually I do have an Oscars opinion – if Wolfwalkers doesn’t win the best animation Oscar then the whole awards ceremony is bullshit.

Anyway, this week. Music made by people who have acted in a film. Nobody remembered that Lauryn Hill was in Sister Act II, or that Riz Ahmed was in Star Wars, or that Beyonce was in an Austin Powers movie. The acting careers of Mos Def, Andre 3000, Big Boi, Björk, Kano, and dozens of others were forgotten or ignored. And in the ‘what were they thinking?’ category, whither Joe Pesci? And where was Brent Spiner’s 1991 classic Ol’ Yellow Eyes is Back? And no Dogstar? No 30 Odd Foot of Grunts? For shame.

Which isn’t to say we didn’t have some great recommendations by the way. We did. I loved and/or was pleasantly flabbergasted by your choices. In fact, only three people didn’t make one of this week’s charts. Shall we deal with them first? Yes we shall.

  • Mat Pringle recommended Air Filter by Special Benny, a band who featured Ben, who recommended Dog Ears Like Rain by Matthew Baynton, who was also in Special Benny. I liked both of these songs, but trying to find a place for them on this week’s charts made me feel awkward and worried about offending people. So I am going to use this week’s twelve bonus points to get me out of a socially uncomfortable position. Mat gets twelve points for nominating Special Benny which also gets Ben twelve points and then Ben gets twelve points for his nomination. I’ve rounded up Mat’s total by another twelve points so they get the same score. Which means Mat and Ben both get twenty-four points. I think that’s fair. It’s certainly what’s happening.
  • Adam Farrer recommended Martha by Tom Waits, a fine song by a fine actor. HOWEVER, while obviously you are all free to pick whatever song you like, by not picking I Never Talk to Strangers this week, Adam has basically called Bette Midler a chump and I WILL NOT TOLERATE THAT AT ALL. What is Hocus Pocus, Adam? Chopped liver? Eh? No points.

OK. Let’s do a chart or two…

THE TOP 30 ‘What on earth were they thinking?’ songs by actors

  • 30 – Crispin Glover – Clowny Clown Clown – recommended by David Coates – I genuinely hated this. Thanks for that, yeah? – two points
  • 29 – Mick Jagger and David Bowie – Dancing In The Streets – recommended by Justin Chisnall – I can’t decide whether Justin was trying to kick off some sort of critical reassessment of Dancing In The Streets by recommending it or not. But if you were, can I just say, not on my watch, mate. SOUTH AMERICAAAA! – three points
  • 28 – David Lynch – Strange and Unproductive Thinking recommended by Nick – I don’t love everything that David Lynch has made but I do love some of it. Unfortunately, this song was firmly in my ‘no thank you, David’ pile. Sorry. – four points
  • 27 – Dead Man’s Bones – Pa Pa Power recommended by Daniel Edmonds, My Body’s a Zombie for You recommended by Em – I struggled to divide all the songs into ‘good’ or ‘what on earth’ categories. These two songs would be a much better fit in the ‘good’ category really, but I needed to make two charts of thirty songs and Ryan Gosling is an actor who sings (though not well enough to rescue La La Land, obvs) rather than a singer who acts, so I put these songs in this… look, long story short… – five points
  • 26 – Isaac Hayes – Simultaneous – recommended by Neal – Once you have established that Isaac Hayes is eligible, why wouldn’t you pick the theme from Truck Turner? Schoolboy error from Neal here, really. – six points
  • 25 – Tindersticks and Isabella Rossellini – A Marriage Made in Heaven – recommended by Desmond – Luckily, I have never claimed to be anything more than an idiot. So when I confess that most of the time I just find Tindersticks a bit funny, most of you, hopefully, won’t be too disappointed in me. – seven points
  • 24 – Kate Winslet – What If – recommended by Nick Rayney – I woke up with this song in my head this morning but if you asked me to sing it now, I couldn’t. My subconscious has obviously got plans for it, but I have no idea what they might be. I don’t really want to think about it. – eight points
  • 23 – Prince Ital featuring Marky Mark – United – recommended by Mark Rose – Mark Wahlberg, eh? What a career. –  nine points
  • 22 – Anthony Hopkins – And the Waltz Goes On – recommended by Penny – Remember when Anthony Hopkins was in a Transformers: The Last Knight? This is better than that. That sounds like faint praise but that Transformers movie was like fucked, up. Have you seen it? There’s a bit where it claims Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were friends with Transformers. What do you do with that information? – ten points
  • 21 – David Hemmings – Back Street Mirror – recommended by Nick Garrard – This is another one of those, ‘probably should have gone in the other category tunes’. I quite liked it. – eleven points
  • 20 – William Shatner – Bohemian Rhapsody recommended by Steven Moss and Slugger, Rocket Man recommended by Lil’ Vanni Byniaeth – Hot take: William Shatner’s 1968 album The Transformed Man is one of the ten best albums of that decade. It may be another century until people recognise that. These songs though, aren’t his best work. They are the musical equivalent of that period of Muhammad Ali’s career when he was forced to fight wrestlers and the like, a great man lessened by age and circumstance. So, perhaps controversially, only… – twelve points
  • 19 – David Essex – Rock On – recommended by Stephen May – Adorably dreadful. – thirteen points
  • 18 – Leonard Nimoy – The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins – recommended by Ben Thomas – Nimoy managed to record some ridiculous novelty records (of which this was one of the best) and some decent stuff too (his version’s of Sunny and I Walk the Line are pretty good imo). He had a nice voice. This should be no surprise really, as the man could do pretty much anything. – fourteen points
  • 17 – Telly Savalas – If – recommended by Sally Quilford – What was he thinking, eh? – fifteen points
  • 16 – Bruce Willis – Secret Agent Man/James Bond is Back – recommended by James Beck and Graeme – If you ever find yourself at a loose end, have a listen to Pep Talk, the first track off the second Bruce Willis album, If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. It’s actually a really good song. Secret Agent Man isn’t quite as good, is it? So… soz – sixteen points
  • 15 – David Hasselhoff – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head – recommended by Julie – You can’t go wrong with Hasselhoff – seventeen points
  • 14 – David Soul – Don’t Give Up On Us recommended by Sal Page, Black Bean Soup recommended by Jeanette Greaves – In the battle of the David Soul songs, Sal gets nineteen points for the loveable schmaltz but Jeanette gets twenty points because the way David Soul says ‘soup’ is next level stuff. Captivating.
  • 13 – Corey Feldman – Imagine recommended by James Battisson, Go 4 It (featuring Snoop Dogg) recommended by Graham Cox – It’s hard to be mad with Feldman because, you know, The Lost Boys, but that cover of Imagine? Jeees. – twenty-one points
  • 12 – Christopher Lee – Charlemagne: Massacre of the Saxons – recommended by Mark G – eighty-five percent of me wishes I was still oblivious of this record’s existence. Shit the bed this is a terrible song. – twenty-three points
  • 11 – Paul Nicholas – Reggae Like It Used To Be – recommended by David Bruce – I mean, christ. WTF. – twenty-five points
  • 10 – Steven Seagal – Alligator Ass – recommended by Dan Carpenter – “And have you got a name for your song, Steven? Yes? It’s what? Oh lovely” – twenty-six points
  • 9 – Vinnie Jones – Bad Bad Leroy Brown – recommended by Tom. – Possibly the worst song I have ever heard, though there was also a ‘with Jools Holland’ version available too so there is evidently a lower level of musical hell for me to explore should I ever feel the need. Good luck to Vinnie though. If anybody ever let me record an album I’d have a go too, almost certainly with equally terrible results. Life’s for living, innit? –  twenty-seven points
  • 8 – Adam Rickitt – Breathe Again – recommended by Donna Morris – I have always had more time for Adam Rickitt than I probably should do, what with him being a raging Tory and all. It all stems from an appearance he made on So Graham Norton in 1999 (the other guests were Gilbert and George – it was arguably the greatest episode of any chat show ever). Norton asked him why he was bringing out a calendar and his answer was beautifully honest; fame is transient and he was going to milk his for every penny while he could. He was right too. Eight years later and he was shoplifting cheese from an Auckland supermarket. – twenty-eight points
  • 7 – Jimmy Nail – Big River – recommended by Skerret – Is it just me, or has this song got, I don’t know, something? My brain was telling me to hate it but my heart kept saying no, no, respect what big Jimmy is doing. – twenty-nine points
  • 6 – Bryan Bros Band featuring Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – Autograph – recommended by Tom A – Barely eligible (on the basis that Andy Murray played himself in the TV Movie, Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration) but so so deserving of his place. Have you ever heard Andy Murray rapping? He’s not good. Remember the Plow King episode of the Simpsons when Homer raps “I’m the rappingest guy in the USA? That. It’s delightful.  – thirty points
  • 5 – Jonathan Morris (the one from Bread, not the Animal Magic one) – From Me To You – recommended by Richard Jones – A sitcom as lame as Bread could only have become a national phenomenon in a country with only four television channels and a population beaten low by Thatcherism. It had one redeeming feature: Victor McGuire. Everything else about it was shit. This song is a testament to that shitness. – thirty-two points
  • 4 – Richard Harris – MacArthur Park – recommended by Beth Woodward – It shouldn’t work but it does. – thirty-four points
  • 3 – Mae West – Shaking All Over – recommended by David N Atkinson – What was the seventy-three year old Mae West thinking when she recorded a rock-n-roll album in 1966? She was thinking, I’m Mae West and everything I do is brilliant and this will be too. She wasn’t wrong, was she? – thirty-six points
  • 2 – Eddie Murphy – Party All The Time – recommended by Sean Rhodes – Cards on the table, I flipping love this song. – thirty-eight points
  • 1 – Mr T – Treat Your Mother Right – recommended by Sam Whyte – Where has this been all my life? Oh my. – forty points

THE TOP 30 Actually Good Songs By People Who Have Acted in a Movie

  • 30 – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn – recommended by Picky Bastards – Is it just me, or is this a terrible choice? It’s not a bad song, as such, but it isn’t a classic. All the songs you could have picked and you went with this. Weird. – two points
  • 29 – SOME SONGS FROM SOME FILMS THAT I HAVE CHUCKED TOGETHER HAPHAZZARDLY… Dan Williams recommended Shallow by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, GLP recommended Joaquin Phoenix singing I Walk The Line, Jon Thomson recommended Nicolas Cage singing Love Me Tender – three points each
  • 28 – Ivor Cutler – I’m Happy – recommended by Subfuscous – I’m sure many people would put this higher on the list. I didn’t. It was alright though. – four points
  • 27 – Julie Delphy – A Waltz for a Night – recommended by Bruno Di Gradi – Not really my sort of thing, but then I’ve never watched the films so I may well change my mind when I get round to them. – five points
  • 26 – LL Cool J – Doin’ It – recommended by Sam Bail – I always preferred the angry ones to the sexy ones when it came to LL Cool J. He was great in Deep Blue Sea though. – six points
  • 25 – Juliette and the Licks – Smash and Grab – recommended by Marsha Adams – I liked it –  seven points
  • 24 – Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down – recommended by Sex Police – I liked this too – eight points
  • 23 – Touché Amoré feat. Manchester Orchestra – Limelight – recommended by Chris Bissette – And this. Sorry, I went for a walk this morning so I haven’t had time to write a funny ‘bit’ for all these songs. I did see a kingfisher though, so I regret nothing. – nine points
  • 22 – Dwayne Johnson – You’re Welcome – recommended by Tom Mason – The hipster’s The Rock choice would have been Wyclef Jean’s It Doesn’t Matter but there aren’t really any wrong answers when it comes to Dwayne Johnson – ten points
  • 21 – Sleater Kinney – Modern Girl – recommended by Michael Conley – Solid. – eleven points
  • 20 – Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie and Clyde – recommended by Rebecca H and Nick Portnell – Better than a lot of Serge Gainsbourg stuff. I know we are all supposed to love everything he did, but I don’t. Sorry. – twelve points
  • 19 – Madness – Michael Caine – recommended by Mike – Great song, but with some points knocked off on account of him not really having to do a lot during it. – thirteen points
  • 18 – Matt Berry – Take My Hand – recommended by Geisterhaus – It was only when this started playing that my brain went, ‘oh yeah, right. Matt Berry’. Until then I thought you had picked Nick Berry. Not as many points coming your way, for your Nick Berrys. This one though, I like. – fourteen points
  • 17 – Autolux – Change My Head – recommended by Jummo70 – A good choice. Good song, reasonably obscure, connection to a wonderful movie. Nice. – fifteen points
  • 16 – Will Smith – Men In Black – recommended by Sherri Turner – Remember when everything Will Smith touched turned to gold? Me too. But it never happened. Look at his filmography. It is wildly inconsistent. Though having said that, it is incredibly rare for the bad ones to be his fault. The guy can act and there have probably only ever been a dozen or so humans that the camera loves more. Even in a mess of a film, like Suicide Squad, or Wild Wild West, he – sorry, got distracted there for a second –  sixteen points
  • 15 – Prince and the Revolution – Sometimes it Snows in April – recommended by Arron Wright – Gone are the days when just turning up got you on the leader board. You need at least twelve points to make the Top 100 now, which means there are over fifty people needing a good week to get them back on the table. Not so, Arron Wright, who charges onto the leader board at the first attempt. Picking something by Prince will help with that sort of thing. – seventeen points
  • 14 – Childish Gambino – Boogieman – recommended by Scout Tzofiya – Donald Glover, eh? There is literally nothing he can’t do. Literally. – nineteen points
  • 13 – Hole – Celebrity Skin – recommended by Paul Graham Raven – Hole were the best band of that scene imo, and the second best American guitar band of the 90s after The Breeders. But I’ve checked on IMDB and Kim Deal hasn’t been in a film so … – twenty-one points
  • 12 – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River – recommended by Graham Watt – I bought this on cd when it came out. Played the album on my discman as I walked home from Cannock. Bit of an anecdote for you there. –  twenty-three points
  • 11 – So Solid Crew – Ride Wid Us – recommended by Dan – Say what you like, that bassline still absolutely slaps. – twenty-five points
  • 10 – Janelle Monáe – I Like That – recommended by David Hartley – I don’t know quite why if you are going to nominate Janelle Monáe you wouldn’t go with Tightrope and win the whole damn thing but everyone is different, I suppose. – twenty-six points
  • 9 – School of Rock – School of Rock – recommended by Sleepy – Apologies if this is the wrong title – it’s the ‘teacher’s pet’ one at the end of the film. Rewatching it made me realise it has been too long since I last watched School of Rock. One of the films I have seen more than once at the cinema. So good.  – twenty-seven points
  • 8 – Awkwafina – My Vag – recommended by Rob Cutforth – Oh my. – twenty-eight points
  • 7 – Herbert Grönemeyer – Bochum – recommended by Henriette Pleiger – I looked him up on Wikipedia and he’s absolutely massive in Germany. Over 13 million albums sold. It’s weird to think of things happening so close to home that we know nothing about. Or at least, that I know nothing about. You might own all his albums for all I know. Anyway, I listened to this song and I had a lot of time for it. It’s a bit cheesy but in a good way, if you know what I mean. I would listen to more and would have listened to more before now if anyone had told me he existed. We’re a funny, insular little country at times aren’t we, Britain? If we weren’t, maybe more people would be getting… – twenty-nine points
  • 6 – Mina – Se Telefonando – recommended by William Mallin – This was new to me, and so there is a case for it to be even higher on the list, but the number one was never in doubt and the next four songs are all brilliant so you will have to make do with… – thirty points
  • 5 – Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers to Cross – recommended by Tom Glennie – It’s good this one. Errrrrrm… No. I think that covers everything. – thirty-two points
  • 4 – Jane Weidlin – Rush Hour – recommended by Al Kennedy – Just a really really really really good song. Sometimes that’s all it takes. – thirty-four points
  • 3 – Madonna – Like A Prayer – recommended by Georgia Boon – Anyone want to argue against the brilliance of this song? Didn’t think so. Next! – thirty-six points
  • 2 – Cher – The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) – recommended by Weeman – “Because it’s fun and I like it and I’m not ashamed of that.” I honestly can’t think of a better reason to nominate a song. And it is fun, and I like it too, and I too am not ashamed of that. So… – thirty-eight points
  • 1 – Gracie Fields – The Biggest Aspidistra in the World – recommended by Plashing Vole – I don’t think many people would argue that this is the best song picked this week. I certainly wouldn’t (though I am very fond of it). But it was a brilliant recommendation because Gracie Fields is all but forgotten today despite the fact that she was the highest film star in the world in 1937. She deserves better. If you haven’t seen her film Sing As We Go, you should, it is brilliant, and unlike any other film I have ever seen. In his History of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr described it as being “probably the worst film I have ever seen” which, if you happen to consider him as being the sort of out-of-touch overly-confident posh twat who has no place writing a history of anything except maybe soft interviews on weekend breakfast television, is a pretty hearty recommendation I reckon. So you should probably all try to watch at some point. I watched it in a BFI booth at Manchester Central Library, if that helps. – forty points

Next week is PUNK. I would like you to interpret that however you like. No wrong answers.