1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die is a book in the perennially popular “list” format. It would made an ideal Christmas gift (or, indeed, provide reading-matter for the downstairs toilet), principally because some 3.8 per cent of the articles contained within it were written by me. Since I will not receive any royalties from the sales of this volume, it is not in my financial interest to recommend it to you – but nevertheless I feel sure you will be eager to read my brief yet fact-crammed sketches about songs by such titans of the music world as David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Simon & Garfunkel and, erm, The Osmonds.

Those who purchase this essential tome will, furthermore, be able to peruse pieces by me on various gems of rock ’n’ roll, soul, reggae, jazz and glam rock. And there are also, I am reliably informed, 963 articles by other music writers, many of whom are quite good.

Inevitably, there were a few songs which did not make the final cut. My reviews of some of these are reproduced here for your delectation:

Mr Sandman  The Chordettes (1954)
Black Cadillac  Joyce Green (1959)
Go Now  Bessie Banks (1964)
Fade Away  Junior Byles (1975)


1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die  (Cassell)

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