Always On My Mind On My Mind

I’ve always thought that the Pet Shop Boys’ version of Always On My Mind was better than Elvis’s, which in turn was better than Willie Nelson’s. However, repeated listening of this playlist has recently led me to question this view. Elvis and the PSBs are flashier, but Willie’s the only one who sounds like he means it. If you wanted a version to make you cry, and why wouldn’t you, it would definitely be his:

So then I decided maybe it went Willie>PSBs>Elvis, but – but! – Elvis’s has just the best drumming ever, throughout and especially at 2:43:

But, obviously, the Pet Shop Boys can’t be last, because their version is one of the best songs in the whole world ever. I can’t hear that first zing of the Electrobang (or Orchestra Hit, as I’m told it’s really called) without wanting to get up and dance, much like these people are:

So I don’t know any more. Maybe, and this goes very much against my grain, I like them all the same amount. But if you have a favourite please let me know.

Advent song for December 16: Happy Christmas, Kate!

There was never much doubt as to whom Kate would pick for the advent calendar (not that she knew that that was what she was doing, at the time). Kate is a woman of reliably excellent tastes, as is clearly demonstrated by the number of events we’ve attended together which nobody else would have dreamed of going to. If you have – as I like to think of it – especially refined and rarefied tastes, it always helps to have a friend who shares them, so that you don’t have to go to things like Kristina från Duvemåla alone. The only tragic aspect of all of this is that I didn’t meet Kate until I was thirty, so I missed out on all those years of potential arty companionship. Still, we have made up for it since then and I look forward to many more evenings of unlikely pleasure and the quiet joy, as intense at thirty-five as it was at fifteen, of having a friend who loves the stuff you love.

Happy Christmas, Kate!

Advent song for December 24

When I was deciding how to rank this year’s songs I originally had Cliff at number one and this at number two, until I realised that if I were to make a list of my favourite songs, rather than my favourite Christmas number ones, this would still be near the top, whereas although Mistletoe and Wine is my favourite Christmas song, I’m not sure what merits it has outside of being Christmassy.

In a rare example of the law of increasing returns, this song gets better each time someone covers it. Elvis’s version is better than Willy Nelson’s, and when the Pet Shop Boys got their hands on it they turned it into nothing more or less than the perfect pop song.

I have chosen this video rather than the regular one because it doesn’t have a fat man talking throughout, and because Neil’s leathers are quite becoming. If you are at home, it’s time for a glass of fizzy wine. If you are at work, it’s time to go home. Happy Christmas!