Singles of the year: #90

90. She’s Hearing Voices – Bloc Party

So pleased that I remembered this at the last minute, as it knocks U2’s Vertigo out of the all-important Top 90. (A good tune, but I have historically had Issues with U2, meaning that rating it would have felt like too much of a climbdown. Besides, there would have been that awful iPod commercial of a video to contend with.)

Yes, it’s a Top 90. Because the gap between Stuff That’s Good and Stuff That’s Really Good fell at around the 90 mark this year – whereas in 2003, it fell at around the 60 mark. So does that make 2004 a significantly better year for music than 2003? I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Anyway, the inclusion of She’s Hearing Voices in a Best Singles list, when it was actually track #3 on an EP, warrants some explanation. This year, I’ve widened the scope of the list to include any track which somehow took on a life of its own, independently from any parent album. This still stops the list from simply turning into a list of favourite songs. And in any case, only a tiny handful of the tracks listed fall into this category; the vast majority did see the light of day as A-sides during 2004.

Bloc Party are being very much talked up as a band to watch in 2005; I am already kicking myself for missing the opportunity to see them at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham a couple of months ago, as I could then have basked in Scissor Sisters-esque “I saw them first” smugness for, ooh, months. She’s Hearing Voices owes a heavy debt to early 1980s post-punk (which is more than fine by me), with echoes of the Gang Of Four, Bauhaus, and some very specific song whose identity continues to elude me.

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