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Alison Moyet interview – Classic Pop Magazine



In this Alison Moyet interview from 2017, the former Yazoo singer talks to Wyndham Wallace about surviving 35 years in the pop business…

Alison moyet interview
Photo by Steve Gullick

It’s mid-April, and Alison Moyet is cradling a phone in the kitchen of her terraced Brighton home – the one she swapped for a seven-bedroom house and garden four years ago, the one without off-street parking – as words to her latest album’s title track are read back to her admiringly.

“Some people we don’t mean to lose,” the lyrics declare, “They snag on branches and separate in market squares…”

“I can’t begin to tell you,” she interrupts, her pleasure almost palpable, “how much it means to me that you’ve engaged with the lyrics. It’s more important to me than singing, than whether I have a voice or not. You just made me really happy by quoting that to me. How brilliant it is to actually be a writer, to be a poet, rather than just to be a mainstream pop singer. Thank you!”

The gratitude is unnecessary. Moyet’s latest, astonishing album, Other, is arguably her most realised collection to date, and its strengths lie as much in its vivid, inventive language as in its dark, startling music.

Brimfull of her trademark vocal intensity and peppered with striking imagery – I Germinate’s “bats in a blink eclipse the moon/ Like whipped kerchiefs in a courtly swoon”, The Rarest Birds’ “dove-grey gum constellations” – it represents the culmination of her slow but steady reinvention from ‘pop singer’ to ‘proper artist’. 

To some, Moyet remains fossilised as the Essex girl who first emerged as one half of Yazoo, alongside Vince Clarke, before her 1984 solo debut, Alf, took her to No.1, going four-times platinum in the process.

Even when, in 2014, BBC Breakfast summarised her career ahead of an interview, they stopped at 1986’s Is This Love?, as though the seven albums she’d made since – including 2002’s Hometime and 2004’s Voice, which both went gold, and The Minutes, which had recently gone Top 5 – were mere afterthoughts.

Her six-month run in a successful West End musical, and the play, Smaller, in which she’d starred alongside Dawn French, were also overlooked.

But Moyet’s been steadily refining her craft, often out of the spotlight, and though her commercial profile may not be as high as it once was, she’s now free to make music that appeals, first and foremost, to her rather than the marketplace. The signs are that it’s winning her new fans.

“I’ve been frustrated,” she admits when reminded of that BBC appearance, and of people’s nostalgia for her early work, “but less so now, because I think people are finally catching up with me. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been successful, and it was because of that success that later on I was able to make choices that were perceived risky. What frustrates me is the assumption that your best work is always going to be your bestselling, so you’re locked into this particular time. I hated my 20s. I really like middle age and I’m comfortable with the person I’ve become. My great successes aren’t related to my big sales.”

Though she describes herself, knowingly, as “plump with confidence”, she’s also thoughtful and appealingly – if unnecessarily – self-deprecating, though this she disputes. “It’s not even self-deprecating. I try to answer honestly, and I think maybe you’ve got to have lots of self-confidence to own your crapness.”

Moyet’s delight, however, comes from the fact that Other is as much a celebration of her love of language as her self-declared, perennial outsider status. It feels different from previous releases, she says, “because the emphasis on it is not singing. The emphasis on it is words, and I’ve been coming closer to that point all the time.”

This is particularly surprising, she confesses, because she barely reads. “The most impactful of times with books in my life was nursery rhymes,” she comments, pausing briefly before adding, “and I’m not even saying that wryly! I don’t read, and when I do read, I read fantasy.”

Indeed, one song, The English U – in which she describes herself facetiously as “a criminal to grammar/ To apostrophe, the hammer”, but nonetheless “pretty sound with tenses/ With ‘when’ and ‘which’ and ‘whence’s” – is a tender paean to her late mother’s love of prose. “Even though she sunk into Alzheimer’s,” Moyet explains, “the last vestige of anything she had was her knowledge of grammar.

“The disappointment she had in me being dyslexic and not being able to spell… How I wished I could have honoured her. But language has become very important to me. I love words, I love the shape of words, and the colour and the sound of them.”

Her mother, one might confidently suggest, would have been proud of what she’s achieved, and not just because of her verbal wit.

Other finds Moyet embracing what once troubled her, whether it be her self-confessed public awkwardness – “I’m so prone to circular thinking! I can forget where I’ve been, and yet one word that I’ve said could keep me awake for days!” – or her concerns about how best to proceed with her work. If, as she said at the time, The Minutes was “mindless of industry mores that apply to middle-aged women”, she’s gone even further with Other

“It’s mindless of all the industry mores” she emphasises. “I’m aware of the damning attitudes towards middle-aged women: the idea that we’re asinine, or we’re occupied by gentler pursuits, or that middle-aged women aren’t expected to be creative, or be seen in the media.

Read our Album By Album feature on Alison Moyet

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“You can either react by feeling like you can’t push yourself forward, or you just continue regardless of how you’re going to be accepted. I make records with no expectations now. I don’t expect to be on the radio, I don’t expect magazines to want to cover it. I just expect at this point in my career to make a record that I want to make.”

Attaining this has been harder than one might expect for someone who’s sold well over 20 million albums. Other – as its title suggests – addresses the manner in which she’s always felt like she didn’t belong.

Born to a French father, whom she describes fondly but bluntly as “a complete and utter control freak”, and an English mother, “who was a quite oppressed woman”, she grew up in what she describes as “quite a violent environment”, and always found communication intimidating, spending her early years mentally translating French so as to be able to speak English.

“Without sounding crap,” she elaborates, “I have always felt ‘other’. I came from a bit of a peasant family, where everything you had you had to make. Before I was in Yazoo I didn’t even have a cassette player.”

Moyet had other reasons to feel different, too.

“Weird things have happened in my life that have made me think about the fact I have always for some reason drawn unkindness,” she says, albeit without a note of self-pity. “In latter years, a lot of people have been very faithful to me, and very loving, and full of goodwill, but right down to my very first experience in hospital as an eight-year-old, waking up crying from a tonsil operation and having the nurse put her face next to mine and say ‘Why don’t you shut your mouth?!’ These little things have happened at such an alarming rate. Like when I asked to audition for the school musical, and the head of English said, ‘What would we want someone like you for?’

“All these things when I was young, I felt, ‘Yeah, why would you want someone like me?’ It didn’t even seem unreasonable after a while. It just seemed like, ‘Yeah, fair play. I know that I don’t fit.’ And when you’re younger, not fitting in is crushing.” She hesitates momentarily. “Actually, I’ve now come to that place where I feel quite blessed by it.”

Even once she was a star, her well-documented weight problems drew attention away from her music, and she recalls an occasion when a French journalist asked: “Don’t you feel ashamed going on stage looking the way you do?” Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that she withdrew from the public eye.

This was partially due to disagreements with her label, Sony, following the release of 1994’s Essex, but in 2014, on Desert Island Discs, she revealed she’d also suffered for many years from agoraphobia, provoked by a painful encounter with Elvis Costello when, instead of praising a show, as she’d intended, she blurted out “You dragged that out a bit, didn’t you?”

Read our Pop Art: Vince Clarke feature

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In recent years, fortunately, she’s coaxed herself out of the house, and not only to tour. Though formal education never suited her, she’s started to study figurative sculpture. “I left school pretty much unqualified,” she says. “I didn’t even have an English exam. What I always wanted to do was art, but I had no qualifications.”

Nowadays, she travels by train to college, and speaks enthusiastically about piece mould castings and modelling in clay. “I’ve got one guy in my class I call Diligent Dan. He’s fantastic. He’s one of those people who will work really carefully at everything. But that’s not who I am. I could make a really fantastic model and then fuck it all up by being really slapdash. I did this portrait which I thought was fantastic, but completely fucked it when I moulded it.”

In the past, this might have stopped Moyet sleeping, but though her inability to focus continues to dog her, her new hobby has brought her peace.

“The thing I like about art the most is you can occupy yourself however many hours, and it’s the only time my brain isn’t whirring about anything else. I can lose the circular thinking, the concern I have constantly that I’ve said the wrong thing or behaved in the wrong way.”

Quite apart from informing her new album, her personal difficulties have also made her especially sympathetic to others who struggle to conform. An ambassador for Diversity Role Models, her love of Brighton is enhanced by its inclusivity, and one song, The Rarest Birds, was inspired by living in a place where “none of us have to be scared about who we are. They might kick our fucking teeth in, but they can kick our teeth in and we’re going to go out singing.” 

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that she’s also active on Twitter, whose 140-character rule suits her self-proclaimed inarticulacy.

“People say, ‘Let the trolls go’, and I say, ‘You’ve got no idea’. I have this battle desire, and I love it when people think they can floor me with words that don’t touch me. A couple of songs have been informed by that on the album,” she continues, pointing especially to Beautiful Gun. “Being contacted by Americans who are both completely right wing and hate anything liberal, and yet would practically weep if you discussed taking away their guns. You’re frightening people smaller than yourself, and yet you have to have this accoutrement to do it.”

She also talks angrily of “people who put words in a deity’s mouth and claim him for their own, and yet there’s nothing Christian about the way they behave other than their church attendance.” She points to other hypocrisies, too, such as those who are “anti-abortion, pro-life, and yet really anti-social care. When does this child go from ‘Their life must be preserved’ to ‘Their lives may be damned’? Is it when their adult teeth come through?”

Alongside the freedom she now feels to express herself and defend others, Moyet’s also taken severe measures to liberate herself from her past. When she moved house, she threw out huge mountains of historical baggage.

“I just trashed everything I had: the stuff in my loft, my gold discs, all my itineraries, everything that I kept pointlessly. I have no care to carry things. I have no care to carry that success. All of those things that you keep and buy, that make note of the fact you existed: when do you ever look at them? When does it touch your life? When do you need them?”

Evidently these extreme decisions have paid off. Other celebrates Moyet’s individuality in an unexpectedly vibrant fashion, as well as the fresh lease of life that her newfound self-assurance has brought her.

“I’ll tell you how normal my life is,” she chuckles. “I came back from sculpture the other day on the train, and I looked bad. I’m covered in plaster, my hair hasn’t been brushed. I was sitting at a table of four people, and there’s a smartly dressed young woman, sitting diagonally to me, who pushed over her bag of nuts and said, ‘Would you like these?’ That will explain to you how invisible I’ve become: she thought I was a bag lady! I feel so bad now. I should have taken her nuts and thanked her for my one meal of the day. I never ever felt I looked underfed!”

Thirty-five years, almost to the day, since Yazoo battled their way to No.2 with Only You, Alison Moyet seems finally to have found not only herself, but also a refreshed muse.

“What I love now,” she concludes, “is the freedom of not being noticed so I can actually now observe, as opposed to spending my whole time worrying I’m being observed. Maybe that’s where creativity for me comes from now: I can actually be a person in society, which is what I wanted to be, and yet invisible. I still feel ill equipped. I still feel like a different beast. However, where once I would very much have liked not to have been, now I have no desire for it to be otherwise.” 

Vive la différence!

Alison Moyet’s website

Read more: Making Duran Duran’s Rio






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The alternative David Bowie Top 2O – 1981–’93




David Bowie songs 80s

In our list of the best alternative David Bowie songs of the 80s and 90s we delve deep into the singer’s stellar back catalogue… By Andy Price

20 Heaven’s In Here, Tin Machine (1989)

The first track on Tin Machine’s first record is among its more engaging moments, with a traction engine of a riff grinding the band into bluesy motion. Bowie’s vocal and stylistic debt to Iggy Pop is fairly obvious: an association made transparent with the fact that Iggy’s one-time rhythm section – the infamous Sales brothers – provide the pounding bedrock. Due to Tin Machine’s policy of only allowing first-take, instinctual approaches to songcraft, the lyric is somewhat duff by Bowie’s standards. Yet the collective intensity of the song conceals it.

19 ’87 and Cry, Never Let Me Down (1987)

Never Let Me Down is often written off as the work of an artist bereft of ideas. However, a closer look reveals some great songs lurking here. ’87 And Cry is among the strongest, with a lyric that finds Bowie reconnecting with the politics of his homeland over a heavy arrangement that prefigures his rock-oriented next move: the raw guitar solo was performed by Bowie himself. A nice example of a lyrically and thematically interesting song, swamped somewhat by the record’s hallmark overblown production. 

18 Glass Spider, Never Let Me Down (1987)

Another Marmite track, Glass Spider is the dramatic centrepiece of Never Let Me Down, harking back to Bowie’s more sci-fi early works. And when the music kicks in, it also becomes one of Never Let Me Down’s more colourful high points. The dramatic synth-strings and uncertain bass is a great relief from the uncomplicated major chords that dominate the record otherwise.

17 Tin Machine, Tin Machine (1989)

The Tin Machine project is much maligned, but Tin Machine the song is actually fun, in a ramshackle way. This raucous explosion of noise and a breathtakingly impactful rhythm section finds Bowie adopting his most overtly (and semi-parodic) ‘punk’ vocal on record. Though it’s tongue-in-cheek, Reeves Gabrels’ riffs effortlessly glide the song to its conclusion. It’s an infectious and enjoyable little piece – shame the rest of the record doesn’t continue with this looser sound.

16 You’ve Been Around, Black Tie White Noise (1993)

The industrial hum of You’ve Been Around belies its orthodox Tin Machine-era origins. Live drums propel the track forward, while Bowie’s processed vocals wrench him back – musically at least – into the ‘weird’ camp. His Scott Walker-aping croon blends with the fuzzy synths wonderfully. Bowie was an artist truly reinvigorated for a new decade.

Read more: David Bowie in the 90s

Read more: Making David Bowie’s Let’s Dance

15 Criminal World, Let’s Dance (1983)

This cover of Metro’s 1976 track has one of the most sumptuous arrangements on Let’s Dance. From the sharp, stabby opening riff to the warmth of the shiny synth pads that run throughout the song, Nile Rodgers’ production shines and Stevie Ray Vaughan has some wonderful guitar moments. Though the original song was a gay anthem (and banned by the BBC as a result), Bowie’s version makes some unfortunate edits to the lyric, making it less challenging, perhaps, for the still very socially conservative wider public of the time. Despite this, the song remains an enjoyable listen.

14 Zeroes, Never Let Me Down (1987)

Bowie’s love letter to 60s counterculture is perhaps the strongest of Never Let Me Down’s album tracks, with Peter Frampton’s electric sitar a notable element. Again, this is an example of how Bowie writing new and interesting material frequently went unnoticed. The purposefully naïve Zeroes is a deconstruction of the entire rock ’n’ roll myth and remains a great listen. It’s also actually a bit of an anthem, and would have made a great single. 

13 Within You, Labyrinth (1986)

Within You is a surprisingly dark track for the soundtrack to a kids’ film. Vocally, it’s reminiscent of Bowie’s delivery on the Baal album, with some suitably theatrical enunciation underlining the character-based nature of the song. Oscillating between intense projected lyrics that imply a spurned lover, to a more tender, breathy delivery of the “I can’t live within you” refrain, the song is wonderfully dynamic. Okay, so Labyrinth the film may not be ‘high art’, but here, Bowie demonstrates that he’s still the master of character-based songwriting.

12 The Wedding, Black Tie White Noise (1993)

The pulsing instrumental that opens Black Tie White Noise was composed to mark Bowie’s 1992 marriage, but also saw a return to nuanced composition after the overblown production ethos of the 80s. While many love songs deal in trite cliché, here, Bowie communicates his sense of very real joy through a variety of instruments – the slightly nervous two-note bassline, the repeated bells motif and the soaring, lovely saxophone that also recalls Bowie’s more exotic works on the latter end of “Heroes”. 

11 Ricochet, Let’s Dance (1983)

The most fascinating lyric on Let’s Dance, Ricochet features a characteristically tight Nile Rodgers production and some of Bowie’s most sublime melodies on the record. His words allude to the darker side of 80s capitalism: Bowie sings of the world “on a corner, waiting for jobs” and the growing despair of the working class. Throughout the track, countermelodies and backing vocals weave in with repeated refrains. It’s a tense and agitated track that works well after the summery euphoria of the record’s beginning.

10 Dead Against It, The Buddha of Suburbia (1993)

Growing out of The Buddha of Suburbia’s understated (but genuinely beautiful) soundscapes comes one of Bowie’s most infectious and celebratory tracks, and one that doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention. Built around a scintillating synth and guitar riff and a rolling, unstoppable beat, Dead Against It was, as with the rest of the soundtrack’s compositions, constructed in isolation. With a lofty lyric that finds Bowie in thrall to the “apple in my eye” delivered with a weary resignation, Dead Against It prefigures Bowie’s more intense rhythmic experiments as the decade progressed, and is a highlight of the record.

9 Baal’s Hymn, Baal (1982)

The opening track of the Baal soundtrack contains an utterly superb Bowie vocal – growing from what is ostensibly a line delivery to a fully fledged powerhouse vibrato. Bowie snarls, quips and semi-raps an almost stream-of-consciousness narrative that is backed by a murky, sombre arrangement before launching into a militaristic march. Recorded by Tony Visconti in the same environment (and with the same technique) where he captured Bowie’s career-best vocals on “Heroes”, Baal’s Hymn is a showcase of Bowie’s supreme mastery of his vocal chords. 

Read more: Making David Bowie’s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

8 Nite Flights, Black Tie White Noise (1993)

Bowie’s cover of Scott Walker’s Nite Flights was a doffing of the cap to his fellow avant-garde baritone (as was his cover of Morrissey’s I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday later on Black Tie White Noise). Nite Flights was the title track of The Walker Brothers’ 1978 album, a record that contained what Bowie described as “quite the most lovely songs I’d heard in years”. Bowie’s uniquely reworked version contains a recurring, robotic synth drone that adds a futuristic sheen to the song’s uptempo, rollicking beat. It would be one of Black Tie White Noise’s higher profile tracks, performed live on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 1993.

7 Without You, Let’s Dance (1983)

Though Let’s Dance is dominated by a trio of glorious singles, the rest of the album contains some equally worthy moments. Without You, the track that immediately follows that forked salvo of hits, has a wonderful Chic-recalling arrangement that features a curiously restrained Bowie gliding effortlessly over the tightly constructed, bouncy framework. Though lyrically sparse, it’s a pleasant listen and promisingly indicates a route that equally melds both boisterous 80s production and fantastic songcraft which, sadly, Bowie rarely pursued through the decade. Though it was released as a single in some territories, in the UK, it remained a low-profile piece, and a hopeful indication that Bowie was still an artist who constructed album tracks with the same diligence as his chart-bothering singles.

6 The Mysteries, The Buddha of Suburbia (1993)

Throughout The Buddha Of Suburbia, Bowie frees himself from the strictures of the pop and rock worlds, and once again soaks into a world of instrumental music. Of all the soundscapes he crafts on the album, the crystalline beauty of The Mysteries is the one that lingers in the memory. Bowie here recaptures a dreamy mood that listeners hadn’t previously experienced since Side B of “Heroes”. The Mysteries’ staggered, beguiling reversed-piano parts work to lull the listener into a semi-transcendental state: the song paints an aural picture of a daydreaming individual, aspiring to greater things, beyond suburbia. Bowie the sonic pioneer was back.

5 I Can’t Read, Tin Machine (1989)

The most well known of all the Tin Machine-era songs (as Bowie would perform it well into his 90s career), I Can’t Read is a really great composition that proves that even in creatively uncertain times, Bowie was still a superb – and self-aware – songwriter. Ironic then, that this eventually beloved song would focus lyrically, as with 1977’s Sound And Vision, on Bowie’s then lack of inspiration. “I can’t read and I can’t write down”, Bowie drawls through the deliberately stifled melody, which precedes the explosive chorus of “I can’t read shit anymore” and we’re wrenched to alertness. We feel Bowie’s frustration here, and know that he’s doing all he can to find that spark again…

4 As The World Falls Down, Labyrinth (1986)

For many of those in the more cerebral corners of Bowie-fandom, his infamous performance in Labyrinth (and, by association, on the soundtrack record) is dismissed as further evidence of Bowie chasing mainstream acceptance and an erosion of his artistic edge. Those who really listened to the record, however, could dredge up enough Bowie sustenance to keep them afloat. For keen listeners, it becomes apparent that As The World Falls Down is (secretly) among Bowie’s finest 80s songs: an exquisite vocal performance of a heart-wrenchingly gorgeous melody with a lyric as rich as anything on any Bowie record proper. As The World Falls Down is a beautiful song, and its quality shines through the saccharine 80s production.

3 Goodbye Mr. Ed, Tin Machine II (1991)

The final track on Tin Machine’s long deleted (and long derided) second outing turns out to be a lost Bowie highlight, and so toweringly worthy – particularly when compared to the other tracks on the record – that we had to place it high on our list here, just to draw your attention to it. It’s difficult to really consider this as a Tin Machine track at all, being such an utterly ‘Bowie’ song lyrically and musically. There are intimations of resignation and retirement (and a slightly suicidal air) as Bowie punctuates each verse with “Goodbye Mr. Ed” and paints a picture of a character absorbing the jumbled mess of pop culture, racial tension and violence with a powerless, weary shrug. It’s a surprisingly beautiful end to the Tin Machine project which, if nothing else, allowed David Bowie to rediscover himself as an artist.

2 The Drowned Girl, Baal (1982)

Containing one of Bowie’s finest-ever vocal performances, The Drowned Girl – a track from Bowie’s Baal soundtrack, written by Bertolt Brecht – is a theatrical, emotionally resonant and dynamic showcase for Bowie: as both actor and vocalist. Rising from a melancholy and unemotional close-mic’d delivery to a soaring, impassioned and majestic expression of pain, The Drowned Girl thoroughly underlines Bowie’s now-towering vocal strength as a baritone vocalist (and, as with Baal’s Hymn, recalls “Heroes”). An undervalued gem, the song uses a traditional and restrained Kurt Weill arrangement and although it comes and goes incredibly quickly, during its brief runtime, we witness Bowie demonstrating his full range and vocal power. 

1 The Buddha of Suburbia, The Buddha of Suburbia (1993)

We generally disqualify singles in this feature,  but this song is so under-heard that it had to take the No. 1 crown here. Among Bowie’s most gorgeous 90s compositions, The Buddha Of Suburbia’s title track welcomes back an incarnation of Bowie we’d not really heard from since 1971’s Hunky Dory. Here, the wistful songwriter with big ideas returns, as Bowie aptly paints a picture of naïve aspirations, shackled by the weight of conformity in a suburban prison. Clearly he’s singing from experience here, while also alluding to the narrative of Karim Amir (the television series’ title character) and, really, every alienated dreamer everywhere. Bowie is taking stock of his career, too, with a musical reference to Space Oddity’s four-chord motif and, fascinatingly, 1970’s All The Madmen, with which it shares its surreal outro lyric. Once again, and for the first time in a long time, Bowie taps into a pop-cultural mood: with Britpop in the ascendency and musical identity being a paramount concern to the chart-topping bands of the day, it’s fitting that Bowie (whose influence was palpably rippling throughout the movement) realigned himself with his venerated younger self.

Read more: The Story Of The New Romantics

Check out David Bowie’s website here



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Stream it: “This Beat Is Poptronik – Year-end 2021”




Surprise everyone! Guess our readers might not have expected to see this from us yet, but. We decided to get our year-end summing up tied up early this year, simply because why not. We have put together another “This Beat Is Poptronik” playlist for your listening pleasure. Dive in for a listen HERE.

To be honest, 2021 was another challenging twelve months that we don’t wish to dwell on too much. Know we are thankful for science and for Covid vaccines. The return of live music, the arts and all entertainment events. (i.e. the core of what lies at the heart of EQ Music Blog).

Our year-end 2021 playlist is choc-full with over 15 hours of killer, pop, electronic and alternative tracks. You’ll find everything from massive hits to indie gems.

We hope your ears are ready for the poptasticness of “This Is Beat Is Poptronik – Year-End 2021” edition which awaits you …

You will find established artists such as Years and Years, Kylie, MARINA, Sigrid, CHVRCHES, Troye Sivan and Charli XCX. Alongside the best break out acts of 2021, (in our opinion) Kim Petras, Griff, Mimi Webb, Baby Queen, Self Esteem, Holly Humberstone, Gracey and Alfie Templeman.

As you would expect, there is a healthy sprinkling of our long-time blog favourites also making appearances. Max Barskih, Sergey Lazarev, Avec Sans, morgxn, Greyson Chance, Darin, Hayley Kiyoko, Autoheart and Allie X, to name but a few.

I could give a shout out to many more names featured on the playlist. Yet, I am going to nip this summary in the bud. Stopping short before I traverse the line of sounding like I am making, crazy long-ass acceptance speech. As is the done thing at the Oscar’s.

Music has been our saviour. Our friend in times of need. Our comfort in times of struggle. We curated this playlist with only this thought in our minds. That you, our readers, discover some great tunes and artists that you might have overlooked in 2021.

We give thanks to all the artists who helped us through 2021. You are all stars in our eyes.

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Former Specials member Neville Staple announces new album




Neville Stable From The Specials & Beyond
Neville Stable – From The Specials & Beyond

Former member of The Specials Neville Staple has announced his latest solo album, From The Specials & Beyond.

The record will find the 66-year-old ska veteran revisiting the songs of his past, and includes collaborations with Staple’s wife and co-vocalist Sugary Staple, reggae artist Clint Eastwood, Quadrophenia actor Gary Shail, rocksteady legend Derrick Morgan and founding Selector member Neol Davies.

“This has been one of my favourite albums to work on,” Staple said in a press release. “Each song has a special and personal meaning to me. I wanted to celebrate the roots of my own music journey, with 2 Tone being at the forefront of each song, in the sound and in the lyrics.

“Stomping music, with sometimes serious commentary, but all presented in a fun, danceable, singalong spirit. That’s the 2 Tone way. Our way. And the special guests were amazing to work with too, especially Derrick Morgan, one of my early inspirations.

“With superb contributions from Sugary and the band, plus other star guests, this album is set to be a real ‘stand out’ one, that makes me proud of my career to date.”

From The Specials & Beyond will be available on all formats from 10 December. 

From The Specials & Beyond tracklisting:

1. Right from Wrong
2. Celebrate with You
3. Can’t Take No More
4. Don’t Let It Pass You By
5. Stand By Me
6. Something’s Wrong
7. Housewives Choice (featuring Derrick Morgan)
8. Please Don’t Leave Me Lonely
9. What’s Really Going On (featuring Gary Shail)
10. Miss Dis N Dat (DJ Mix) (featuring Clint Eastwood)
11. Way of Life (Pandemic Mix) (featuring Neol Davies)
12. World Turned Upside Down

Follow Neville Staple on Twitter here

Read more: 40 years of 2 Tone



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