Hugh Mundell could have been a contender. He was once heralded as the rising star of roots reggae – as a singer and DJ (Jah Levi) – before he was shot dead at the age of 21 – after an argument over a fridge.

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Here’s a funny thing: I’ve never heard of Ray Agee, or heard his 1971 recording. But I’ve heard the song before – when it was recorded by The Cowboy Junkies.

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The Ramones had a late-career peak in 1985 when they released their first protest song, the anti-Reagan anthem Bonzo Goes To Bitburg.

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This song is such a masterpiece with which to launch a career. And Donny Hathaway is rightly regarded as one of the greatest of all soul singers.

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Cream’s original version of this song was played a lot when I was at school, driven along by a bassline Jack Bruce apparently inspired by seeing a Hendrix concert. It was only much later that I heard this funky soul version by Spanky Wilson, with its exuberant horns and serpentine basslines.

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There’s nothing like a Northern Soul stomper to start the day with a lift – and this is one of the best. Rita and the Tiaras do the trick better than a triple espresso.

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After 31 years together Nada Surf stick to their recipe of jangly guitars and vocal harmonies on this tune from their forthcoming 10th album Moon Mirror.

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I didn’t see much mention in the news of the death of Kinky Friedman, the self-styled “Texas Jewboy” of country music. It’s probably fair to say his records would not be released these days because of their close-to-the-bone satirical content; and their language (including this one).

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Summertime, and the listening is easy (Harry Chapin, Micah P Hinson) – and funky (Mirwais, Baxter Dury) and lots more. There’s vintage country (Connie Smith) and ska (Phyllis Dillon), there’s old soul (Jackie Day, Jackie Edwards) and nu-soul (Jordan Rakei), some powerful blues (Buddy Guy, Ruth Copeland), hip-hop old (Nas) and new (Kneecap) and much more.

What a tune this is! Brilliant by The Rolling Stones, it’s equally brilliant by Jagger’s co-shrieker Merry Clayton, and perhaps even more brilliant in this funked-up version.

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