I always thought I Can’t Explain was the first single by The Who, and it is. But before that, in July 1964, they released this song under the band name The High Numbers.

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There are two equally spellbinding versions of this haunting lament to lost love and innocence, by two different singers, and ever since I first heard them I’ve been unable to decide which is the best. The problem is that they’re not all that different, and of course there’s no need to pick one over the other.

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RIP Melanie Safka (1947-2024)

I remember Melanie – just “Melanie” – as a hippie chick with long hair, black eyeliner and a warbling vibrato. I first heard her singing a song called Ruby Tuesday. I was a child and she sounded like one too.

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This song is so perfect, like a four-minute movie. A miniature kitchen sink drama. Shot in black-and-white, of course, with the principal characaters played by Albert Finney and Rita Tushingham.

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This dirty, primitive, fuzzed-up slice of vintage RnB from comes from four smooth-looking black fellows called The Dyna-Sores.

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Just as punk began to take over my musical life in 1976 this slice of smooth soul hit the UK charts. But this isn’t them… well, one of them is but the other one isn’t.

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I’ve never really been a fan of The Kinks though I’ve come to love Waterloo Sunset and Sunny Afternoon because, well, who doesn’t? And Ray Davies once walked past me coming out of Costa in Highgate so we’re *almost* friends.

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Once upon a time there was a band called Jefferson Airplane fronted by a former model called Grace Slick. But before that Grace was in a band called The Great Society and the Airplane had a singer called Signe Toly.

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Norma Tanega’s song came out nearly 60 years ago but was given a new lease of life after half a century in obscurity as a TV theme as the theme music of What We Do In The Shadows.

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On the surface, this is little more than a thinly disguised rewrite of Like A Rolling Stone. But there’s something special about it too… especially that familiar guitar sound. Those licks, borrowed more or less straight from Mike Bloomfield’s on the Dylan song, are played by a young session player called Jimmy Hendrix.

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