Elsewhere on this site I have documented my favourite 100 tracks but the top 10 in particular have a meaning for me. So here are the first five (and I think you will find that they encompass rock/pop and many other genres). You will notice that most of these go back decades to the golden eras of music and not the crap pap that is by and large churned out today as a way of spinning money rather than being an art form.
1/ Mockingbird - Barclay James Harvest
My favourite track from my favourite band. This one goes back to the early 70s and is one of their best (if not the best of their tracks). The song has a haunting ethereal feel with a quasi-classical stance. Great music can conjure up a time and a place. This one reminds me of nine months spent at college in Harlow, Essex - nine of the most enjoyable months of my life. I first saw the band at Harlow Technical College and were blown away. The next day I bought the album Once Again which includes Mockingbird. This piece of music has lived with me for over 40 years.
2/ MacArthur Park - Richard Harris
I have over 100 versions of this Jimmy Webb song but none compare to the chart single by an Irish actor. For some reason I love Harris' voice and his interpretation of Webb songs on the two albums A Tramp Shining and The Yard Went on Forever are priceless. MacArthur Park (the song uses the singular although Harris sings MacArthur's Park throughout and Webb never had the heart to tell him) has been voted the best lyric of all time. It has also been voted the worst lyric of all time. Whatever you think, it's a brilliant Gothic-infested song by a brilliant composer. It has been done in many styles over the years from folk to prog, jazz to lounge, but Harris versions always stands out.
3/ Without You - Nilsson
A beautiful song written by members of the British band Badfinger and I just love it as a power ballad, as much as I hate Mariah Carey's later version which wrung all the romanticism out of the song. Nilsson had a wonderful voice which erupts on this song.
4/ Woodstock - Matthews Southern Comfort
This is a Joni Mitchell song that she composed without actually going to the Woodstock festival. Variously recorded by Mitchell herself along with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, it is the version by British band Matthews Southern Comfort that ticks all the boxes for me. It is more melodic and country tinged than the other versions and Iain Matthews has a whispy voice that blends everything beautifully.
5/ Summer the First Time - Bobby Goldsboro
Instantly recognisable from the opening sequence, this is such a gentle and lovely song about growing up and rights of passage.
Tomorrow numbers six to 10 and my favourite five albums of all time