Saturday, 20 June 2009

100: The Streets - Blinded By The Lights

Kicking off my countdown is everyone's favourite Mike Skinner song. 'Blinded By The Lights' was the third single off The Streets' second album, 'A Grand Don't Come For Free', and reached #10 in the UK singles chart in October 2004.

'Blinded By The Lights' tells the story of a night of drug-fuelled clubbing, as Skinner, embarking on a relationship with Simone (which is the central story of this critically-acclaimed concept album) arranges to meet her at a club, but gets "off his face" (to use modern parlance) and ends up not caring that she's decided to snog his best friend, Dan, instead of him.

Whilst the drug-taking may not be familiar to all of us, other ideas in the lyrics certainly reverberate with our own experiences of nights out on the town - body searches by over-eager bouncers, poor mobile phone reception requiring frequent trips to the entrance just to get a signal, people pushing and shoving, huge queues for the toilets, and waiting what feels like an age to get served at the bar. All of this is set to an insanely catchy (and frankly, quite trippy) synth loop. The female vocal on the chorus is haunting and adds to the general sense that Skinner has tried to recreate the experience of taking ecstasy in musical form.

Try and imagine this song being released in the 90s. Or the 80s. You can't. It's not possible. This may only be my #100 song of the decade, but I doubt if there will be anything else in this list which is as much of a "Noughties song" as 'Blinded By The Lights'.

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