Song of 2008

I thought this would be excruciating, and it wasn’t as easy to do as for certain past years, but here are ten of the best from 2008.

You can listen to them by clicking them. There are a few more tracks from 2008 to be heard here, listed as my Triple J nominations a few weeks back, so please do let me know if you take a liking, or disliking, to any of them (either there or here).

Augie March, ‘Lupus’
Bon Iver, ‘Skinny Love’
British Sea Power, ‘No Lucifer’
Coldplay, ‘Violet Hill’
Neil Diamond, ‘Pretty Amazing Grace’
Duffy, ‘Mercy’
Bob Dylan, ‘Dreamin’ of You’
Al Green, ‘All I Need’
Tom Morello, ‘Whatever It Takes’
The Stills, ‘Snow in California’

The chatroom just opened, so come and listen with me. I’d love to hear yours.

They’re in alphabetical order, by the way. Otherwise Bob would be on top.

Interestingly, both Bob Dylan’s and Coldplay’s were offered up as free downloads. Your thoughts on this practice would be welcomed with considerate nods of the head, so hit me with your burning views.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

39 thoughts on “Song of 2008”

  1. Hi FEd,

    Coldplay’s Violet Hill I like. Also liked The Stills “Snow in California”.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Cheers! 8)

  2. I must be living in a box (remember them?) as I haven’t heard any of these songs. Is that the same Tom Morello who was with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave?

    None of these songs are played on the radio stations I listen to. I’ll have to click through and see if any of them catch my ear. I’ll have to give some further thought as to what I may consider to be the best of 2008.

    Here is a question though, how long did any song stay at the top of the charts? Seems to me that these days music doesn’t have the same staying power. I mean will there ever be another album like DSOTM that even stays on the charts for decades? Time is fleeting now more than ever.

    As for free downloads, on the surface it is a good idea but many times the free selections are crap. There have been a few exceptions and it is a good way to promote a new band, however those are the ones that seem to be more crappy. Of the free downloads I did this past year that were anywhere decent were from established names like Sheryl Crow. I did like the free downloads from DG on the Verizon promotion a few years back. But in general you get what you pay for.



    1. Living in a Box… Now there’s a blast from the past.

      And, yes, it’s the same Tom Morello.

      Good point about the longevity of more recent and current releases.

    2. Same here, Andrew, see my avatar, I’m still trying to get out of my box! 😉

      I mean, I don’t even know half of the songs listed by FEd, but it’s what I like with the blog, we can always learn or discover something new. Great. So, I will listen to the songs.

      But that takes time, so, FEd, the problem is, if you add a new blog post everyday, we don’t have enough time… 🙁


    3. Michele,

      Too funny about you in a box.

      So the song I wanted to hear is a French song by Jane Birkin, “Je t’aime… moi non plus.” I understand it was released back in the 1960s and it was banned. Trying to find a link to hear this song. Do you know it, have you heard it? I understand it caused quite a scandal back in the day.



    4. Hmm… Andrew… well, OK.

      ‘Je t’aime…moi non plus’ is a wonderful (I do love it) ‘erotic’ song written par Serge Gainsbourg, first sung with Brigitte Bardot in 1967 and then with Jane Birkin in 1969.

      The song was actually banned in many European countries like the UK, Italy, Sweden, Spain… such prudish countries! 😉 But of course, it came out in the 60s, the song would certainly no more be banned now.

      It was a great success everywhere and for example, reached charts #1 in the UK – maybe just because it was banned by the BBC! :)) There is no point in banning songs…

      Please, click here to read the story.

      And click here to listen to it.


  3. Echoing my favourite album of 2008, REM’s Accelerate – the top of the list for my favourite tracks of the year would probably be Man-Sized Wreath. Some very good lyrics from Michael Stipe about the Bush administration in there too.

    Kids and Time to Pretend by MGMT are two of my favourites as well – they remind me of a really great day driving to York with my two best friends. ‘Songs of the summer’ I think. Not music that will stand the test of time though, but simply music that brings back happy memories.

    1. R.E.M.’s “Accelerate” is probably my favourite 2008 album, too. Good music and lyrics, as you say and a good live show, if you had the opportunity to go. 🙂

    2. Definitely agree with you about MGMT, that album was the sound of last summer for me! Also love Of Moons, Birds and Monsters, great tune.


  4. Hello Fed. 🙂

    I’m working my way through your list right now. Dylan is playing, I’m very impressed, really like it.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing him.

    ash X

  5. FED – some great songs there. The Neil Diamond album is a particular good listen…

    But I seriously urge you to listen to The Pineapple Thief and Coventry’s answer to Dylan/Neil Young (I kid you not), Cliff Hands. Both have MySpace pages with several songs to listen to for free.

  6. Coldplay… coldplay. Coldplay play cold, that’s it.

    They are just plain boring and… aaaargh… I can’t stand that singer, pretending he is so full of emotion, when he is just a poser and… (can I be harsh?!?) can’t really sing!!! He is voiceless.

    Most boring group ever. I have not heard this song, or if I heard it just passed through. But, admit it, it’s like all the others isn’t it?

    Coldplay and their success are the expression of problems of music nowadays, to me. What the hell do you find in cold play?!?!?

    1. I was very, very disappointed with the album, I must say, but this is a good tune.

      I have to agree that they’ve lost their spark. That’s fame and fortune for you, I suppose.

  7. 😀 Dave Gilmour is the best guitar player I have ever heard. I got the video recently off of VH1 – I was out of it in my youth and missed him in his youth.. I hope they go out on road again or at least record more videos.


    This is what I call real Soul Food.


  8. I’m all for free downloads. Makes life easier for those of us who don’t have the inclination to rip them off other sites anyway.

    There’s a cracking back catalogue feature on His Bobness’ site too that lets you listen to excerpts from every (I think) album he’s made. I’ve bought a few old CDs after listening to that too.

  9. The only song I knew among the ones above is Bob Dylan’s “Dreamin’ of You”, I like it very much.

    From the other list I knew Metallica’s “The Day That Never Comes”, my favourite of their new album.

    I listened to the other ones and I really liked Neil Diamond. Even if I had never heard it before, his song is my second best, after Bob Dylan.


  10. I can’t stand Coldplay, very sorry, it’s just me…

    Neil Diamond is the king, he’ll always be.

    When I heard Duffy on the radio the first time I was sure she was a woman of colour, she has that special bite in the voice, just unique.

    Tom Morello is the real revelation for me, thanks FEd, amazing song, great energy, distinctive arrangement, it tells something new.

    In the digital era free download is a practice more and more common in musicians marketing plans, it generates good rumor, spreads the word and prepares to sell better the whole album. It’s a must nowadays.

  11. Augie March – Lupus is superb. Not heard that before.

    Coldplay is a an impressive change of style for them. I like the direction they’re going.

    I don’t listen to enough music…

  12. For me it would be:

    – Pendragon, ‘Eraserhead’ (from ‘Pure’), click here.
    – Metallica, ‘The Day That Never Comes’ (from ‘Death Magnetic’), click here.
    – Francis Cabrel, ‘Le Chêne Liège’ (from ‘Des Roses Et Des Orties’), click here.
    – Francis Cabrel, ‘Elle m’appartient’ (from ‘Des Roses Et Des Orties’) – Just beautiful – it’s a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘She Belongs To Me’, I think, click here.


    1. Michèle,

      Cabrel est très connu ici au Québec, je crois qu’il vient donner une série de spectacle en avril prochain, mais moi je vais voir Aznavour en avril, c’est un de mes cadeaux de Noel. C’est pas mal comme cadeau, qu’est-ce que tu en dit? 🙂


    2. J’en dis que je suis ravie pour toi, Sylvie. 🙂

      Sais-tu que Charles Aznavour a reçu le ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ à Cannes le 19 Janvier 2009 pour l’ensemble de sa carrière musicale? Il est l’un des premiers artistes francophones à avoir reçu cet honneur et rejoint ainsi des noms prestigieux comme Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong ou Elvis Presley.

      Ceci dit, ne m’en veux pas, mais je préfère mille fois Francis Cabrel!

      Bisous à toi.

  13. I just knew Duffy’s song, who played a lot here in Montréal, last here on radio.

    Are those songs very well known in U.K.? Or just known by you, Fed?

    1. I’m really not sure, Sylvie. Other than the media darlings (who are on TV and radio constantly, it seems), I don’t know what’s truly ‘popular’ any more. Or care, for that matter.

      Coldplay and Duffy receive a lot of mainstream radio air play. Neil Diamond’s album was very well-advertised and he promoted it well by appearing on the right television programmes. I’ve followed the careers of Bob Dylan and Al Green, so I knew about their latest projects.

      The others I just happened to stumble across online.

  14. Oh my gosh!!! Now I know why I never heard these songs. What a bunch of crap. And people think that Zappa’s music has no passion.

    The only song I would vote for would be the Metallica track “The Day That Never Comes.” That is a powerful song. Much of the other stuff are musicians whining. I would rather stick pins in my eyes.

    Sorry, just my thoughts on these top 2008 songs.



  15. Oh, now, Bob Dylan should always be at the top of the list.

    As far as songs from 2008, I don’t think I even know what’s come out this past year. I think Jason Mraz’s song I’m Yours is from 2008 and I dig it… but I looked at the lists of top 10 and top 20 and so on from all sorts of websites, and I didn’t recognize any of them. 😉

  16. When we were doing the “Best Album of 2008” a while back, I completely forgot to mention a little gem I came across recently. It’s from The Fireman (who is really Paul McCartney doing something different). The album is called Electric Arguments and my favorite song from it is called “Nothing Too Much, Just Out of Sight.” It’s worth checking out just to hear Paul do something a bit more rockin’ and bluesy than his usual brand of pop.

    For years I’ve thought of Paul as an extremely talented music maker who often throws his talent away. This is what I think Paul would sound like if he did not have a legacy to live up to.

    1. This is what I think Paul would sound like if he did not have a legacy to live up to.

      Spot on, Dan. That must be one hell of an albatross that he has to carry around his neck.

      Great album. Love Macca. ‘Highway’ is the stand-out track for me.

      You can listen to ‘Electric Arguments’ here.

    2. A reply to F*Ed’s comment about The Fireman:

      I once told someone,”I’m glad I’m not Paul McCartney.” He is a very wealthy and successful man. But everyone keeps asking questions about what he did over 40 years ago, and all of his newer work is compared to that.

      Can you imagine that? No artist wants that.

  17. The best song of last year without a shadow of doubt (in my mind anyway) is One Day Like This by Elbow.

    It starts with the most beautiful melody and then builds to a rousing crescendo with full orchestra accompaniment.

    An honourable mention goes to Glasvegas for the beautiful Flowers And Football Tops. If you haven’t heard there album, think Jesus And Mary Chain produced by Phil Spector and you’re half way there.

  18. Unfortunately, I haven’t been keeping up with tracks in 2008. Shame, shame, I know.

    However, the one song that really grabbed me by the throat and made me cry was the Flobots ‘Handlebars’. What a powerful video. I remember being in the office watching the video on YouTube then running to the toilet to try and kerb my tears.

    That song is a great literary statement of today’s modern world. Very powerful message, indeed.

    1. Just had a listen, Julie. Very powerful, as you say.

      I’m often guilty of dismissing rap as being all about the guns and the drugs and the bitches and the bling, and consequently of little benefit to anyone, but a song like that with a sharp and poignant social commentary soon makes you realise that such snobbery is as wrong as saying that all folk songs are about nothing more than wearing flowers in your hair and, therefore, are too naff to bother with.

      Combined with the video, it gets its message across quite effectively. And it only takes one listen to get inside your head…

      Thanks for sharing it.

    2. Wow, Julie, thanks for posting this… I probably would not have heard this otherwise. I’m pretty close to FEd with my feelings about rap and ‘rap culture’ but I like being proven wrong – good art is always welcome. 🙂

    3. I had to look.

      Certainly depicts today’s world… my son is in to all the rapper stuff so would not have listened if he had said about it… so cheers.

      Makes a point, unlike 50 Cent with bikinis all around him.

  19. My favourite songs of 2008 (from what I can remember just now…)

    Dreamin’ Of You – Bob Dylan
    Good Riddance – Glen Campbell
    Wrong Thing To Do – Mudcrutch
    Living Well’s the Best Revenge – R.E.M.
    Time The Conqueror – Jackson Browne
    Midnight’s Another Day – Brian Wilson

    Hmm… those are the highlights for me I think. I bought a lot of old music last year, whereas there seems to be a lot more new music coming out this year that I plan to buy. 🙂

  20. I loved the Al Green on your list and the Dylan.

    What about the version of Make You Feel My Love of Dylan’s on Adele 19? I like it. I just wondered what you thought since you are a Dylan fan. I grew up with all the many faces of Dylan, interesting man that he is.

    Just wondering what everyone thinks of Adele.

    Hope you all have a good weekend.


Comments are closed.