Top 50 Favourite Songs: Phil Dellio

I lost a lot of my passion for making lists when Pazz & Jop went under two or three years ago. This one is made up of a number of holdovers from a Top 100 I put together for Facebook in 2010, plus a few things from a decade-end I compiled in 2019. There are probably only two or three songs that are completely new to me since then. I’m not keeping up with newer music these days, or catching up with older stuff. (“These Days”…that was on the Facebook list, I believe.)

Still a lot of jangle that dates back to a time when I was downloading everything in sight from Soulseek and from blogs: Holiday Makers, Stupid Cupids, Yuji Oniki. I’ve twice tried to write a book on this stuff—different framing idea, same songs—and haven’t gotten very far. I’ve dropped a few people who could be found on every favourite-ever list I ever compiled—Neil Young, Todd Rundgren, Rod Stewart, the Velvet Underground, Husker Du, the Pet Shop Boys—while the Jefferson Airplane, the Who, and Sly & the Family Stone hang on. No logic or explanation there.

I haven’t even tried to order the list. When I had everything alphabetized by artist (internet/word-processing style, that is; I’m lazy), the Godz’ “Where” was directly followed by Grachan Moncur III’s “When”; when I reordered by song tile, they switched places but were still one right after the other. No matter what, “Where” and “When” were meant to be together.

1. “A Street That Rhymes at 6 A.M.,” Norma Tanega (1966)
2. “Airborne,” Wussy (2005)
3. “An Enterprising Molecule,” Mendoza Line (1999)
4. “An Impression,” No Age (2013)
5. “Awful,” Hole (1998)
6. “Beat Bop,” Rammellzee vs. K-Rob (1983)
7. “Big Blue Bus,” Stupid Cupids (1987)
8. “Black and White,” Db’s (1981)
9. “Bobby,” Alex G (2017)
10. “Chainsaw the Horse,” Dentists (1992)
11. “Cincinnati,” Holiday Makers (1988)
12. “Consider Me Gone,” Jellystone Park (1991)
13. “Cover,” Yuji Oniki (1995)
14. “Cruel Summer,” Bananarama (1984)
15. “Echelon (It’s My Way),” Angel Haze (2013)
16. “Enough,” Scrawl (1990)
17. “Everybody Is a Star,” Sly & the Family Stone (1969)
18. “Fountain Stairs,” Deerhunter (2010)

19. “Gardeninginginging,” Knight School (2009)
20. “Glow Girl,” the Who (1968)
21. “Go,” Ladybug (1998)
22. “He’s a Whore,” Cheap Trick (1977)
23. “Heartland Truckstop,” Beth Orton (2005)
24. “Hedgehog,” Luna (1995)
25. “Inspector Norse,” Todd Terje (2012)

26. “It’s No Secret,” Jefferson Airplane (1966)
27. “Lie to Choose,” 14 Iced Bears (1988)
28. “Lookout,” Julie Ruin (2013)

29. “Lost,” Odin (1966)
30. “Message from the Country,” Move (1971)
31. “Milestones,” Miles Davis (1958)
32. “No Looking,” Raincoats (1980)
33. “Number 33,” Jan & Lorraine (1969)
34. “P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?),” Schoolly D (1985)
35. “Pay No Mind (Snoozer),” Beck (1994)
36. “Safety Net,” Shop Assistants (1985)
37. “Slipping (Into Something),” Feelies (1986)
38. “Smiling Faces Sometimes,” Undisputed Truth (1971)
39. “Sore Tummy,” Paws (2012)

40. “Split,” Liliput (1980)
41. “Strings of Life,” Rhythim Is Rhythim (1987)
42. “That Girl,” Beekeepers (1992)
43. “The Boy Who Crossed the Street,” St. James Infirmary (1989)
44. “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo,” X-Ray Spex (1978)

45. “The Past and the Pending,” Shins (2001)
46. “When,” Grachan Moncur III (1969)
47. “Where,” Godz (1967)
48. “You Could Get Lost Out Here,” A.C. Newman (2012)
49. “You! Me! Dancing!” Los Campesinos (2006)
50. “You’re One,” Imperial Teen (1996)

Phil Dellio lives in St. Marys, Ontario. His most recent book is You Should’ve Heard Just What I Seen: Pop Music at the Movies and on TV.


3 thoughts on “Top 50 Favourite Songs: Phil Dellio

  1. Hey, Almost 50 uncharted faves! A compendium of lost pop songs Phil’s highlighted before and so much more potential hidden treasure. Love these as inspired listening session playlists.

    I’d do one but I’m intimidated by the labor commitment. What’s your deadline again? If I bashed one out quick I know I’d just come up with lots of stuff that’d appear on other lists.

    Anyway, love perusing the lists. Keep ‘em comin’. Regards.


  2. I smiled when I saw the JA’s “It’s No Secret” on this list. I put on their first album a couple of years ago and this track hit me. It’s probably their tightest and sharpest ever playing, with subtle shifts of groove and Balin’s vocal riding it just right.

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