I think my Last.fm profile gives a truer picture of my listening habits for the past year than my iTunes chart (below) because it tends to consist of things I choose to listen to, not what I happen to have hoovered into iTunes from some ancient cheap cd or whatever. With Last.fm you can play whatever you want to, pretty much - though it has some limits on how many times. I see that according to my profile, my top ten for the past twelve months are:
1. Katmandu - Cat Stevens
I played this free, but I've since bought it. It is gloriously tuneful and with interesting lyrics. I love the little bell it starts with, and everything about it.
2. Jealous Guy - Youssou N'Dour
I love the way he pronounces things and he comes across as a very gentle sort of person, counterpointing Lennon's sharp edges.
3. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Moody and magnificent. I've tired a little of it now, but it's a classic.
4. Gordon Lightfoot - Beautiful
I found this on Last.fm and the clue is in the title. It is. It amazes me that it should be fourth in my list for the year, though. There must be something wrong with these statistics, I think.
4 (equal). Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
In spite of the daft lyrics, I love the sound, just the impressions of sensuality hinted at. "I can see her lying back in a satin dress/In a room where you do what you don't confess". I don't know why this one is here and not some others, can't remember listening to it that many times but it's a sort of "old reliable", I guess.
6. Elvis Presley - Flaming Star
What I like about this is it has that sound that you sometimes hear when in town you stray into a record shop and it's bouncing and bumping on the speakers and you think, everything should sound this great. It's quintessential of its type and very moody, with a strange folksy intimation of mortality. It's like cool water when you're thirsty.
8 x 3. Two Katie Melua's - actually I've decided that these are unlistenable. I was in love with her voice for a while but the words are dreadfully trite and the tunes are actually just one sweet hook with a load of clunking, laboured bridges. I'd really far rather have Dusty Springfield here and perhaps Joan Baez, but I listen to them on a CD player in the kitchen on Sunday mornings so Last.fm can't count them.
The last one is Al Green - Tired of Being Alone: just always hits the mark - also nonsensical lyric-wise, but who cares?