Monday, 4 January 2016
The Fifty Most Read AAA Posts 2008-2015
Dear all, we're taking the briefest of breaks from our cycle of non album recordings/live solo and compilation albums/tv clips/unreleased songs/weird spinoff articles about obscure albums you never see in the shops and can't afford even if you do. Originally this space was left in our schedule to give you a special edition article dedicated to AAA bands and their Myers-Briggs types that I've tried to research a few times while in middle-of-the-night-can't-sleep mode, but it doesn't seem to be working (mainly because all our bands or at least the main individuals in them, all turn out to be the ISFP, ISFJ or INFJ types: so much for rock music being full of extroverts!) So instead here's a sort of belated celebration of Alan's Album Archives reaching the end of another year and the writing of our 1000th post - which technically happened 15 posts ago but never mind (what's a few Otis Redding compilations between friends?) So as a little exercise in self-indulgence with a slightly wonky eye on posterity we present 'the 50 most viewed AAA articles over our first eight years as of November 2015', a list we've separated into our actual main 'reviews' and our extra top ten/twenty/everything else column for ease of reading.
What's interesting is how varied the list is: to make sure it was accurate I've noted every article that made over 100 hits and every single act we've ever covered is in the top 100. The dating seems to vary too: some of our highest hitters came right back in the early days in the 2008-2009 period, while some of our articles from the past six months have matched those statistics already, with some from every year in between. Using this as a bit of research as to what to cover in our final full year of articles in 2016 I've come to the conclusion that what you want most is a review of a Wings album stuffed with Who Sell Out adverts in the middle, wrapped around a political rant and infused with some catchy guitar riffs! Not sure I can manage that, but everything seems to have been more or less equally 'popular' with someone out there (using the term loosely) so we'll most likely carry on doing the same (before I get too big headed, though, it is worth pointing out that there's a couple of news items from our early years that haven't had any views at all yet!) Who knows, in time maybe this post will become our most read of all time? Or maybe I've scared you all off and this post won't get any hits either?! Anyway here's a quick run-down of the top 25 most read AAA reviews, taken from the core 500 (well, 428 at the time of writing) that are the back bone of our site:
1. Paul McCartney and Wings "Venus and Mars" (1975): 47964 hits
(Reviewed July 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/review-64-paul-mccartney-and-wings.html)
Well, this was a surprise. 'Venus and Mars' is kind of a middlingly successful Wings record from their middle years which got middling reviews and is usually rated by fans somewhere around the middle (though I've always had a soft spot for it, hence its inclusion in our original 'core 101 under-rated albums list')! Or have a lot of our hits come from our intergalactic readers on Alpha 2 1 Z 8 A 9?
2. The Who "Sell Out" (1967):12390 hits
(Reviewed July 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/19-who-sell-out-1967.html)
The Who tend to do relatively poorly stats wise on our site for some reason - does everyone have such a personal opinion of 'Tommy' and 'Quadrophenia' et al that they don't want to read someone else's views or are we just bad at writing them?! The band's third album rather bucks the trend though and is another of our original 'core 101 albums'. Best read while eating Heinz Baked Beans!
3. Denny Laine "Reborn" (1996): 8121 hits
(Reviewed November 2011: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-123-denny.html)
This article suddenly took off last year for some reason, which cheered me up greatly - not just for the extra hits it gave our website but because it surely means that somebody else out there actually owns this great and forgotten album by the former Wings and Moody Blues founder. I'm willing to bet, though, that there are very few other reviews of this obscure but great album out there and certainly none as long as ours! Has popularity in this album been re-born?!
4. The Kinks "Everybody's In Showbiz, Everybody's A Star" (1972): 3978 hits
(Reviewed January 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-kinks-everybodys-in-showbiz-1972.htm)
This one is less of a surprise: our Kinks articles always tend to get a boost thanks to our friends at Kindakinks.net who have a much bigger following than us, although it is a surprise that it's one of the band's more obscure 1970s LPs that's winning our hit-rate rather than a 60s classic. You seem to have gone for 'Maximum Consumption' on a rarity that isn't often reviewed though so good for you, dear readers!
5. "Grateful Dead" (1967): 2707 hits
(Reviewed October 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-10-grateful.html)
I hadn't even noticed our review for the Dead's debut was doing so well as it's been racking up the hits steadily and quietly - in deep contrast to the rather manic nature of the album! Chances are it's doing well because of a 'double boost', having returned to and completely modified the album earlier this year, but then that's true of around 100 of our posts. Ah well, whatever the cause it's great that 'I got a friend somewhere' - 2707 of them to be exact!
6. Stephen Stills "Stills" (1975):1142 hits
(Reviewed in July 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/review-65-stephen-stills-stills-1975.html)
Discounting novelties like the surprisingly high one-off scores for McCartney, Lulu, Nils Lofgren and Denny Laine, our CSN reviews have always tended to do the best as a lump sum, which is just as well because there are an awful lot of them. In a very general sense the CSN community has been the most friendly and supportive to our site, with lots of lovely feedback and two really close friendships made with fellow fans through this site who mean the world to me. Stills' relatively obscure 1975 album is a surprise victor though even so, perhaps because there aren't any other flipping reviews of this great album out there?! Though another of our initial 101 'core' reviews this one seems to have done particularly well again after being slightly modified earlier this year. Some of my 'favourite changes' you could say!
7. Jefferson Starship "Nuclear Furniture" (1984): 1114 hits
(Reviewed in July 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/review-87-jefferson-starship-nuclear.html)
One of the very first reviews to be written for Alan's Album Archives, I safely assumed that no one else would ever read this one: it is, after all, the Starship's last and most obscure album long after their music had stopped selling and I'm pretty sure that mine is the only positive review of it I've ever read. Which just goes to show how wrong you can be sometimes! The stats rate is, erm, 'chair raising' in fact and brings us back from the expected 'Armageddon' nicely!
8. Lindisfarne "Dingly Dell" (1972): 1077 hits
(Reviewed in May 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-146.html)
To be fair we do seem get quite a bit of attention for our Lindisfarne posts so this shouldn't be a surprise - sadly we don't really have much competition in terms of Lindisfarne reviewers though goodness knows why, they're a great band! This post, though, dates from the days before the Lindisfarne Facebook site started giving us the occasional plug so I'm not quite sure why Lindisfarne's difficult third 'cardboard' album is the one to have done so well. Again, perhaps it's because I'm one of the few people who actually likes it?! Or maybe it's down to the 'magic in the air'? (It is everywhere, after all).
9. Pink Floyd: 'Immersion' Box Sets: Dark Side Of The Moon/Wish You Were Here/The Wall' (2011/2012): 992 hits
(First reviewed in May 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-144-pink.html)
At last, a statistic I kind of understand: all three of these albums are within the top ten selling AAA albums of all time after all, while for once our site was relatively quickly off the mark when these releases were new. I'm still surprised they've done quite that well though: usually our big hit rates mean people keep coming back to read them again (they are best read in bits given the length of some of them!) and this is just one list of rarities and differences really. Ah well, there is no dark side of the stat counter really you know - matter of fact it's all dark. I'm going to hide behind my firewall now...
10. 10cc "Sheet Music" (1974): 941 hits
(Reviewed in December 2011: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/news-views-and-music-issue-125-10cc.html)
10cc are another of our bands who tend to clog up the bottom end of our stats counter with this being the big exception for some odd reason. 10cc's second album has always been a favourite with the band's quirky humour at a demented peak -something that fits our site well with our tales of talking cows and boozy dogs. In truth, though, I've never liked my review for this album much (I'll be re-reviewing it round about February judging by our current schedule) so I don't know why this one's taken off more than the others. Come on Mac and do the stat counter sacro-iliac!
11. The Kinks "State Of Confusion" (1983): 939 hits
(Reviewed February 2014: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-kinks-state-of-confusion-1983.html)
The start of a run of Kinks reviews all no doubt helped stats-wise by the extra boost from Kindakinks.net The very similar hit rates for this and the next two entries suggests that near enough the exact same people read all three, in which case 'hello!' This really set our stat counter 'dancing' I can tell you!
12. "Kinda Kinks" (1964): 914 hits
(Reviewed August 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-kinks-kinda-kinks-1965.html)
And here's the second Kinks album, with a similar story to tell. This was for a time our third highest viewed article of all time before the others all overtook it - just as well because we were 'so tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for views'.
13. The Kinks "Preservation" (1973/1974): 914 hits
(Reviewed May 2010: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-60-kinks.html)
A bit of a cheat this one, given that we effectively wrote it twice, once for each of the last of the UK general elections! (Darn it, 'Cameron Flash' won again - illegally!) Money and corruption win again then - but not on our site where we're just stat-counting in the mid-day sun.
14. Paul McCartney and Wings "Red Rose Speedway" (1973): 908 hits
(Reviewed April 2013: http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/paul-mccartney-and-wings-red-rose_2844.html)
Alas most of this review's high placing seems to be the high troll-rate this article seemed to get; who'd have guessed that Wings' so-so second LP, full of some brilliant and some not so brilliant stuff, would prove to be so controversial? Ah well, stats are stats I suppose, but dear readers 'Get On The Right Thing!'
15. Nils Lofgren and Grin "1+1" (1972): 821 hits
(Reviewed in January 2013: http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/nils-lofgren-and-grin-11-1972.html)
This review was accompanied by the sad announcement that we'd been looking into turning these articles into books and some of our groups were so behind/so obscure that we would never be able to catch up. I wish now, looking at the rise and rise of this obscure but loveable album, that I'd been able to start a bit quicker and given the great Nils Lofgren the website time he deserved. This is his second best LP after 'Damaged Goods' in my opinion, cute and inventive with its side split between orchestral ballads and full on rockers, while also occasionally being deadly. I'm thrilled to see it doing so well, though I never felt I reviewed this album particularly well. Umm, post book series re-writes circa 2020? After all, I'd give my heart my soft fun, I'm newsing, reviewing and musicing for you...
16. Paul McCartney and Wings "Wildlife" (1972): 755 hits
(Reviewed in September 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/paul-mccartney-and-wings-wildlife-1972.html)
Oddly enough, my review of Wings' first and equally troubled album has had nothing but praise from readers so far, with many (well, three) thanking me for promoting my unfashionable view that, though flawed, 'Wildlife' is a hell of a lot better than fans ever give it credit for being. There's nothing a new opening two songs and an extra week of rehearsals couldn't have fixed for instance and - dare I say it - I actually prefer this album to the all-singing 'Band On The Run' which everyone seems to love (I still like it by the way before you think I've lost all my marbles). Glad to see this one doing so well after a difficult forty-five year period! 'Bip Bop, stats nearly top, wip wam the AAA pot' or 'You are my stats and you are my reader'.
17. The Kinks "Low Budget" (1979): 751 hits
(Reviewed in July 2014: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-kinks-low-budget-1979.html)
More Kinks in the system - in both meanings of the word probably - with a fifth entry for the Davies brothers. Though not exactly a high profile album either 'Low Budget' has done very respectably in cyberspace, as allocated to me by the human race. 'My stats used to match the stars but now I suck polo mints!'
18. "Stephen stills" (1970): 731 hits
(Reviewed in December 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/stephen-stills-1970.html)
Good to know that the Stephen Stills fanbase out there is so strong! This album, his debut, is traditionally seen as his best so I'm not surprised it's done so well in our list relative to the others, although it's never quite been my favourite of the Stills LPs (which are all comparing genius to genius, at least till 1975, but never mind). But if you can't promote the album you really love then you still get stats for the album you're with!
19 = The Hollies "Radio Fun" (2012): 686 hits
(Reviewed in May 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-145-hollies.html)
There's a whole great run of Hollies reviews that just miss this list, being placed roughly somewhere between 35-75 numbers down. The highest, a set of BBC radio sessions, probably did so well because we were pretty quick off the mark on that one (having had the album on pre-order for months!) and stirred a new interest in The Hollies with the first 'new' material in ever such a long time. It's certainly the highest viewed of our half-dozen AAA BBC set reviews. 'Our stats are so high that they touch the sky!'(well, nearly!)
19 = Graham Nash "Wild Tales" (1973): 686 hits
(Reviewed in September 2010: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-75-graham.html)
Our first tie! Actually I'm surprised this album isn't higher, given that it seems to appear regularly in our stats counter hits for the month, adding steadily trickle by trickle down the years. Most people finding the review are searching for the murder of Amy Gossage, Graham Nash's girlfriend, which has led to some interesting debates over the timing of this record: officially the murder was announced to the press after its release, but if Graham himself says that's what this album is 'about' then who am I to argue with him?
21. The Kinks "Something Else" (1967): 682 hits
(Reviewed in June 2013: http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-kinks-something-else-1967-album.html)
More Kinky fun, with the band's fifth album coming under the spotlight this time. Despite being the only Kinks album to ever contain two top ten hits, this album never sold as well as it should have done - and neither have its stats quite reached The Kinks' best in our lists. No matter: this placing of Waterloo Sunset's parent album is fine.
22. George Harrison "Dark Horse" (1974): 639 hits
(Reviewed in December 2011: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/news-views-and-music-issue-127-george.html)
Once more, I'm tempted to think that our review of George's third post-Beatles album has done so well because it's more or less the only review out there of George's third post-Beatles album and almost certainly the only one that actually liked it (well, give or take the instrumentals and songs about new year). Very aptly it's also the 'dark horse' of our stats counter you might say, doing very badly on first publication I seem to remember but gaining real ground since then. It wouldn't surprise me to see it go top ten by the time we finish our site.
23. The Who "Face Dances" (1981): 604 hits
(Reviewed in May 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-137-who-face.html)
There's a whopping gap between our highest and second highest Who reviews - and a similar gap back to the third. I have no idea why. Perhaps it's because compared to most fans I don't think this 'Oo album is that 'Orrible? Anyway should this album feature in our list? You better, you bet!
24. The Kinks "Are The Village Green Preservation Society" (1968): 600 hits
(Reviewed in June 2015: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-kinks-are-village-green.html)
We are the AAA stat counter society, collating facts and figures about albums that all seem to have notoriety, we are the obscure albums appreciation consortium, giving the most viewed articles a hug and to all those who awarded 'em, we are the most seen albums celebration affinity, telling you the 25 albums that have been the most 'winnity', Village Green is the 24th most seen: God save the Village Green!
25. Paul Kantner/Grace Slick "Sunfighter" (1972): 597 hits
(Reviewed in October 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/paul-knatnewrgrace-slick-jefferson.html?utm_source=BP_recent)
'Nuclear Furniture' aside, our Jefferson reviews seem to have really suffered. Oddly enough, though, the solo albums haven't done too badly: there's a run of albums just after this one including the two Kantner/Slick albums released either side of this one and Grace's solo 'Dreams', which suggests that Jefferson fans have got bored of always reading about 'Surrealistic Pillow' and 'Volunteers' and want to know more about the rarer albums. A good job too: there's some fab things on these four albums and 'Sunfighter' is a real 'grower', a bit like out stats counter figures for it (when I was a boy I watched the stats counter!)
Next up, a quick whizz through the 25 'other' most read articles, taking into account everything from our entries on every AAA artists' unreleased songs (traditionally the highest scoring of our 'extra' articles) to special editions devoted to books and DVDs, not to mention our April Fool's Day column and a run of political rants...
1. The 20 Reasons David Cameron Has To Go! 34634 hits
(Written in September 2011: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-114-top.html)
This little rant seems to do well whenever the twitter hashtag 'Cameronhastogo' starts trending - which is about every other week these days. By September 2011 The Coatlition had been in power 18 months and the country was already brought to its knees (a little like Cameron whenever a pig was around, not that we knew that back then or it would have been 21 reasons...) Who says music and politics doesn't mix then? Really,. though, the whole point of this site was drawing people's attention to the 'truth' of the world the way the best music always does, and offering it to music readers rather than just preaching to the politically converted. All our political commentary seems to have done rather well actually - our '20 more reasons Cameron should go' update and the '25 rather iffy general election results that suggest electoral fraud' columns just missed out on a placing too. There is, by the way, little doubt now that Cameron has to go after six years now of constant lying and manipulation and cheating.
2. The best AAA riffs 34403 hits
(Written in July 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/ten-of-best-aaa-riffs-news-views-and.html)
Is dur-ner-ner-dur-ner better than Oo-we-oo? Well that's what we set to find out with our run down of the twenty catchiest AAA riffs, one of the last entries on our regular top ten/twenty column.
3. AAA Album Covers Re-Created In Lego: 27203 hits
Back in 2011 another intended article collapsed - noticing a pattern here? Actually I think there's only ever been two which isn't bad in 1000 post but anyway - leaving us to scrabble about short notice to fill in the 'gap'. And this is what we found: a run of album covers re-created in lego featuring everything from a distinctly bricky looking Yellow Submarine to Belle and Sebastian's 'Push Bricks To heal Old Wounds'. Alas our third highest entry on this list probably had less involvement from me than any other as it was just a list of links! Most of them have been taken down from the net now too which is a great shame, so we don't bother to list the link anymore.
4. The AAA Review Of The Year 2008: 16277 hits
(Written in December 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-16-top-five.html)
Our first review of the year was only our 16th ever top ten entry and was very minor compared to the ones that came later, with only a very basic run through of the best five yearly releases. Sure that I was on to something great I put my all into the list for 2009, with a list of the top five new albums, re-issues, DVDs, books, documentaries, songs and the worst releases of the year, sure that I would get a similar hit rate. Not even close. The same has been true every year for our gradually expanding column too - none of the others even make the top hundred! So why did this year's ridiculously short article do so well? Was 2008 really that great and I just didn't notice?!
5. The Ten Best 'Other' Dave Davies Songs: 16084 hits
(Written in June 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/top-ten-dave-davies-songs-news-views.html)
At least I know why this one did so well: to my eternal pride Dave Davies himself re-tweeted this from his twitter account (@davedavieskinks - well worth a follow!) which got us lots of extra hits! I've been sorely tempted to keep returning to this site with a top 20/50/100 Dave Davies songs in the hope of getting more hits but have so far refrained (aren't you impressed?!) This marked the best ever week we ever had at the AAA to date, thanks to this article appearing alongside our 'Something Else' review and both articles getting an extra boost from www.kindakinks.net Happy days!
6. The AAA DVDs special: 5200 hits
(Written in December 2012: http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/news-views-and-music-issue-176-aaa-dvds.html)
Still the longest AAA article ever published to date and a fortnight in the making, I'm rather pleased this one did so well, although much of it is out of date now, with most of the reviews revised and re-assembled for our planned book series. In case you hadn't guessed, it was our attempt to briefly review each and every AAA DVD officially on sale: The Beatles section alone goes on for hours!
7. The AAA Books Special: 4740 hits
(Written in July 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_07_01_archive.html)
That article was actually a sequel to this, a similarly expansive article dedicated to every AAA related book we'd ever read - which made for quite a lot I can tell you, again the Beatles section alone runs to several pages! Perhaps we can include our own AAA books in these sections one day?
8. AAA Bands On Colour Me Pop: 3031 hits
(Written in May 2013:
It seemed like destiny: five AAA bands appeared on the little known music programme that ran in the late 1960s and occasionally turns up on 'Sounds Of The Sixties' style compilations. Only four have been kept out of the series of sixty total - all AAA entries - while the audio exists for the Hollies gig. This article pretty much wrote itself!
9. The 'Other' Best AAA BBC Sets: 2771 hits
(Written in March 2009: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-24-top-five.html)
A quickie to go with a rather extended review of the Beatles' own BBC sets, I keep meaning to come back to this article to properly expand it - not least because we've had The Hollies' own set and a second Kinks edition since writing this article.
10. The AAA bands as artists: 1818 hits
(Written in May 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/aaa-artists-books-of-paintings-news.html)
The AAA crew are a talented bunch who seem to be able to turn their hand at everything. This article celebrated the paintings that have been exhibited by various members: specifically Stuart Sutlcliffe, John and Yoko, Paul McCartney, Jerry Garcia and Grace Slick.
11. AAA Inductions Into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame: 593 hits
(Written in November 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/aaa-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame.html%20%0d162)
The AAA bands seem to have done rather well with the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductions, with most of them in by now - although I'm shocked that Lindisfarne, The Monkees and The Moody Blues still haven't been inducted yet (Or Oasis come to that, although this is only their second eligible year so I'm sure it will come). Anyway this was a run down of every single AAA appearance that had taken place up to 2012 (Cat Stevens was inducted in 2014 so missed the cut I'm afraid), including the controversies of the Beatles, Hollies and especially Beach Boys performances/speeches.
12. A series of AAA Outcast Characters Who Knew More Than They Let On: 530 hits
(Written in August 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/five-aaa-outcast-characters-who-know.html)
Mad John, Mad Professor Blyth, Old John Robertson, St Charles and Old Mr Time - they all told me to write this article because it would be one of our most read entries. And it was. Cheers gang!
13. Songs Celebrating The Face Of Bo: 463 Hits
Hmm, well, this is where an in-joke comes back to haunt me. Our second ever top ten was written to celebrate the nickname of our IT specialist and all round great guy Mike 'Face Of Bo' Fitzpatrick, with a series of AAA song titles slightly warped to mention the word 'Bo' (the big head in Dr Who who hasn't even been in the flipping series since 2007!) We've missed this malarkey out of all our official postings and yet it still continues to do really well over the years - we're not quite sure why!
14. AAA Songs Exclusive To AAA Live Albums: 460 hits
(Written in July 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/news-views-and-music-issue-153-top-10.html)
At least I know why this one did so well: unbeknownst to me Kindakinks.net had published a link to this article because of the inclusion of The Kinks' 'It (I Want It). Irony of ironies, it's one of only a small handful of Kinks songs I don't actually like that much so my first meeting with many of my Kink-minded brethren was something of a rant. Actually the 'rant' bit probably isn't quite so unlikely now I think about it...
15. The Grateful Dead CD Bonus Tracks: 339 hits
(Written in July 2015: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/grateful-dead-guide-to-cd-bonus-tracks.html)
By far the highest of our 'new look' top ten/whatever series, dealing in all the extra articles needed to complete all the AAA books, I was never terribly happy with this column either, which features a run down of all the 'archive' live/studio material included of each of the CD re-issues of the Dead albums. There are quite a lot of them after all and writing this post seemed to go on for hours. Thankfully it's not something I've had to do with any other AAA band so far who tend to either not release anything or simply include a manageable number of studio outtakes and alternate versions.
16. The Best Kinks B-Sides: 319 hits
(Written in May 2009: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-32-top-five.html)
This one dates back to near the beginning with the highest of a semi-regular column discussing the best AAA flipsides. I always liked the B-sides series which, while largely rewritten on our site elsewhere, was exactly what the AAA is all about: yes the famous hits are great but have you heard how gorgeous the unknown songs that accompanied most of these hits were? And quite right too: 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' 'Big Black Smoke' 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone?'...this was a mighty fine catalogue of B-sides, one of the best.
17. Chronic Fatigue Songs: 267 hits
(Written in August 2008: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/news-views-and-music-issue-1-top-five.html)
Our first ever top ten column has presumably done so well because it's had so many extra weeks to collect statistics. Both my posts on my illness (also known as m.e.) seem to have done rather well on this site, even though neither of them strictly have anything to do with music. This article, by the way, features the best musical summaries of the illness: Graham Nash's 'Another Sleep Song' The Beatles' 'I'm So Tired'...however I'm proudest of the re-write of Byrds insomnia song 'Fido'!
18. April Fool's Day Column 2013: The AAA Museum: 266 hits
(Written in April 2013: http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/news-views-and-music-issue-7114-maxs.html)
The highest of our seven April Fool's Day columns, this one was set in the future in a run-down space museum dedicated to the AAA where all the exhibits have stopped working. Very us! Other entries include another rant against the Conservatives, a time experiment going wrong that makes all time happen at once, a scrapbook of future highs and lows in picture form and a parallel universe where several famous authors write for the AAA!)
19. AAA Horoscopes Part Two: Chinese New Year: 260 hits
(Written in October 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/chinese-horoscopes-aaa-style-top-twelve.html)
Part one was 'Western' astrology if you hadn't guess and another article that did well, placing at #29 on the list. This article proved that most of our AAA brethren (with a peak birth year of 1942) tended to be horses and that the summer of love took place in the traditionally artistic 'year of the goat'.
20. Nominate This Site For A Shorty Award: 257 hits
('Written' in January 2014: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/nominate-this-site-for-shorty-award-2014.html)
In case you don't know, the 'Shorty Awards' are a social media celebration, rewarding those whose profiled have grown the most in a particular year, although in reality it mainly means people nominating their friends and insulting them with a legitimate hash tag (thankyou to the twitter follower who nominated the AAA for 'curing their insomnia'!) You could also fill out a questionnaire to promote your site which, erm, went well which is where this post came in. So far out of the 257 of you who visited this page only two of you actually nominated me for an award. It's not too late though: they run every year and the 2016 awards should be open soon!
21. The Best Unreleased Hollies Recordings: 252 hits
(Written in June 2014: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-hollies-rarities-ii-best-unreleased.html)
The biggest mover of recent weeks is our run down of unreleased Hollies recordings, the tenth out of what now runs to a twenty-two issue series (though there's a bit of a backlog of posts I'm afraid so you won't have had them all quite yet). The Hollies are a great band with so much left to release even after multiple archive sets down the years.
22. The First Ten AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically: 240 hits
(Written in January 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-first-10-aaa-songs-if-listed.html)
Seriously?! You lot skip over my expanded erudite 10,000 page synopsis of masterful Beatles creations and triple albums for what was only ever written as a bit of 'filler' when I got desperate for ideas and had already written way over the word-count that week. In case you're wondering the winner is The Hollies' 'A Better Place'. Needless to say, not many of you tuned in for 'the last AAA songs listed alphabetically' the week after, which made The Monkees' 'Zilch' and 'Zor and Zam' very sad!
23. Martin Kitcher's Atos Song: 239 hits
(Written in September 2012: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/martin-kitcher-atos-song-youre-not-fit.html?utm_source=BP_recent)
I first met my dear and much-missed musician friend Martin when I stumbled across his all-too-perfect protest song against the disability work capability assessment. My friend was as worried about the Coalition Government changes than me and turned it into a typically great and gritty song about how in the eyes of the bureaucrats saving money we were 'not fit to live' (ATOS were, at the time, in charge of the fitness to work assessment tests - Capita do an infinitesimally better job of it nowadays). Noting that I had a blog, Martin asked if I would plug the song and I was only too happy to oblige: though not strictly one of our AAA members I'm always on the lookout for brave and moving music that has a point to make and tells the tale well. 'The Atos Song' remains very dear to my heart as does the very talented composer behind it, who sadly died earlier this year. He is very much missed.
24. AAA Stars In Further Education: 238 hits
(Written in September 2013: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/aaa-stars-in-further-education-top-five.html)
Next up, an article that always seems to get an extra 'boost' come exam results time! Traditionally rock stars are meant to be a thick lot who couldn't fgo anything else, but that's certainly not true in these ten selected cases of college and university graduates. Indeed, some bands like Pink Floyd might not even have met were it not for the courses they took.
226 Hidden Harrison: 225 hits
(Written in July 2015: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/george-harrison-hidden-harrison-best.html)
Just making the list is the most recent of all the entries, the ninth in our series studying the best unreleased recordings. Rather fittingly for the end of this article most of this article centres around the many outtakes for 'All Things Must Pass!'
What will be the biggest shakers and movers in our top fifty in another five/ten/whatever years? Perhaps with a boost when our AAA books are out at last in another eighteen months or so. It will be fascinating to see! (Well, to me anyway!) Thankyou for being a reader into 2015 - we hope to see you back again in 2016 and beyond!