Top of the Pops 2019 (Iain)

On August 16th 2007 Kanye West performed at my birthday party.

Some people will claim it was because he was on tour and he just happened to be performing on the day of my birthday but I like to think he was there for me… even though he forgot to sing me “Happy Birthday”

There was no support band. A true star/ego like Kanye doesn’t share the stage with anyone.

I waited patiently for the show to start. It didn’t start at 2000, it didn’t start at 2100, it didn’t look like it wasn’t going to start at all but then without any warning Kanye walked on stage.

He looked at the crowd. He did not say anything. He waited for a second and then the music began. He performed for an hour non stop. Hit after hit. No break between songs. Each song flowed into the next. Then the music stopped. He said nothing. He walked off stage.

He came, he rapped, he left.

It is one the best (and shortest) concerts I have ever seen. He was in his prime. He was cocky and charismatic. He was a pop star and a musical force. He was the best in the world and he knew it.

In the years since then he has gone a bit mental – he married a Kardashian, he supported Donald Trump, he recorded, released and scrapped numerous albums. He even wrote an opera.

“As an act of authentically mind-blowing pop-star folly, of a kind we rarely see nowadays it exceeded all expectations…. If it didn’t work in artistic terms, as a bulwark against the argument that pop music is devoid of character and spectacle and crazed, foolhardy ambition, it worked perfectly. “


He is the most interesting pop star in the world. His musical ambition and creative genius means I will listen to anything he does even if it’s not always great.

His new album sounded like a folly. An album dedicated to his love of God (and himself). It should be terrible but it isn’t. Give it a try.

My number one song of the year is “On God” because a) it has a great melody and b) it’s a reminder of just how good Kanye can be.

As he says during the song:

I’ve been tellin’ y’all since ’05
I’m the greatest artist restin’ or alive

Honorable mentions this year go to:

The Chemical Brothers – No Geography. It is the perfect length to listen to whilst running as it was the same length as the course record. I knew if I got to the end of the course before the song finished then I’d beaten the record.

Bombay Bicycle CLub – Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing but you.) A perfect indie pop song.

Blossoms – Your Girlfriend. Best video of the year.

And lastly Charli XCX who made the best pop album of the year. This being the highlight.