Like most freelance writers at this time of year, I've spent much of the last few weeks filing lists of end of year reflections and personal favourites. But I have a confession to make: I lied. On all of them.
It’s not that I don’t like the things I said I like. I do. But they weren’t really the records or the films or the whatever that meant the most to me this year. My real cultural highlights from the year would all have been completely inadmissible in any of the end of year round-ups I was invited to take part in – because none of them, not one of them, were new this year.
The songs and films that stayed with me this year were not new releases plugged to me by PRs or eagerly awaited before their gala release. They were old songs that someone linked to the YouTube clip of on Facebook or things I got out of the library or just stuff that I happened to stumble across over the last twelve months for whatever mundane reason now mostly forgotten.
Before this year, I had never seen Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be Or Not To Be, for instance. So obviously that’s about a hundred times better than anything that was actually released for the first time this year.
Similarly, I eventually managed to come up with enough new releases to fill up the top tens The Wire asked of me. But a far more accurate picture of my listening habits this year would look like this…