Short version: I’m going to occasionally feature tracks from my collection that I think are great.*

Long version: So I use iTunes to organise my digital music collection and I’m a little teensy-weensy bit obsessive in how I keep everything on it (and I know I’m not alone in this!). One thing it allows me to do is rate each song between 1 and 5 stars. Why would I bother doing this? Well, since I primarily use it for listening on iPhone/iPod whilst in the car / working / around town etc. (not at home though – I still like to play full albums from actual CDs / LPs …I know; old-fashioned, right?), and I like to listen on random, it helps if the songs that come up are good ones: so I have a smart playlist of all the four- and five-star songs. Now, I probably could have been cleverer in terms of using the star ratings, as basically I’m using a possible five categories to give me just two, but that’s how I started out doing it in 2004 and that’s how I’m going to continue! The rating of the songs is slightly shaded by how good they are out of their album context and in a potentially noisy situation – bus / main street / car etc. Anyway, so I listen to the 4/5-star songs on random, which is basically like having my own personalised AMAZING radio station. I love it. Songs drop off the playlist for a month after being listened to, so nothing comes round too often. The iPhone/iPod gets regularly synced with the master computer so everything stays up to date. Marvellous. And so to the point of this diatribe: five-star songs (rarer than four-star ones, of course) come up here and there at random, and so I thought I could feature them here, as and when I listened to them and felt like writing about them. Enough justification? Meh, it’ll do.

*To kick this off, then, a gorgeous bit of Mercury Rev:

Such a fantastic piece of music – the French horns, the strings, the bassline, the wailing theremin, the trumpet solo towards the end…spine-tingling! I hope you agree…