3 – Slave to the Wage

This chart appeared in a Q Special sometime in the early Noughties — ’03 or ’04 perhaps.

01 Radiohead: Subterranean Homesick Alien (1997)

As suffocating and airless as a vacuum, this lays human weirdness depressingly bare.

02 Happy Mondays: Kinky Afro (1990)

Rough, shambling, baggy blues. Sounds like the Manc nutters had been rolling around the bottom of a barrel of whisky – which they probobly had.

03 Oasis: Roll With It (1995)

The brothers Gallagher know a bit about bad days. Even as millionaire rock stars they’ve managed more than their share of punch-ups and flame outs.

Q doing what it did best

04 William Orbit: Barber’s Adagio For Strings (1995)

Madonna’s producer pal puts a modern polish on this classical work and inadvertently conjures nirvana.

05 Primal Scream: Loaded (1990)

You wanna get high? So did these boys. And they made this drug-fuelled rebel anthem to tell the world about it.

06 Eminem: Lose Yourself (2002)

The how-to-guide to bursting from the wrong side of the tracks, in the wrong city.

07 The Clash: Death Or Glory (1979)

The quintessential punks with brains, The Clash were smart enough to see how bleak the future was.

08 Underworld: Push Upstairs (1998)

Hypnotic techno that rolls around your ears like marbles in a jar. Soothing and urgent at the same time.

09 Sex Pistols: No Future (1977)

Pure snot-nosed vitriol from the Queen’s least-favourite band. Rotten’s furious scorn made the prospect of ‘no future’ feel like a badge of honour.

10 Pink Floyd: Another Brick in the Wall (1979)

A pulsing vein of menace runs through this track’s dense drone. Whatever you do, don’t be another brick in the all.

11 The Verve: Slide Away (1993)

The sound of grey skies, dead-end jobs and prodigious narcotic intake rolled into one.

12 The Stone Roses: Breaking Into Heaven (1994)

Combining Ian Brown’s guttural drawl and Doors-esque guitars from Squire to brilliant effect.

13 Electronic: Getting Away With It (1989)

New Order’s Bernard Sumner and The Smiths’ Johnny Marr join forces to invest the latter’s plaintive sensibility with the former’s ground-breaking pop.

14 The Smiths: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (1984)

“l was looking for a job and then I found a job. And heaven knows I’m miserable now.” Been there.

15 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Whatever Happened to my Rock’n’Roll (Punk Song) (2000)

The Anglo-Yank trio pack a punch out of all proportion to their slight frames in this blast of righteous frustration.