Our Talking about My Generation Top of the Pops with Pauline Smith

You have probably already guessed it but our newsroom is filled with music fans, so we now have our very own Top of the Pops series.

Sharing the tracks of her years this week is our Manchester reporter, Pauline Smith.

She said: “This, like any selection of songs, is about reflecting my mood. If you asked me which track or song is the most important right now I couldn’t say. They are I hope both uplifting and will give you pause for reflection during COVID-19.

“At a different time I would choose different songs, and many of my choices are from the 60s and 70s. Half of my choices are by black artists as they have been a huge part of my musical choices throughout my life. This is not my definitive Top 10, when will I ever find that?”

We would love to know what would make your ultimate Top of the Pops. Send us your top ten tracks and we will publish them at changingtherecord@gmail.com

Pauline’s Top Ten:

  1. The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother – this has to be my first track as it epitomises what lockdown is about, it’s all about helping people. Hard to think it was first recorded in 1969.

2. John Lennon – Imagine – It is still so relevant today almost 50 years after I first heard it in 1971, all about caring and offering the hands of friendship.

  1. Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side – I only found this in my later life, after all it was released in 1972, its deceptively simple lyrics are both provocative and very moving when you are like me. And the sax ending…

  1. Shania Twain – Man I Feel Like a Woman – Maybe her best ever track, and gee whizz its so powerful, from 1997. All about positivity and about the power of womanhood.

  1. Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower – from 1968, anyone who has watched Woodstock (69) when he played this live knows what an amazing talent he had, the ultimate cover version of a Dylan song. I was privileged to see him play live…

  1. Marvin Gaye – Abraham Martin and John – like many of my choices this is from the 60s and 70s, released in 1970. For me so sad that I am still fighting the same fights for freedom as I did in my youth 50 years ago. Marvin’s soaring voice says it all.

  1. Gladys Knight – The Way We Were – Not originally her song as Barbra Streisand sang the original from the movie of the same name…however Gladys catches the mood and I saw her live in 1976 and she dripped emotion singing the words. For me, this is the go-to version and her voice…. And in a time of nostalgia and reflection it’s so appropriate, as well as being my own torch song.

  1. Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder – Thats What Friends Are For – recorded in 1985 is a cover version of a Rod Stewart song and in lockdown and isolation is rather special about how friends support each other.

  1. The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset – It’s much more complex than you think and was recorded in 1967. It’s not about Terence Stamp and Julie Christie but about looking at life through a hospital window….very up to date with isolation and looking at life through windows in isolation.

  1. The Best – Tina Turner – in 1989 I was at a sales meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, and drove into the town and bought this as a new release on cassette and played it on my way back to the gathering in my hire car. Lucky me saw Tina live in 2009 – she was as amazing as the guy who sold me the cassette…”it’s her best yet” he said…And he was right. I hope you enjoy my choices.


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