In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Libertines, 'Up The Bracket' (2002). Garage-punk story of dark dealings in Bethnal Green and Pentonville, with a sinister cast from London's criminal netherworld. Darkly thrilling.

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Added: 23 Jan 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Dizzee Rascal, 'Stand Up Tall' (2004). A defiant East-side brag by a compulsive celebrant of the city's harshest streets. Photo: Ed Miles

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Added: 9 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

M.I.A, 'XR2' (2007). Brick Lane and Ladbroke Grove feature in this energetically nostalgic hymn to the early London rave scene.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Adele, 'Hometown Glory' (2007). Soul-inflected singer-songwriter ponders her London, from the streets to the government, concluding that it's the people she has met who are the 'wonders' of her world.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Pulp, 'Common People' (1995). The northerner Jarvis Cocker kept a nicely sardonic eye on his adopted city; this tale of recreational slumming comes from his time at Central St Martins. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 23 Jan 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Beatles, 'Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)' (1965). Lennon's brilliant song of surreptitious liaisons with a downstairs neighbour at Emperor's Gate in Kensington. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 23 Jan 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

David Bowie, 'The London Boys' (1966). A fine little Soho melodrama from Bowie's Anthony Newley period. His early years are much-anthologised and should not be overlooked. Pic:PA Photos

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Added: 14 May 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Jack Penate, 'Torn On The Platform' (2007). Platform 3 of Waterloo Station is the arena for this little tale of London chauvinism. Why would anyone leave this city? Jack is 'torn' by indecision as the carriage doors close. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 22 Jan 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Jam, 'In The City' (1977). All the pent-up sense of possibility that London can present to the energetic incomer, compressed inside of two minutes twenty seconds. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 28 May 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Burial, 'Ghost Hardware' (2007). William Bevan's atmospheric mutation of dancefloor dubstep, sounding like the music of an abandoned city. Words in this gallery taken from 'In The City - A Celebration Of London Music', by Paul Du Noyer.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Elvis Costello, 'London's Brilliant Parade' (1994). A fuller portrait of his home city - both emotionally and geographically - than the better-known '(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea'.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Nick Cave, 'Brompton Oratory' (1997). Erotic obsession meets religious majesty in the beautiful interior of a Kensington church.

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Added: 29 Jun 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Kinks, 'Waterloo Sunset' (1967). Perverse not to nominate this song, though it's certainly worth investigating the band's lesser-known London numbers like 'Berkeley Mews', 'Denmark Street', 'Shangri La', 'Big Black Smoke' et al.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Fleetwood Mac, 'Man Of The World' (1969). Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac were never more poignant than here, the song of a haunted man surveying his life and rather wishing he hadn't. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Streets, ' Dry Your Eyes' (2004). And so the old language of anguish finds a new translator, expressing it for the girl on the top deck of the bus, teardrops falling on her MP3 phone.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Hard Fi, 'Tied Up Too Tight' (2005). Discontented Staines gang ('Stars of CCTV', as their debut album had it) resolve to hit the Great West Road in a bid for the bright lights of town. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

T. Rex, 'London Boys' (1976). Marc Bolan, near the end of his days, returns to the verities of his boyhood, when he could be the boss mod of Petticoat Lane.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Bow Wow Wow, 'C30 C60 C90 GO' (1981). 'Home taping is killing music,' said the record companies. BWW's creator Malcolm McLaren thought otherwise. A celebration of the cassette when it was still seen as guerrilla technology.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Byrds, 'Eight Miles High' (1966). Borne aloft to London Airport, Californian boys reach the Beatles' London with a pang of cultural and psychedelic dislocation: the swinging city they heard so much about is rainy-grey and fundamentally foreign.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Pretty Things, '13 Chester Street' (1965). Shuddering Brit-blues from the shaggy band who somehow blagged a pad in Belgravia, a short, agreeable stroll from Buckingham Palace. Pic: Photoshot

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Lily Allen, 'LDN' (2006). From old Londinium to text-message LDN the city presents its contradictory faces. Lily is caught between a sunny calypso mood and darker visions of pimps, crack whores and cut-throats. Hogarth, Blake and Dickens would all have empathised.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Kate Bush, 'Moments of Pleasure' (1993). Dreamy recollections of nights passed in Abbey Road. Given the time musicians spend in studios it's surprising how few songs ever mention them. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Pretenders, 'Talk Of The Town' (1980). The single's artwork showed the West End club, formerly a grand Edwardian music hall, at the peak of its neon glory.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Pet Shop Boys, 'West End Girls' (1985). Tennant and Lowe return obsessively to themes of London, usually from a slightly detached viewpoint ('Sexy Northerner', 'King's Cross'). This was the first and most famous example.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Saint Etienne, 'London Belongs To Me' (1991). From under a willow tree at Regent's Park, from Camden Tube via Parkway, it's a shimmering recollection of one romantic day when peace reclaimed the heart. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Warren Zevon, 'Werewolves of London' (1978). A jangling comic-rock delight, classically Yank in its Hollywood version of Soho's ill-lit alleyways, and a fearsome hirsute character who has lately wrought terror in Mayfair.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Amy Winehouse, 'Take The Box' (2003). Wonderful storytelling. Break-up numbers lend themselves to widescreen performances. But it's the sordid trivia of separation that's dwelt on here. Photo: Tom Oxley

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Added: 22 Jan 2009

Photo: Tom Martin

In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Wiley, 'Slippin' (2007). The boy from Grimesville E3, finds himself stranded in South-West London. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he resolves to 'splurt'. Photo: Tom Martin

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Added: 27 Jun 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Rolling Stones, 'Play With Fire' (1965). The social highs and lows of London, surveyed with level contempt.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Nick Drake, 'Sunday' (1970). Forever at odds with London's unmerciful tumult, Drake may have written this peaceful instrumental in tribute to the one day when life slowed to a tolerable pace.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Clash, 'Police On My Back' (1980). 'Guns Of Brixton' and 'London Calling' are incandescent. But their version of Eddy Grant's 'Police On My Back' is fiercer yet. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Who, 'Real Good-Looking Boy' (2004). Their hits are pretty familiar but this sad tale of a west London childhood is a late addition to Pete Townshend's great achievements. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

Squeeze, 'Up The Junction', (1979). An evergreen contender for the title of all-time London Favourite, though 'Waterloo Sunset' still looks unassailable. But then, who needs to choose?

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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In The City - 35 songs inspired by London

The Damned, 'New Rose' (1976). The official first blast of UK punk, reverberating down the ages. Photo: Photoshot. Words in this gallery taken from 'In The City - A Celebration Of London Music', by Paul Du Noyer.

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Added: 8 Jul 2009

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