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Our readers give their verdict on Ed Sheeran’s Fairytale of New York


It takes a brave man to do a cover version of a classic like Fairytale of New York, especially as it’s a duet and you have to do it on your own. But Ed Sheeran has never been one to shirk a challenge.

The superstar singer has always loved the original version by the Pogues with Shane MacGowan and Kirstie MacColl on vocals.

Sir Tom Jones brings ‘lost Irish music’ back to life


Welsh music legend Sir Tom Jones is the first ever male singer to put his voice to recordings of some Irish music that was almost lost forever.

The Wexford Carols are hundreds of years old and had been lost to history until a group of talented singers and producers brought them back to life.

They have now been recorded by Irish singer Caitríona O’Leary with a host of guest stars from the UK and USA.

Sir Tom is delighted to be a part of the project. He told Wales Online: “I have heard of The Wexford Carols, but I had never actually heard one. I knew it was a traditional Irish music, so I knew it was going to be good; it’s Celtic music really.

The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York is voted the best Christmas song of all time


The Pogues’ and Kirsty MacColl’s ‘Fairytale of New York’ was voted as the best Christmas song of all-time by listeners of Magic Radio.

They finished ahead of classics such as Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You and Last Christmas by Wham.

Billy Connolly got punched defending Christy Moore


Billy Connolly has revealed he once took a few punches from a Navy submariner after a disagreement at a music gig.
Photo Copyright - Eva Rinaldi_CC2
The comedian was watching his long term friend and Irish folk legend Christy Moore perform in Scotland during the 1980s, when a member of the audience started heckling the Planxty star.

Connolly told the story in an interview with Now TV magazine: “I went to see him play in Helensburgh in the Highlands during the 1980s and he’s singing some rebel song about the IRA playing on a drum or something like that.

“And there’s this big lad next to me with a beard, who just thought Christy was another folk singer, and he’s saying, ‘Rubbish, rubbish, get off the stage’.

“So I say, ‘Shut up, you, that’s nonsense’, and I took the pipe out of his mouth and stuck it in his beard.

U2’s The Joshua Tree is named the best album of the 1980s


U2’s classic album The Joshua Tree has been named as the best album of the 1980s by UK music fans.

The 1987 album features several of the band’s most enduring hits including With or Without you, Where the Streets Have No Name, and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

Now the listeners of BBC Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s show have voted for their favourite albums of the decade.

The Joshua Tree finished above other classic albums including Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Prince’s Purple Rain and Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits.

U2 guitarist The Edge said: “The Joshua Tree changed everything for us as a band. It was written in the mid-80s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and US politics, a period when there was a lot of unrest. And it feels like we’re right back there in a way, politics are still so polarised.”

“We’ve had the privilege of playing The Joshua Tree live all over the world in the last few years and it’s almost like the album has come full circle. We’re just thrilled that people are still connecting with these songs, night after night, year after year. Huge thanks to Radio 2 and everyone who voted!

The Joshua Tree has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and following its release, it became the fasting selling album in UK history.

It was critically acclaimed by the music writers of the day.

Paul Du Noyer of Q Magazine said: “(the album’s) potency lies in a kind of spiritual frustration – a sense of hunger and tension which roams its every track in search of some climactic moment of release, of fulfilment, that never arrives.”

The NME called it: “a better and braver record than anything else that’s likely to appear in 1987.”

Top 20 albums of the 1980s

1 – U2, The Joshua Tree

2 – Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms

3 – The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses

4 – Michael Jackson, Thriller

5 – Guns ‘n’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction

6 – The Human League, Dare

7 – The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead

8 – Paul Simon, Graceland

9 – ABC, The Lexicon of Love

10 – Prince, Purple Rain

11 – Kate Bush, Hounds of Love

12 – Duran Duran, Rio

13 – Tears for Fears, Songs From the Big Chair

14 – Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA

15 – AC/DC, Back In Black

16 – Deacon Blue, Raintown

17 – Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Welcome to the Pleasuredome

18 – INXS, Kick

19 – George Michael, Faith

20 – Pet Shop Boys, Actually