Film Criticisms and Movie Review Tropes Which Irk Me

The following points primarily focus of film criticism, but some of them of can also apply to the reviewing of other media. I am guilty to some of the following during my early attempts at writing movie reviews but eventually saw the error of my ways, and became increasingly aware of and irritated by the following. I may add more in the future.

 

Describing the Plot of a Film in Detail:

There was once a time I looked at reviews people had wrote and being impressed by big paragraphs of text, until I would actually read the review and find a large portion of it, sometimes majority of the review is a description of the film’s plot, essentially filler to make a review look longer than it actually is. If I have seen a film then I already know the plot so why would I a read lengthy description? If I haven’t seen the film then I want the film to contain surprises and don’t want to know the plot in detail, and if I do want a summary of a film’s plot then I can just read a synopsis on IMDB or Wikipedia.

 

Labelling a Film “Outdated”:

I believe the term outdated can be aptly used at times; a friend of mine felt The Wages of Fear was outdated because he considered the remake Sorcerer to be superior, ok fair enough. The majority of the time however I feel it’s just used as a lazy way of writing off an old movie that someone didn’t enjoy. I didn’t enjoy the film Little Caesar as much as I’d like to as I’m a big fan of the Warner Bros gangster movies of the 1930’s; so should I just write it off as “outdated”? No. I’m sure I would have the same reaction to the film if I watched it in 1931. Instead I’ll examine the movie for why I don’t like that rather than just calling it “outdated”.

Other times reviewers will label something as outdated as if it’s supposed to be a bad thing. “The special effects are outdated, the acting style is outdated, the politics are outdated, the music is outdated”. Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I like old movies, it’s a world away from our own and they offer an insight into the world at the time.

 

Being Overly Apologetic For Your Opinion:

It goes without saying that snobbery is looked down upon, but I do find the other extreme end to be annoying. I am guilty of this myself in the past, being afraid to put forth an unpopular opinion (i.e, my thoughts on Rocky V), which ultimately I believe leads to a misrepresentation of your true opinion. For example, In the review James Rolfe posted on his site Cinemassacre for Batman Begins as part of his Bat-a thon series of reviews (not to discredit the man as he is a huge inspiration on me), he spends most of the review criticising aspects of the film but only to say at the end he enjoyed the film overall.

I feel like there exists this fear of one being labelled a fanboy or fangirl for constantly praising something they like, and having to justify it by pointing out that they don’t love everything or even dislike pieces of work form an artist or franchise; talk about a first world problem. Someone on the internet called me a fanboy? So what, big deal; I like what I like.

 

Criticising a Film as Historically Inaccurate:

Movies are pieces of entertainment, not documentaries. Alfred Hitchcock said “drama is life with the dull bits cut out”. Do you really expect a film based on historical events to be entertaining and emotionally engaging if it’s 100% accurate to the known accounts? I find cinema can be a gateway to history; I watch a film based on an historical event and it may make me want to research said event, which I might otherwise would not have known about.

 

Not Having Anything Unique to Say:

In the past I tried to review It’s a Wonderful Life, it’s one of my favourite movies however I couldn’t find much to say about it which has not been echoed by people in the past, so I simply didn’t write a review for it. How tiresome is it read/hear a review which just states the commonly known reasons why a particular movie is beloved or disliked? Film critic Mark Kermode for example gave the Twilight movies positive reviews. I certainly don’t agree with him but it was refreshing to hear an alternative opinion rather than hearing the same old reasons why The Phantom Menace sucks for the millionth time.

 

Criticising the Use of Plot Holes:

If a film contains a plot hole and it simply doesn’t bother me, then it’s a testament to how great a film can be, unless the plot hole hurts the story. The worst film reviewers will point out plot holes as a means of acting snarky. When a person or a group has invested several years of their lives towards the production of a movie they are certainly going to be aware if the script contains plot holes. Do you ether make changes in the script which will affect the flow of a film just so it can be more realistic or do you disguise the plot holes, which itself requires skill.

 

Complaining About Academy Awards:

I have a rule when writing reviews not to talk about Academy Awards because I feel it is so redundant to do so. “How did this beat ‘x’ picture?”, Why didn’t ‘x’ get an Oscar nomination?”; such tiring statements. It’s no secret that the Academy awards safe film choices and movies which don’t deserve to win throughout its entire 90 year history; plus there is no rhetoric employed by the Academy Awards to determine what makes a film awards worthy, so why is there always uproar or shock over their choices?

 

Criticising a Movie For Being Sentimental:

There doesn’t seem to be any word more dirty than sentimental.  Unearned emotions? What does that even mean? Stories have been manipulating people’s emotions since the dawn of time. Pulling of effective sentimentality is a skill, and I have not come across a single good reason as to why it is a problem. This is the one film criticism which has annoyed me so much in the past it’s actually been bad for my mental well being. Give me the swooning love scene with the over the top music or the death scene in which the emotions are in full gear. I won’t feel guilty about being moved by it, not one bit.

 

Criticising a Movie For Being Melodramatic:

Another word which has become dirty for no good reason. Melodrama is a style of storytelling, it can be done well and it can be done badly. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but unless a film is overly melodramatic, then more than not it’s another cop out criticism.

 

I Like It Because I Grew Up With It:

I’d be willing to give some leeway on this one as maybe some people can attach a strong nostalgic bond to a movie (or other piece of media) and enjoy it largely or entirely on that even if the media in question is not very good. Although I’m not fully convinced and see this as a possible cop out answer rather than giving a movie a legitimate examination as to why you like it, not just because you grew up watching it. I feel that movies which fall under this banner are often those which people are embarrassed to admit they like.

The Ultimate Oasis List

The gargantuan task of ranking every song by my favourite band.
-Only including songs officially released by the band, so no bootlegs, leaks, etc.
-Only including songs written by the band, so no covers, although I’ve given them there only separate list (see below).

 

Album Rankings:

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7. Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 6

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6. Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 6

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5. Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 7

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4. Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 8

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3. Be Here Now
Rating: 10

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2. Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

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1. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

Song Rankings:

 

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128. A Quick Peep
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 3

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127. Sunday Morning Call
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 3

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126. (Probably) All In The Mind
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 5

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125.  Ain’t Got Nothing
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 5

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124. The Quiet Ones
Album/Single: The Importance of Being Idle
Rating: 5

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123. A Bell Will Ring
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 5

300full (1)
122. Eyeball Tickler
Album/Single: Lyla
Rating: 5

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121. I Can See A Lair
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 5

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120. Better Man
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 5

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119. Born On A Different Cloud
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 5

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118. Be Here Now
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 5

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117. Hey Now!
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 5

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116. Force of Nature
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 5

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115. Guess God Thinks I’m Able
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 5

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114. Part Of The Queue
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 5

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113.Pass Me Down The Wine
Album/Single: The Importance of Being Idle
Rating: 5

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112. The Nature of Reality
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 5

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111. The Meaning of Soul
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 6

300full (2)
110. Lord Don’t Slow Me Down
Album/Single: Lord Don’t Slow Me Down
Rating: 6

300full (1)
109. Won’t Let You Down
Album/Single: Lyla
Rating: 6

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108. Love Like A Bomb
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 6

300full (4)
107. Sittin’ Here In Silence (On My Own)
Album/Single: Let There Be Love
Rating: 7

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106. Hung In a Bad Place
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 7

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105. Can Y’See It Now? (I Can See It Now!!)
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth Japanese Edition
Rating: 7

300full
102. Boy With The Blues
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul Box Set
Rating: 7

300full (1)
101. Carry Us On
Album/Single: Sunday Morning Call
Rating: 7

300full (2)
100. Angel Child (Demo)
Album/Single: D’You Know What I Mean?
Rating: 7

300full (3)
99. Strange Thing
Album/Single: Live Demonstration
Rating: 7

300full

98. I Believe In All
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul Japanese Edition/Box Set
Rating: 7

300full (6)
97. Who Put The Weight Of The World On My Shoulders
Album/Single: Goal!: Music From The Motion Picture
Rating: 7

300full (7)
96. Those Swollen Hand Blues
Album/Single: Falling Down
Rating: 7

300full (1)
95. Full On
Album/Single: Sunday Morning Call
Rating: 7

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94. Married With Children
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 7

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93. Waiting For The Rapture
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 7

300full
92. Just Getting Older
Album/Single: The Hindu Times
Rating: 7

300full (1)
91. Cloudburst
Album/Single: Live Forever
Rating: 7

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90. Digsy’s Dinner
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 7

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89. Magic Pie
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 7

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88. Put Yer Money Were Yer Mouth Is
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 7

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87. Turn Up The Sun
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 7

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86. Little James
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 7

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85. Where Did It All Go Wrong?
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 7

300full
84. Rockin’ Chair
Album/Single: Roll With It
Rating: 7

300full (1)
83. Alive (Demo)
Album/Single: Shakermaker
Rating: 7

300full (2)
83. I Will Believe [Live]
Album/Single: Supersonic
Rating: 7

300full (3)
82. As Long As They’ve Got Cigarettes In Hell
Album/Single: Go Let It Out
Rating: 7

300full (4)
81. Headshrinker
Album/Single: Some Might Say
Rating: 7

300full (5)
80. (It’s Good) To Be Free
Album/Single: Whatever
Rating: 7

300full (3)
79. Let’s All Make Believe
Album/Single: Go Let It Out
Rating: 7

300full (4)
78. One Way Road
Album/Single: Who Feels Love?
Rating: 7

300full
77. Idler’s Dream
Album/Single: The Hindu Times
Rating: 7

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76. Soldier On
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 8

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75. (Get Of Your) High Horse Lady
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 8

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74. Fade-In Out
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 8

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73. Fuckin’ In The Bushes
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 8

300full (4)
72. Acquiesce
Album/Single: Some Might Say
Rating: 8

300full
71. Underneath The Sky
Album/Single: Don’t Look Back In Anger
Rating: 8

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70. Keep The Dream Alive
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 8

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69. Bring It On Down
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 8

300full (1)
68. Fade Away
Album/Single: Cigarettes & Alcohol
Rating: 8

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67. Up In the Sky
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 8

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66. I Hope, I Think, I Know
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 8

300full (2)
65. Shout It Out Loud
Album/Single: Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Rating: 8

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64. Gas Panic!
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 8

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63. Roll It Over
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 8

300full (7)
62. Flashbax
Album/Single: All Around The World
Rating: 8

300full (3)
61. Going Nowhere
Album/Single: Stand By Me
Rating: 8

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60. To Be Where There’s Life
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 8

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59. Mucky Fingers
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 8

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58. She Is Love
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 9

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57. All Around The World (Reprise)
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 9

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56.The Hindu Times
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 9

300full (2)
55. Thank You For The Good Times
Album/Single: Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Rating: 9

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55. The Importance of Being Idle
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 9

300full (1)
53. Listen Up
Album/Single: Cigarettes & Alcohol
Rating: 9

300full (7)
52. The Fame
Album/Single: All Around The World
Rating: 9

300full (3)
51. My Sister Lover
Album/Single: Stand By Me
Rating: 9

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50. Go Let It Out
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 9

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49. Little By Little
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 9

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48. Sad Song
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe Japanese Edition/ Don’t Go Away
Rating: 9

300full
47. It’s Better People
Album/Single: Roll With It
Rating: 9

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46. Bag It Up
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 9

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45. It’s Gettin’ Better (Man!!)
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 9

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44. Hello
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

300full (2)
43. Stay Young
Album/Single: D’You Know What I Mean?
Rating: 10

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42. Songbird
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 10

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41. The Turning
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 10

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40. I’m Outta Time
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 10

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39.The Girl In A Dirty Shirt
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 10

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38. Don’t Go Away
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 10

300full
37. Step Out
Album/Single: Don’t Look Back In Anger
Rating: 10

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36. Bonehead’s Bank Holiday
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? [Vinyl Edition]
Rating: 10

300full (4)
35. The Swamp Song
Album/Single: Wonderwall
Rating: 10

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34. Lyla
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 10

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33. Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Album/Single: Heathen Chemistry
Rating: 10

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32. The Shock Of The Lightening
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 10

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31. Falling Down
Album/Single: Dig Out Your Soul
Rating: 10

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30. Let There Be Love
Album/Single: Don’t Believe The Truth
Rating: 10

300full (2)
29. Take Me Away
Album/Single: Supersonic
Rating: 10

300full (5)
28. Half The World Away
Album/Single: Whatever
Rating: 10

300full (4)
27. Round Are Way
Album/Single: Wonderwall
Rating: 10

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26. Columbia
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

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25. My Big Mouth
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 10

300full (1)
24. D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman?
Album/Single: Shakermaker
Rating: 10

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23. Cast No Shadow
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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22. She’s Electric
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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21. Stand By Me
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 10

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20. Who Feels Love?
Album/Single: Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants
Rating: 10

300full (4)
19. Talk Tonight
Album/Single: Some Might Say
Rating: 10

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18. Supersonic
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

300full (5)
17. You’ve Got The Heart Of A Star
Album/Single: Songbird
Rating: 10

300full (3)
16. I Got (The Fever)
Album/Single: Stand By Me
Rating: 10

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15. Roll With It
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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14. Wonderwall
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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13. Cigarettes & Alcohol
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

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12. Some Might Say
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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11. Don’t Look Back In Anger
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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10. Slide Away
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

300full (4)
9. The Masterplan
Album/Single: Wonderwall
Rating: 10

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8. Shakermaker
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

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7. Champagne Supernova
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

300full (5)
6. Whatever
Album/Single: Whatever
Rating: 10

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5. Morning Glory
Album/Single: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
Rating: 10

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4. All Around The World
Album/Single: Be Here Now
Rating: 10

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3. D’You Know What I Mean?
Album/Single: Album/Single:> Be Here Now
Rating: 10

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2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10

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1. Live Forever
Album/Single: Definitely Maybe
Rating: 10
Covers Ranked:

300full

9. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
Album/Single: Familar To Millions
Rating: 6

300full
8. Cum Feel The Noize
Album/Single: Don’t Look Back In Anger
Rating: 6

300full (1)
7. My Generation
Album/Single: Little By Little/She Is Love
Rating: 6

300full (2)
6. Merry Xmas Everybody
Album/Single: NME in Association with War Child Presents 1 Love
Rating: 7

300full (4)
5. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
Album/Single: Some Might Say
Rating: 7

300full (4)
4. Helter Skelter
Album/Single: Who Feels Love?
Rating: 7

300full (7)
3. Street Fighting Man
Album/Single: All Around the World
Rating: 7

300full (2)
2. Heroes
Album/Single: D’You Know What I Mean?
Rating: 9

300full (1)
1. I Am the Walrus [Live]
Album/Single: Cigarettes & Alcohol
Rating: 10

My Top 20 Prince Songs

Sorry if my list is a bit heavy on 1999 and Purple Rain, but those albums are just that good.

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20. Little Red Corvette (1999)

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19. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad? (Prince)

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18. Diamonds and Pearls (Diamonds and Pearls)

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17. Alphabet Street (Lovesexy)

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16. Sometimes It Snows In April (Parade)

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15. Lovesexy (Lovesexy)

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14. Lady Cab Driver (1999)

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13. Take Me With You (Purple Rain)

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12. Baby I’m a Star (Purple Rain)

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11. The Most Beautiful Girl In the Word (The Gold Experience)

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10. Automatic (1999)

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9. Adore (Sign ‘O The Times)

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8. Do Me Baby (Controversy)

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7. Controversy (Controversy)

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6. When Doves Cry (Purple Rain)

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5. Let’s Go Crazy (Purple Rain)

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4. 1999 (1999)

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3. DMSR (1999)

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2. Let’s Pretend We’re Married (1999)

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1. Purple Rain (Purple Rain)

Top 10 Favourite Movies Seen In 2015

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10. Topkapi (1964)

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9. The Prize (1963)

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8. The Frisco Kid (1979)

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7. Trouble Along the Way (1953)

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6. Trouble For Two (1936)

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5. Inside Out (2015)

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4. Start the Revolution Without Me (1970)

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3. Risky Business (1983)

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2. A Majority of One (1961)

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1.My Geisha (1962)