1. The earliest song I remember liking; my kids love it now.
2. The first single I bought with my own money. The song of the time I discovered pop music.
3. I remember thinking this was the best song ever; I think it was the last song I thought that about. The song of my bleak ten-year-old goth phase.
4. Sort of out-of-sequence; by some margin my favourite song by this band, who were a great favourite at this point in my life, but I didn't learn this song till much later.
5. This is, I think, one of the most intellectually demanding choruses ever.
6. One of several bands in this set whose career has spanned almost my entire life.
7. My first gatefold sleeve; I remember staring at it and thinking how fine it was. For hours. I noticed this in the top 100 albums on iTunes and immediately went and bought it at Fopp; I have no idea how I managed not to have it on CD earlier. The CD is not as beautiful.
8. Another gatefold; but this is the studio version. By far the track that most fits in this compilation -- but they're much better known for others. The song of my high school years.
9. Back in the UK; this song reminds me of a sweet, perfect holiday romance.
10. A huge monster hit, but this band's albums are rarities.
11. Another band with a long career, but this is by far my favourite of their songs; a song that helped me learn that change and growth are not always easy, welcome or positive.
12. I promise it gets a lot less proggy after this. The song of my sixth form.
13. The song that, better than any other, sums up the British way of life for me.
14. I wonder if we are yet? The song of my first marriage.
15. I used to read a lot of comics too.
16. The first song of the second half of the song, and the archetypal song of the most important band of the second half of my life.
17. The eponymous song of this band. One of the last songs of the first half of my life.
18. Another relatively rare track; they had a huge hit that would have been at about 2 or 3 except that it begins with the vocal chorus so no intro.
19. A song about a long, hard, happy marriage that I first heard about when my divorce was inevitable and cannot listen to without crying.
20. The first song that Steven and I had together; not our sort of music at all but it has a gloriously fatuous chorus that spoke to us.
21. A song of love and procreation. The song for Marianne, our first child. Probably the rarest song here.
22. A song for standing in muddy fields at midnight.
23. This song is actually sad, but I find it a joyful celebration of loving. The song of my current love.
24. The other song that, better than any other, sums up the British way of life for me.
25. The perfect Modern English Child Ballad.
26. A song about not letting opportunities pass. The song of my second wedding.
27. A guilty pleasure. The third song that, better than any other, sums up the British way of life for me.
28. A difficult uke intro. A relatively new song.
29. I heard this on the radio last week for the first time and immediately went scrambling for Google; how could I not know it? I own lots of songs by this artist; but had never heard this before. A song about women.
30. A current song; a dreadful earworm.