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We've had great pop, indie, dance, rock and soul songs in 2014 from the likes of David Bowie, and bombast from U2, and new ideas from Prince, new rare pathos from Stevie Nicks, comebacks from Billy Idol and Echo and the Bunnymen, and mournful Beck... and none of these makes our ultimate top 20 of tracks from 2014 you can locate on Spotify (UK) - sorry Morrissey. Here is our countdown, with three-word reviews. Tell Eyewear what you think.

1. 2: 54 - 'The Monaco' - indie pop heaven.
2. Alvvays - 'Archie, Marry Me' - smartest summer track.
3. Banks - 'Begging For Thread' - dark sexy pop.
4. Charlie XCX - 'Boom Clap' - big breakthrough hit.
5. Childhood - 'Right Beneath Me' - the new Smiths.
6. Dum Dum Girls - 'Rimbaud Eyes' - pitch-perfect 80s retro.
7. Ella Henderson - 'Ghost' - uplifting radio moment.
8. Fat White Family - Touch The Leather' - creepy twisted indie.
9. Foxes - 'Glorious' - as title suggests.
10. Lana del Rey - 'Cruel World' - David Lynch pop.
11. Radiator Hospital - 'Cut Your Bangs' - cute quirky indie.
12. Sam Smith - 'Stay With Me' - song of year.
13. SBTRKT, feat. Ezra Koening - 'NEW DORP, NEW YORK' - cool odd dance.
14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 'Stranger To My Happiness' - super retro soul.
15. Simple Minds - 'Honest Town' - new gold song.
16. Sleater-Kinney - 'Bury Our Friends' - best indie track.
17. The Smashing Pumpkins - 'Drum + Fife' - implausibly cool return.
18. St Vincent - 'Digital Witness' - new David Byrne.
19. The War on Drugs - 'Red Eye' - great beer rock.
20. Warpaint - 'Keep It Healthy' - best indie album.


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With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.