When we started this post, we had it in my mind to feature The Libertines, but as we began to scroll through our iPod’s for our most listened to songs we realized that it wasn’t JUST The Libertines we loved but rather it was Pete Doherty.
Despite his trouble with drugs, that saddens us when we think it is all some people know of him and not his songwriting, Pete has managed to suck us into anything he lends his voice to. Whether it’s The Libertines, Babyshambles, or his own solo work… His voice is soothing with such great depth and emotion. So instead of concentrating on just The Libertines, we choose to focus on Pete. Of course, you can’t just focus on his solo work so… We are doing a Master Post, a post that will go beyond him as a solo artist, it happens to includes the work he did with The Libertines and Babyshambles.
Here are our five favourite songs, the “Best” for us, that Pete Doherty has created…..
#5-Flags of The Old Regime
Pete wrote a powerful song for friend Amy Winehouse after her death from an overdose in 2011. The song deals with a demon they both struggled with, while being in the public eye. The proceeds from the single went to Winehouse foundation.
#4- I love you (but You’re Green)
YES, we do know that this was on The Babyshambles debut EP, The Blinding but the song was written by Pete before he even joined the Libs. Supposedly the lyrics were inspired by The Graham Greene novel, Brighton Rock.
This stripped down version is the best.
#3- I Am The Rain
Taken from Pete’s debut solo album Grace/Wastelands, that was released in 2009.
#2-Last of The English Roses
This was the lead single to Grace/Wastelands and probably the most known song from the album, it was released in March of 2009.
Can we say how much we LOVE this song. It was actually the debut single for Wolfman (Peter Wolfe). Despite the rumors, that they made no money because publishing rights were sold off in a pub by the two, the real truth is the artists on the track worked mostly without pay.
Now on to The Libertines…..
We will tell you that we had the honor of meeting Carl Barat last year at SXSW, he is defiantly a charmer and one of the reasons we all loved The Libertines.
#5- Up The Bracket
From The Libertines debut album of the same name, the album which was released in October of 2002 gave British indie music a resurgence of sorts. The album has gone on to be listed on several lists of must have albums.
#4-Smashing This little known Libertines song has always been a favorite. It was recorded as a EMI Studio Demo, also called 77 Demo’s. The recording date is unknown, but photographer Lula Camus, does the female vocals, all in french.
#3-Can’t Stand Me Now
From their second album, the song is reported to be about the crumbling relationship between Doherty and Barat. It wasn’t long after the song was released that the band split up.
#2- What Became Of The Likely Lads
Once again, a song supposedly about the break down of the two leads relationship. Though many people imply that the two young boys in the video represent Doherty and Barat, that would be untrue, as they did not meet until they were both in college.
#1-Music When The Lights Go Out
No contest when this song came in as our number 1 favorite from The Libertines, also from The Libertines album. It could be another song about the meltdown between Doherty and Barat. The whole album seems to be about a lost love, either way, the song is moving and beautiful.
Let’s dig into Babyshambles now….
The Libertines had banned Doherty from performing with them due to his excessive drug use and during that time is when he formed Babyshambles.
This cover of The Clash’s song was made for Strummerville, a charity created in the memory of the late Joe Strummer to promote music development. In 2006, B-Unique Records released it as a single. While the single is credited to Babyshambles , it includes “friends” who also contributed to the song, and appeared in the video as well. Carl Barat actually appears in the video, marking the first time Pete and Carl worked together since the break up of The Libertines, though, they never met during the process. Other friends on the record and video are Jamie T, Laura Marling, Mystery Jets, Maccabees and more. Also, if you watch real closely in the video, you will see a young Luke Pritchard running around as The Kooks also contributed to the song.
Taken from Babyshambles second album Shotter’s Nation. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Doherty said it started out as a Velvet Underground song. Walk and Talk is most likely the song he was speaking of. Doherty’s then girlfriend, Kate Moss helped write the song.
#3- There She Goes
Another one off of Shotter’s Nation, the band wanted the song to be reminiscence of Lou Reed’sWalk On The Wild Side.
This song was from Down in Albion, the debut album from Babyshambles.
Including the song on the album had its controversy , as it was often played during Libertines live sets and a fan favorite. The song deals with the idea of Albion, a mythical Great Britain. The idea of Albion was central to both The Libertines and Babyshambles and the word is reoccurring in songs and much of Pete Doherty’s writings. The origin of the song is from a poem that Doherty wrote at the age of 16.
Best break up song ever.
Also from the album Down in Albion, it is Babyshambles most successful single, tho because of the title, it almost didn’t make it. It was often used as the bands closing song during live shows. NME placed it on their ” Greatest Indie Anthems Ever” in 2007 and on their greatest songs of all times list in 2014, coming in at 245.
You can usually find me traveling, queuing, or at barricade for a band. I am most likely doing all three things in a day.
If I'm not at a concert you can also find me digging through crates for that coveted black disc of vinyl.