‘All that mattered was survival’: the songs that got us through 2020

Butterflies with Mariah, Bronski Beat in the Peak District, Snoop Dogg on a food delivery ad … our writers reveal the tracks that made 2020 bearable

When it came to lockdown comfort listening, there was something particularly appealing about lush symphonic soul made by artists such as Teddy Pendergrass and the Delfonics. But there was one record I reached for repeatedly: Black Moses by Isaac Hayes, and particularly the tracks arranged by Dale Warren. Their version of Burt Bacharach’s (They Long to Be) Close to You is an epic, spinning the original classic into a nine-minute dose of saccharine soul. But their cover of Going in Circles, another Warren exercise in expansion, is their masterpiece, reimagining the Friends of Distinction original as a seven-minute arrangement with stirring strings and beatific backing vocals that builds into a story about lost love that transcends the genre’s usual parameters. A perfect, if slightly meta, balm for the repetitive lockdown blues. Lanre Bakare

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