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Chart Attack #4 - Back to School

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Paul McClean | 21:02 UK time, Friday, 21 August 2009

You can almost smell it. The summer *guffaw* is almost over, a certain crispness creeps into the evening air and an undefined sense of dread fills us all, whatever age, conditioned from all those years of dreading the inevitable. School is back soon.

So, if you're celebrating A or AS level success, fair play, you found the escape hatch. For those about to make the dreaded trip to the local tailors for some interesting charcoal coloured attire, commiserations and don't worry, its only another ten months before next summer.

Here are ATL's top five educationally-themed tracks to help us all bear the stress.

5. Deftones - Back to School (Mini Maggit)
Claustrophobic and dark, as one expects from the Sacramento five-piece. While so-called rivals Limp Bizkit were sniggering about boobies and farts, Chino Moreno and his buddies were fusing a genuinely fresh sound between hip-hop, grunge and metal on the album White Pony. This tune was as close to a mega-hit as Deftones had come, and because it was a re-worked album track, some fans thought it tantamount to a sell-out. Moreno himself says he penned the song to prove just how easy a hit single was to write. Either way, oil up your nuts (the skateboard ones) and get the headphones on while you bust some ollies on the way to the bus stop. Awesome.

4. The Boomtown Rats - I Don't Like Mondays
Yes, we all know it's about Brenda Ann Spencer, a girl who really, really didn't want to go to school one day. Obviously, we would very much rather you handled any apathy towards your educational establishment in a more constructive manner, such as tutting loudly when the homework diary starts to fill up. By far Bob Geldof's defining moment as a songwriter, I Don't Like Mondays is an old school epic pop song complete with sweeping piano, bashing timpani (yes that's plural, grammar fans) and quiet/shouty bits. It also enabled the Live Aid guru to put his kids through college. Money well spent...

3. Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)
Oh how successive generations have delighted in singing "We Dont Need No Education" to hapless stand-in teachers since 1979 and the release of Pink Floyd's seminal ode to scholastic life. In reality, we would find it very difficult to function in a modern world without at least a basic education. An inability to read traffic signs, restaurant menus and instruction manuals for household appliances would lead to all kinds of embarrassing and awkward situations. Great song, nonetheless. This track provides good air guitar solo material too, so extra kudos point.

2. Belle and Sebastian - We Rule the School
From the now much sought-after debut album Tigermilk (worth gazillions of pounds to certain lonely, lonely men) this is like every single song by Belle and Sebastian. They are the Bovril of indie - you either love them or you wish a death upon them. "Do Something Pretty While You Can" is the general gist of this song and not a bad mantra, in fairness. If so inclined, you could attempt air flute (see above) but do not do this in a public place or your chances of pulling anything except a Christmas cracker with your ma will be greatly hindered.

1. Wheatus* - Teenage Dirtbag
No matter how cool you actually are to everyone else, inside your little brain you feel like an awkward loser. This is our national anthem. Raise your puny fists to the sky and proclaim proudly that yes, I AM a teenage dirtbag, baby! It has twee nostalgia-inducing references to the prom and tube socks but, more importantly, features Mena Suvari in the video. All you haters who think we should only be listing obscure DC hardcore B sides, think on. Joyful cheese ftw!

*The fact that Wheatus were actually in their late forties (by the looks of it) when they had a hit with this should not detract from its status as our top school tune.



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