Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Desert Island Discs

It's been a while since I last did a music meme so I was both pleased and slightly horrified when the lovely Cass, who writes at Surfacing, tagged me to write about my Desert Island Discs. In other words, the 8 pieces of music or tracks I would take with me to a desert island. I knew immediately it was going to be hard but it's taken me well over 2 weeks to get this far. I keep thinking of songs or pieces and then I think of something else. I suspect, if you tagged me again in 3 months, the answer may well be substantially different. So what have I chosen? Here, in no particular order, is my selection.

The first is Heartbeat by The Psychedelic Furs. This is a song from my student days. I loved everything this band did, but this single really stood out for me. However, it was not a well known single - everyone knows Pretty in Pink or Love My Way - and didn't do all that well in the charts. But I loved it, and I used to play the 12" single repeatedly. The beat and the saxophone is hypnotic. I love how the sax and the guitars clash - it shouldn't work but it does. It's a brilliant dance tune. In this video, of them performing in Spain in the year of its release (1984), you'll also see how Bowie-esque Richard Butler was or was trying to be!

(and thanks to Chris at Thinly Spread for mentioning them on Twitter. Sorry you missed them last weekend)

Next is another student tune. In my opinion, it is the ultimate dance track. It has been released three times. It is one of the longest tracks ever to chart in the UK. I'm fairly sure that most of you have danced to it at some point in your life, however old you are - it just makes you want to dance to it. I'm sat here typing listening to it and my foot is tapping. I don't care it's 7 minutes long. It could be 7 hours long and I'd still want to dance to it.

I give you Blue Monday by New Order. Peter Hook's bass is just genius.

And as I seem to be on an 80s tip, let me move on Tainted Love by Soft Cell, which is only a year or two older than the others. Again, I can't fail to get up for this track. I loved it from the second I first heard it. On the strength of it, I went out and bought Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. I was 16 years old. I'm sure if it was released today, it would have "Parental Advisory" stickers all over it with some fairly explicit language/concepts in some of the tracks. I wonder if my parents actually realised what the album was like, but they never stopped me listening to it.

It was only about 10 years ago that I realised that it is actually a cover version. The song was originally a B-side of a Gloria Jones single called "My Bad Boy's Comin' Home" in 1964 but became a Northern Soul classic in 1970s where Soft Cell originally heard it. I heard the original at a wedding reception we went to - the happy couple were and are big Northern Soul fans. I still prefer the Soft Cell version - a rare example of the cover being better than the original.

So, enough 80s. At least for now..

I've chosen something quite recent for my next choice, and one of which Nickie at Typecast will approve, because I've seen her tweet links to this song at least twice. It's one of those songs that sticks in your head when you hear it and the band concerned have been a bit of a one hit wonder in the UK, although they are actually Finnish. (And no, it's not Lordi). It is In The Shadows by The Rasmus.

OK, I am back at the 80s again now. Sorry. Something a lot more laid back than the other tracks. In the 80s, I absolutely adored Black. I think I know his Wonderful Life album off by heart, I played it that much. If I hear the tracks in isolation, I can actually hear the opening bars of the next track in my head when they finish! A lot of it is quite sad as it was inspired by his break up of a relationship but the song I have chosen is not sad at all. In fact, it has a great line that I love:

"Just like a forming rainbow, just like the stars in the sky, life should never feel small"

For that reason alone, I'm choosing Paradise from that album as my next selection.

(I'll just mention Tara at Sticky Fingers at this point, as I tweeted that line one night and she immediately recognised it, which makes her a big fan too.)

Right, back to something more recent again but no less beautiful. I discovered Colbie Caillat through the medium of Twitter, as I follow the music tweets of Garry from Blog Up North and occasionally click on things that look interesting. That is how I discovered Coco, which was her first album, and in particular this track, which is called Realize. I love it so thanks go to Garry (aka himupnorth) for introducing me to this.

The next two tracks I've chosen are ones that I came to love through doing exercise classes. Sounds weird but hey, it works for me. The first is Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. It always gives me goosebumps when I hear it.

And the final one is probably one that quite a few people who went to classes at the same time as me associate with me. We used to have an instructor who would occasionally ask people for favourite tracks as we went through. This track was to a chest routine and I would always ask for it. I think she liked it because I would often get my way. It's a feelgood track so a good way to end on a high for my selection. It is Starlight by The Supermen Lovers. (And I can probably do the routine to this in my sleep!)

Now, I've still got a list of those that nearly made it that I still love (Like Love Shack, Ride on Time, Somewhere Only We Know, Show Me Love, some choral pieces, Tears for Fears, Paul Weller to name but a few) so perhaps ask me again in a few months, eh?! Hope you like my choices that have made a final cut. They all elicit a physical reaction in me when I hear then whether it be goosebumps or the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. I love them for what they are and I return to them again and again. That makes them all great songs.

I'm supposed to tag some lovely people to take this forward so I'm going to choose

Nickie at Typecast
Paula at Battling On
Rachael at InceyWinceyMummy
Metajugglamum at In search of the perfect triangle

I can't wait to see what they come up with. And if you want to do your own, link to it in the comments. Trust me, it's so hard to narrow it down but it's fun trying.
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