Inspired by my good friends at Electric Angel, who have been posting their Desert Island Discs this week (and because I know there’s a few music aficionados amongst my visitors here, *points and Ana and Chris et al*) I thought I’d have a go.
The first problem I came across is just what criteria do you use to select your eight songs? Do you stick to your favourite songs and artists? or maybe go for something, still enjoyable but provides a little more ‘value for money’ in terms of length? or maybe a selection of songs that are important to you in some way?
It’s a tough – and some might say unreasonable – choice, and I suspect you’d get a different set of tracks every time you tried this, still here’s mine (for today at least!).
Hold on Tight – The Electric Light Orchestra – Whatever iteration of this list I came up with, I don’t think I could ever miss off my first ‘favourite’ band. The album this one comes off (Time) also holds the honour of being the first ‘proper’* album I chose for myself. An odd choice, I suspect, for a then eight-year-old back in 1981, but my love for the band only grew in later years) It’s hardly considered one of their best, but hey, it was my first album, I think I’m allowed a little sentimentality if I’m to be stuck on a desert island on my own…
*Proper as in not novelty, which would instead be the very fabulous Captain Beaky and his Band! – Hissing Sid is innocent, I tell you, INNOCENT!
Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-IX) by Pink Floyd - Could be considered a slight cheat, because of the nine parts, but as it was originally conceived as a single composition, before being split into two movements for the Wish you Were Here album, I’m going to allow it, and hope Kirsty doesn’t call me out on it… Anyway I can sneak half-an-hour of beautiful guitar playing and lyrics on to this list I’m going to take it! (If I can’t I’ll just take parts I-VII)
West End Girls by The Pet Shop Boys – The Pet Shop Boys are one of those bands I’ve always liked but never really bought their stuff, but this is one of the most perfect pop songs ever written, so it’s coming to the island with me.
Emma by The Sisters of Mercy – Back to bands from my past with this one, The Sisters weren’t quite the first band I’d gone to see live, that was Rosetta Stone. But they were the ‘big’ gig I went to, and were certainly a large part of my teenage musical listening. I had a hard time selecting one of their tracks to take with me, not least because they have nice long ones! But, for some reason, I always come back to this cover of a Hot Chocolate track, which while it’s not one of their best known (or loved) tracks. It’s always been one I’ve really liked. Eldrich’s gravely voice is perfectly suited to the lyrics.
The Good in Me is Dead by Martyn Joseph – Not the best known, or commercially successful artist I’m taking along with me. But this Welsh singer/songwriter is one of the best lyricists out there, and this incredibly powerful track about soldier affected by the Bosnian war, showcases that talent brilliantly. And will also remind me there are worse things than being stranded on a desert island. Joseph has also topped my Last.Fm charts since almost the beginning, or certainly at least from at least there being enough listening history for the charts to be meaningful.
Sk8ter Boi by Avril Lavigne – I know… I know… Shut up! I can’t help it, if I like the track, can I?
Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield – If classical fans are allowed to take full symphonies with them, I’m certainly allowed to take this classic composition.
Dust Bowl Dance by Mumford and Sons – Well, my thinking here is, despite it being a cracking track, is that I really need something, I’m liking at the moment as well. I nearly went for some Laura Marling, but plumped for something a little more lively to close the selection with.
Book: Being as that there’s not yet a Harry Potter bind up, to really give me something lengthy to enjoy, I was tempted by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, but as that’s a fairly slim book, that after a refresher read, I could probably quote back fairly easily. I’ve decided to go for Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
Luxury Item: A barrel of Saltaire Blonde.
I’ve put together a Spotify playlist should you want to have a listen!
What tracks would you take with you?