My Desert Island Discs

For the book I found I had to declare my 10 Desert Island Discs, really quickly. This is a really quick off the top of my head list, so no long introspection. Here goes:

State of Independence – Donna Summer

Atmosphere – Joy Division

Age of Consent – New Order

Life’s What You Make It – Talk Talk

Heroes – David Bowie

Melange – Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Sweet Thing – Van Morrison

Lemon Song – Led Zeppelin


Down in the Tube Station at Midnight – The Jam

Reel around the Fountain – the Smiths

…and because I’m not on the radio and I couldn’t not…

11. Got to give it up – Marvin Gaye

I think it’s better to just do this without agonising: after all, which Bowie, U2 or not?. Even an hour after making this list, I am wondering why Magazine’s Rhythm of your Cruelty didn’t make it. Oh, so hard. Oh, so revealing. I bet you can do the same: don’t think about it, or think about what’s cool – after all, why on earth would Donna Summer’s State of Independence make it, over even the original Jon and Vangelis version – no Clash, no Gil Scott-Heron, what on earth is going on here?

Feel free to tell me where I went wrong. I won’t mind, because I am actually quite happy with this list. It sums me up, I believe.

Why? I think there might be a single reason for each one. At least one reason…

  1. Sheer exhuberance. A major happy time in my life.
  2. The video. The mood. The long black coat I wore as I got off with some young lady.
  3. Nursing. Clubs in central London, probably the Mud Club. Dancing.
  4. Travelling around the country with Dave aged 18 or so in our beat-up Datsun.
  5. Bowie. Single best Bowie track ever. Berlin. Killing that Datsun. Bowie live at Wembley.
  6. So intricate. So beautiful. So resolved.
  7. The most beautiful song ever written, so full of compressed emotion.
  8. The rudest line in music I can ever think of… Squeeze me baby…
  9. That bass line. Best lyrics ever: They smelt of pubs, and Wormwood Scrubs, and far too many Right-Wing Meetings
  10. Fifteen Minutes with you… My life summed up at the time: all teenage angst, half-understood novels and unrequited emotion. Morrisey spoke my language at that time.
  11. My favourite Cha-cha, another tight, coiled song of repressed emotion and the dance of dances…