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