Sunday, 24 June 2007

The soundtrack of my life

Yesterday was spent going through the music collections that belong to Linda and me. It was quite time consuming work sorting through - finding boxes and CDs that match and finding those which now duplicate (one of the pleasant side-effects of being married).

As I sorted, I came up with what I think I might have if I had a soundtrack that represented my life. It's an assortment of music that I really like and stuff that has nostalgic value. I've not included any Christian music - it would be too hard. See what you reckon anyway:

* Champagne Supernova (Oasis) - The first band I adored were Oasis. I'd been into other bands before, but Oasis were the first group whose every move I tracked. Morning Glory was an album I listened to more than any other in my teenage years, and the final track is an absolute masterpiece. Worryingly, I was listening to it in the car a few months back and one student described Oasis as 'retro' - what's that about?
* It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over (Lenny Kravitz) - a happy piece of pop with a very cool riff. And it reminds me of my Year 6 school disco!
* Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve) - Another school album. I remember smuggling in a walkman and my copy of Urban Hymns into a maths lesson. This track was always my favourite. I love the strings and how the song is layered to a climax capturing the simultaneous joy and helplessness that Richard Ashworth felt as he reflected on his life situation.
* Chain Reaction (Diana Ross & the BeeGees) - OK, I know that this is completely cheesy, but it's a brilliant piece of dance music. No wedding reception is complete without it. I mean it! I told Linda that I wouldn't consider us to be married if we didn't have it at our reception (fortunately we did).
* You Do Something To Me (Paul Weller) - Stanley Road is surely one of the classic albums of the last quarter of the 20th Century. This track has so much emotion it bleeds.
* The Sea (Morcheeba) - This track is truly chilled! A brilliant song to unwind to, and if like me you love the sea, it's an oasis of calm in a busy day.
* In Pursuit of Happiness (The Divine Comedy) - If I think about the Divine Comedy, I think about my first year at university. It was a happy time. I love the 6/8 rhythm on this and the pretentious orchestral arrangement gives a wonderful representation of what it feels like to first be in love.
* Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson) - Quite simply the best piece of disco music ever written.
* Feeling Good (Nina Simone) - One of the greatest regrets I have is turning down tickets to see Nina Simone a few years ago. It turned out to be one of her last concerts before she died. An amazing musician, an amazing voice. This track shows off both of those talents in all their clarity.
* Do It All Over Again (Spiritualised) - A band I got into in Bristol in a big way. This track's almost hyponotic and got some brilliant vocal harmonies.
* Rose Rouge (St Germain) - French acid jazz at its best!
* At the River (Groove Armada) - Somehow I've ended up with three Groove Armada albums. I don't like loads of dance music but their stuff is better than most. This track has lots of happy memories associated with it.
* All At Sea (Jamie Cullum) - A claim to fame that I have is that I saw Jamie Cullum play in Bath before he was famous. I bought my copy of Pointless Nostalgic from the man himself.... Since then I've followed his career closely. There's several tracks of his I like but All At Sea gets the pick; partly because it's a poetic gem capturing the depths of loneliness, and partly it makes the accordion sound cool, which is no mean feat.
* Empty at the End (Electric Soft Parade) - I was introduced to Electric Soft Parade soon after I arrived in Lancaster and got pretty much immediately hooked. This track is a bit cheesy but has a cool distorted bass line and I love the fact that each time you think the refrain is coming they make you hold on for four more bars!
* Woman (John Lennon) - I don't actually much like John Lennon, but there aren't too many songs about saying sorry for hurting the people you love the most, and this is a good one. I happened to listen to it on the day I proposed!
* That's Life (Frank Sinatra) - I like to think that I got into swing before it was cool. Frank Sinatra was in my life a good couple of years before Robbie Williams popularised swing with Swing When You're Winning. The hammond organ is an awesome instrument and that's what gives this Frank tune the nod over the others.
* In My Place (Coldplay) - The greatest gig I have been to was Coldplay at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. This track pumped the whole stadium. I'll never forget it.
* Song for Lovers (Wolfman featuring Pete Doherty) - I first heard this track on Jonathan Ross' radio show a couple of years ago. Pete Doherty perhaps commands more emotion in his voice than any other singer I know. He's an absolute genius. This track is about the break-up of two people that still love each other - it's beautiful.
* The More I See You (Chris Montez) - I love this little track. We had it as the first dance at our wedding reception. I'm well into this sort of music anyway and I love its sentiment: love which keeps on growing as a person gets to know their lover better. I hope that's true of our marriage.

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