Sunday, 5 June 2011

Desert Island Discs

I'm sure you're all aware of the venerable institution that is Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. On the radio since 1942, the BBC have recently launched an online archive where you can listen to more than 500 programmes, and find the details of every single castaway who's been sent to the island. To help celebrate this they have been letting listeners submit their own Desert Island Disc choices, which made me sit down and think about what I would choose. So here they are - these aren't necessarily my favourite 8 songs of all time, but they are the 8 tracks which I would happily take to my island paradise.

1. Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-IV)
Despite the fact that I was only 6 when this came out, it really reminds me of teenage years. Plus it's a nice long track so I'll get value for money with this selection!

2. The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset
Possibly the most perfect song ever written, this will evoke great memories of London as the sun sets over my deserted island.

3. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
This song always send a shiver down my spine, it used to bring a lump to my throat even before Jeff Buckley died. It's 2 for the price of one really - a great Leonard Cohen song made twice as good by Buckley's performance.

4. Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness
This is my all-time favourite song; lyrics to make you think every time you hear them, coupled with one of the best guitar riffs ever written (how did James Dean Bradfield write that when he was so young?). This is the track I'd keep when Kirsty Young says 'If you could only have one song whcih would it be?'.

5. The National - The Geese of Beverly Road
From one of my favourite bands comes one of the best lyrics ever: 'Come be my waitress and serve me tonight, serve me the sky with a big slice of lemon'. I love the whole atmosphere and feel of this song, and it will remind me of all the great live shows I've seen The National perform.

6. Johnny Cash - Hurt
The song makes me think of the video, and the video makes me cry. I think it would be good to have something on the island to be sad about other than hunger and loneliness!

7. LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
From another of my favourite bands, chosen because it will remind me of all my friends who aren't on the island and all the good times we shared together.

8. Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding
Memories of school days, the Falklands War & the dreaded Mrs Thatcher, but most of all hearing this on the John Peel show late at night, the start of a listening habit that lasted until Peel sadly died. The root of my musical obsession and eclectic taste really stems from him.

You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here if you like to do that sort of thing.

The Desert Island Discs celebration programme is on Radio 4 on Saturday 11th June at 9am.

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