My “Tracks of my Years”
It’s fair to say I LOVE music! Cd’s, LP’s and 45’s have been played around my home all my life. This is primarily thanks to my dad and his appreciation for such a variety of music! His influence has reflected greatly on my music tastes and this fun look at my Tracks of my Years will give you an insight into what I play in my office on a daily basis.
For those that don’t know, ‘Tracks of My Years’ is a feature on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 programme. For one week a celebrity shares two songs each day along with a short story about why the song is important to them.
With a collection of over one thousand LP’s and 45’s from the 1950’s through to the modern day I welcome all types of music into my life. Music is extremely expressive and can change your mood so quickly. On a daily basis I will go from reggae, to disco, to pop, to punk and back! I think this compilation of singles reflects this nicely…
So here are my ten tracks! I am conscious that I am missing something from Fleetwood Mac, The Specials and Simply Red, and more pricely ‘Echo Beach’ by Martha and the Muffins and ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations, but I am only allowed ten songs.
Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight (Favourite Song of all Time)
I was in my late teens when this first came out and just loved the idea of everyone dancing late at night, having a fantastic time! The simple lyrics, positive tune and emphasis on the keyboards produces a feel good song that makes me smile all the time.
Interestingly, Toploader didn’t actually do the original! This was done by King Harvest in 1972!
Toploader - Dancing in the Moonlight
Andy Williams – Can’t take my eyes off you
This is my favourite love song of all time and is one of the few songs I can sing from memory!
Unlike many songs, the lyrics open the singers’ soul and reveals undevoted love for his partner. It is a fantastic song and I am so pleased I saw Andy sing live in Brighton. I was the youngest person in the audience at 17 or 18 years old and was so sad to hear he had passed away a couple of years ago.
If I had to have a favourite singer then Andy who easily be my choice, purely for the effortless way he can put across words along with the songs he chose to sing.
Andy Williams - Can't take my eyes off You
Mud – Tiger Feet (My First Album)
The first ever album I bought was ‘The Best of Mud’ when I was about 11. I still have the CD and I can vividly remember sitting down with the 45 single copy of this song. I played it again and again to try and learn the lyrics, scribbling them down on a bit of paper as I did so!
Mud - Tiger Feet
Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood (My First Single)
This was the first ever single I bought and what a classic it is. I have all the Gorillaz albums and from the first moment I saw this video the teenage me was drawn in, from the ‘image’ the band give off to the creative videos that send you to another world.
Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
A Good Year Soundtrack – Wisdom (My Favourite Film)
“A Good Year” featuring Russell Crowe is easily my favourite film of all time. Telling the story of a London banker consumed in work, he hears of his Grandfathers passing and has to visit his vineyard in France to complete the paperwork for the sale of the property, so he can return to work and his busy life. What he finds when he gets there changes his life, all for the better. It is an easy watch film that makes me laugh, smile, cry, reflect and think about my own life.
Music features heavily in the film, reflecting the mood of each scene perfectly, and this particular piece of classic music by the composer, Marc Streitenfeld, just sends me to the French Vines. I have dreamt of sitting on a patio, looking over a vineyard, with a fresh bowl of pasta and a glass of crisp wine as the sun sets for many years now and this song takes me there…
A Good Year - Wisdom
Deep Purple – Highway Star (My first Gig)
My first ever live gig, and what a band to see live!
For me, Deep Purple really don’t get the credit they deserve. They are up their with Led Zep and Pink Floyd but seem to get over looked. Sadly everyone goes to ‘Smoke on the Water’ when they think of Deep Purple, but they have produced some far better rock classics!
Deep Purple - Highway Star
Kanye West – Gold Digger
Not what you were expecting ah!
Not many people know that I studied to become an electrician before I realised it wasn’t for me and I went to Lewes College to study Photography! This song was ‘the’ song that made me realise that the like of Andy Williams and Mud were not cool to 21st Century teenagers and modern music can actually be quite good. That said, the Ray Charles original is still absolutely brilliant!
Kanye West - Gold Digger
Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen
One of those songs that sums up life really! People have often said I am too old for my age and I do have a habit of analyzing things, hence why I am probably quite good at wedding photography and enjoy helping my couples plan their day!
This is one of the great ‘sit back and listen’ songs that always puts a smile on my face and leaves me feeling revived afterwards…
Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen
Heatwave – Boogie Nights
Two of the earliest holidays that I remember were going to Jersey with my family. We spent the two weeks driving around the islands in my Dad’s car and had an amazing time seeing the castle, going on the beach, playing in the swimming pool and watching the flower festival. The only tape in my Dad’s car for both trips was one full of Disco classics and, while it was repetitive, the songs got us all in such a positive and happy mood! The same still applies now and I love a bit of disco on the radio!
Also, what a bizarre video!
Heatwave - Boogie Nights
Hopeton Lewis – Take it Easy
Much like my ‘Disco Classic’, I MUST have a reggae song in my selection! Reggae sends me to a relaxed place where I can sit back and not worry about the pressures of life. It can uplift the soul and teach you so many things about life through it’s simply yet spiritual lyrics. Reggae is a marmite genre but for me it is key to life. I remember first listening to this, I was driving home after a long Summer and Jo Wiley’s producer was leaving the show. Jo had allowed her to choose a song and this was it, what better way to move forwards towards another job while keeping your feet firmly on the ground and remembering the joys and beauty of life without rushing or getting lost from your life’s road.
So there you go, my Tracks of My Years! I have always wanted to do this but seeing that I will never get onto the Radio I have written this for your eyes and ears. Hopefully there is one or two tracks that you haven’t heard of before and you’ve learnt something new about me!