I suppose it’s the done thing for every writer or blogger to do their own “Desert Island” list of tracks, so I’ve been giving it some thought…
The easiest thing would be to write down your ten favourite tracks and be done with it but, actually, if this really were a desert island, and if you really only could ever listen to ten tracks, you’d want to choose tracks to cover every mood and every style you like.
Easy one to start with – Jacques Brel’s “La Chanson des vieux amants”. Rarely heard in English, but this wonderful lament to a lifelong lover and partner is so warm, so touching, so clever. Why isn’t Brel better known? I would choose Alison Moyet’s version every time.
Another easy one, the awesome “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd, preferably from “Pulse”. Simply the best rock track ever, with the two best guitar solos of all time.
Just occasionally, I need to relax to something choral. I’d struggle to choose between the 1st movement of Dvořák’s “Stabat Mater” and the “Sanctus” from Fauré’s Requiem. Go with the Fauré.
I’d also need some opera. Tough one this… could choose “Vesti la Giubba” from I, Pagliacci or Bizet’s Pearl Fisher’s duet but I think I’ll take “Va, Pensiero” from Nabucco.
Now, as a confirmed and proud prog-head, we need an epic. Nothing short of 20 minutes will do, subject matter may vary, but apocalypses are always popular. Choice is between “Close to the Edge” by Yes, “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis and Marillion’s “Grendel”. I think I’ll take the Yes.
Now a mini-epic or two. Many more to choose from: “Evergreen" or “Heroes Never Die” by the amazing Mostly Autumn, “The Awakening” by Mystery, Rainbow’s “Stargazer”, “Breathe it in” or “The Illusion is Freedom” by Darwin’s Radio. Decisions… Ok, “Passengers” by Mostly Autumn and Genesis's “Firth of Fifth”.
Another easy one, a song that I’ve loved since I was six years old, Simon & Garfukel’s wondrous “Bridge over Troubled Water”.
Quick count. We’re up to eight.
Actually, the last two are quite easy as well - Bowie’s “Word on a Wing” and Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig in the Sky”.
Interestingly, only three of those chosen feature in my top twenty played tracks on Itunes.