Monday, 30 January 2012

DESERT ISLAND DISCS 70th ANNIVERSARY

Sunday 29th of January saw the 70th anniversary of Desert Island Discs, the famous BBC4 radio show where a weekly castaway would pick their favourite songs and explain the reason for their choices. It is very much an inspiration for this blog as in essence, it's why we created it, in order to recount the associations and memories about the music which we hold so dear to our lives. So in tribute and to keep up with this tradition, we've put our necks on the line and chosen an album each to keep us company, hopefully along with a volleyball called Wilson




What is your Desert Island Disc? Let us know in the comment section or email us and we'll feature it as a guest spot.


Shell Hunter:-
The Bees - 'Free The Bees' (2004)
Song - 'These Are The Ghosts'


I thought the best way to choose my DID was the Family Fortunes method of shouting out the first thing that comes into my head (no not turkey) in a loud and panicked fashion! I knew I loved The Bees but I thought my innermost subconscious would throw out something from childhood or teenagehood. I was recommended The Bees first album by a trusted source (Thanks Flycasual) when I was 21 and you can even read about it here. I instantly fell in love with their eclectic mix of styles and eagerly anticipated the release of their second album 'Free The Bees'. It became an album rife with memories.


"These Are The Ghosts" (probably my song of all time) brings me back to hot balmy evenings in Spain with my parents enjoying all night barbeques, "Wash In The Rain" always reminds me of sing-along duets with my husband on car journeys(he's got salt, I've got pepper), not to mention my Holy Grail of finding a suitably unique and sentimental song for my wedding with "I Love You". The Bees are full of surprises covering a vast array of genres and 'Free The Bees' would be a great place to start if you like what you hear. I recommend seeing them live too if you are ever given the chance!


Flycasual:-
Beastie Boys - Check Your Head (1991)
Song - 'Pass the Mic'


It's the question we all dread the most, "what one album would you take on a desert island"? There are so many to choose from to while away the time, sipping coconut milk waiting for a passing ferry but like Shell Hunter said, it was the first album that came into my head. Not their best (that is Paul's Boutique of course, read a post here) but from start to finish it's a complete album, well put together with contrasting styles, a heady, eclectic mix of Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul, Punk and Funk, with the trademark witty Beastie rhymes and some instrumental numbers thrown in for good measure. I remember I was a young and spunky 17 year old learning to fly, my parents had left/trusted/were crazy to leave me on my own with a friend in the UK to study whilst they remained in Saudi Arabia. The independence was great but tough as in order to buy the new album I had to make some sacrifices along the way, like going without food or more drastically, buying nasty Superkings instead of my usual Marlboros. But it was worth it, skipping into my local record store at the end of the week to buy the tape, I wasn't disappointed (I also went to see them in concert, in Kentish town I think, supporting Henry Rollins. Fabulous!) Memories aside, the diversity of the tunes on the album were able to capture any mood with enough change of pace should the need arise to entertain the island natives in case of a surprise appearance. It was a fantastic companion then and would make a fantastic companion now.



Old Pa's Corner:-
Love - Forever Changes (1967)
Song - 'The Red Telephone'


How do you pick your favourite album it is almost impossible, but Love's 'Forever Changes' has been a favourite with me now for over 40 years and I love it now as much as I did the first time I heard it . I always at some stage return to it.  When I am down it always lifts me up and it is always a listening experience to hear it all in its full entirety. Every one is a winner from the first song 'Alone Again Or' to the last 'You Set the Scene' (see earlier post) which always leaves me breathless. It was a tough choice with 'Blonde on Blonde' and 'Highway 61' by Dylan and 'Astral Weeks' by Van Morrison all very very very close indeed.

I have chosen the track 'The Red telephone', 'If you think I'm happy? Paint me white'

Sfw:-
Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker (2000)
Song - 'To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)'

Choosing your favourite album of all time shouldn't be the stressful exercise that it is. Think about it, choosing music shouldn't be such a dilemma, it should be enjoyable. Though the reality is it's probably like picking a favourite child! So looking at my "family portraits" there's, Pearl Jams "Ten", The Beatles "Sgt. Peppers...", Bon Iver "For Emma..", Jeff Buckley's "Grace" & Raidohead's "OK Computer" and all of which could easily be on my fav list, but I'm going to have to go for Ryan Adams "Heartbreaker".


When I heard this for the first time it was like having a revelation, it knocked me for six. How could someone so young (he was 25) write something so honest and so damn good! It was Happy, Sad, Fast & Slow and from that point put Americana/Alt-Country as my favourite musical genre. From it's opening of Ryan & David Rawlings arguing about Morrissey, to the rousing "To be young..", it changed everything for me. He's written some fantastic albums since, but I often go back to his first and it sounds as good now as it did then!

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DESERT ISLAND DISCS 70th ANNIVERSARY
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4 comments

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30 January 2012 at 18:17

Today it would have been Blonde on Blonde...but I took the SH method and FC came into my head first. Tomorrow ...who knows!

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30 January 2012 at 22:58

Great choices, 3 of which I have listened to on numerous occasions. I'll admit that Ryan Adams has never really floated my boat, but whenever I hear a track of his, I never seem to dislike it. I should bite the bullet and check his albums out.
As for my favourite album...... ever, I dunno to be honest. But as I've recently been listening to their back catalogue I'm gonna stump for Red Hot Chili Peppers - BloodSugarSexMagic. It's funky and metal-ish, and just as good now as when it first came out.

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31 January 2012 at 09:47

Having to make such a choice for real would send me into such a tail-spin of turmoil and indecisiveness that a complete mental breakdown would surely follow. Would I just want to ensure I had what I consider to be the best album of all time with me? If so, 'Blood On The Tracks' it is. However, is there more to choosing your desert island record than this? See what I mean? I'm already screwed! Nice choices all (The Bees are pretty much an unknown entity for me, I must say). Out your four, I'd take Ryan Adams.

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2 February 2012 at 11:38

Tough call but you gotta ride it out until help arrives. I have to make a confession SH, I never listened to Free the Bees...I bought the Horsemen single but that's it. I will put that wrong, right! Love was always on in the background for me growing up and I probably know all the tracks as they've been engrained into my subconscious. Beautiful track. When I think of Heartbreaker, I instantly think of Sfw and what was associated at the time. I could think of another album you'd want to take.

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