I have been born and grown up in a music loving home. My Mam and Dad both loved music, from pop to classical. As the youngest child in a big family (my oldest brother is 17 years my senior) my childhood memories contain lots of moments involving music. We had a huge old fashioned record player that I wish I still had now. My earliest memories were The Beatles, The Stones, and The Hollies. My sister was and still is a massive Motown fan. We listened religiously to the charts every Sunday, Top of the Pops and of course The Old Grey Whistle Test.
I was then influenced by my brothers love of the wonderful David Bowie, brainwashed some may say, as he bought me my first Bowie albums for my 14th and 15th birthday.
My family have introduced a much younger sister to decades of amazing music. I had a Saturday job in the 1980’s and one of the butchers who I worked with asked me how old I was ’16’, I replied, ‘Well how come you know all the words?’ He thought it was great. My own musical journey probably started in the late 70’s with punk and the mod music revival. I probably would have become a punk if my Mam had allowed me. We compromised and I became a mod. In those days it was The Jam, The Lambrettas, SKA music was my main love. The Special and The Selector, great music that I still enjoy and brings back so many memories to mind. I was introduced to Northern Soul by my friends sister around this time as well. All music I still listen to now. Joy Division, The Smith’s, progressing to electro pop sound of the 80s New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Soft Cell, New Romantics and always plenty of soul. Even as a busy Mother and Wife I still made time for music. Massive Attack, The Verve and Oasis. I have to say there is no music genre I don’t like although Country and Western is my least favourite.
So I think you get the gist of my love for music. I don’t watch much telly, never have. I’m a total novice with films, to a lot of peoples amazement. Music is my thing and I would be lost without it in my life. Having to pick 5 tracks I love was easy but after I quickly picked them my immediate thought was ‘Oh I didn’t add a Motown or a Northern Soul’. You see the thing is I have too many and the list could change daily. So here it is and a few added for good measure. Happy Birthday to ME……..
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL – THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Simon and Garfunkel, an American folk duo consisting of guitarist/singer song writers Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. The duo first met as children in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, New York in 1953, where they first learned to harmonise with one another and began writing original material. By 1957, the teenagers had their first minor success with “Hey Schoolgirl”, a song imitating their idols the Everly Brothers. Afterwards, the duo went their separate ways, with Simon pursuing unsuccessful solo records and both attending college. In 1963, with a greater interest in folk music, they regrouped and were signed to Columbia Records. Their debut, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., sold poorly, and they once again disbanded, with Simon moving to England to again perform solo. A remix of their song “The Sound of Silence” gained airplay on U.S. radio in 1965, hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Simon & Garfunkel reunited, releasing their second studio album Sounds of Silence and touring colleges nationwide. Their music was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate, propelling the duo to further exposure. Bookends (1968), their next album, benefited from this promotion, and increased their profile. Their often rocky relationship led to artistic disagreements, resulting in their 1970 breakup. Their final studio record, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was subsequently their most successful, becoming one of the world’s best-selling albums. Simon & Garfunkel were one of the most popular artists of the 1960s, and were viewed as icons of the decade’s social revolution, alongside artists such as the Beatles and Bob Dylan.
This album has always been in my home, I’ve grown up with it. It is in the home of all my siblings. It reminds me of family and it’s poetic I think. My most played album of all time. This particular song I’ve always loved. Growing up in a busy family home I always craved the ‘sound of silence’, and then when I get it I was lost. This song is haunting and moving and you can take from it what you want but it always makes me feel calm and I just love it.
CHAKA KHAN – AIN’T NOBODY
Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens, 1953) is an American singer-songwriter, whose career has spanned four decades, beginning in the 1970’s as the front woman and focal point of the funk band Rufus. Often dubbed the “Queen of Funk”, Khan has won ten Grammy’s and has sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide, Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, with a rich musical legacy. A songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka Khan has influenced generations of recording artists. She has the rare ability to sing in seven music genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. Her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs.
“Ain’t Nobody” is a 1983 hit single by Rufus & Chaka Khan. It was released as a studio bonus track on the band’s live album Stompin’ at the Savoy. It reached number one on the U.S. R&B chart and 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has become one of Khan’s signature songs. Rufus keyboardist David “Hawk” Wolinski wrote the song around a repeating synthesiser loop backed by a Linn LM-1 Drum Computer. However, drummer John J.R. Robinson played real drums for the recording session. Legendary producer Quincy Jones (who had previously worked with Rufus) wanted Wolinski to give “Ain’t Nobody” to Michael Jackson for the album that would become the blockbuster Thriller, but Wolinski had already promised it to producer Russ Titelman, who ultimately had the band record it as a vocal showcase for Khan.
This song has so many emotional memories for me, it is probably my most favourite song ever and that’s all I need to say…..enjoy!
DAVID BOWIE – SPACE ODDITY
David Robert Jones born 1947, known professionally by his stage name David Bowie, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. Bowie has been a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades, and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970’s. He is known for his distinctive voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work. Aside from his musical abilities, he is recognised for his androgynous beauty, which was an iconic element to his image, particularly in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in July 1969 when his song “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s impact at that time, as described by biographer David Buckley, “challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “Created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture”. The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation. Throughout his career, he has sold an estimated 140 million albums. In the UK, he has been awarded nine Platinum album certifications, 11 Gold and eight Silver, and in the US, five Platinum and seven Gold.
It’s hard for me to pick a favourite Bowie track. I grew up with Bowie in my family home we had all of his albums and so many great songs. Ziggy Stardust is probably my most played album. I chose this track finally because my family said it’s the one that reminds them most of me. I often shout ‘Ground Control To Major Tom’, when I want their attention and I’m not getting it. So here we go commencing count down engines on…….
PAUL WELLER – YOU DOING SOMETHING TO ME
Paul Weller (born 25 May 1958) is an English singer-songwriter and musician. Starting out with the band The Jam (1976–82), Weller branched out to a more soulful style with The Style Council (1983–89), before establishing himself as a successful solo artist in 1991.
Despite widespread critical recognition as a singer, lyricist and guitarist, Weller has remained a national rather than an international star, and much of his song writing is rooted in British culture. He is also the principal figure of the 1970’s and 1980’s mod revival, and is often referred to as the Modfather.
Stanley Road is the third solo album by Paul Weller, released by Go! Discs in 1995. In 1998 Q magazine readers voted it the 46th greatest album of all time. The album took its name from the street in Woking where Weller grew up. In my opinions this is Weller’s greatest album and I love ‘You Do Something To Me’, great lyrics guitar riffs and Wellers amazing gravelly voice.
I have had the luck to see him live numerous times and he truly is a great artist. His talent is immeasurable, and acoustically his voice is perfect. I’ve been a ‘MOD’ most of my life and he is an icon to the sub culture. I however merit him on his talent not his persona which sometimes makes me cringe. Beautiful song anyway
THE VERVE – ROLLIN PEOPLE
The Verve were an English rock band formed in Wigan in 1990 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Beginning with a psychedelic sound, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and three albums. It also endured name and line-up changes, break-ups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. The band’s commercial breakthrough was the 1997 album Urban Hymns, one of the best-selling albums in UK Chart history, and the single “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, which became a worldwide hit. In 1998, the band won two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group. Soon after their commercial peak, The Verve broke up in April 1999, citing internal conflicts. During an eight-year split, Ashcroft dismissed talk of a reunion, saying: “You’re more likely to get all four Beatles on stage.” The band’s original line-up reunited in June 2007, embarking on a tour later that year and releasing the album Forth in August 2008, which spawned the hit single “Love Is Noise”. Amid revived tensions, the band broke up for the third time in 2009.
‘Urban Hymns’ was their third studio album, released September 1997. It earned nearly unanimous critical praise upon its release, and went on to become the band’s best-selling release and one of the biggest selling albums of the year. It is currently ranked the 17th best-selling album in UK chart history and has sold over ten million copies worldwide.
Urban Hymns is one of my top 10 albums and it is played weekly in my home. I love the whole album from start to finish. I’ve chosen ‘The Rolling People’ because it has a sentimental meaning to me, which goes to show that you don’t have to have mushy ballads as special songs. Great album love ‘The Verve’ love Richard, love, love, love, Wallabees, bit obsessed really aren’t I ?