A long time ago I posted a similar link on a separate Blog. The idea is simple, a ‘castaway’ is asked to choose eight tracks (usually, but not always, music), a book and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island. This seems simple, and then you start looking at your music, and sometimes audio books, can anyone be limited to just 8?? Let’s try………….
1) Say a Little Prayer, Not the Aretha Franklin version that everyone knows, but the Bomb the Bass version – Back in 1988 when I first started dating my now wife, this song became “our song”, I cannot remember exactly why, but it did and has continued as such for nearly thirty years. Aretha belts this song out, as only she can. Bomb the Bass have a slightly less “belt” and more of a ballad. The song symbolises how things are, and every morning when I get up, and at night, in bed before I go to sleep, I give thanks for the day and the wonderful partner I have, as well as the fantastic three children we have as a result of our partnership. This track must come as it is where we started.
2) Fairy Tale of New York, The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl (RIP) – However you look at things, whatever you feel about the season, this is the definitive Christmas Song. Forget White Christmas, Merry Christmas Everyone and even Merry Christmas War is Over, this one song is the absolute definition of Christmas. Starting with a “it’s going to be good” rant and then followed by a tribute to togetherness and New York. Like the proper Coca-Cola advert with the lorries, once they have been seen and this heard, Christmas is upon us. During the year I sometimes just play this because it is good, but, it is really for Christmas, as the opening line says “It was Christmas Eve babe……” for a special warmth inside, whenever, this comes with.
3) Jealous, Labrinth – What a way to both apologise for happenings and also admit your jealousy. We all have lost people, and we are all a bit jealous of what they might now be experiencing, and we all feel guilty and need to apologise for this, and any past episodes. If we could see the person again, for however short, we would. I would!! The track verbalises all of my emotions. I am sorry that we are not together, I am jealous of everything that I could not share in the past, and, importantly, it is not your fault. This humility is good at times, that is why the track comes along.
4) Sylvia’s Mother, Dr Hook – My wife introduced me to Dr. Hook, and this song could be heard on our car stereos at all times. It maybe a sad song, in its own way, but, how often when we were young teenagers, did an irate Father or worried Mother take a call to stop their daughter (or son) coming to the phone? I appreciate this record is an extreme happening, and no parent sent their daughter away because of me, but it is a great track and just symbolises the fear we all have for our children, the just in case factor, there is always an escape route. so to remind us of this, the track comes.
5) Sound of Silence, the Disturbed – The group look so frightening, and a lot of their stuff is very heavy rock, but, they presented a version of this song, that because of the deep gravely voice of the singer and the switch into a strong ballad, takes this song to a new level. The lyrics of the song remind me of sometimes you can talk and ask until you are blue in the face, however, silence just comes back, “people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening” we have all been there and no doubt will go again. I admit to being a terrible communicator at a personal level, I keep things to myself to prevent any fear of incrimination. I don’t share as sometimes it just feels safer not to. This song comes to the island to remember that silence is not a good thing.
6)I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), Meatloaf – I have every album he has ever done, I have been to many concerts. Bat Out of Hell, especially live, remains a magnificent track, the song that introduced me to Meatloaf. Of all his hundreds of tracks this song, the full version, just defines a song of pure honesty and soul. “I won’t do that” a pledge to do anything needed and yet never doing the wrong, refusing to do it. Never doing better, and declaring that you won’t break that promise. I am just a humble person, but I want to think that I would do anything for love and I would always keep my pledges as given. This track remains a powerful and timeless classic. It comes……………
7) You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, The Elvis Presley version – Only Elvis can do true justice to a song filled with power and a pleading to not loose that feeling. Back when I was firs with my Wife, we saw Top Gun, their version of this song is rough, however, it just shows how a song can personify so much. We love this film, and this song just starts a romance in the best way possible. Oh to have the front to have tried something like this!!! A track to evoke lots of memories and it is a great song.
8) How hard is it to choose a last song, we have no Trans Siberian Orchestra, no Avici and no Passenger. As I look at songs a myriad of memories come rushing forth. Forever Young or Bruce’s No Surrender, Prince of Peace and The Look, what about Bowie and Dire Straits, this is very hard………….
Far Above the Clouds, Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 3 – What an icon Tubular Bells has been, and is. In part 3 “The man in the rain picks up is bag of secrets and journeys up the mountain…..” and at that point the he is never seen again, but the sound of Tubular Bells can be heard. Is this a symbolic end to Tubular Bells or is it hinting of more to come? Either way this is a perfect end to story, so far, it is also an end for me as regards tracks, with this song you can listen to it forever, it is pure music. Pure in its simplest form.
Now we have 8 tracks, just a book and a luxury item. That choice is a lot easier.
Book – His Dark Materials trilogy – The greatest love story ever written. The trilogy winds around and forms a meeting, it is almost like sliding doors, left or right. As the love blossoms and the depth becomes deep, a twist ends, for now, a true love. Like The House at Pooh Corner the end is actually inevitable, and yet yearned for, never ending and always there. The end is almost unreadable, and yet it has to be done. A book that will never grow old.
Luxury item – Proper chocolate or proper coffee? Which one is more vital? The always there chocolate, from Hotel Chocolat, or classic strong, black coffee from Pact or LaVazza. I am rarely seen without coffee in hand, but sometimes only a piece of chocolate can suffice!! As these are my discs, and my island, I am saying that 2 luxury items are allowed, and for me the choice is so easy – Coffee and Chocolate!!
And now it is done, 8 tracks, a lot of time looking and soul searching, but finished. Every track I have has a memory attached, I think, right now, these 8 are the ones I want to hear again and again.