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Posted on Dec 31, 2008 in zeitgeist | 0 comments

Desert Island C90 Challenge – My Tape

So, here it is, frozen in time at the end of 2008, my Desert Island C90. As ever, tomorrow’s will be as different as yesterday’s.

This should have been a lot easier. Armed with a lot of data from last.fm I shouldn’t really have to think what I like listening to, it is all there to be seen. But a C90 isn’t as simple as that.

It struck me while doing this that I never put this amount of preparation into a actual C90. Therefore, very often, tracks would get cut off at the end of side, maybe I should have allowed that!

One thing I’m sure of, the second I hit ‘publish’ I’ll immediately remember 3 songs I really should have put on this list and regret something that I did add. Such is the way of it. In fact, I already want to change it but it’s way too much hassle when you’ve finally got the times to add up almost right. Especially as I’ve just noticed that Life On Mars has mysteriously gone missing a some point during the edit. Ho hum. Published and be damned. Sorry David.

For anyone else having a go this helps add up the times.

Side 1 44:55

Smelt Like A Pedestrian – A Witness 3:15
Way back when (probably around 1986) I got a C90 from my friend Dave Benger. At that time (and most likely still now) he had far better taste in music than me. The C90 he gave me was a sampler of the world of music that was largely passing me by at that time. To say it (with subsequent tapes) changed my musical direction is an understatement. Smelt Like A Pedestrian was the first track on that tape and it still provides a great punchy start to any such compilation today. There really was no other way to start my Desert Island C90, “I felt restless and a trifle bored…” sounds like Desert Island life to me. Probably not what they had in mind though…

Now I need to return to the attic in the hope of finding that tape. I do hope it’s there. If I find it, I’ll post the track listing here. I know what came next “Hot Aftershave Bop” by The Fall – strangely accessible.

Frightened – The Fall 5.03
This is a lot of time to give up to a lump of lo-fi Manc-burbling. But it’s just great, so has to go on.

Not entirely sure how this constitutes a video, but here it is nonetheless.



50ft Queenie – PJ Harvey 2:27
When you are putting together a compilation where time is of the essence, 2 minutes 27 seconds of snarling Polly is just about as perfect as it gets.



Teardrop – Massive Attack 5:31
This is a large investment of time. And one that I nearly dropped. But you really have to have this. Sublime.



This Charming Man – The Smiths 2:43
This was a toughy. There had to be at least one Smiths song on (and was sorely tempted to add more). At 2:43, this represents very good value. Could easily have been What She Said (2:41) but that was in my album tracks post last year. Anyway, have a listen and concentrate on the bass.





Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks 3:13
I was a little concerned that too many songs like this might see me sitting on my Desert Island constantly in floods of lonely tears (which is why there is no Sunshine on Leith) but, in essence, this is as uplifting as it is beautiful. And, after all, I would actually be in paradise. So, an entertaining reversal.



Just – Radiohead 3:53
It was a real struggle picking a Radiohead track. I went for Just because the rest of the tape was getting a little too laid back and quiet so I needed to add some punch. Could easily have been 6 or more other songs. Great video too.



I Want You – Inspiral Carpets with Mark E. Smith 3:10
In its own right a really thumping drum-driven guitar-pop song. Add crazy Mark over the top and it becomes, well, something else entirely. Much like this list, no one did ever said it was going to be easy. A second apperance for the boy Smith. Might have had a third if I’d gone with The Rhinohead, but it lost out. I do like the trademark reading lyrics off paper in this video.



Birthday – Sugarcubes 3:58
When I were a lad at Uni, Stephen Wallace and I would often meet in the QMU bar at lunchtime. He always knew if I had already arrived if this (or Hey Luciani by The Fall) was playing on the jukebox. So, this song has been with me for a long time. It has a very difficult feel from most music, it’s just lovely, no other way to describe it. Björk at the beginning and Björk at her very best.



Only Living Boy in New Cross – Carter 3:57
Hello, good evening welcome. I needed something with an 80’s – early 90’s feel and this fitted the bill nicely (it very nearly Two Tribes).



Feeling Good – Muse 3:19
A little bit of a time compromise here. A great track, great cover but probably not the number 1 Muse track I would have chosen.



Long Distance – Turin Brakes 4:26
What a great chorus. As I mention in my Dog Man Star related prattle, I’m a fan of the big, euphoric build up. This is a great example of same.



Side 2 – Total Length 44:51

Sexx Laws – Beck 3:39
The last.fm stats don’t lie. I listen to this song quite a lot. Depending on mood it may not even be my favourite Beck song but when you’re looking for something to get the second side off and running this is as upbeat as it comes. Obviously loving the horns and that vague Prince overtone.



Firestarter – The Prodigy 3:44
There is a need to have something dancy/loud/dance about. I considered the Status Quo stupidity of Stop The Rock/Apollo 440 but you really can’t see past this gusty, biled-fuelled techno-romp (oh NME how you missed out on me). Worth it just for that noise at the start alone.



Cannonball – The Breeders 3:33



Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – Soft Cell 4:32
Here it is again. My love of big choruses.



Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes 2:25
At 2:25 a must. I suppose I would have preferred Add It Up but at 4:42 was it really worth nearly double the time? Obviously, hugely popular now with film and advert appearances but I’m pretty sure it was on “the tape” back in 1986.



In My Life – The Beatles 2:28
There had to be a Beatles’ song and it had to be this one. Short, beautiful, perfect. Given that it also appeared on my album tracks list does further confirm that I like this song a lot.
I had to use this vid, one of the most ridiculous things you’ll ever see…



I Will – Radiohead 1:59
This is such a short piece of loveliness it was begging to get in and snuck in at the last minute with some timing jiggery, and indeed, pokery. This is probably the safest way to watch some of Dancer in the Dark – much less crying involved.



Song 2 – Blur 2:01
Again, what more can you ask for from 2 minutes. Got a big help from being played very loud in the car tonight.



The Last Goodbye – Jeff Buckley 4:19
The boy could sing.



View from the Afternoon – Arctic Monkeys 3:42
According to last.fm I’ve played this more than any other track. Now, I know that is because the Arctic Monkeys start with ‘A’ so I often start a trip through the randomiser with this but it’s still worth it’s place. Needed more guitars.



It’s A Good Thing – That Petrol Emotion 2:36
OK, you knew it was coming. I had to have a TPE song somewhere. And at 2:36, this provides great guitar pop value. Senses do fail. And we do know why.



Still Life – Suede 5:23
The problem here, of course, is that The Asphalt World but this is no great step down for the inevitable song from Dog Man Star. Even without the 40 piece orchestra ( as seen in the video below ) you see what a great song this is and how even Brett struggles to sing it.
Note to self: get the chords for this, looks almost playable.



Clair de Lune – Debussy 4:30
The quiet, classical denoument would probably have been Barber’s Adagio (the linked choral version is particularly great) but it’s just too long. This great bit of Debussy appears everywhere these days, films, adverts etc but is no lessened by it.



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