Desert Island Discs

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Music

(If you’re reading this via email, you’ll need to go here to see all the videos embedded in this post.)

About two months ago I opened up a new file on my computer and decided to compile a list of my favourite songs as part of a new running playlist.

Then I realised that some of my favourite songs aren’t actually very good to run to. Oops.

I started thinking that if I died it would be good to have a list of my favourite songs for my funeral. Don’t ask! I’ve no idea where that came from.

Naturally, it’s a working document and one which I’m adding to all the time. And editing.

I’ve highlighted some songs with a video or a heading because they’re super special. But this whole list is very important to me.

This is where I’m at today.

Favourite album of all time

When I think about what makes a brilliant album it’s this: you love every song, don’t want to skip any and they all work well together. Collectively they take you somewhere in the same way a great film does. I think some of The Jam albums and Never Mind the Bollocks by Sex Pistols are up there. But if I think about one album that makes me so happy and takes me on an emotional journey then it’s this: Paul Weller / Paul Weller (1992)

Favourite song of all time

That’s Entertainment by The Jam. I really like this version with just Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher. The original is fucking fantastic too. An honorable mention goes to Down in the Tube Station at Midnight (scroll down for the video).

Also, Four Leaf Clover by Badly Drawn Boy was very therapeutic. It sounds great on headphones when you’re walking! Scroll down for the video.

Down in the Tube Station at Midnight by The Jam

Open Up by Leftfield featuring John Lydon – life’s anthem.

Summertime – there is no one version I love more than others but this one with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong is pretty darn good. So uplifting, soulful, beautiful.

Autumn Song by Manic Street Preachers

This is such a beautiful video. The video of the director’s cut is very important to me. If I were to make a music video I would want it to feel like this.

You Got the Love by Candi Staton

This song gives me goosebumps. I used to dance to this as a teenager. It makes a pretty good running song now. There are loads of different mixes around. I’m fairly sure the one I like is the William Orbit remix.

Jump by Madonna – I love the idea of a journey. Madonna made me aware of my own. This makes a great running song. I usually program it so I listen to it last because it helps me get to the very end.

History by Madonna [unreleased song]

Such a great tune. According to what I found out online, History was recorded for Madonna’s album Confessions on a Dance Floor. Why it never made the final release is beyond me. This is regularly on my running playlist.

Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan – it’s all in the words.

For Keeps by Gossip

He’s a Man – Madonna (from I’m Breathless)

I remember not really liking this album much but this song totally stuck out for me. I had this album on vinyl so would constantly move the needle back to the start of this song each time it was over. Very different Madonna.

Valerie sung by Amy Winehouse

Adele – Hometown Glory

This is the only version of this song that I like. I’ve watched it so many times. It takes me back to London when I need it. Sometimes it makes me cry. Especially on a Friday night when I’ve been drinking red wine!

Wings of Speed by Paul Weller – I’ve always loved this song but I particularly love this live version in the link.

I’d Rather Go Blind performed by Paul Weller – I think I first heard this song as a b-side on one of Paul’s singles. I instantly fell in love with it not even realising it was a cover.

14th Street by Rufus Wainwright – I’d never heard of Rufus until I came to Canada in 2003. I spent a disgusting amount of time searching for his songs and downloading them. 14th Street is just so jubilant and thigh slapping good.

11:11 by Rufus Wainwright


This song was released the same year I arrived in Canada. It became very significant for me. My man has a pen engraved with his initials and 11:11.

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