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My Friend Jack

31 Songs

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A break from his usual stories, this book gives the author an excuse to write about his favourite 31 songs. Why he likes them, obviously, but how each one fits into the context of his life. It's the book I've always been meaning to write, the only differences being (i) he writes better than I do and (ii) my choice of music would be better.

 

One thing I will give him credit for: his enthusiasm for Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road, which prompted me to acquire it - and it's now one of my favourite tracks.

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Didn't Nick Hornby make a big reference to songs for life in the High Fidelity book ... or am I making that up?

 

I shall be picking a copy up of this one though as I'm always interested in what other people class as good records and why!

 

Thunder Road is a class effort from The Boss!

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Annabellalot - do you mind if I call you Anna, you're tieing my fingers up!

 

You should try and get a copy of Dave Marsh's "Heart of Rock & Soul." I've mentioned it on other threads on BGO, but it's the best book I've ever found on records.

 

Something else I've mentioned before is that in 1974 I started to keep a list of how many times I played all the recordings in my collection. Next month sees the 31st anniversary, and - yes - I still do it. One of these days I will produce a list of the ones I've played the most. All I can say is that it's an odd mix!

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edited to slot the restored post (below) in chronological order

 

michelangelo 21st April 2006 12:22 PM

 

Originally Posted by Annabellalot

Didn't Nick Hornby make a big reference to songs for life in the High Fidelity book ... or am I making that up?

 

I shall be picking a copy up of this one though as I'm always interested in what other people class as good records and why!

 

Thunder Road is a class effort from The Boss!

 

 

He did along with many other, funny references to 'top five' lists that always makes me laugh whenever i read it.

I didn't get along so well with Fever Pitch as I cant get past the Arsenal connection I'm afraid but he hit the mark with High Fidelity that is for sure.

 

Lee

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I bought this back in the glory days of the freebie Kelloggs books on Amazon as it's not normally the kind of read I go for.

 

It's quite a while since I read it now and two things spring to mind about it. Firstly, I dearly wish there had been an accompanying CD with the 31 songs because I didn't know all of them and don't have an MP3 thing and found it hard to appreciate some of the music I didn't know very well. With the newspapers dishing out CDs willynilly, I imagine this wouldn't have been so difficult or expensive to organise.

 

The other memory I have is that it is nowhere near as good as his novels and in fact, is a bit boring really.

 

Rebecca

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So what are his 31 songs ?

Being of a similar age to Hornby and perhaps being the sort of person that his books are aimed at ( !) I'd be intregued to see what he chooses....

I may even be tempted to go buy the book if his selection is interesting !

 

Getting hold of the tracks shouldn't be too hard - I don't think you actually need an Ipod to download itunes and then play the tracks on your pc....

You may even find people on here have many of the tracks already and would burn you cds....(or is that illegal ??)

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Haven't read this Nick Hornby book. Last one I read was How to be Good, and hated it. Click on the link below, and it will take you to the CD listing on Amazon.co.uk, and it looks like it has most of the tracks from the book.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000SZ5D4/qid=1115492444/sr=8-2/ref=pd_ka_1/026-9424674-8871625

 

I thought how to be good was quite good!

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Discussing one of the pop songs Hornby writes -

 

So, yes, it's disposable, as if that makes any differeence to anyone's perceptions of the value of pop music. But then shoudn't we be sick of 'Moonlight' Sonata by now?....Or The Importance of Being Earnest? They're empty! Nothing left! We sucked 'em dry! That's what gets me:the very people who are snotty about the disposability of pop will go over and over again to see Lady Bracknell say 'A handbag?' in a funny voice. They don't think that joke's exhausted itself?

 

 

Do you think he's got a point?

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It is interesting to think about how we (as a society) judge or value the worth of something. This unmade bed is worth a lot of money, that one gets you shouted at by your mum. This book is trashy, that one is a classic. This music is disposable, that piece is Important.

 

I think a good 'three minute pop song' can evoke a whole range of feelings and emotions and that's enough to make it valuable. Sometimes it's the words or music themselves, sometimes it's the associations we have with the track. Nothing makes me smile quite like 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' by Wham and don't anyone tell me it's trashy and disposable!

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