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Comfort Music


jfp
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A thread for music that brings consolation, nostalgic memories, whatever...

My eclectic list of sixteen (sixteen is my lucky number...)

 

The King's Singers, Six

[This unusual only-six-track CD, only twenty minutes long (but at a corresponding price), popped up about three years ago. One slightly inaccessible track, and five luscious-even-by-their-standards classics, of which the highlight for me is Billy Joel's Lullabye (Goodbye My Angel)]

 

Brokeback Mountain original motion-picture soundtrack

[Go on, relive the film. I've seen it four times, I've got this, and the short story, and the screenplay-plus-essays... Hoping to get the boots from Father Christmas... ]

 

•Messiaen, Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant Jésus, played by Roger Muraro

[Oh not Messy-ahn, I hear you saying... But this is mostly very accessible and surprisingly relaxing. Muraro signed it for me after a recital. He has hands like shovels, without which he could quite possibly never have performed this... NB "regards sur..." is only really translatable as "ways of looking at"]

 

Peter Skellern, Sentimentally Yours

[For his great arrangements of old standards (Gershwin, Berlin, Porter...); his own stuff is less interesting. OK, he has a funny wobbly voice, but it's original. This unfortunately doesn't include the wonderful You're A Lady, memorably performed on TOTP in 1973 together with full mixed choir and brass band]

 

The Jacksons, Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)

[When you feel you could sit there and stare at the wall, or lie there and stare at the ceiling, for the rest of your life, this is the cure. You'll be on your feet in seconds. NB it has to be the eight-minute version on the Destiny CD, not the single or any cut version available on compilations. This album came out in 1978, just before Michael Jackson was launched on his journey through super-stardom to megalomania to... wherever he's at now...]

 

Fiona Apple, When The Pawn...

[Curiously underrated: great arrangements, great production, songs about relationships-gone-wrong. Great lyrics too: You got your game, made your shot, and you got away with a lot, but I'm not turned on; So put away that meat you're selling...]

 

Nina Hagen Band, Nina Hagen Band

[Punk with a difference... if you understand German, the lyrics are a bonus; if not, just concentrate on her vocal eccentricity. She trained as an opera-singer, I gather]

 

Beethoven, Symphonies by the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zürich conducted by David Zinman

[You'll never have heard them like this before... Lots of twiddly bits you never knew were there, and in some cases they weren't (see sleeve notes) And the boxed set is ridiculously cheap]

 

Joni Mitchell, Blue

[The whole thing, but with a special mention for the first track, All I Want: how could anyone in love not adore: "I want to talk to you, I want to shampoo you, I want to renew you..."]

 

Mahler, Symphony n° 4

["Oh not Mahler..." But wait... this is the easiest way in to Mahler for those who have found themselves refused entrance at some of the more austere of his portals. Infectiously melodic in several places. I particularly recommend the version by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle]

 

Hildegard von Bingen, Canticles of Ecstasy, performed by Sequentia

[This cannot easily be described or explained. Hildegard was a twelfth-century mystic.]

 

Vaughan Williams, Norfolk Rhapsody N° 1 and Flos Campi, performed by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Paul Daniel

[On a Gramophone recording-of-the-month cheap Naxos CD, along with the fourth symphony. If Norfolk Rhapsody N° 1 sounds oddly familiar, it's probably because it's the title of the final section of Jonathan Coe's The Closed Circle]

 

Anything belted out by the Mexican tenor Rolando Vilazòn... but preferably try and see him live.

 

Joseph Martin Kraus, Symphony in C minor

[Also on a Naxos cheapy: Haydn with extra oomph]

 

Verdi, Requiem

[Preferably the John Eliot Gardiner version; this takes some getting into, but once you're in... I really discovered it by singing it two years ago, and it stays with you for ever and ever]

 

10cc, I'm Not in Love

[imperatively the full-length version on the album The Original Soundtrack One of the most original and inventive pop albums ever, and the same is true of the classic single: one of those originals that are so original that a cover-version seems inconceivable]

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  • 3 months later...

I couldn't possibly think of 16 songs off the top of my head, but I'll have a go with some:

 

1. The Living Years - Mike and the Mechanics.

Reminds me of my dad dying just before my second child was born. I always blub at the line "I wasn't there that morning, when my father passed away". Sniff. I still like the feeling, though, strangely. (James is oddly like his granddad...hmmm.)

 

2. That's Entertainment - The Jam.

My favourite song of all time by my favourite band of all time. Reminds me of my bedsit in Newport while I was at Uni ("freezing cold flat and damp on the walls").

 

3. Sugar Sugar - The Archies.

One of the few singles we had in the Barnardo's unit I worked in, played to oblivion, reminds me of good times with some of the little tykes.

 

4. Love Gets Dangerous - Billy Bragg.

Back to Uni again, very much has a feel of the 80s for me.

 

5. Hey Jude - The Beatles.

One of the first songs that I can remember my mum (generally a classical music fan) singing.

 

6. Here I go Again - Whitesnake.

Barnardo's years again, takes me straight back to the Nijmegen march we went on. The guy in the hostel we stayed at played it over and over again for me. My (future) hubby went back the next year and the guy gave him the album for me.

 

7. Romeo's Tune - Steve Forbert.

My MySpace song until recently, takes me back to my late teens - happy memories.

 

8. Dr Dupree - Wilko Johnson.

Just a bloody good tune by my mate Wilko, he co-wrote it with the poet Hugo Williams. I never get tired of it.

 

9. When the City Sleeps - Barclay James Harvest.

Heard the tune played in a pub on an episode of Life on Mars and it haunted me till I remembered what it was. Memories of my late teens again.

 

10. Woman - John Lennon.

I must have danced the slow dance at the end of the night to this with about a dozen blokes. Some of them were even nice!

 

11. Art School - The Jam.

My brother bought me 'In the City' on cassette for my birthday when it came out. Best couple of quid he ever spent.

 

12. Sweet Child o' Mine - Guns 'n' Roses.

Out about the time my 3rd child was born. She was such a sweet little baby, but that wasn't the last we heard of her - she's been in all of our faces ever since! A true character, still getting away with murder, you've got to love her.

 

13. (Blimey, I'm doing better than I thought!) Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll - Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

Reminds me of my littlest sprog singing along to it in the car at about 2!! "Shame!", I hear you cry - you couldn't understand what he was singing! Anyway, he's 10 now, and he and his brother sing along to their Tenacious D album, skipping all the swear words! It obviously didn't do him any harm!

 

Think I'll stop here before someone calls Social Services...

 

Looking back at jfp's original post, I hope I haven't missed the point, mine are all memories.

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Looking back at jfp's original post, I hope I haven't missed the point, mine are all memories.
Never fear, Boris, there was no point to miss... I did say "whatever"... Any music that gets you through the day, or the night, or both, for whatever reason, is relevant.

 

And I've only just realised you're "not really male" - I'd kind of sussed that you were "not really a cat"... :)

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Sinead O'Connor, Heroine - from the film Captives, makes me feel all nice, smiley and warm.

 

Pull Tiger Tail, Let's Lightning - great to sing along to, makes me feel good even when cleaning the toilet.

 

Therapy?, Going Nowhere - Hubby and my 'first' song together

 

The Primitives, Crash - Makes me feel like a teenager again

 

Blink 182, I Miss You - Awwwwwwwwwww

 

Deacon Blue, Dignity - Makes me feel like a drunk teenager again

 

The Psychedelic Furs, Pretty In Pink - ditto Crash.

 

Adamski feat. Seal, Killer - reminds me of a particular night - no names, no pack drills.

 

The Police, Every Breath You Take - first dance at wedding

 

Danzig, Blood and Tears - beautiful voice, beautiful song

 

The Smiths, This Charming Man and Please Let Me Get What I Want - don't really need to say much about those choices do I?

 

I am sure there is dozens more, but these must be the ones that stand out.

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Dredging my memories back into the distant past

 

Queen - Seven seas of Rhye. Probably the first song I knew well enough to sing along to. Still a favourite.

 

ELO - Mr Blue Sky. Another early childhood favourite.

 

Madness - Shut up and Embarassment, my favourites by them, great fun and remind me of the school "youth club" when I was about 11, playing snooker (badly) on a 6' table.

 

The Jam - That's Entertainment. Another one from the primary school youth club but much more recently it was the subject of one of those silly debates you have in the pub, in this case with my best friend. The question is "which Jam song, That's Entertainment or A town called malice?" She contended the latter on the grounds that you can dance to it (and won the argument by doing so at her wedding reception, it was the first thing she got the disco to play), I argued the former, if not for the rather stark lyrics and spartan arrangement then for the first two lines of the final verse.

 

Marillion - Forgotten Sons. Being 15, on the school bus with my cheap and nasty Dixons own brand "walkman" casette player and Script going round and round on the journey home.

 

Tangerine Dream - Ricochet part II. Ricochet was the first CD I bought when I got my first CD player in 1986 (a Philips CD104B) and part II remains one of my top two favourite pieces of music.

 

Manic Street Preachers - If you tolerate this then your children will be next. Still remember the astonishment at hearing the opening notes, I've no idea if it's a guitar effects pedal or what, they use a Mellotron elsewhere on the track but it's not like any 'tron sound I've ever come across.

 

Pulp - Disco 2000, sweet in a slightly scary sort of way and no-one has ever summed up more accurately what it's like to have a crush on a close friend who is completely unaware then watching them go off with someone else. Babies and my six year old (now former) step son declaring it to be his favourite song when I had it on in the car. I'm very glad he couldn't understand what the words were about and that his mother wasn't paying attention :D

 

Delia Derbyshire / Ron Grainer - the Doctor Who theme (original version before they completely re-recorded it in 1980). Another piece of music that took my breath away. It still sounds ethereal and otherworldly to this day, thanks largely to the sounds created by Delia.

 

Richard & Linda Thompson - Dimming of the day. No nostalgia associated with this, simply IMO the most beautiful song in the English language. You may not have heard of RT&LT, but there are a multitude of cover versions on youtube, including one by some bloke called Dave Gilmour who was in a band once that sold a few albums.

 

Kate Bush - This woman's work. Another extraordinarily beautiful song. Wish she would tour!

 

Jethro Tull - Wond'ring aloud. and another. Although probably best not to think about the words to this one too much!

 

Steve Reich - Music for 18 musicians. More memories, of flying to New York for a long weekend to see this performed by the composer and ensemble at the Carnegie Hall in October 2006. My all time favorite piece of music.

 

Lick the tins - can't help falling in love. Reminds me of a particular moment of realisation and near perfect happiness. I'm not sure why, other than it's used in a film for a similar moment.

 

and since not all memories are completely happy, here is some doom and gloom:

 

Catatonia - Strange Glue. I adore the song but don't listen to it, very bad memories associated with this one.

 

his name is alive - write my name in the groove. Very bittersweet. Reminds me of the girl that played me the CD.

 

Blink 182, I Miss You - Awwwwwwwwwww

About my favourite single of this decade to date.

The Police, Every Breath You Take - first dance at wedding

I find that one really sinister. :eek:

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Dream:The Everly Brothers – first time we East End girls youth hostelled, in the Cotswolds it was, and I kept trying to sing this as we walked. First time asked out on a date ( by a gorgeous American and stupidly refused).

 

I’ve Got You Under my Skin: Frank Sinatra – Dad had bought me a tape recorder and I played Sinatra over and over

 

What Do You Want:Adam Faith – first time I’d been to see a pop concert or seen a pop star. London Palladium. Current b’f jealous as hell over Adam’s good looks.

 

It’s Now or Never: Elvis – staying at his parents’ house for the first time and they’d all gone up to bed….

 

Hang on in there Baby:Johnny Bristol - our song. And a great arrangement.

 

Common People and Disco 2000:Pulp – some great lyrics there. A whole time and place is evoked in both, whether art college London or a Sheffield suburb. And don’t you love ‘the woodchip on the wall’.

 

Mozart’s Requiem – no spiel necessary.

 

This Charming Man:The Smiths – a very belated interest in The Smiths sparked off by this track.

 

Here Comes the Sun :The Beatles – along the great highways of the USA or Australia and the sound on full whack and that sense of freedom.

 

More than This: Brian Ferry - at the right time and the right place……

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Lick the tins - can't help falling in love. Reminds me of a particular moment of realisation and near perfect happiness. I'm not sure why, other than it's used in a film for a similar moment.

Would that be from the film soundtrack for Some Kind Of Wonderful? I could pretty much add that whole album to my list of comfort music.

 

 

I find that one really sinister. :eek:
Sting did say in an interview once that it surprises him how many people choose it for their first dance as it is about stalking and obssessive love - not romantic at all.
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