By Matt Carey
Guilty pleasures, eh? Yeah, I have a few. Hollyoaks, for example. Love that program. Wrestling too. So much so that the last five books I have read have all been written by wrestlers. And a few years back, I made a concerted effort to start collecting Transformers toys again. Not the new ones, you understand. I’m talking about the originals.
So when it comes to ‘choons’, you can probably see guess that my tastes are going to be pretty varied. So what came up on the old “shuffle”?
3’s and 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
QOTSA are, unfortunately, a reminder that I am getting old. I missed them totally when they first appeared on the scene and it took playing Guitar Hero for me to discover them. It was one of those things where I had heard of them, but because I don’t have the time to listen to the radio as much as when I was younger, it took other means for me to hear them for the first time. But it is the very sound of them that makes me feel old. My first response when hearing them? “Eee. They sound like the bands I was listening to in my teens” Oh dear. My teenage years were back in the early nineties, so you can imagine the kind of stuff I was listening to. Needless to say, QoTSA would have fitted right into that, so I’m happy.
Miss Jones – Robbie Williams
Yes, I’m a Robbie fan. I’m also a bit of a swing fan. In fact, I went through a period when all I would sing on the karaoke was swing. Robbie’s “Swing When You’re Winning” helped to cement my new found appreciation (again, proving I am getting older). I love this song though; it’s pure optimism at meeting a girl for the first time and falling head over heels can’t help to put a smile on your face. Sure, it probably won’t last, or maybe she’ll dump you ‘cos you fart too much, but there is nothing better than meeting a girl for the first time.
Pink v Shampoo – Get the Party Started / Trouble mash up.
There was a brief moment when I thought mash-ups were the greatest thing since the day Alexander Graham Bell quoted a nursery rhyme down a new-fangled communication device. I have since seen the error of my ways, got rid of them, but some slipped through the net. This is one of them. I love it for two reasons. First, it’s just fun. Nothing more, nothing less. Secondly, it reminds me of when I was at Reading Festival back in 1995 and I was waiting to use the taps to wash my hands and cool off a bit.
The person using the tap before me? The slightly less minging member of Shampoo.
Living for the Weekend – Hard-Fi
Unfortunately, no real story behind this. Just one of those bands that came and went during the brit-rock surge of the mid 00’s. I liked the song, so I downloaded it. Shimples.
Mysterons – Portishead
I suppose, if I was a teenager now, I would be classed as ‘emo’. Back in the early 90’s there was no such distinction. I did go through a period of locking myself away and listening to nothing but music, the more heartfelt and depressing it was, the better. Portishead were one of those bands. Soft beats mixed with haunting samples, covered liberally with Beth Gibbons’ soulful melodies was ‘emo’ heaven.
Call on me – Eric Prydz
Nothing wrong with this. Cracking dance tune. Of course, I don’t dance anymore. It’s disturbing for people to watch a guy’s man boobs go one way whilst his gut goes the other. I leave that to younger, fitter people. Still, this one would have had me on the dance floor way back when. Now, I just ‘enjoy’ the video.
Hey Jupiter – Tori Amos
I had the great pleasure of seeing Tori Amos live back in 1995 in Edinburgh. Yes, I listened to the woman way before she hit big with a remix of Professional Widow. Hey Jupiter was originally released as a single, with the B side the aforementioned remix. And I bought it. Strange, as I already had the album. Anyway, aside from the fact that Amos is, and was, as mad as a box of frogs, her song writing ability is almost unparalleled, and I would go so far as to say that if it wasn’t for her, people like Winehouse, Allen, and other recenty female singer / songwriters would not be having the success they have today.
Drain You – Nirvana
Cobain was my Lennon, my Presley, my Jackson, all rolled up into one. Nirvana was the band that literally made me want to start a band of my own (which I did), and Nevermind the album that I learnt to play guitar to. I’m going to stop there though. I could harp on about him and them for hours. Suffice to say, this is one of the highlights of one of the best albums of all time.
Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Proper Dad Rock this, and it was probably my old man playing it in the house that would have been my first introduction to it. However, it got forgotten, and it took a certain plastic guitar based video game to reintroduce me to this rock classic.
Comfortably Numb – Scissor Sisters
Going all DJ for a moment, this has been on my mp3 player of choice from around 6 months before Scissor Sisters hit big with Take Your Mama. I was telling everyone about it, playing it often, and desperately trying to make them love it too. It sounded like Erasure, mixed with Pet Shop Boys, whilst having its way with Ultravox and a million other eighties bands all at the same time. I did the same with Mika, pushing Relax, Take It Easy long before Grace Kelly went huge. I seem to have a knack for this kind of thing. Little Boots was the most recent example, but she hasn’t really gone on to as much success as the other two. However, I can still pick ‘em. Maybe I’m not that old yet after all.