Desert Island Discs is 70 this week. Not really so unbelievable that something so simple and yet so influential should reach such a grand old age. In the media, that something should last 70 years means it’s almost as old as Methuselah. The format is simple. You choose eight records, a book and a luxury you couldn’t live without to take with you to a desert island…
So what would yours be?
Eight songs. Wow. Here are mine.
#1 Queen I Want To Break Free. Technically, I guess I should be allowed an entire album, but I’m going with the eight singles I would take with me. Kind of appropriate, wanting to break free from a desert island.
#2 David Bowie Starman. I was kind of stuck and the others I like are kind of depressing. I like the DB/Queen ‘Under Pressure’ duet as well. Anything off Hunky Dory would have been right in there. I love Space Oddity as well, but this is my choice today. I think it’d be any one of twenty different songs if you ask me tomorrow.
#3 The Rolling Stones Ruby Tuesday. I was reet torn over this choice (now there’s a northernism for you….) because there’s about 20 I could easily pick from The Stones as well. I used to think the lyrics of this song were about me. Paint it Black is possibly the more popular choice, and if you ask me tomorrow, I might pick that. God, or Sympathy for the Devil. What was I thinking??! Street Fighting Man? Gimme Shelter? Mick Jagger, now there’s a weird looking fella. If I picked an album, it’d be Beggars Banquet not Exile on Main St.
#4 The Who I Can See For Miles. It was a toss-up between this and You better, You bet and Substitute. The line ‘I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth’ has to qualify as one of the greatest lyrics of all time.
#5 Bruce Springsteen Born to Run. Nothing gets me in the stomach like this song does. That opening few bars. Ahhhhh…
#6 The Beatles Here Comes The Sun. I think that your Beatles top choice says more about you than a Rorschach test. This isn’t their best, their happiest, their most epic. It’s just my choice. And yes, I’m Abbey Road, not Revolver. Tomorrow, I might have gone with Come Together, but I think I must be feeling a little less epic and a little more gentle today.
#7 Led Zeppelin Kashmir. Oh those opening bars. I don’t think I need to say anything else.
#8 Bob Marley Redemption Song. Yes, and all its covers.
You’ll notice I have no room for my favourite Mr Cohen. That means I’d probably get rid of the Beatles and put him in with Hallelujah. Even X-Factor contestants can’t spoil it.
Now, for my book, I’m taking Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy mainly because it’s long and mainly because I hope if I read it again, the ending will be different.
And my luxury item will be a pen and paper. As long as I can write and doodle, I’ll be happy.