Jukebox

Maura wrote about which albums she’d put in a jukebox, and while I hate to appear like I have no ideas of my own, she asked for other lists and I can’t resist such self-indulgent High Fidelity-type challenges.

A jukebox is surprisingly tough, as it must at least make an attempt at containing popular tunes, singalong stuff, singles which have more than a passing acquaintance with the charts. Consequently this list is very different from, say, my list of eight Desert Island Discs which I’ve been carefully honing over the years in preparations for Sue Lawley’s phone call. Thankfully there’s no sign of her phoning yet, as I can’t decide which Nick Drake album will be on my island.

I’m also really very bad at choosing music to play for other people. I’ve forbidden myself from ever taking tapes to social occasions because my snobbish tastes ensure the songs I’ve listened to over and over and love dearly mean absolutely nothing to my fellow party-goers. But anyway, this is a purely academic exercise because when I run my own bar where friends and strangers will relax and chat and spawn revolutionary new art and music, it’ll have some kind of Shoutcast-type server with thousands of songs from which the aforementioned friends and strangers can make requests using conveniently situated splash-proof terminals. In alphabetical order then…

  1. Air - Moon Safari (1998)
    One of my strongest memories of being in London in 1998/9 is this playing everywhere I went. Record shops, bars, clothes shops, friend’s houses, blagged new media parties, you name it. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. I found it too cheesy at first, then saw the light. And the videos make it cheesier and better.
  2. Elastica - Elastica (1995)
    When I used to go out, I used to put this on before I went out. It makes me bounce.
  3. Blur - ?
    Isn’t there a singles collection? I thought there was. I don’t know, I don’t have any of their albums, but how much more singalongable do you want?
  4. Macy Gray - On How Life Is (1999)
    Because we need more new stuff and this is about the most un-independent album I own and it’s really very good. Sitting in a bar in Amsterdam, reading, smoking, hearing this, and I was… content.

You know, I’m bored of this, so you probably dozed off long ago and the chances of you reading about another 21 albums are slim. Look, I’ll whack in a handful of early nineties guitar stuff which I couldn’t do without (The Sundays, Supergrass, Pulp, Sleeper, etc). Some dancey stuff so I don’t get laughed at too much. I don’t know, Fungkungfusion and other stuff that’s credible but vaguely popular in a not-likely to chart way, and Sunday Best because I lived round the corner from The Tearooms des Artistes for three years and regret only going twice. Some relative oldies like Madness and The Specials so I can pretend I’m ten years old again.

Maybe a punk compilation because I love choosing tracks from something like The Best Punk Album in the World… Ever! when it’s found its way onto a pub jukebox, out of some ridiculous idea that this, 23 years on, remains a subversive act. Plus, when John Peel inevitably pays a visit to my happening (and yet still curiously eclectic) bar he should be able to find ‘Teenage Kicks’.

A handful of albums I’ve never owned but have still somehow listened to many times as I assume this means other people will like to have them around. INXS’ Kick, for example. Some boogie-woogie piano, some Japanese pop, some Frank Sinatra. I’ll ensure there’s a compilation of singalong Christmas tunes, you know the ones. But it will be removed from the jukebox between the months of November to January inclusive.

Comments

  • The Guardian came up with a list of Nick Hornbys top 31 tunes. http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,877496,00.html

    It is a pretty dreary activity foisting your own tastes on other people, until recently pretty much confined to celebs on Desert Island Disks, or Brian Matthews my top 12, which was a much better program.

    The Independent pretty much cornered the market on lists, then Amazon started doing it. Next we will have meta lists the top ten lists of lists to have I suppose.

    What I had in mind was something like the Guardian Article but with more substance to the reasons that record meant so much to you. Its not about the record, its about me.

    So for example the first time I heard ……..

    The summer of 1977, I had just taken my A Levels, I knew the results were going to be bad, I had no idea what I was going to do, I was headed for oblivion, a black hole or so it seemed to me. Towards the end of July a friend and I went up to Inverness to pick raspberries. It rained most of the two weeks, we were there. We were staying on a camp site whose condition could best be described as primitive, if we worked hard we could probably make 50p an hour. On those days off we had the dubious pleasure of walking 6 miles into Inverness and 6 miles back. At night we would sit around a campfire and listen to someone