A Birthday Playlist Est. 1986

Day 334: I’ve been run down with the dreaded ‘man flu’ over the last three days so annoyingly it’s been a pretty blank weekend. I haven’t left the house since Thursday. I’ve pottered around the place though and did jobs here and there. I certainly haven’t been in bed for three days! Kids put a stop to that.

Because I’m so motivated and enjoying my running at the moment it really pisses me off when I don’t get out for a scheduled session. Ideally I’d have been out on Friday and today but I don’t suppose it would have been wise. Hoping that I’m on the up again in the morning and I can get the new week off to a good start.

One of the things I have done this weekend is listen to a playlist I created on my Apple Music not long back where I included every song that was top of the UK Music Singles Chart on my birthday (since my birth in 1986). Take a look below at the very varied range of music that make up my ‘October 3rd 1986-2021 Birthday Playlist‘

It was interesting putting it together and as with most things I do at a laptop – I ended up going down some Wikipedia rabbit holes as I gathered the songs together. Take 1990 and Maria McKee – ‘Show me heaven’ was the power balled featured in the Tom Cruise film ‘Days of Thunder’.

1992’s Ebeneezer Goode by The Shamen was banned by the BBC and 2004’s ‘Call on me’ by Eric Prydz had a very memorable and provocative music video which I enjoyed as a teenage boy!

I can’t say I’m a big fan of the music in recent years but I’ll continue to add to my Birthday Playlist. Maybe consider filling a few hours on a rainy afternoon and do your own?! You’ll certainly end up listening to music you wouldn’t normally listen to.

I draw the line at Sam Smith though. I always skip his two songs.

My Birthday Playlist 1986-2021

Desert Island Discs

Day 244: I’m a listener of the long running BBC Radio 4 show ‘Desert Island Discs’ and enjoy hearing which music the famous faces would take with them to a desert island.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of the show – “Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island?”

Im not expecting to be invited onto the radio any time soon to share mine so I thought I’d give you my picks instead.

Check out the back catalogue of episodes via the DID podcast series or on the BBC Sounds App

Disc 1 – “Truly, Madly, Deeply” (Savage Garden) This song reminds me of my early teenage years as I transitioned into secondary school and started listening to music. Savage Garden were the first band I went to see live and their two albums were played on repeat in my bedroom for many years after their release

Disc 2“Pretty Green Eyes” (Ultrabeat) Once I started venturing out to nightclubs as a green eyed 17-18 year old it was guaranteed this song would be playing. The song reminds me of my youth, girls, drinking with my mates and my first lad’s holiday to Tenerife

Disc 3 – “Pachelbel meets U2” (Jon Schmidt) When I got married in 2012 our first dance was to Elbow’s ‘One day like this’ but the song I love most from that day is this piano piece from Jon Schmidt. It was playing as the guests started sitting ahead of the ceremony. It reminds of being nervous but so excited to see my bride and marry my best friend

Disc 4 – “Jubel” (Klingande) This is such a sunny, summery and smooth song which was the anthem to me and my wife’s 2014 holiday to Portugal. It was the last time we had a holiday abroad before children arrived on the scene. It always makes me smile and think back to those carefree days in the first few years of marriage. It would be an ideal disc for a desert island!

Disc 5 – “True Colours” (Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake from the film ‘Trolls’ soundtrack) My oldest daughter was born in 2015 and the song I most associate with me and her is the Cyndi Lauper song ‘True colours’ which was covered by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake in the animated film ‘Trolls’. We used to dance and sing this to each other all of the time until she reached the age of 6 and now she’s too cool to do that with her Daddy!

Disc 6 – “Just Another Day” (Jon Secada) This song first resonated with me as a 10 year old sitting in the back of my Dad’s car going to the beach and he’d have a tape in the tape deck. It was the usual 80s and early 90s ballads but the one that I always remembered was Jon Secada’s hit. Fast forward to February 2019 and I was driving back home from hospital at about 2am after my second daughter had just been born. This song came on the radio and that was the moment my emotions finally came out after living off adrenaline for the previous hours!

Disc 7 – “Go your own way” (Fleetwood Mac) I love Fleetwood Mac so would need one of their songs with me on a desert island. This is my favourite of theirs and it is a soundtrack of my relationship with alcohol. The lyrics are perfect for describing me breaking free from booze and going my own way into sobriety

Disc 8 – “Hurt” (Johnny Cash) I love Johnny Cash but the disc of his I appreciate the most is the raw, vulnerable sound of ‘Hurt’. Recorded as he neared the end of his life, the emotion in his voice is powerful and given the story of his life, the lyrics are an apt and appropriate way to bring his recording career to a close. This song also makes me think of how my life could have gone if I hadn’t got the help when I did

So those are my eight tracks that I would take with me to the solitude of a desert island. If I could only save one disc from the waves (as asked in the radio show) I’d go with ‘Jubel’ as it would keep my spirits up and make building shelters and fires more bearable.

As for my book choice I would take Charles Bukowski’s first novel ‘Post Office‘. The man writes in such a messy and brutally honest way. I love his work. I’d just get lost in the book.

Luxury item? Well, I did think about photos, a box of matches, some chocolate, a knife, etc but if I was stuck on an island with the sun in my face I’d appreciate my prescription sunglasses. They’d help me see for a start!

Let me know what your picks would be! Don’t be shy…