Music Or My Life As A Playlist

HoloStofferMy Life Resumed In Music

The funny thing with these ‘About Me’ sections or pages is that they really can leave you wide open to identity theft (or maybe that’s just me being paranoid). Some people seem to go all out and put everything about themselves on the Internet, right down to the most intimate detail, not just their taste in music. Now, whilst I’m not remotely worried about anyone stealing my identity (who the heck would want to be me anyway? If they manage it then good luck paying off my mortgage and I hope you’re not too disappointed when you realise the little amount in my bank along with my non-existent credit rating), I don’t want to throw caution to the wind so I’ll just repeat what is said in my User Bio: “I am a generally easy-going chap, originally from Nottingham (UK) but also a Spanish National. I’m stuck in the 70s/80s when it comes to music and am a great fan of science-fiction and I have a very bizarre sense of humour. I occasionally play the acoustic guitar. I speak English, Spanish & BSL (British Sign language). I’m the Admin Assistant & IT guy at Ideal Country Property.”

dave schneiderThat notwithstanding, I will try and resume my life in music. Credit where credit is due, the idea for this came from the British Comedian Dave Schneider. If you don’t know who he is then I suggest that you mosey on over to his website at DAVESCHNEIDER.CO.UK where you will see his very own and somewhat lengthy list of songs. However, on seeing the genius behind the BBC’s fictitious Tony Hayes and finding our writing style uncannily similar, I decided to take him up on his suggestion to make my own ‘life in music’ list.

homer-memoryThe trouble with such a list can be summed up with two reasons: 1) The longer one has lived, the more extensive the list and 2) one’s memory doesn’t always do one justice when trudging through the annals of time (that’s annals for you short-sighted ones at the back)! I can remember my first three singles very clearly and then everything gets jumbled up so it’s high time I got this list together as soon as possible. I will try and intersperse my text with eye-catching images to break up the monotony and thereby keep you here for a few moments longer, thus making me a little more popular with Google Analytics (surely that should have two ‘n’s going by English pronunciation). Unfortunately I don’t even have fame on my side to keep my visitors coming to my site (unlike aforementioned Dave) but enough self-pity and on with the show.

kerry-chrisBeing only a wee bairn I was quickly introduced to music by my cousin Kerry, who gave me her old record player along with about 15 LPs (aka: vinyl long-playing records – they’re like huge black and fragile CDs for all you young snappers out there) and a few singles. I must admit that most of those singles died the death as I scratched them to death with the stylus, due to being veryMusic: lp-scratch amused by the sound they made. Just as quickly as I had got into my destructive phase, I soon stopped my attempts to be a modern 90s DJ (hey I wonder if I can claim the patent on “scratching” then?) when my dad then told me that the reason they wouldn’t play any longer was due to my very zealous artistic use of the stylus on them; I no longer scratched another record from that moment on (quite a feat for a 3-year-old) and am still just as careful with my record collection today (almost OCD).

Music: choose-lpBefore I go into my list of records, I have to say that there really isn’t anything to beat the whole vinyl experience, even in this modern day and age. The sheer size of the LPs and their covers (although everything looks bigger when you’re a child) along with the sleeve notes and taking the record out of its dust cover to check for scratches just can’t be compared to what is a minute CD in comparison, and certainly not with a digital download. There was (and still is if you’re like me and go hunting through charity shops & second hand markets) an entire art form to buying an album, even a new one. I used to take the record out of its sleeve (and dust cover if it was an LP) and examine the surface at eye level to see if it was warped or had scratches. It’s fun to do it nowadays just to see the puzzled looks on the younger generation’s faces. Plus, it seems to be catching. At one of our local Sunday markets, there’s a chappy who buys vinyl in bulk to sell on at ridiculously expensive prices (something which I’m totally against by the way) but I love visiting his stand as it takes me back to my youth, looking through all his stock (not arranged in any order either – should be fined!). Once I start sifting through, taking them out and examining them, it doesn’t take long for other 35-and-above-year-olds to gather round and start doing the same. Ahhh the collective music mind in pure Borg harmony! Even back in the days when there were just LPs & tapes (“compact cassettes” if you want their proper name, to distinguish them from the reel-to-reel and 8-track tapes), you still found the serious buyer examining the records trying to find the best one. This now takes me back to a record shop in Nottingham called Selectadisc or, as it was more commonly known, “Select-a-Scratch” as it was notorious for errm, I’d rather not say as I may be sued for liable!  The experience was unbeatable though: a dingy little shop, jam packed with vinyl plus two sound booths if I remember correctlyMusic: Selectadisc Shop to be able to listen to the album before you bought it. All records were sorted correctly: by category and artist name (surname first). The 7” and 12” singles were in a section of their own and similarly sorted. In the big chains like HMV and Virgin (they sprung up in the 90s), the singles had their own wall section dedicated to the UK Top 40 charts and were just as expensive back then as CDs are now. There you have it: the record experience. Now I can get back to my list of music that defines me, until my mind wanders off again to another subject.

My Music Singles

Music: save your kisses for meThe first record that I can remember hearing and singing along to was Brotherhood Of Man’s “Save Your Kisses For Me“, which they won the Eurovision Song Contest with in 1976 back in the days when the UK produced some decent songs and Russia didn’t enter the contest by dividing itself up into dozens of different countries and entering them all into the contest!EU-Israel Actually, whilst I’m on the subject of the ESC, how the HECK does Israel manage to get to participate? I know my geography is not the best that it could be (although I’m proud of my ‘C’ GCSE result) but I’m almost sure that Israel is not part of Europe! My parents decided to buy me that single as I liked the song so much.

Music: figaroMy next single was one that I actually asked my parents if they could get for me. It was by the same group, Brotherhood of Man (I was too young at the time to appreciate their flares and handlebar moustaches – and that was just the two women!) and the song was called “Figaro“. I heard it being played on the radio in our front room in 1978 and I instantly liked it. The tune was quite catchy and although the lyrics weren’t as unique as their second Nº1 hit the year before with “Angelo” (“Long ago, high on a mountain in Mexico…“), it became the group’s third and final hit. Nowadays the ESC entries seem to disappear from existence when they don’t win but then again, that’s probably a good thing.

Music: Abba-MMMNow for my third single and the first one that I actually bought myself at the ripe old age of six was “Money, Money, Money” by Abba in 1978 (so by now you must have worked out my age – and it’s scary to think that 4 decades have just flown by). I was singing that for weeks as well as interspersing it with my other singles. It had a very interesting B-side called “Crazy World” about a chap that fancies this girl and when he finally plucks up the courage the ask her out, this other bloke appears on her doorstep and beats him to it. In the end I think it was her brother so all’s well that ends well and leads Björn to the conclusion that  it is indeed a Crazy World. I will have to listen to the record again to confirm the story, as I’ve still got it but I will probably look up my MP3 copy of the Abba Anthology as it’s much easier and less faffing about.

Music: Barron Knights

After that, my memory becomes hazy and all my singles seem to blur together. I remember a Barron Knights single appearing in my collection. They were a British group of comic singers, a 70s version of the Canadian Weird Al Yankovic (my favourite of his is “Ebay” – a fantastic version of Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” and a song I came across whilst working as a PC Technician here on the Costa del Sol in 2005) and they put their own funny lyrics to well known songs, something that I find myself doing on many occasions, I might add. Anyway, the single had two songs on it; “A Taste Of Aggro“, which was a parody of Boney M’s “Rivers Of Babylon“, “The Smurfs Song” and Brian (really called Kevin) & Michael’s “Matchstalk Men“. I can’t even remember what’s on the B-side as I only ever played it once and was suitably unimpressed.

Music: GerryThe rest of the singles I listened to were mainly from my dad’s collection of Billy Fury, Gene Pitney, Carpenters and a selection of Mersey Beat groups. Mum’s Gerry & The Pacemakers single “You’ll Never Walk Alone” crept into my collection somehow and I still find it very emotive, even though I don’t support Liverpool FC. Mum’s musical tastes were definitely more folk based (and protest singers) along the lines of Peter, Paul & Mary, The Seekers, Ewan MacColl etc etc. Speaking of the late Mr MacColl (father of the also-deceased Kirsty MacColl who was hit by a boat whilst swimming in Mexico I believe, who had several hits in the 80s and noted for singing that famous Crimbo song with Shane MacGowan from The Pogues. I bought her single “New England” for 50p from the Forbouys in TheMusic: kirsty Square in Keyworth, which had a scratch right near the end and that no amount of water on the record would sort out – oooh remind me to tell you about that trick later – and kept repeating “I don’t want to change the worl, I don’t want to change the worl, I don’t want to change the worl,…” Well you get the idea but that’s what you expect from an ex-jukebox record – see note below*), hang on I veered off course again. Where was I? Oh yes, Ewan MacColl. He wrote my all time favourite folk song called “Dirty Old Town” and that was on an album that I borrowed from my mum where he sang with a woman called Peggy Seeger.

 

Music: Jukebox Single(*Note: Whilst I’m talking about Forbouys and their cheap singles, ex-jukebox singles had the middle of the singles punched out so that they would fit in the machine. On being sold to DJs or shops, then a little plastic adapter was placed in the middle to enable them to be played on normal record players.)

Albums & The Like

Onto albums then, I had a good selection, OK I had a selection of LPs thatMusic: My TOTP Album 1974 consisted of quite a few  from the “Top Of The Tops” series, all given to me by cousin Kerry. I think Dave Schneider’s description of these is so much better than I could describe them so I will quote him directly (Dave, if you’re reading this then I hope you appreciate all the free traffic that I’m sending your way!): “For those of you under 145 years old they had a picture of a lady in a bikini on the front and had Light Entertainment singers, the sort who would do Terry Wogan’s jingles, singing cover versions of hits of the time. To us back in the day, that was cutting edge drum’nbass cut’n’paste dubstep.” I was too young to appreciate those scantily clad women at the time and I had no idea that they were covers of the original songs. That explains why when I hear them today, the songs just don’t sound the same.

Music: Oliver In The OverworldMy favourite album by far was one by Freddie & The Dreamers called “Oliver In The Overworld” that my parents actually gave to my cousin Kerry in 1970 and who then gave it to me in 1975 so she obviously didn’t think much to it. I, on the other hand, loved it and still do. I think it is a very creative piece of music and storytelling and creates vivid mental images whilst listening to it. It’s been listened to so many times that the quality isn’t great but then it is over 43 years old! “Once upon a time there was a clock called Oliver…” and he’s an old grandfather clock that loses his memory and so forgets how to tell the time. The little boy Freddie (voiced by Freddy Garrity from the aforementioned Dreamers) travels with him to the Overworld to meet the Clockwork King who can hopefully put him right again. Now whilst this made all seem surreal to you and may well explain why my mind nowadays operates on a complete different plain to,everyone else, I can almost guarantee that if you’re 35 and above you will at least recognise the song “Gimmie Dat Ding“, which is part of the story where the Metronome tells of how the supposedly criminal Undercog steals his ‘ding’ leaving him unable to keep time for the music.

Music: lp-stylusI actually got that album out the other day and listened to a few tracks. There’s a whole art form to picking out individual non-consecutive tracks. Most modern turntables come with a semi-automated system where it lifts up the stylus arm for you and you set the needle down on the track you want. It still requires a bit of skill as you have to get it exactly in the space between tracks but that is so much more difficult when you have to hold the stylus head and place it on the record manually. Oh and whilst I remember, the trick with water. If after having cleaned your LP with an appropriate cloth or what looks like a blackboard duster, if you still have dubious sound quality or minor scratches, get a very damp cloth and hold it in place whilst the record is going round. This will give it a thin coat of way and fill in all the superfluous annoying grooves and give it a cleaner sound.

Music: Unit4+2My favourite album of my dad’s that I always used to play was by a British group called Unit 4+2 and their first album (from 1965) was originally titled “1st Album” and produced by the record company Decca (just in case that pops up in a pop quiz). The most famous song they did, that most people have heard of is called “Concrete and Clay“. I think I’ll try and persuade dad to part company with it 🙂

Out of all my mum’s albums, my favourite one (that I have now taken possession of) is a one by two Yorkshiremen called Ian Clark and Christopher Rowe. The album is comprised of their own folk songs, titled “Songs For Humberside” and features Music: Songs For Humbersidehumorous lyrics to what was happening in the area in the late 60s and early 70s. My favourite from that album is “Humber Bridge” and it well describes how you had to drive around the coast through Goole (like Google but missing a G) before the bridge that spans the river Humber was built. Christopher sadly passed away a few years ago but Ian is still songwriting and has even updated the lyrics to the Humber Bridge song to incorporate the bridge being built back in the 80s. Their work is a fine example of how songs can have catchy tunes but be humorous and tell a good story at the same time. Recently Ian sent me digital copies (CDs) of all his own albums and signed them AND wrote down the chords for some of my favourite songs of theirs so kudos to him.

My Musical Tastes

There you have the first few years of my life summed up in music. Generally speaking I like all sorts ofWill Smith & Jazzy music as long as it has a decent tune and clean lyrics. I can’t stand swearing in music (I can’t stand it in general speech as it is evidence of a poor vocabulary as my Granddad always used to say) and I don’t class this modern rap as music by any stretch of the imagination. To my mind, artists such as Will Smith produced proper Rap music: inoffensive story telling accompanied by music. I’m talking about Will’s work around the time of his “Fresh Prince” years  in the late 80s when he came out with classics like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble“, the latter having cleverly inserted samples by DJ Jazzy Jeff from the theme tune to the 60s series “I Dream Of Jeanie“. I was introduced to Will Smith (not in person, I’m referring to his music) by a good friend of mine called Jono Bowen, who in my opinion was the UK’s answer to Will. He had all his albums on tape and the entire series of “The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air” on VHS (that’s Jono Bvideo tape for you young-uns and was the sub-standard though more popular format to Sony’s Betamax video tape but let’s not open up that can of worms here – you can debate about that in your comments below). We’d chatted briefly several times at the religious conventions we both went to but then one day we were both invited to a wedding in Notts (one of the Slater girls if memory serves) and we found each other at the bar and thus began an hour long joke fest and the start of a very good friendship. We even exchanged CDs and those of you that know me well, know that you have to be a very good friend to entrust you with my CDs – I never lend my records out though; that’d be more than I could take as I’d lie awake worrying about the state they’d be in when they were returned! Now where was I? Will Smith, Jono Bowen – one and the same really and I’ve never seen them both in the same room together so you never know…

Music: SaltNPepaSalt n Pepa were two girls from the States (New Yorkers I believe) and their first hit in the UK was “Push It“. Part of the lyrics state “this dance ain’t for everybody, only the sexy people” so that always ruled me out at parties! My good friends Andy & Jim Hemphill introduced me to their music. Aside from their interesting rapping skills (Salt n Pepa’s not Andy & Jim’s!) they had really nice singing voices and I’m surprised that they never branched into that area of mainstream music instead of just rap. As an example, try “You Showed Me” that combines both rap and song. My favourite song of theirs though is called “Start Me Up” and I had to look high and low to get it on vinyl. Eventually I found a 12″ copy in Cob Records in a corner shop in Porthmadog, North Wales – by far the best record shop in Wales, but the cover was missing so I got it slightly cheaper.

Music: mariah-carey-vision-of-loveAnother thing Jono and I shared a love for was Mariah Carey. She sprung to fame in the UK at the start of the 90s with her hit “Vision Of Love” and she was indeed just that. I still remember Jono and I having serious discussions as to who would marry her first. On his frequent trips on holiday, he would sign his postcard “love from Jono, Mariah & the kids”. Then one day, the unbelievable happened: Mariah told me she wanted to go out with me. No, hang on, that was a dream! What actually happened is one day, whilst I was working in the legalised labour camp called Hyperama (affectionately known by the lower-ranking employees as “Hyper-Drama”, and spot on too as it had more drama than a Latin Soap Opera. I believe it is still there too, an Indian cash & carry place oppositehyperdrama Makro in Nottingham near the Showcase Cinemas. They had the local radio on all the time: Radio Trent and during my time there they must have played Simply Red’s “Fairground” everyday, several times a day for the whole 5 months I was there – that’s the stuff of nightmares!), Jono popped in to see me. My name was announced over the loudspeakers to make my way to reception so, not hiding my glee to leave the shop floor and leave one of my colleagues to break his back lifting huge containers of oil and sacks of flour, I found Jono there with a big smile on his face and holding two tickets in his hand: two tickets to see Mariah Carey in concert in London – daaan sarf – at her first ever concert in the UK (Sunday 23rd June 1996). We are talking about the time when she was slim so you needed to get a good seat to see her; nowadays I bet you could get a good view of her singing from the car park – miaow! Sorry Mariah. We arrived at Wembley Arena after having gone through her entire collection on tape several times at full volume and found that our seats were right at the opposite end of the stage. I can’t even remember Mariah Daydreamwho the supporting act were but they were like ants from where we were sat and there was no big screen either. Our evening with Mariah wasn’t looking good after all. After having a good look around the stadium we noticed that there were several empty seats right near the stage to the right. All credit goes to Jono for his genius as he suggested that we make good use of them. Hurrying around to the other side of the stadium we arrived at the door to see a huge surly bouncer asking people for their tickets. “Foiled!” we thought but at that moment three blonde girls, who’d had the same idea as us by the looks of things, started giving him grief for not letting them in and were having a big argument about how it was silly to let those empty seats go to waste. The door then opened as someone came out, obviously not enjoying the support act and we snuck in whilst the doorman was currently occupied and not letting the girls in for love nor money nor for the enormous amounts of cleavage that they were showing him! For the rest of the concert we got to be right on near the stage and even got filmed as the camera focussed on us several times, given that we were the only two crazy youths there dancing in the empty seated area and screaming “Mariah we love you!” The best song of the night? Her cover of the SOS Band’s hit “Just Be Good To Me“. What a night and with that she ended her “Daydream” world tour and we were two very happy amigos.

classic-experienceI’m also a classical music fan of sorts and in 1988 a CD was released called “The Classical Experience“, which contained about 30 tracks of well known classical pieces. My two favourites on there are Prokofiev’s “Montagues And Capulets” and Holst’s “Mars” from “The Planets Suite“, which always seems to be something you’d hear on a sci-fi film.

My favourite musician of all time is Jools Holland. He is a British musician who has an enjoyed a very varied career and is the best Rhythm & Blues pianist in the world in my opinion. He started out in a group called Squeeze (my favourite song of theirs is “Tempted“) and co-presented with Paula Yates a great music TV show on Channel Four in the 80s called Jools & PaulaThe Tube“. I used to go to see him every year in concert at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall back other days when there were still empty seats at his concerts and the tickets were just £7.00 (unbelievable nowadays). His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra is a mix of equally talented & diverse musicians including his young brother Christopher Holland (who was the blinding support act one year to promote his new album “Cosmic Harmony Companion“) and the oldest band member Rico Rodríguez (a native Jamaican who plays the trombone and always fills me with wonder as to how a frail old man manages to belt out tunes from his trombone). If you’ve never heard of the chap, then I suggest that you start with his album “Live Performance“. He also presents his own show on BBC Two called “Later With Jools Holland” andJools & Band introduces new musicians to the world as well as collaborating with already famous ones. back to his concerts; at one of them, whilst waiting backstage for a glimpse of the master, the drummer Gilson Lavis (also from the Squeeze days) came out and shook my hand on his way to the pub and actually burnt my hand with this cigarette. I never went back stage after that. Favourite songs to recommend? There are so many that come to mind from different stages of my life but I’d choose “Maiden’s Lament“, “Dr Jazz“, “Holy Cow“, “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand“, “LOVE“, “Green Streak“, “Fly Me To The Moon“, and “The Way You Look Tonight“.

TiswasTwo more songs that have just sprung to mind relate to my childhood again. The first one is from the Saturday morning outlandish TV show called “Tiswas“. It was presented by Chris (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) Tarrant, Lenny Henry, Bob Carolgees, Sally James (responsible for making all young boys fall instantly in love with her, me included and to whom I’m eternally grateful to for showing us all how to walk through a postcard – yes it is possible!) and John Gorman (of Scaffold fame for their great and unique song “Lily The Pink“). Tiswas is what Saturday mornings were made for and was very groundbreaking for its time in the late 70s and early 80s. The presenters got a song into the charts with a song called “The Bucket Of Water Song” and calling themselves The Four Bucketeers.

muppet-movieThe second song is sung by none other than Kermit The Frog (or Gustavo as they call him here in Spain) from The Muppets. The song was featured in “The Muppet Movie” and was called “The Rainbow Connection“. I still find myself singing it today in my best Kermit voice no less. Both of these songs relate to a time when good old fun songs would get into the charts and kids could be just kids instead of being little adults as soon as they hit 13/14. Speaking of The Muppets, for those of you that remember the series then I recommend getting hold of the two Muppet albums that the original cast produced. It will bring back some good old memories and give you some laughs too.

orbital-in-sidesAndy & Jim (remember them? they’re responsible for getting me into Salt n Pepa – the group not the condiments!) also were big fans of techno music and similar house/trance crap. Sorry, but there are things that even friendship won’t let me endure and trance/house noise was just one of the signs that the 90s was the beginning of a decline in the music industry. That said, they got me into a techno group called Orbital who provided part of the soundtrack to the Playstation game “Wipeout“. The album that I first heard was called “In-Sides” and had quite a haunting selection of songs. The most upbeat from the album is called “PETROL” and was used in the PS One game. To Andy & Jim’s surprise I pointed out that Techno was nothing new and in fact had been pioneered by the German group Kraftwerk. I actually thinkkraftwerk that my German GCSE results were so good thanks to listening to all of Kraftwerk’s records constantly. Their most known tracks are probably “The Model” (a pop outing for the group) and “The Robots“. The group constantly produced interesting remixes of their hits and I even had a luminous green 12” single of theirs called “Neon Lights“, which was stolen from my mate Steve Carr’s locker whilst he was working at Tescos. My work colleague David Laver would never forgive me if I didn’t mention his favourite track of theirs: “Computer World“! 🙂

akusAs for my foray into country music, my favourite country musician is the American Alison Krauss who captured my attention with both her natural beauty and astounding voice. She is a whizz on the fiddle too and her main style of music is bluegrass. Her band is often referred to as AKUS (Alison Krauss and Union Station) and for our first dance at our wedding (Miriam and I not Alison) we played her version of “When You Say Nothing At All” – way better than Ronan Keating’s attempt – which then suddenly changed halfway through to Lolita Flores’ “Sarandonga” and flamenco dancing quickly ensued! Two more different styles of music there couldn’t be. Before I go off track even further, my favourites of AKUS are “In The Palm Of Your Hand” and “Dreaming My Dreams With You“.

Glen-CampbellAs a lad I used to listen to my dad’s Glenn Campbell and Don Williams albums. Glenn got my prized favourite spot though as he starred alongside John Wayne in the film “True Grit” from which sprung the great line “Texans; when you need them they’re dead!” I grew up listening to “Wichita Lineman” (sounds better than when it’s translated into British English: Telephone Line Repairman from Wichita), “Dreams of The Everyday Housewife“, “Galveston” and of course “True Grit“.

RatPackAlthough I was born long after the Rat Pack were in their heyday, I’m a big fan of Dean Martin and is by far my favourite of the ‘Crooners’. I love “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” and “Memories Are Made Of This“. Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” is also well liked although I’ve never been there and it could do with being sung a little faster. From the similar era, Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa” and “Walking My Baby Back Home“, Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” and “A Change Is Gonna Come” also find themselves being sung by me in the car on my journey to and from work. Why do these form part of my life story? Because these were the songs that played during breakfast as a kid when we used to stay at Mrs. Batten’s Bed & Breakfast in Boscombe for our yearly holidays. I seem to remember there was also plenty of Jim Reeves and Peters & Lee playing on the 8-track in the background.

RM.save.date.review.i17.71Before I move onto Spain, I have to mention my best friend RikRok or he will kill me not be impressed! We’ve been best pals since he was 6 years old (poor lad – didn’t know what he was letting himself into) and he’s a fantastic guitarist, musician, singer and dad (not necessarily in that order though). His website is RICHIEMUIR.COM and there you can listen to his songs, see videos of him performing and find out more about this lovable Scott. Right, that’s enough free advertising for you Richie! Almost everyone has a best friend and it’s hose friends that help shape our lives. This is also true of music and thanks to Richie I came across a Scottish folk band called North Sea Gas and we used to watch them live at “Platform One“, a club in the basement of the Caledonian Hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. My favourite song of theirs is “Kelty Clippie” and for the same reasons that I like Rowe & Clark’s songs.

My Life In Spain

mercheFor those of you that even vaguely know me, then you’ll know that I’ve been in Spain since 2001 and have both Spanish & British nationality. This has of course influenced my music tastes. I’m not a great fan of modern Spanish music (as can be said about English music too really as I mostly listen to 70s/80s hits on my iPod these days) but every now and again there’s a really good music gem that stands out. Fulanito’s “Callate” is a good example as is Tito Nieves’ “I Like It Like That“. My wife Miriam is not a great music fan so she only has a few CDs in her collection but out of those, my favourite singer is the girl from Cádiz, the lovely Merche (and I even named my parrot after her) who sings “No Me Pidas Más Amor“. Then there’s David Bisbal who sprang to fame on my arrival in Spain (not saying that it’s in any way related) on the Spanish singing talent show called “Operación Triunfo“. My favourites of his are “Corazón Latino” and “Bulería“. Another ex-triunfito isrosario-flores David Bustamante who is ridiculously good-looking, as is his wife. He has brilliant song entitled “No Soy Superman” and like most Spanish pop songs, it is upbeat and perfect for dancing too. Not forgetting the Columbian Shakira, my favourite of hers is “Ciega, Sordamuda” which is from the late 90s before she got into the English music business and I came across whilst visiting my friend in New York. Finally, when I arrived in Spain I heard Rosario singing on the telly and she had the most amazing singing style that I’ve ever heard with her song “Cómo Quieres Que Te Quiera“.

singstarApart from the aforementioned modern pop songs, I tend to prefer the old classics even in Spanish: Manolo Escobar “Mi Carro“, Danny Daniel “Por El Amor De Una Mujer“, Lola Flores “Pena, Penita Pena“, Pimpinela “Olvídame Y Pega La Vuelta“, and Jeanette “¿Por Qué Te Vas?” and these all figure in my karaoke collection so I hope to see you all on Singstar soon!

spotifyThat’s about it as I’ve run out of steam and my brain hurts (what little is still functioning after all these years) and if you’ve read all the way to the end then I don’t know whether to congratulate you or feel sorry for you as you’ve obviously got nothing better to read! Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to sift through this post and hopefully I will have brought to your attention some new songs for you to go and listen to. I have recently been introduced to “Spotify” so my plan is to eventually get these songs and more included in my playlist of the same name. Instead of boring you with the memories associated with them, I’ll just add them to the playlist. Bear with me though, as it could take a while due to me not being as quick to adapt to new technology any more (unlike in the 80s where it seemed like there was something new invented every week). I plan to add classics like “Hotel California” by The Eagles, “More Than Words” by Extreme, “Parisienne Walkways” by Gary Moore and “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica.

DAGIf you feel I need to broaden my musical tastes and that there are still good songs being made then feel free to enlighten me leaving your comments below, preferably with a link to a sample of the song as I’m a bit lazy when it comes to searching for stuff on Google. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up initially as I have to moderate the comments first – this is to avoid Spam, an unfortunate evil of the Internet.

Oh and one final song as a tribute to my musician friend Dan Dinardo: “Our Love Would Be Much Better (If I Gave A Damn About You)” by the American band called DAG – well funky. See you around the site, people!

One thought on “Music Or My Life As A Playlist”

  1. Loved reading this mate, very interesting! Select-a-disc, the memories. Not sure if it’s still around but will have a look. Great read 🙂

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