The following is Part One in a series Something Clever will bring you from various contributors asked to tell you about the Album of their Lives.
The other night I was watching music television – a past time that I’ve enjoyed since I was 6 years old. So many of my childhood memories mesh with the hits that were on RAGE and FM radio in the 80′s and 90′s. It’s for this reason that my pub trivia team mates think I am a ‘freak’ when I can identify the name of a song, artist and year it was released within a few seconds.
Anyway – The video clip for Don Henley’s ‘Boys Of Summer’ came on the other night. It’s one of those songs almost everybody knows – and whenever I hear it, I can’t help but sing along. I started thinking, if I were asked to create an album of my life - i.e. a list of tracks that are most special to me – would ‘Boys of Summer’ be on there?
Despite the fact that it’s a great song, it wouldn’t make my top 13.
“Why 13″ you ask? – Well Google tells me that’s the average number of songs on an album.
So what would be on the album?
Narrowing it down to 13 tracks is a near impossible task but for the sake of this blog post, I thought I may as well give it a go.
The criteria I have used has nothing to do with technical musical quality. It’s purely down to the strength of emotions that result from hearing the song. This includes the sentimental value the song has and the memories that rush to the surface when I hear the melody.
So with that in mind, the album of my life is listed below. There are some brief notes in italics to explain each choice.
These songs are in no particular order.
1. Layla – Derek and the Dominos
My favourite riff ever! – Complimented by some beautiful instrumental at the end.
2. Tiny Dancer – Elton John
A fantastic piece of music that was brought to life 30 years after it was written thanks to my favourite scene in a movie – Almost Famous.
3. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
The start of the grunge movement for me – Full of rebellion, head banging, and twelve year old fanaticism.
4. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
I was obsessed with this band as a youngster. I had every album, t-shirt and poster that was available. November Rain was #1 on the Argentinian charts for almost a year.
5. Never Tear Us Apart – INXS
It’s questionable whether there will ever be a bigger Australian band than INXS when Michael Hutchence was the lead singer. This had to make the list.
6. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
This is the only song on my album that comes after the year 2000. The track brings back many fond memories of wild times travelling in Europe – not having a care in the world. A great tune which I always sing a long to.
7. Come Said The Boy – Mondo Rock
An Australian 80′s anthem producing a sound you just don’t hear any more. This clip is filmed near my neighbourhood and I never get tired of hearing it.
8. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
I’ve said it before in a previous blog, I think Freddie Mercury is the best Rock vocalist…ever. There are so many different emotions in this song and it was one of the easiest tracks to choose. This is a live version which highlights just how well Freddie can sing.
9. Money For Nothing – Dire Straits (featuring Sting)
My second favourite riff ever, ‘Money For Nothing’ brings back memories of living in London as a five year old. This cassette was a regular in my parents car and we’d always be bopping to it in the back seat.
10. Wonderwall – Oasis
Brit Pop was charging in the late 90′s and this track got airtime everywhere. ‘There are many things that I would like to say to you but I don’t know how’.
11. Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
In the seventh grade this track was absolutely massive. We’d never heard another song like it at the time, and it marked the emergence of a band that still packs out stadiums around the world in 2013. I had to include it.
12. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
In my opinion every great album needs a couple of ballads. I remember Crowded House having their farewell to the world concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, closing with this track. A song of hope – ‘Don’t ever let them win’
13. Holy Grail – Hunters & Collectors
The last choice was the toughest. ‘It’s a short song, but one hell of a story’. I always get pumped hearing it for many reasons. This song just makes me want to drink beer and watch sport with my mates.
So that’s the album of my life…I’d love to hear yours.