Soggy Island Discs

I was listening to Desert Island Discs today and naturally it got me thinking about what eight songs I would choose. The thing is, I’m not stranded on a desert island; I’m stuck on a soggy island off mainland Europe. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of eight pastoral, autumnal tracks suitable for a cold November in Great Britain. Here they are, in no particular order, with links so you can have a listen…

Bob Dylan – Shelter from the Storm Dylan is one of those artists with so many good songs, that picking just one proved to be difficult. This is one of my favourite non-political songs of Bob’s and has lyrics fitting for the time of year.

The Beatles – Rain Another ‘weather’ song. But this is actually an upbeat track about ignoring the rain and getting on with your life. If you haven’t heard it, I wouldn’t be surprised. It was the B-side to Paperback Writer and didn’t appear on any of their studio albums. It was recorded during the sessions for Revolver, which explains the brilliant psychedelic feel.

Nick Drake – Place To Be Nick Drake released three albums in his short life, and they’re all worth a listen. My favourite is his final, most sombre offering: Pink Moon. Like most of the album, this song just Drake singing and playing acoustic guitar; but it’s hugely affecting.

Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent) This is from the classic ambient album ‘Apollo – Atmospheres and Soundtracks’, and is meant to evoke the NASA moon missions. But the feeling of tranquillity and open space, gives it a wider appeal.

Aram Khachaturian – Gayane Ballet Suite – Adagio This is another ‘spacey’ one, as it was featured in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. It plays as the astronauts go about their daily routines on the long trip into the unknown.

Jim White – Static on the Radio This guy is one of the great alternative country/Americana artists around. His documentary about the Deep South, ‘Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus’ is also great. This song is a duet with the brilliant singer-songwriter, Aimee Mann.

Brahms 3rd Symphony – 3rd movement – Poco allegretto Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony would make a good choice, but somehow this piece by Brahms (a huge fan of Beethoven) speaks to me more. It’s so contemplative and mournful. The “F, A-flat, F” motif is said to represent the German phrase “Frei aber froh”, meaning “Free but happy”.

Richard and Linda Thompson – Night Comes In Richard Thompson is one of the most underappreciated artists around today. He’s always been a critics’ darling, but that’s never translated to record sales. This track is from the brilliantly reflective ‘Pour Down Like Silver’ album, recorded after his and Linda’s conversion to the Sufi faith.

Posted on November 14, 2010, in Misophonic and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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