Desert Island Disgust

Desert Island Discs is a British institution, but it has been going so long that the producers seem to have run out of interesting people to interview. These days, the guests are vapid celebrities and incredibly posh people who nobody’s ever heard of. Also, none of the guests seem to have any particular love of music, so their eight musical choices are generally a mix of the startlingly obvious and the incredibly asinine.

Some thoughtful person at the BBC made an archive of the show, listing every single guest and their chosen discs. This made it very easy for me to find the interviewees with the poorest musical tastes. Five of the worst offenders are outlined below…

Nigella Lawson

  1. The Archies – Sugar Sugar
  2. Mory Kante – Yeke, Yeke
  3. Boney M. – Daddy Cool 2001
  4. The Mavericks – Dance the Night Away
  5. Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag
  6. New Order – Blue Monday
  7. Eminem – Cleaning Out My Closet
  8. The Chemical Brothers  – Hey Boy, Hey Girl

Several of these tracks are obviously garbage, but the one that really sticks out is “Teenage Dirtbag”. It’s not just that it’s a band song, it’s that it’s about the angst of being an adolescent boy. Nigella is female and was forty years old when the song was released. So she doesn’t even have the excuse of this being a record she related to in her youth. She gets some points for New Order and the Chemical Brothers, though.

Jamie Cullum

  1. Jamie Cullum – Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? (Live)
  2. John Tavener – The Lamb
  3. Roni Size – Brown Paper Bag
  4. Jamie Cullum – Tiny Dancer (Live)
  5. The Cinematic Orchestra – All Things to All Men
  6. Animal Collective – My Girls
  7. Sufjan Stevens – Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland Illinois
  8. Jamie Cullum – I Think it’s Going to Rain Today (Live)

This sprout-faced ivory botherer deserves inclusion on this list because of his self-adoration. Picking three of your own songs is not only narcissistic, it’s fairly pointless. He could simply take a piano as his luxury item and play them to his heart’s content. Oh, but those three songs were recorded live, so I guess he wants to hear the sound of people cheering him.

David Cameron

Okay, these aren’t bad choices, for the most part, but I’ll explain below:

  1. Bob Dylan – Tangled Up in Blue
  2. Benny Hill – Ernie
  3. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
  4. Felix Mendelsohn – O, for the Wings of a Dove
  5. Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees
  6. The Smiths – This Charming Man
  7. REM – Perfect Circle
  8. The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done

Politicians are always terrible guests on DID; they believe they can win over the electorate through their “right on” musical tastes. I can believe that Mendelssohn and Benny Hill were actually Cameron’s choices, but the rest were obviously picked by some PR person at Conservative Party headquarters. Cameron’s supposed love of Radiohead backfired spectacularly, as Thom Yorke threatened to sue him if he used any of his band’s songs at campaign events.

In the interests of political balance: I don’t think that Ed Miliband’s or Nick Clegg’s choices were genuine, either.

Colin Montgomerie

  1. Jon and Vangelis – I’ll Find My Way Home
  2. ABBA – Waterloo
  3. Cast of The Lion King – Hakuna Matata
  4. Crowd at the Scotland vs England Match (17.03.90) – Flower of Scotland
  5. Elmer Bernstein – Main Theme to the Great Escape
  6. Robbie Williams – Angels
  7. Vangelis – Chariots of Fire
  8. Rod Stewart – Sailing

Professional sportsmen always choose songs by Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart; I think there must be some kind of law. The rest of his tracks aren’t too hot either. Two songs by Vangelis? Come on now, Colin, couldn’t you manage with just one? Vary your musical diet a little, please.

Gordon Ramsay

Now, this guy is the worst offender of the lot…

  1. Coldplay – Yellow
  2. Kim Wilde – Kids in America
  3. Blondie – Sunday Girl
  4. Tina Turner – The Best
  5. George Michael – Careless Whisper
  6. Bryan Adams  – (Everything I Do) I Do it For You
  7. Tom Jones – Sex Bomb
  8. Travis – Sing

These songs are clearly terrible, but there’s something quite brilliant about the order of the tracks. First there’s insipid mediocrity; next there’s a trio of cheesy female singers; then there’s a trio of cheesy male singers; and finally there’s insipid mediocrity again. I’m being very careful what I write here, because I don’t want to get sued for libel, but doesn’t this seem like a playlist that you might hear in this guy’s apartment?

Posted on April 25, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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