Sunday 24 March 2019

Beat the clock

Following a brief period of relative quiet on the live cultural front, it felt like the time was right for a new playlist on the blog.

After de-stressing one evening recently by motoring through a load of pop songs on YouTube, I started to have flashbacks to my teenage and early working years, when doing a similar sort of thing might have meant sitting on the floor surrounded by piles of seven inch singles, or albums, or CDs - so that losing yourself in the music almost felt like a physical, as well as aural, experience.

Because, by definition, nostalgia is a modern activity, I think a lot of Today's Youth are as tuned in to how people my age (add the prefix 'middle') used to enjoy music as they want to be. Those who like a tactile channel for storing music are certainly helping the vinyl revival along. And even a term like 'mixtape' survives as a catch-all description for a lovingly-compiled playlist, even though the 'tape' bit no longer really features.

I used to set myself the task of compiling entire tapes of tracks where there was one rule: nothing longer than 3 minutes. Minimum boredom (and therefore, as little fast-forwarding as possible), maximum variety. I've resurrected that rule again here, but there's a bit more classical and jazz than there used to be in the melting pot.

I think it turned out to be a relatively gentle selection (with a few bursts of oomph and welly), but I hope you enjoy the rate of the changes. With 15 tracks in all, I hope it will strike a particular chord with any listeners immediately cheered by the phrase "fits on one side of a 90".


I've included versions taken from YouTube directly below - then at the end of the post there's a repeat of the playlist for Spotifiers.

Fleetwood Mac: 'Never Going Back Again'

Ralph Towner: 'Gloria's Step'

Talking Heads: 'Paper'

Sandrine Piau, Susan Manoff: 'C'est ainsi que tu es' (Poulenc)

Penguin Café Orchestra: 'Giles Farnaby's Dream'

Kate Bush: 'Army Dreamers'

Beirut: 'Corfu'

North Sea Radio Orchestra: 'He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven'

Thelonius Monk: 'Well You Needn't'

Six Organs of Admittance, 'Lisboa'

Véronique Gens, Roger Vignoles: 'La flûte de Pan' (Debussy)

Cotton Mather: 'My Before and After'

Nigel North: 'Mrs Winter's Jump' (Dowland)

Oregon: 'The Silence of a Candle'

Dame Janet Baker, Gerald Moore: 'Corpus Christi Carol' (arr. Britten)

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