Well I’d been waiting for quite sometime for the invite to arrive through my letterbox from the BBC’s long running show Desert Island Disc’s. It hadn’t come. So I decided to do my own.
The long running BBC Radio 4 show invites it’s guests to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island with luckily some form of means to play music. As the aim of the show is to pick pieces of music that would accompany you on your lonesome abandonment before hopefully you are saved?
Now let it be known that this to me is an impossible task and like if someone was so foolish to ask me to pick my top ten favorite films it would result in the same manner. Blood, bone and grey matter splatter all round the room as my head explodes into a Jackson Pollock. It’s too different a task. So I’m not necessary going for favorites, just a few records within thousands that I like and why. That reasoning stopped the ticking doomsday day clock going off inside my head. Thankfully I live to fight another day.
Right here we go.
- Yusef Lateef – Love Theme From Spartacus (1961).
Its so deep and emotional I can listen to it forever. Unfortunately I haven’t got the original LP Eastern Sounds from 1961 however I have the 1974 re-titled Blues For The Orient which includes Eastern Sounds and his 1957 recording The Sounds Of Yusef. Seriously outstanding, beautiful and mesmerising music. It’s a cover version of Alex North composition from the Stanley Kubrick’s historical drama Spartacus. Yusef also tackles another sword and sandals piece from the film The Robe on the LP.
Fun fact! Had this record penciled down as my funeral tune for years. It can still be but recently I changed the funeral tune to be mariachi band music. With words from The Three Amigos and a selection of sombreros which people can wear if they wish. Of course The Three Amigo mantra will be needed to be said on the prayer cards. I need people to step into my vigilante shoes.
Wherever there is injustice, you will find us.
Wherever there is suffering, we’ll be there.
Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find.
We are The Three Amigos!
- Barrington Levy – If I Give To You (1979)
You may find a theme within my musical choices. I’m a bit soppy. I do have big fondness for the soulful side of the streets. Barrington “Under Your Sensi” Levy might not be everyone’s go to for some sweet soulful lyrics but with this one, Mister Levy is truly on point. I’m always kinda attracted to unconventional soulful voices, that every day man baring his soul sound. Then to be able to marry up that voice with a heavy rhythm laid down by the Roots Radics Band. You know on paper it shouldn’t work but this tune always does funny things to me. Materiel things don’t mean a thing when all you want is… Just a touch of your love, Yeah, just a little bit of your love.
- Midnight Star – Heartbeat. (1988)
The old soul boy from my youth would need this tune stuck on a desert island. I still remember my first hearing of those ridiculous, scrumptious synths melodies. They completely floored me. Flash forward 30 years later and they still crush me, every single time. Perfect blissfulness. I love the lyrics too. I’d love to be able to learn all the words. But hey I’m all on my lonesome, I could sing it to my hearts content with no one judging my warbling skills. I’d learn to hit those high notes too. Then when I get rescued by a passing cruise ship filled with a tribe of Amazon warrior women I could sing it to each and everyone of them. Hehe I’ve never bored of this tune since it entered my life. Even wolves have a soul side.
- Robert Wyatt & Bertrand Burgalat – This Summer Night (2007)
This one I’d need for dancing. After about an hour of being stranded I’d probably, more than likely, have made myself a ra-ra skirt out of coconut leaves and created a dance-floor of sorts. This is where Frenchmen Bertrand and the quintessential old Englishman Robert Wyatt would come in. With the big beats bashing out a fast paced groove and Robert singing in his unique way, my foot would start to tap. And into the night I’d be goovin because.. it’s just the perfect night, A perfect night for dancing. I’d be freaking out thinking of the good old times, those sweet memories. This tune always make my smile big, broad and massive.
- Zapp – Computer Love (1985)
Another 80s classic piece of soul music filled with divine synths and something else? Yep it features the wonderful quirky Roger Troutman and his vocoder. Giving us the unique and blissful soul tune Computer Love. You know what, when I first heard this tune it just freaked me out. I feel instantly in love with it. Its beautiful and so well put together. There’s so much going on but you don’t really notice it. There’s even jazz in there. So many little touches that keep coming in with that electronic voice. The extended mix will help with the nights on the island. Which I have on the Street Sounds 17. This is one of those records I’ve played over and over and will never get bored. Lets see if I haven’t snapped it in half by the time those Amazon woman save me?
- Johnny Clarke – Come Back To Me (1985)
This tune to me is a pure killer, bringer to your knees kinda tune. It’s not like I could ever cheat (damn what am I gonna do when the Amazon ladies show up? What goes on a desert island stays on a desert island, right?) is the fact I don’t wanna be singing this song to her. Because life really is all about the kids. The emotion in Johnny’s voice as he sings Come Back To Me so he can be with his daughter and son again just brings the teardrops. Why add this one then? I guess you need sadness and memories to keep you going on the island. When the record hits the dub down halfway through. Man it crushes me.
- Ennio Morricone – I Figli Morti (1971)
Oh my! a film easily sitting in the top five slot. Don’t ask me where about’s as the pre-warned above clean up job of my head explosion will be for sure on the cards. Known as Giù la testa in Italy, Duck, You Sucker in America and a Fistful Of Dynamite in the United Kingdom. I caught this film in my teens and it embedded itself to me like tree roots. The film is filled to the brim with emotions. Betrayal, loyalty, love and friendship. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack hits everyone of these deeply effecting emotions in his usual beautiful way. There’s lightheartedness, deep sadness and joy all contained in musical form. He really is the master. The friendship bond created by Juan and John, Rod Steiger and James Coburn is outstanding. Sergio Leone camera work is second to none. I love this film so much. So hard to pick one track. Maybe I can sneak the whole album!
- Talk Talk – It’s My Life (1984)
More synthesizers this time in a Brit Synth-pop new wave style. Yeah I’m a sucker for synths and that down beat alongside that magnificent, almost dreary, vocal style of Mark Hollis. It’s My Life always feels like a great soundtrack to be playing as I walk round and round and round the island waiting for those Amazon women to arrive. I always thought it makes a great double team with the Simple Minds tune Don’t You (Forget About Me) from the classic coming of age film The Breakfast Club. PS my favorite on the album is Tomorrow Started. Oooo that is so very deep. Those crazy long silent pauses are perfection. The anticipation to get home and listen to it again will help the days go by.
David Lynch – Good Day Today (2011)
Ha yes David Lynch. I don’t know what it is about this tune. What is the style? Like a housey pop tune with what sounds, yeah sounds, like positive lyrics sang by David Lynch. If you see the video that goes with it, it tells a very different story. The video is here and the audio below. Maybe hear the music first then the video? I think it’s the metronome beat that relentlessly keeps bashing away that just keeps you nodding in a constant mind loop. No backwards vocals, dwarfs or red rooms. A happy good vibed song? When I first heard it I couldn’t believe it was him. Unfortunately I missed getting the vinyl and now they fetch a fair bit. So I’m happy to make do with the MP3. To be honest at least the sand won’t ruin it like all the other records!
Alpha – Somewhere Not Here (1997)
A lot of theme of my musical choices are filled with emotions. Even big hairy beastly wolfs have a soft side don’t you know. Alpha are a fantastic melancholy filled downtempo group out of Bristol UK. I have their first two recordings Come From Heaven and The Impossible Thrill. Both are insanely breathtakingly beautiful records. The singers pour there hearts and souls out and you truly feel the pain, joy and sadness. Wendy Stubbs is the vocalist on Somewhere Not Here and she will crush you with saddened beauty. Add to that, alongside her beguiling vocals comes the strings. Floating on a cloud of bliss bitter sweetness by the end of the track you will be filled with tears. Hey I’m on an island no one will know and it will help me sleep as ponder “just where the hell are that tribe of Amazon ladies with wolf man lust on their minds?” Sweet dreams wolfie x
I hope you’ve enjoyed the little excursion. Like I say at the top these are records I like and would be happy listening to them over and over. My favorite records would be impossible to do and would result in a big mess and the need for a cleaner? And we really don’t want to call my name sake The Wolf (Harvey Keitel) from Pulp Fiction.
Big love. Mikey Wolf
I almost forgot, you can also pick a luxury item. Easy. Beer making kit. And you can choose a book. That would be Alan Moore’s & Dave Gibbon’s – Watchmen.