Putting all your favourite songs onto an iPod throws up a few interesting juxtapositions. You’re happily wandering through Clerkenwell listening to The Sisters of Mercy in a kind of retro-bohemian, Berlin goth style and you’re feeling quite self-satisfied in a homo superior “doesn’t get enough sun” kind of way, and then Randy Crawford explodes into your ears with a heavy dose of Street Life. I’m just saying it’s strange, is all. Not bad.
Strange songs on my iPod:
- Im Nin ‘Alu, by Ofra Haza
One of those bizarre songs that you listen to on “Now That’s What I Call Fucking Bizarre Pop Music” when you’re twelve, but don’t realise that it’s not normal pop music like Duran Duran, and so you get all excited by it and listen to it over and over and over.
- Voyage Voyage, by Desireless.
As above – another weird ‘turned up on a tape I bought when I was fourteen’ song. This one sticks in my head particularly because Nicky Campbell said something really rude about them on Top of the Pops in 1986. I think he was suggesting that the lead singer wasn’t very attractive or something. It was around this period that he said of Lisa Stansfield’s “All Around the World”, that the poor singer still couldn’t find her child despite an extensive global search. How I laughed.
- Housequake, by Prince.
They’re like relics, these songs. Crusty, freakish and old.
- Ghostbusters, by Ray Parker Junior.
I can play this on the piano. By which I mean that I can play the bit that everyone can sing in their heads, not the bridge bits that no one really cares about. Typically, my piano teacher made me learn to play endless dull tunes with names like “Marjuka Number 5” when I was a kid, despite the fact that I kept asking if there was any piano music for the theme tune to “Murder She Wrote”. I learnt to play “Ghostbusters” when she wasn’t looking, and then I showed her that I could play it, and she made everything more difficult from that point on. Plus, when I got a note wrong, she’d sweep her hands under my arms and moan “No, No!” until I wanted to cave her head in with a brick.
- You Spin Me Round, by Dope rather than Dead and Alive.
From the soundtrack to American Psycho. God only knows why I have this. It’s like Nine Inch Nails shagged 80s Europop by an alien radiation emitter and gave birth to some kind hideous hybrid pop-dance-rock monster of tacky proportions. “You spin me right round baby, round, round, like a record, baby, right round”. For some reason this reminds me of a short-term piece of contract work as a temp in an defence contractor in Norfolk.
Get thee to Limewire, my friends, and build your own screwed-up music collective of the weird taste of Tom. For without these songs bouncing around your psyche, you can’t hope to understand the depths to which I’ve plunged…