Wednesday, June 01, 2011

My Desert Island Discs

I was on the TTA Forum and one of the contributors there, Mike Alexander mentioned that The Beeb were asking people for their eight Desert Island Discs and he had uploaded his and had also put them on his blog. I thought it was a great idea and so did the same. Here are my eight and some of the reasons behind their choices.


Rondine al nido is about a little swallow that returns every year
at almond blossom time, but Pavarotti sings that his loved one
has left and never crosses the seas or mountains, like the little swallow -
Mia piccina, fosti tutta la mia vita;
My little one, you were all my life

Sei fuggita e non torni piú.

You have fled and return no more.

This is a beautiful song that tears at my heart when I listen to it
but a song that I would gladly take with me all the same.
Like Juliana, my daughter, Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer too.

These others are in no particular order:


Springsteen the poet, I particularly like the lines:

Beyond the palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss

He is The Boss :)


Bridge over troubled water - Anna and I played this album non-stop when we were courting all those years ago. Simon and Garfunkel, masters.


This is I Pooh an Italian group which we fell in love with when we lived in Italy.
This group started in 1966 and I think they are still together, making them one of the longest lasting pop groups ever.


Nils Lofgren's Black Books. I've always liked Lofgren, especially Shine Silently but when I heard this on an episode of The Sopranos I was blown away. Another poet like Springsteen and his guitar solo on the end of this is superb If ever I aspired to playing a guitar it would have to be as good as this or it just wouldn't be worth bothering. Marvelous playing, bloody marvelous!


Okay, this could be cheating a little but I can't pick just one piece of music from Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds although Forever Autumn is certainly a favourite. This album witnessed the growing up of our children and was something we'd settle down to listen to with the lights out and the curtains drawn whilst outside it blew a gale. Juliana my daughter took me to see it performed live in Cardiff for my 60th birthday even though she was so very ill.


Emerson Lake and Palmer's Lucky Man was mind-blowing, great lyrics, fabulous tune, excellent guitar, fantastic drums and 3.23 minutes in the first Moog solo ever recorded and I remember thinking 'what the hell is that!' when I first heard it and the sound of it buzzing from left to right speaker!


It was hard to find this particular recording of Shenadoah (Across the wide Missouri) by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir but find it I did and it is well worth a listen. There are other arrangements but this full orchestra/choir version I think is outstanding. I am not particularly religious-minded and I'm not a Mormon but you've got to hand it to them, they can certainly sing. BTW, I have no idea who the people in the video are but I'd like to thank them for uploading that version of Shenandoah to Youtube and wish them my best, they seem a nice American family.

Finally I think you are allowed one luxury item to take with you on a desert island. Hmm... I think I'd like to take my trusty metal-detector (solar-rechargeable) so that I can spend my days looking for Captain Flint's buried treasure :)

What are your Desert Island Discs?


Tea in Thailand said...

Oo when I figure out how to do fancy stuff on my blog (add photos and youtube links) I'll do my desert island discs too! What about your desert island books?!

Mike Alexander said...

Nice selection, Bob. Though I'm not at all well-up on opera, I do love Pavarotti's voice, and what a beautiful song that is.

"I Pooh" was quite out of left field! Sort of 70s folky prog with a lick of Euro-pop. Similar sort of era to Focus, I should imagine.

I love Shenandoah too, and you're right, that is a lovely full arrangement. I rather like Paul Robeson's interpretation, of which there are a few recordings kicking around on youtube.

Very sorry to hear about your daughter - as a parent myself, I can't imagine anything more painful to have to face. How lovely that she took you for that special 60th birthday treat, despite being so very ill.

Bob Lock said...

Good idea on desert island books, Holly.

Thanks Mike, glad you like them and thanks for your words of sympathy.