A Music Lover’s Christmas
Merry Christmas! I hope you’ve all had a lovely few days of present-opening, eating and relaxation. I’d like to share with you some of the wonderful, music-related gifts I’ve received from my family – which you could probably go out and buy for half the price in tomorrow’s sales! And I’d certainly recommend that you do…
1. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
Now, I’m not usually a fan of things that insist that you listen to a seemingly infinite list of songs – not that I doubt my own ability to listen to 1001 albums in my lifetime – but this book really is worth it. Their choices are spot on, devoting a whole page to each album (needless to say, it’s a very heavy book), with archive photographs of the artist and list of songs featured on the album. Covering the 60’s to the 00’s, it’s a perfect coffee-table book, inviting guests to flick through and see if their own favourite album has made it onto the list!
Bought from: Waterstones
2) Music Listography
As you can tell from previous blog posts, I’m a big fan of making playlists, which is why I was overjoyed when my best friend bought me this book which prompts you to write your own playlist for EVERY scenario imaginable, for example “List Songs You’d Strip To” and “List Songs To Play At Your Funeral“, which, to be fair, I hadn’t really given much thought. But thanks to this book, I now know what will be playing at my own funeral (‘Anna’ by The Beatles, if you were wondering). It is also full of quirky little illustrations to match some popular songs, bound to feature in the lists.
Bought from: Urban Outfitters
3) The Jazz Age – Bryan Ferry
In all honesty, I actually bought this LP for my dad, a.k.a World’s Biggest Roxy Music fan, but I’ve been listening to it a lot myself over the last few days. I have a soft spot for the 1920s, so I decided to shell out the extra £10 for the vinyl copy of this album, as opposed to the CD, just to make the experience a little more authentic… Close your eyes and you could actually be a flapper in a 20s dance hall, (me; not my dad)! The album features well-known Roxy Music hits, re-invented with an orchestra (and minus the lyrics), in classic ‘jazz-era’ style!
Bought from: Fopp
4) Party Clowns – Pulp
Recorded live in 1991, this CD shows Pulp at their very best! The title comes from a review in NME, where a writer once referred to them as ”party clowns”. The whole album, of 8 songs, is wonderful – especially Babies, with Jarvis’s confessional, awkward-teenage-boy wails of “And so, I… I hid inside her wardrooobe”.
Bought from: HMV
5) Blur Parklive Deluxe 5 Disc Book Set
I have longingly awaited the release of Blur’s Hyde Park concert ever since the very last note of The Universal as I left the park in August. And now, we all get to re-live the experience! Despite EMI’s rather expensive price tag (and don’t even get me started on the price of Blur 21), it is well worth it, containing everything a Blur fan would want – 2 audio CDs of the concert, a CD of extras, the actual DVD of the concert, and a DVD of their warm-up show at The 100 Club. The book itself is full of high-quality photos from both nights, and I was prepared enough to order it by a certain date, which meant that I got my name printed on the ‘Thank you’s page at the back (along with about a thousand others)! I also spent a lot of time pausing the DVD, searching for my self in the crowd, but with no luck…
Bought from: Blur website
6) iStation Go speakers
There’s not really much to say about these speakers, since I bough them out of necessity, as my very old first generation iPod doesn’t have the ability to play music out loud, and my headphones are on their way out, too. These speakers weren’t very expensive, but the sound quality is excellent. They fold up neatly, are extremely light, and small enough to fit in a handbag – the perfect portable speakers for a picnic in the park or to take to a friend’s!
7) The Complete Singles – Manic Street Preachers
Don’t judge me – I’ve been meaning to listen to Manic Street Preacher for a while, but never quite got round to it. My brother bought me this album, and so far I have to say, my favourite is If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. I’m sure I’ll be talking about them in my future blog posts….