014 My Life Music: Chris Coco
First of all, obviously, this is an impossible task, to condense a lifetime of music and influences into a mere sixty minutes. I had to approach it in a slightly disconnected, intuitive way, by not thinking too hard, by looking through a couple of hard drives and a few drawers full of CDs and collecting some tunes that made me go – yes, I have to have that one. Of course, I could have carried on and put together 24 hours worth of fantastic music. I wanted to include Brian Eno, Miles Davies, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Tom Tom Club, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Sex Pistols, Blur, New Order, God, the list goes on and on, but either I couldn’t find those tunes immediately or they just didn’t fit into the space available. So, here is Chris Coco, an hour in the life, my life in an hour, as I see it today. Tomorrow’s selection could be completely different, but, for now, I am happy with this.
1 The Jam – English Rose
Paul Weller was my hero. Here he is showing his vulnerable side, you had to be strong to be this emotional as a boy/man in the 70s.
2 The Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning
The group that made me, and thousands of others, think – I could do that, be in a band and mumble, make a life in music – with a song about coming down as the sun comes up.
3 Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
It’s all about the romanticism, the lyricism. I will always remember screaming the words to this, drunk as the Belgian I had my arm round, at Glastonbury, a few years ago.
4 Elvis Costello – Watching The Detectives
Punk meets reggae, with a great song about television that is perhaps more relevant than ever today.
5 Specials – A Message To You Rudy
More reggae, a Jamaican classic given the multicultural English treatment by one of the greatest groups ever.
6 Orange Juice – Love Sick
The inevitable b-side of Orange Juice’s first single, 500 pressing, hand coloured cover, I bought mine in East Croydon. I still love b-sides, as listeners to my Melodica show will be only too aware.
7 Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Perhaps the greatest love song ever written.
8 David Bowie – Warsawza
This is from Low, it was recorded in Berlin, it was produced by Brian Eno, it led me to Music For Airports and ambient music and a whole new musical world.
9 Kraftwerk – Tour De France
Experimental, modern music can also be pop. These guys were the masters of cycling along that fine line.
10 Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
Another song of songs, one of the greatest ever. I have found myself in a few of these situations, but that’s another story. This one never fails to surprise me with its brilliance, same as it ever was.
11 Sister Nancy – Bam Bam
A classic slice of reggae that I still play in party sets, its so simple and empty but it has such power.
12 The Wannadies – You & Me Song
This one is in because of the way it moves from a little lounge groove to full on rock; because it is an almost perfect pop song; and because it reminds me of DJing in stadiums on the Robbie Williams tour in 2006.
13 Joe Smooth – Promised Land
On another day I would have put in Phuture’s Acid Trax or Mr Fingers Can You Feel It or… God, here we go again… A smoke filled black arch in Brighton in the late 80s, the promised land existed on those nights by the sea.
14 Juliet Roberts – Caught In The Middle
This one is all about the Coco Club at the Zap Club, a massive tune that still makes my heart go boom, boom, boom.
15 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Babe, You Turn Me On
So many Cave tunes could have been in here but this one is really special because it helped me realise that I was OK at a particularly low point – You leapt into the abyss but found… It only goes up to your knees.
16 Herb Alpert – This Guy’s In Love With You
And finally, a genius Baccarach & David song, again, there are so many to choose from, with that amazing trumpet sound, a cheesy love song for the end of the night. What a beauty.
Look out for the new Chris Coco album Freedom Street released on July 30th on MelodicaRecordings.
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