Archive for the ‘curtis mayfield’ Tag

The Write Stuff

soul singerThe first morning of going freelance in 1997 I went to the gym then walked round to Our Price record shop in Muswell Hill and bought New World Order, the recently released record by Curtis Mayfield. I was drawing a line. If I was giving up the financial stability of a proper job (a stability I’d enjoyed for the nine years of my working life to date), I was going to make darn good use of the flexibility of freelance.

Tomorrow morning represents a similar day. After a decade at Channel 4, I’m taking four months of sabbatical to write, of which today is technically Day One. And to not walk down to the tube; travel to Embankment; change to St James’s; walk past New Scotland Yard;  down Strutton Ground; up the stairs coloured Golden State Bridge red by Richard Rogers. That red ought to delight me. It will again come January by which time the Pacific salt air and San Francisco fog will have returned. Not least because among others I’ll be writing about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady.

I’m doing 9 to 5, Monday to Friday until the New Year writing about creativity and creative networks. So today’s not officially a work day but I wanted to talk to one last person before diving in, so headed over to Hampstead to meet my old colleague and friend Jan Younghusband, Head of Music at BBC and former Arts Commissioning Editor at Channel 4. She kindly took time out from the Proms etc. to bounce a few ideas around with me which was reassuring and encouraging. In her tranquil garden overlooking an Edwardian  school campus, we talked about a variety of creatives from Joan Littlewood to Nicholas Hytner, from Chris Blackwell to Nadia Boulanger. And, having written a book about Jacqueline du Pre, Jan was able to provide some very practical advice about how to organise my writing day. So tomorrow I put that into action at 9am.

Postscript:

When you publish a post on WordPress, you are rewarded with a quote and here’s the one I just got on publishing this, my 349th post:

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.

Benjamin Disraeli

100 Greatest Songs

curtis mayfieldmarvin gayefrank sinatra

Ever wondered what the 100 greatest songs of all time are? Well trouble yourself no longer – here they are…

(only one song per artist/band; songs with words, not instrumental)

Hells Bells – AC/DC
The Stars We Are – Marc Almond
Uptown Top Ranking – Althea & Donna
Ventura Highway – America
The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Across the Universe – The Beatles
Harrow Road – Big Audio Dynamite
Hyperballad – Bjork
The Last Month of the Year – Blind Boys of Alabama
In the Sun – Blondie
Everything I Own – Ken Boothe
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed – David Bowie
ESP – Buzzcocks
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
White Man in Hammersmith Palais – The Clash
Do you really want to hurt me? – Culture Club
Ninety Nine and a Half – Dorothy Love Coates
Alison – Elvis Costello
Just Like Heaven – The Cure
Eloise – The Damned
Knowledge of Beauty – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Soolimon – Neil Diamond (from Hot August Night)
The End – The Doors
Fruit Tree – Nick Drake
Ballad of a Thin Man – Bob Dylan
That’s Alright Mama – Elvis
This is the house that Jack built – Aretha Franklin
Sometimes – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Inner City Blues – Marvin Gaye
My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
Hatikvah
Sonny – Bobby Hebb
The Wind Cries Mary – Jimi Hendrix
Winter in America – Gil Scott Heron
A Town Like Malice – The Jam
Jerusalem – hymn
Tainted Love – Gloria Jones
Atmosphere – Joy Division
Danny Boy – Brian Kennedy
Batonga – Angelique Kidjo
Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
In My Time of Dying – Led Zeppelin
Oh Yoko – John Lennon
Freebird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Jealousy – Geraldine MacGowan [County Clare's finest]
Fairytale of New York – Shane MacGowan & Kirsty MacColl
The Snake with Eyes of Garnet – Shane MacGowan & the Popes
The Prince – Madness
Like a Prayer – Madonna
Shot by Both Sides – Magazine
My Little Empire – Manic Street Preachers
Natty Dread – Bob Marley & the Wailers
Don’t Want to Know – John Martyn
Wandrin’ Star – Lee Marvin
Move On Up – Curtis Mayfield
Amazing – George Michael
Monkees theme – The Monkees
Moondance – Van Morrison
Police & Thieves – Junior Murvin
Jerusalem the Golden – Effi Netzer singers
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Raglan Road – Sinead O’Connor
West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
Julia Dream – Pink Floyd
Public Image Limited – PIL
Fanciness – Shabba Ranks & Lady G
Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
Cold Water – Damien Rice
Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
Chase the Devil – Max Romeo & the Upsetters
Street Life – Roxy Music
In a Rut – The Ruts
Anarchy in the UK – The Sex Pistols
If I Was a Bell – Jean Simmons (in Guys & Dolls movie)
One for my baby – Frank Sinatra
Icon – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Because the Night – Patti Smith
Ghost Town – The Specials
For What it’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteen (MTV Plugged session 1992)
Down on Mississippi – Mavis Staples
Father & Son – Cat Stevens
Runaway Boy – The Stray Cats
You’re the Best Thing – The Style Council
Forbidden Colours – David Sylvian & Ruichi Sakamoto (from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence)
No Scrubs – TLC
Listening Wind – Talking Heads
Fire & Rain – James Taylor
Treason – Teardrop Explodes
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations
The Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy
One – U2
Ivory Madonna – UB40
Mannish Boy – Muddy Waters
My Generation – The Who
Armagideon Time – Willie Williams
That Girl – Stevie Wonder
Old Man – Neil Young
Freedom Suite – The Young Disciples

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