Over the last few weeks I have been downloading old episodes of Desert Island Discs to listen to on my ipod.
Desert Island Discs is a radio programme that has been running for nearly 70 years on BBC Radio 4. The premise of the show is that each week a guest appears on the programme and is asked to choose eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury item that they would take with them to a deserted island.
While listening to some of their selections it started to make me think about what music, book and luxury item I would take to a desert island. So, after careful consideration this is what I would pick:
1) Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror
I had to include this as not only is the blog named after the song, but it is my favourite song by my favourite musician of all time. There were probably 6-7 songs from Michael Jackson that could have easily made it on to this list, but I chose ‘Man in The Mirror’ as it has such an unforgettable chorus with poetic lyrics. I could listen to it every day and never be bored of it.
2) Bon Jovi – Bad Medicine
I am a massive fan of 80s and 90s rock and this is one of Bon Jovi’s best and most underrated tracks. If I was feeling lonely or depressed on the island all I would need to do is put this on, and it would not be long before I was standing on the nearest rock playing my imaginary air guitar.
3) Meatloaf – I’d Lie for you and that’s the truth
No one can write and produce power ballads like Meatloaf. The song lasts for nearly seven minutes, but it never loses my attention. From the big drum beats, to Meatloaf’s powerful vocals the song covers a wide range of emotions from love, romance and tragedy.
I couldn’t not include a song from The Beatles as my parents did name me after Paul McCartney after all. This song is the Fab Four at their absolute best with superb drumming from Ringo. Plus the song has such an inspiring message – that you don’t need money to be happy.
5) Frank Sinatra – New York, New York
New York is my favourite city in the world and this song captures all of its energy. On a recent visit to the Big Apple, I walked through Times Square, while listening to this on my ipod and it was a magical experience.
6) John Williams – Main title from Superman: The Movie
This is a truly incredible piece of orchestral music. Whenever I hear this familiar theme, I am transported back to my childhood where I would endlessly watch the old Superman films with Christopher Reeve wishing that I was able to fly like Superman, and believing that anything was possible.
7) R Kelly – The World’s Greatest
This is five minutes of musical genius. R Kelly’s vocals in this song are incredible as the beginning is very slow and thoughtful, but as the song progresses his voice become more powerful, which is a perfect accompaniment for the gospel choir that provides the backing vocals. The lyrics and sentiment of the song are also so inspiring in that it tells you that can overcome any obstacle to reach the top.
8 ) Madonna – La Isla Bonita
This is a real wild card choice. I am not the biggest fan of Madonna’s music, but this song has such a relaxed melody and upbeat tempo. It also brings back some happy memories of a holiday with friends a few years ago. So, when I play this on the lonely deserted island it would remind me of them.
The book I would choose is ‘JFK: An Unfinished Life’ by Robert Dallek. I am absolutely fascinated by American history and have always been an admirer of John F Kennedy. If I was isolated on a desert island there would be a lot of days and hours to fill and I think that reading about his struggles during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs would help the time to go by a lot faster.
Finally, the luxury I would choose is a pen and paper. While on the island I would love to be able to chronicle the experience in a diary or perhaps I would try to write a book.