So Tim let's take a look at the Tracks of Your Years.
Frankie Valli – Grease
I was eight when my parents took me to the cinema for the first time. The film that stole my movie-going virginity? Grease. I loved it. Ever since I’ve had a fondness for musicals and music-based films. From Saturday Night Fever via Fame and Flashdance to my current obsession, the Broadway behemoth that is Hamilton, it all stems back to a Sunday afternoon in Harrow and Frankie Valli’s theme song.
New Order – True Faith
I’ve always associated certain events or periods of my life with specific songs. True Faith marks the summer I completed my O Levels. Looking back now, it was a real watershed in my life but even now I’m still not sure quite how or why. I’d never been a particularly confident kid but at some point, somehow, something inside me broke and what little self-belief I had evaporated in the space of a few short weeks. There’s a line in the chorus that talks about “the childhood I lost, replaced by fear”. That was me in a nutshell. It took me over a decade to overcome my chronic lack of confidence and rediscover myself. I love this song but it’s also one that always leaves me feeling a little sad.
Mariah Carey – Vision of Love
This will always be *our* song – that’s to say, my wife and mine. It was a track we listened to repeatedly when we first got together. Carey’s voice is incredible and this song arguably shows off her five-octave range and control better than any other.
Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah
My wife and I share a love of the Eurovision Song Contest and for many years hosted an annual Eurovision party. Historically many of the contest’s entrants have been overly twee and instantly forgettable. I can guarantee that anybody who has ever seen Lordi’s winning performance in 2006 will remember it. There has never been anyone quite like them, before or since. Looking beyond the gimmick that the band are known for appearing in masked costumes that make them look like extras from a particularly bad low-budget horror film, this is just a great song, even if you’re not a metal fan.
Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting
At its core, this is a beautiful, simple piano ballad. However, it’s also the song that was playing on our birthing playlist at the moment our eldest child, Isaac, was born. The title is particularly apt, not least because he was 12 days late!
Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Written by Prince but made famous by Sinead O’Connor, this was what came up on our birthing playlist when Toby was born. Like his older brother, we had planned a home water birth, but he arrived so quickly that our midwife didn’t arrive in time and we never made it as far as the pool. I ended up delivering him myself on our living room floor. I’m still not entirely sure how I was aware enough of my surroundings to register what song was playing at the time but somehow I did.
Erma Franklin – Piece of My Heart
Kara was also a planned home birth but my wife’s waters broke while she was having a check-up at the hospital, necessitating a mad dash in the car from me. This time I had my iPod running on silent in my pocket in the delivery room but I remembered to pause it as Kara was delivered. When I checked later, this was the track our trusty playlist had alighted on. Originally recorded by Erma Franklin – Aretha’s elder sister – it’s best known for featuring in a 1990s Levi’s commercial. Kara has had more than just a piece of my heart ever since.
Psychedelic Furs – Pretty in Pink
Among the Eighties Brat Pack films and soundtracks, most people will think first of Don’t You (Forget About Me) from The Breakfast Club or possibly St Elmo’s Fire from the movie of the same name. But I love Pretty in Pink – both the film and the song – and in fatherhood, it has gone on to particularly resonate with me because of our eldest son’s love of all things pink during his preschool years. I wrote about that gender-stereotype-busting colour preference at the time, referencing the song’s lyrics. Later, I wrote a parody version of the track describing the day he came home from preschool and declared that he no longer liked the colour. It’s also the song I performed live as one of the bloggers’ keynotes at BritMums’ BML conference last year. If you’re really lucky, I will never sing it in public again!
Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
Pure indulgence. This song is simply one of my all-time favourites. I’ve seen the Pet Shop Boys live in concert twice, most recently last summer, and the memory of being part of a packed Royal Opera House where every person was belting this out at the top of their voices ranks as my best live experience ever.
Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
It has taken a while to fully blossom but all three of our children have developed a real love of music. My recent memory is full of little vignettes of them bursting into spontaneous song together in the car or around the dinner table. It’s like having your very own Kids from Fame or Glee club. This is currently the song they are most likely to default to. They discovered it when it was featured in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing and subsequently through Adele’s appearance on Carpool Karaoke. Personally, I prefer Rolling in the Deep but this is the kids’ favourite so it’s the one I will probably have the strongest association within the future.
So there you go, those were my ten Tracks of My Years. Thanks for letting me take part, Louise!
There are some great choices in Tim's Tracks don't you think? Set Fire to the Rain is one of my favourite Adele tracks and it is always played in our car too.
If you'd like to share the Tracks of Your Years with us please Contact Us and I'll be in touch soon.