Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday 25 May

Blog Every Day in May - Favourite albums

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to list 5 favourite albums. I'm not a huge music listener. Don't get me wrong, I like music, but I'm an avid Radio 4 fan and most of the time there is something on that I enjoy listening to. Also, I can't work with music on, it distracts me and stops me from concentrating. As my job involves a lot of concentration, having music on doesn't help. I used to be the same when I was still at school, couldn't do homework with music on. My parents never had to say 'how can you work with that music on?' because most of the time I did my homework in silence!

I listened to music as a teenager - a snippet of Wham or Kate Bush or Terence Trent D'Arby and I'm back at secondary school. B. is ten years older than me and our teenage music is totally different.

I still listened to music when J. and I were married. He was/is a big Queen fan and I'm almost word perfect on most of their songs. They did make some fabulous albums and it's taken me years but I can appreciate now how talented a guitarist Bryan May is. I still remember hearing the news that Freddie Mercury had died - fairly unexpectedly, although when you look at photos just before his death, you see how thin he is and must be ill. I think their last album, Innuendo, was one of their best and very poignant when you listen to it knowing how ill Freddie is by then.

I found it hard to listen to music we'd shared after J. left. I even found it hard to watch television on my own, as it made me feel very lonely. That feeling lasted for years, and I think it was then that I got into radio. It was B. who got me into Radio 4 properly by constantly telling me about things he'd heard. I started listening to it on my drive to work and before long, we enjoyed talking about things we'd both heard. It's still something we enjoy, one of us will start 'there was this play on the radio the other with this woman who had a dog...' and the other will chip in with 'o I heard that, wasn't that really good?' 

The odd time that there is something on the radio that I don't enjoy (I really can't bear Count Arthur Strong, find the poetry programme hard going and reach for the off button at Gardeners Question Time) I might switch to a CD. No iPod or MP3 player for me, just give me a good old-fashioned CD to slot into the tray and just play. 

My current favourite CD is Let them Talk by Hugh Laurie. My dad is a big jazz fan and used to take me to concerts when I was growing up. It was mostly modern jazz which I didn't really get, but I love blues. This one never fails to cheer me up (yes I realise that's ironic...)

Another one in the car collection (because I only ever listen to music in the car) is a Regina Spektor album - I can't even remember what it's called and can't find a title online that makes me think 'that's the one!' She's very unusual, I think I heard her perform on Woman's Hour once and got her album after that. Would love to see her live.

When I'm feeling a little tired on a long drive, I dig out my guilty pleasure... wait for it... Tom Jones. Dare I admit that? I love singing along to his classics, and it wakes me up!

But probably my favourite album ever, one that I don't think I'll ever get bored of, is Blue by Joni Mitchell. I hadn't heard of her till I met B, but he bought me a few albums for our first Christmas together and I was blown away. I quite like my music fairly simple - a guitar and just singing suits me fine - and that's where she excelled. Her lyrics are like poetry, she puts in so much heartache, she sings beautifully (or rather, sang - I don't like her modern albums, her voice has changed through years of smoking) and she makes it sound so easy. A very talented lady.

So there you have it, quite a mix I think! Then again, if I lost my CD's in a fire or flood or other natural disaster, I'd be sad but as long as I could still listen to Radio 4, I'd be okay...