What exactly does Iain Banks sing along to in the shower? That's the ques- tion EMI asked him and some other cult writers for their SONGBOOKS series; the cover artwork of which is pictured left. Below, The List goes one better and get a group of Britain's hottest young authors to compile their own castaway collections. Words: Brian Donaldson
LAST YEAR IT WAS CANONGATE AND THEIR MINI BIBLES; THIS YEAR IT’S EMI and some fantasy music collections — it’s another in the ’why didn't someone think of that earlier’ series. One day, EMI producer Ciara Nolan thought how much fun it would be to have some of her favourite writers and artists compiling their own desert island songs. And then get them to design the cover. Why didn't someone think . . .
Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Crumb, Clive Barker, Iain Banks, Gilbert Shelton, Peter Bagge, Ralph Steadman, Ivor Cutler, Gerry Anderson and Savage Pencil are those who made the cut. Aside from a common link of individuality and innovation, there is one other thing they have in common - they’re all blokes.
Yet the idiosyncrasy of the individuals rather than their maleness
was more of a potential stumbling block for Nolan. ’I had to get into the brains of these people to work with them,’ she notes. 'Hunter is quite paternal and stubborn and I was getting nowhere with my very business-like faxes. So I became Savage Lucy from Fear And Loathing and said that, if he didn’t do the album, she would tell on him and go to the law. He responded immediately.’
Cartoonist Robert Crumb was another who could have been difficult due to his hatred of all things corporate and being locked in a mindset somewhere around the 19205. ’He hasn't approved of anything that’s happened since,’ says Nolan. Approval from all corners for the EMI venture is, however, virtually guaranteed.
EMI Songbook Series is out on Mon 15 Mar, around £12.99 each.
Is a journalist and writer. Namedropper is her first novel.
'I hope this proves you can put Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen in the same list. ’Boys of Summer' is my favourite because it’s pre-miIIenniaI, apocalyptic and Just fuckin' terrifying ’
I. R. Dean Taylor 'Ghost In My House' 2 De La Soul ’Ghetto Thing’
3. Don Henley ’Boys Of Summer’
4. Bob Dylan 'Love Is A Four Letter Word’
5 Bruce Springsteen ’Thunder Road' 6. Public Enemy '91 I Is A Joke'
7, Tom Petty ’Americ‘an Girl’
8 Ike & Tina Turner 'Honky Tonk Woman'
9 Blur 'This Is A Low'
10. Jay-Z ’lvloney Ain't A Thing’ (for the boy who held my hair when I puked on his Jacket Iast nightv
Edited the anthologies Disco Biscuits and Disco 2000 and co-edited Shenanigans, a compilation of new Irish fiction. Fortune Hotel, a collection of travel writing is out in June.
’It’s pretty tough complrng a list of desert isIand disc's There are too many great records' Do you choose your ten true favowite records7 Ten musically ground- breaking records? To make It harder, the ten records I would actually listen to on a desert island are probany completely different I have jUSl got back from Koh
Samed, an island off the coast of Thailand, where I was listening to cheesy ballads Van Morrison, Patsy Cline, Otis Redding, Portishead. They seem perfect when you’re sitting in a hammock looking out at the sea Anyway, I decided to go for my desert island dance records - ten tunes guaranteed to have me dancing on the bar or round the palm trees.’ 1. Shannon ’Let The Music Play' A Guy Called Gerald ’Voodoo Ray' . Doc Scott ’Shadowboxmg' . Gloria Gaynor ’I Will Survrve' Troublefunk ’Drop The Bomb’ 6. Future Sound Of London 'Papua New Guinea' 7 Phuture PhanIaSy Club 'Got The Bug’
8 Curtis Mayfield ’Pusherman’ 9 Afrika Bambaataa ’Wildster’ 10 Underworld 'Rez' seventeen, with its central themes of innocence, male Because it’s beautiful 2 Tom Waits 'Blue Valentines' - To remind me of romance. 4. Grant Lee Buffalo 'Singalong’ - I would singalong, but I still can’t work out the words. It doesn’t It could be any one of Will Oldham's songs, but this one keeps coming back to me I have to listen to it With my
REB B ECCA RAY exploitation and
3. Beck ’Ramshackle' - Sad and
matter what they are though, I know
.} Wrote her debut A '\ f! ft . dysfunction. hopeful and melodic. I could listen to it they’re perfect.
Certain Age, aged I. DJ Groove ’Rainbows Of Colour" - 1,000 times over. S Palace Music 'More Brother Rides' -
6 Johnny I 'Piper’/Furry Phreaks 'Soothes' - I've got no idea what these tracks sound like on their own I've only ever heard them mixed together,
and I’d never want to hear them any other way Wicked, can’t-keep-still music: 7. LIZ Phair ’Mesmerising' - It’s hard to separate one track from the rest of Exile In Guysvi/le The whole album rs very special to me.
8 Leonard Cohen ’The Stranger’s Song'
- Although not many people know it, Leonard Cohen is actualiy God.
9. Lou Reed 'Romeo And Juliet’ - If you want to know why, Just listen to him. IO. LTJ Bukem ’Demon’s Theme’ - Because, even stranded alone on a desert island, this track would make me want to get up and dance
Had written for NME, Dazed & Confused and The Big Issue by the time she was sixteen. Her second novel, Too Fast To Live, is due out in spring 2000.
'I started writing for music papers nearly six years ago, so I‘m used to keeping an ear out for any new stuff that's released. My pet hate is seeing a new batch of boring, self-obsessed bOys With gUitars
playing hackneyed old 'pop/indie' songs,
Music’s supposed to be ab0ut style, emotion and intensity, not sad blokes who want to be stars. When I write I just keep the radio tuned to a dance station, but the tracks I’ve chosen here have a significance over and above Just s0unding nice They remind me of different parts of my life, espeCiaIIy being a moody teenager and Just getting into music properly at thirteen or so.’
I. Manic Street Preachers ’Motorcycle Emptiness'
2. Joy DiVision 'IsoIation'
3. Nick Drake ’Northern Sky’
4. PJ Harvey - anything really, because everything she does is genius, but if I had to pick, it'd be 'Missed'
S MasSive Attack ’Unfinished Sympathy’
6. Lamb ’Gorecki’ (Single verSion) 7, Saint Etienne ’Avenue’
8. Big Black's cover version of Kraftwerk’s ’The Model’
9. Maria Callas singing that famous aria from ’Madame Butterfly'
IO. BJOTk ’One Day’
Was nominated for a Whitbread Prize for his debut novel Jelly Roll. The vocalist in Long Fin Killie, he has recently formed a
.. ~ new band, Bows. ’This list w0u|d be entirely different were I stranded in the Antarctic or the Arctic, in the Jungle, in the Alps, in Greenock, etc ’
I. 'How To Follow So That Others WiII Willingly Lead (Oh My Godley And Creme Cheesei’ by Dawson, for the shipwrecking.
2. ’Closer' by Joy DiVision for nothing but nocturnal reflection
3 I’d build a beach house to The Sugarcubes’ ’Life’s Too Good’.
4. Teach myself cocktail-making to John Coltrane's 'Biue Train’.
5 8r 6. Explore the island to the sounds of Kate Bush’s 'The Hounds Of Love' and StraVinsky’s ’The Rite Of Spring'.
7. Go shark fishing with My Bloody Valentine’s 'LoveIess’.
8. For leaning back and looking up at meteor showers and other assorted astronomical phenomena, there’d be Vaughan Williams’ 'The Lark Ascending’.
9. I don’t think I c0u|d bring myself to hunt \Vlld animals wrthout Frank Sinatra's 'Best Of The Reprise Years’. 10. And for making the best of a bad Situation there w0uld, of COurse, be 'Warrior On The Edge Of Time’ by Hawkwrnd.
4—18 Mai 1999 THE llST 15