Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

A personal sound track: music I've listened to obsessively

I love a lot of music in a moderate way and I adore a pretty wide range of music from 80s to pop to Pachabel's Canon and Gigue to the surf music Spike &Tom introduced us to recently, but there's been a handful of albums and tracks that have just hooked me to the point of obsessive flip it over and play it again and again and again until people complain (headphones!) listening, often as background rather than sitting and properly listening but still listening rather than just having it on.

REO Speedwagon: Hi Infidelity - the first album I bought myself, by choice, and what I turned to the other weekend when Simon was away and I wanted something less haphazard than the radio. Smooth slabs of poppy rock. Yes, I do like BOC's Don't Fear The Reaper and Boston's More Than A Feeling - so shoot me...
Billy Bragg: Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy - I recorded the LP onto tape; it was too short to fill one side of the tape so I recorded several plays of it and just kept listening. A little bit of politics, a little bit of punnery.
Marillion: Fugazi - although I enjoyed Script for a Jester's Tear and all the other classic Marillion LPs, this was the one I played on headphones every night in bed at boarding school. Attitude and intricate lyrics and prog guitar synth.
Rush: Hold Your Fire - I insisted tanais play this so often I think he might not have been able to listen to it for a few years; classic Rush, again with the clever lyrics and rocking tunes.
Suzanne Vega: Suzanne Vega and Solitude Standing and
Shadowfax: Folksongs for a Nuclear Village: the soundtrack for university revision; especially the instrumental Shadowfax - quirk and melody.
Pictures at an Exhibition, usually the Ravel arrangement - bombast and melody ;-)
Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble: Officium - when I worked at Future Publishing this was my headphones on, head down, keep it on repeat working music.
The soundtrack from Mr Jones' Drive - a short film with Crispin Glover made to show off BMW without being as crass as an actual advert with a nice magical realism storyline and music I could never quite identify but loved deeply mixed in with readings from Khalil Gibran's The Prophet. Alas, the video is long gone from the BMW site and indeed the Interwebs and the audio a friend stripped out from the video for me has evaporated off our music server; I do miss it.

Working from home means more and less freedom for listening; I have a 2,000-track favourites playlist but often we listen to Internet radio instead - Six Music if they don't talk too much, KFOG or the Mountain. Anything we want to listen to over and over again we have to both be able to bear; Chumbawumba's Tubthumping and the Tron Legacy soundtrack were both on repeat for a while but I haven't had a new 'nothing but this' album for a while. The choice and convenience of streaming services and digital copies means putting something on repeat is definitely about wanting to hear it again and again rather than just wanting background music that doesn't mean I have to get up and change a disc every 20-45 minutes, and we're more likely to pick an artist and play everything than keep spinning just one album. It was nice doing that with Hi Infidelity over that weekend; nostalgic in a style of listening as well as in the actual music...
Tags: music

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