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Playlist thoughts.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

Playlist thoughts.

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mucha mosaic
Going to London, as you've probably heard me blather on about.
What music do you think needs to be played on one's walkman while wandering London- while on the tube, while wandering the Millennium Bridge, while waiting in line to get into the British Museum? There're a few choices that I'm dragging along for my own tastes- Aztec Camera's album 'High Land, Hard Rain'; ABC's track 'Tower of London' (from 'How To Be A Zillionaire'); Shriekback's song 'Mothloop' (for the fact that the lyrics include the name of various Underground stops); a good fuckton of Bowie; the Eurythmics' song 'This City Never Sleeps'; the British Sea Power album 'Decline Of', because it seems to fit the Anglophilia, and some Smiths, because that does too...

What does London sound like to you, then? What would you think the soundtrack of London would have to have on it, if you were putting one together?
Suggestions will duly be noted and examined and considered.

UPDATE: add 'Gravity's Angel', Laurie Anderson, to the list here. Perhaps some of Coil's album 'Horse Rotorvator', if not the whole damn album: Penetralia seems to want public transit listening.
  • (no subject) -
    • Yeah, I figured- that's why I was trying to solicit suggestions now, so that I could line up the CDs that need rippin', so as to make this go faster.
      Me thmart. :)
  • the Jam- Setting sons and sound affects (cds)

    one of them has the original Down in the Tubestation at Midnight. nOt the morrissey version (ugh!) and Smithers-Jones.




  • Werewolves of London goes without saying.

    Bad Moon Rising would be rather fitting too, especially outside the city.

    Anarchy in the UK and God Save the Queen.
    • Hmmn. The odds of outside the city are slim, though it might be worth taking to Hampstead Heath, which I've not been to before and figured on wandering out to and peoplewatching for a bit.
      Sex Pistols are probably not high on the list, sadly.
  • I listened to the original Broadway cast recording of Jekyll and Hyde while exploring the Hyde Park area. I'm not joking. :D

    And I bought a Robert Miles CD in Edinburgh because it was on sale and I listened to that a lot while in London for the last week or so I was there after I was in Scotland. (Whee. Run-on sentence.)
  • Above all, Shriekback's Sacred City. It's one long love song to London.

    Concrete Blonde - Walking in London
    Komputer - Looking down on London
    Pogues - Lullaby of London
    Blur - London Loves

    Anything by The Streets on general principles. To be listened to while standing in chip shops.

  • Most of Shriekback's 'Sacred City' album reminds me of London; I'd have "Open up your filthy heart to me" to play as the plane was coming in to land, '3 AM' for wandering around drunk after the pubs closed, because it really did sound like that; so does 'Underground' sound like that, but it's a bit long and dull. Then again, so is the Underground. "Hymn to the Local Gods" also works well, and of course "Beatles Zebra Crossing" for the drunken stagger across Abbey Road.

    Large swaths of The Clash, particularly the obvious ones like "London Calling", "This Is England" and so on.

    There's an awful lot of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine which is all Londonish; "only living boy in New Cross", "Lean On Me" (first verse about being "stuck in a tunnell on the Hammersmith and City Line") and, oh, tons of it. Carter's 1992 - The Love Album came out while I was there and I listened to it obsessively, but they're all British and London-esque. Less screamingly Londoner and Brit, but an album of Britpop I picked up then, is Ned's Atomic Dustbin's "God Fodder".

    A few bits of Smiths, like "and if a double-decker bus / Smashes into us" and "London".

    I have about five covers of "Streets of London", from punk bands to Sinead. This is partly because I like the song when it's done (im)properly, and also because it was our godforsaken graduation song when I went to school there.

    I agree that The Jam's Down In The Tube Station at Midnight" is an essential, but it may not be to your taste.

    Trashy Europop from the early nineties was most of my London soundtrack, but may not be as applicable. The U2 album "Zooropa" and I bonded there, also Jesus Jones' "Doubt". Bowie's recent technopop stuff and Zevon's "Transverse City" bits, plus some Garbage for variety.

    Certain old Kinks bits; some old Who bits. Concrete BLonde's "Walking In London". Cracker's "Eurotrash Girl". "Werewolves of London" natch. That old Seventies tune about winding my way down Baker Street. And "All This Time" by Sting talks about Roman London and the river and such like.

    Queen. Sodding stacks of Queen. Of course, my last stint in London was a) just up the road from the international Queen fan club, b) when their last album came out, and c)when Freddie left us, God rest him. There is an odd acoustic rendition of "Days of '39" by Queen, with George Michael on vocals, from the memorial concert album; in the intro to that song, Michael mentioned that he used to busk that song on the Underground.

    All of this is of course either on our server or ought to be, so you can yank it.
    • You know, I've never even BEEN to Abbey Road?
      Half of my favorite albums in the bleeding world were recorded there (or re-mastered therein), and yet- not been to the site.
      What the hell.
      <adding to checklist>
      • I never went in and took the tour or anything like that, but it was about three blocks from where I went to school, so I saw the crosswalk and the wall (covered in interesting graffiti) and sometimes we'd go down there, sit on the wall and smoke, and watch silly tourists in the zebra crossing taking pictures of each other and messing about in traffic.

        I always liked the Abbey Road stretch; it went through some interesting neighborhoods, and that road is where the old Roman road was, and I'm a sucker for stuff like that.
    • if it were me, I would also get hold of Seth, make Seth rip his copy of the greatest hits of Kirsty MacColl, and bring a copy of that peculiar country-western-Brit song "There's a Guy Down at The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis".

      And Sting's "Englishman In New York" because I'm like that and because I listened to a lot of his stuff while I was there.
    • And "All This Time" by Sting talks about Roman London and the river and such like.

      Sting is from Newcastle, which was built on the site of a Roman outpost. After all, the song is about his relationship with his father, so it's natural to assign the locale to his home town. The river would then be the Tyne, rather than the Thames.

      In fact, Sting was born in the locality (or maybe suburb) of Wallsend, which gets its name from the fact that it's at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall, and thus marks the northernmost point of Roman influence in Britain.
  • Tricky

    Massive Attack

    The Clash
  • wherewolves of london?

    panic by the smiths

    something by the clash

    99 leuftballoons (sp?) just to throw them off... :)
  • What else?

    Psytrance! lyricagent can hook ya up with mp3s of my mixes too! :-)
    • Re: What else?

      Well yeah- I was looking for tracks that were Specific to people's experiences / imaginings of London, tho. ;)
  • Clearly, from your other answers, this is a familiar way to travel for many, but it's completely foreign (so to speak) to me. I can't imagine exploring a new city, or even revisiting a city I know I like, with headphones on and tunes playing. For me, London's soundtrack is the sounds of London itself, and I would rather hear them.

    Maybe it's an age thing.
    • Personally, I get a little phobic on public transit. Also, after living in West Ken for half a year, I don't feel like wandering Kensington with headphones on would deprive me of anything.

      Also- part of this is just probing out what music makes people think of London. I'm taking the iPod MOSTLY for either zoning out on the Tube, or nodding off to. And this seems like a good way to expose myself to other people's musical influence.
  • Clash - London's Burning, London Calling, Guns Of Brixton, White Man In Hammersmith Palais

    Pulp - Common People (not really London-specific, but fun)
  • To me London sounds (musically speaking, anyway) like Chumbawumba, Aqua and The Verve.

    Someone will understand this.
  • I will have to think about London songs, since all I can think of right now is XTC.

    On a side note, I love Aztec Camera - High Land, Hard Rain.
    • I still am going to marry Roddy Frame some day. High Land Hard Rain seems to be one of those albums that few people know, but everybody who does know it likes it.
      • Roddy Frame is one of those hilarious names. You can't help but smile.

        You would make a great couple.
  • XTC: Towers of London (absolutely obligatory; "la la londinium"), Great Fire, River of Orchids ("I heard the dandelions roar in Piccadilly Circus", "want to walk into London on my hands one day")

    "Life Begins at Oxford Circus" by Jack Hylton and His Orchestra (available on the soundtrack to the BBC's TV miniseries Pennies From Heaven)

    "Dirty Water" by the Inmates ("aw, London, you're my home"), transplanted cover of the original by the Standells ("aw, Boston, you're my home").

    "The Greatest Living Englishman" by Martin Newell ("how they'd love to see me now, a prisoner in the Tower...")

    Rush, "The Camera Eye"

    Smiths, "Hang the DJ" (panic on the streets of London)

    Pet Shop Boys, "West End Girls"

    I completely agree about ABC's "Tower of London".

    Genesis, "the Battle of Epping Forest"

    and a bonus for the next Paris trip:
    King Crimson, "Neal and Jack and Me" ("the Seine alone at 4 AM, the in-seine alone at 4 AM")
  • i agree with most of the above, but have to add the tindersticks to the mix. oh and a bit of pulp to your juice.
  • As a DJ, I feel like I should have responded to this... especially given your mention to parisgreen that this is partly about exposing yourself to other people's musical influences.

    But I've never even been to Britain, never mind London itself, so I feel unqualified to respond. And feyandstrange already said most of what I would have anyway, and other people have gotten the other bits.
  • when i first heard these albums i was living in masachussetts--very isolated--and these albums are what i based my dreams of london on:

    xtc--oranges and lemons, rag & bone buffet
    billy bragg--back to basics, don't try this at home
    anything by smiths/moz, natch.
    there's more...but i'm not totally awake yet and these were the ones that immediately came to mind.
  • Mekons.

    or for fun "If I was a Mekon" by Too Much Joy
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