Tuesday 22 December 2020

The playlist to raise your spirits!

Yesterday, like many people, I was feeling down. I was listening to Robert Elms on BBC radio London and he said the same thing. Tier 4 was a nasty shock and having Xmas snatched from us was cruel, if necessary. I just emailed him on the spur of the moment and asked him to play me a Toots and The Maytels track to cheer me up. Not only did he play the track, but he concurred that you can't listen to Toots without a smile on your face. 

When I got home, I thought 'spread the love'. I put together a playlist of songs that always put a smile on my face. It starts  with The Dickies and their punked up version of the Banana Splits song. Only the Dickies could do this. It isn't ironic. Leonard said "It's a great song, we wanted to do it justice".

Next up is Bowie's Rebel Rebel, a great song, one that is full of joy. If you've not kissed your beau to this song, you've never lived. Then it's the Skinhead Moonstomp, by Symaripm, a great slice of Ska fun. This takes me back to the Sak cruises put on by The London International Ska Festival, pure fun. We then cross the Irish sea for some streams of whiskey by the Pogues. A true party song. The Pogues are a big part of my life, a band that brought Irish music back into focus. This is them at their raucous best. No list of fun songs would be complete without Ian Dury's Hit me with your rhythm stick. You may not know the next one, Hot Chili by the Steve Miller Band, sung by drummer Tim Davis. A joyous slice of Tex Mex fun, this is sort of how I'd imagine a holiday in Mexico should sound. We then go to Frisco in 69, for It's a beautiful day today by Moby Grape. Beautiful and uplifting. If you don't know Moby Grape, check them out. We continue with Steve Harley, Come up and make me smile. It always does. Then we have Mick Jones of the Clash asking "Should I stay or should I go". We all know the answer he wants! This is another Jukebox classic. The list had to have Toots, so I chose 54-46, which is as much fun as you can have with your cloths on. Then we have the Saints 'Save Me',  a great take on an Aretha Franklin number.  

Next up, we have Ali Baba by John Holt. I love this song. I think any good Ska playlist would make me smile and this would be on any good Ska playlist. It has a rather strange and wonderful melody, it transports me to somewhere warmer and more exotic. Then we have Joan Jett with I love rock and roll. This takes me back to the pub and the jukebox. There's nothing I like better than having a pint and spinning a few numbers and this is one of my go to songs. I think that if you don't like this, you probably don't like Rock and Roll. The Ramones had to make an appearance and their cover of California Sun from Leave Home is a pure slice of fun. Punked up bubblegum rock. This is one of my favourite Ramones tracks, it is so uplifting and is as clsoe as you can get to the perfect pop song. Next up we had Elvis and A little less conversation. We all need some Elvis in our life. I agonised for hours over which number to include. I went for this because it is just such a marvellous song and it is pure fun. This is the song that made me want to be Elvis! I couldn't beleive it is only 1.39! The remix is six minutes long!

We finish with Bill Withers and Lovely Day. I don't think Bill Withers made a bad track, there are some I prefer, but in terms of raising my spirits and putting a smile on my face, this is the one. 

 I challenge you to listen to any of these and not smile. Many of these artists have passed away, but their legacy lives on. It is the best medicine. Use it 


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