My Celebrity Playlist

David Bowie's Low

Inspired by Justwatchthesky, I thought I’d cobble together my own iTunes Music Store Celebrity playlist. You see, the Store is currently preparing for their 100 millionth song download (they were at 99,033,776 last time I looked), and if you’re the lucky one to download that milestone, you’ll get: a 17″ Powerbook, a 40GB iPod, a 10,000 song gift certificate, and the chance to create a Celebrity Playlist that’ll be published in the store.

However, there’s no reason you can’t put together a playlist of your own, and so here we go. Mind you, I certainly wouldn’t mind winning that contest (oh how I pine for that 17″ Powerbook), but this will do for now. Note: the following links require iTunes.

  • David Bowie — “Be My Wife” — A few weeks ago, Pitchfork listed the most influential albums of the 70s, and David Bowie’s Low came out on top. Given my love for electronics, it might be hard to believe that this is not one of the album’s gorgeous electronic pieces. Rather, it’s this song that I always associate with that album, a rollicking number that finds Bowie at his most personal.
  • Joy Electric — “The Phonograph Plays, Part And Parcel” — I finally got around to getting (or rather, downloading) Joy Electric’s latest, Hello Mannequin. This song is one of the best on there, a playfully melancholy slice of analog synthpop that is Ronnie Martin at his best.
  • Marvin Gaye — “What’s Going On” — I remember the first time I heard this song. Gaye’s voice was (and always will be) smooth as silk, but it was the gorgeous music backing him up that really hit me. And of course, the lyrics, full of questioning and introspection in the face of the social upheavals going at the time, are timeless.
  • Talking Heads — “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” — I’m really not all that familiar with Talking Heads’ material, but I’m going to go out on a limb and proclaim this their best song. Ever. Thanks to Aaron for turning me onto it.
  • U2 — “Sunday Bloody Sunday” — I always thought it was Depeche Mode’s Violator and The Cure’s Wish that set me on my current musical path. But on second thought, it can all be traced back to the first time I heard this live rendition, on Under A Blood Red Sky. This is where it all started for me.
  • The Cure — “Last Dance” — Given what I just wrote, I really do need to put a Cure song on here. After all, The Cure is what got me through high school. Although most people mention to “Lovesong” or “Fascination Street”, “Last Dance” has always been the most captivating track on Disintegration for me.
  • Slowdive — “Catch The Breeze” — This being my list, there has to be some shoegazer. And I can think of no better track than this one, which guaranteed that I will always be enamored with layers of swirly, billowing guitars and breathy vocals.
  • Namelessnumberheadman — “Going To Breathe Again” — Your Voice Repeating has been getting its praises sung left and right, and songs like this one are why. A perfect mix of electronics and warm human emotion.
  • 16 Horsepower — “American Wheeze” — Not to sound all Falwell-ish, but we could all benefit from having a healthy fear of the Lord, and this track is as good as any for inspiring a moment of reflection and reverence.
  • David Sylvian — “Forbidden Colours” — Sylvian is the master of mature, orchestral pop that is both artistic and emotional. And “Forbidden Colours” is one of his finest tracks, a lovely blend of Sylvian’s rich vocals and equally rich arrangements.

And for convenience’s sake, here’s a direct link to my pseudo-Celebrity Playlist.

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