Tracks of My Years is a section in the BBC Radio Two morning program presented by Ken Bruce where each week a celebrity picks 2 tracks each day of pieces of music that means something special to them. Below is the list of songs picked by Simon recently and a summary of the discussions around why that track is special to him.
House of Bamboo by Andy Williams
Simon referred this song as a novelty track. He talked about music growing up and how his Mum worked in a record store and would bring a mixture of music home from classical through to current pop. This song he said would have him and his brothers jumping around at home.
Rebel Rebel by David Bowie
Simon talked about how he used to gather around a radio in Pinner Park with a group of about 6 others to listen for Bowie’s new song to be premiered and the feelings associated with this. I think this is something we can all relate to around new music and the joy and excitement it creates!
Gloria by Patti Smith
Simon talked about listening to John Peel on the radio in 1976 and about how he would listen to punk rock with friends in his loft room at home. He and friends wrote graffiti on the walls there and how he remembers above the window was the phrase “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine,” which happened to be the opening phrase of this song. He shared that the song comes from the album Horses and that he would have this as his number one all time album.
The Changeling by Simple Minds
Simon reflected on how in Spring 1980 he met a certain band called Duran Duran and how they would rehearse in the afternoons at the Rum Runner. Then, on Fridays, it was known as the Bowie / Roxy night, but, in reality, featured wider new wave. This song takes him back to that time at the Rum Runner when Roger would be polishing glasses, Andy would be in the kitchen cooking a big pot of chili, John would be “pulling chicks” and Nick would be in the DJ booth playing this.
Need You Tonight by INXS
Simon talked about how he was in the south of France on a boat and invited Michael Hutchence and Helena Christianson to join them on board. He then spent a night back at theirs. He talked about how he spent the summer of 1984 with them and that his favourite INXS song is this one which he feels influenced future Duran Duran songs.
Kinky Afro by Happy Mondays
As Simon came to the end of the 80s and into the 90s, he talked about how he was waiting for the next new thing to come along and how from this he discovered the Happy Mondays, a typically English band.
Connected by Stereo MC’s
He talked about how he spent a large part of the 1990s sailing and delivering boats. This song is linked to a memory of sailing through the Mediterranean. On a night sail with the water flat and the moon up, he was sailing between Italy and Sicily and this song was playing on the boat. Then years later, sailing on a racing boat, they would head out of port playing the same piece of music. He talked about his love for sailing, how his children also have a love of this and that he feels the grandchildren will also enjoy sailing too.
I Like to Move It by Reel 2 Real
Next track is linked to 1994 when he went on holiday with the family to the South of France. They drove down from London and played Reel to Reel over and over again as until Yasmin said that she couldn’t take it anymore despite how much the kids loved singing along.
Somebody Told Me by The Killers
Again, Simon linked a song to being in the car with his kids. This song would come on the radio when he was driving them back to school on a Sunday. He found it strange how it sounded like Duran Duran. This led to a discussion around Future Past and how as a band they have always been experimental and enjoy exploring new beats, sounds and melodies. As a band this is how they get excited, according to Simon.
Heatwaves by Glass Animals
Simon talked about how he had come down to breakfast at start of pandemic / lockdown and retuned the radio because his daughter, Tallulah, challenged him that he wasn’t listening to new music. After this, Whoosh, his radio show, was born. This was one of the tracks that he “discovered” and feels it was a great track for 2020.
For full discussion around the music and his choices, head over to the BBC sounds app or via the website here.
By D Craggs