Britsoc: The British Society of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Serving the British Expat community since 1920.

Texel Island Discs | June 2015

Texel Island Discs | June 2015

By David Raleigh,  AngloINFO Amsterdam

Marooned for eternity on Texel Island in the north of Amsterdam, David Raleigh from AngloInfo chooses his favourite 10 discs to take with him.

Texel-Island-Discs-May-2015The agony of choice. Being 10 in 1981 with a brother 8 years older that me meant that I already knew all the lyrics to the songs by The Jam by heart and I had an appreciation for the punk era music and the post punk rock. It also meant that I could not go near his precious vinyls or touch his stereo set up. He did make some cassette recordings for me though for a fair price….This situation left me in the lounge with 2 long play vinyls to choose from and one of those defined my musical tastes in general. The Best of Elvis was a musical epiphany for me. I remember one of my sisters bawling her eyes out one morning in 1977, but in the early 80’s the King was very much still alive for me. His swagger and catchy tunes with a heavy gospel and blues backbones was my sound and still is now. I am open to all new musical strains and love much of the good stuff that appears, but I still love the very same music I listed to in the 80’s. By the way, the second vinyl I had was a collection of Scooby Doo stories. I played that once too. Once. Those pesky kids.


Elvis - Guitar Man
We don’t need a guitar man, son…Elvis says in that song. Yes we do, but we just needed him to eat less burgers and shape up. Elvis as an ageing crooner would have been fantastic. Slower with his voice dropping an octave would have been fantastic. This song was my favourite on the one vinyl I had. I now have everything he ever sung and there are some great stuff that most people will never hear.
The Jam - This is the Modern World.
Energy and meaning wrapped together in a short track that always stirs something in me when I hear it. An air guitar is often played.
Echo and the Bunnymen - The Killing Moon.
I love great guitar work. The sounds on this track are just amazing. At the time they recorded it Ian McCulloch stayed out all night working on it. When he came home in the morning, his girlfriend was furious and wanted to know where he had been. He played this track and she started to cry. It was considered for the soundtrack to the great film Donnie Darko, but missed the cut. A shame as the early atmospheric sounds would have been perfect.
The Smiths - There is a Light and it Never Goes Out.
Largely considered the best Smiths song and I agree.  Wonderful lyrics wrapped up in fabulous music. The perfect meeting of the skills of Morrissey and Johnny Marr.
The White Stripes - Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground
I could not ever exclude the White Stripes from a list like this. Meg and Jack White were the freshest breath of air in the world during their time together. A blues rock combo that shines brightest in this track.

The Black Keys - Everlasting Light.
Another blues rock combo this time from Ohio. The variety in sound and scope that 2 musicians can make is outstanding. This song is just beautiful.

The Wedding Present - Kennedy.
This group has to appear in the list as it is the group I have seen live the most times. I studied in Leeds for different reasons, but one of them was to have a better chance to see this Leeds based band more often. Some great British rock sounds and lyrics mainly themed on unrequited love, a subject I subscribed to during my student days.

Chopin - All the Nocturnes.
I have spent many years living in Paris. I always said I would never leave Paris, but I am glad I did, although I am always very happy to be visiting Paris at any time still. Once I shared a flat there with a professional pianist. She would play Chopin day and night in the next room and I would listen to that while I worked. Rather than be a distraction I got so much done during that time.

The Sundays - Joy.
I love a jangling guitar riff with a female voice softly invading my ears. The Sundays were that sound for a long time even once they decided to stop making music and do other things. A typical student favourite the group still sounds like fresh English sounds. Joy is a great example but other tracks could easily have made this position.

The Beatles - Norwegian Wood.
Last and certainly not least, the Beatles are perhaps the uber group that will still be played in 1000 years and more. The variety and range of the fab four have never been equalled and will probably never be bettered. Fabtastic.

Back to MagazineSwim back to ‘ Fish and Chips for the Soul’ magazine