In May 2012 whilst flicking through Twitter, I discovered a link to a site called ‘This is my Jam’.
The site gives you the opportunity to choose your favourite piece of music (or comedy clip) and post it. You can leave a brief comment on the post and as well as sharing your choice with other jammers, you can also link it to FaceAche and Twitter – to name just a few social media sites.
I love ‘This is my Jam‘ because it enables me to play my favourite songs and to listen to those enjoyed by other people. I’ve found old favourites that I’d forgotten about and discovered new singers and groups that might otherwise have been lost to me.
Apparently 130 other jammers appreciate my choices – which is nice 🙂
Since May 2012 I have posted 162 of my favourite jams – which is roughly (very roughly – numbers are NOT my strong suit) one a week.
From that 162, I’m going to extract 25 – and in no particular order (ooh, sounds like Strictly Come Dancing!) attempt to explain why they are special to me.
Some of my jams have been shared by at least 75 of my fellow jammers, some have fewer shares but I love them anyway and the others appeared on the site for the very first time – some surprises for me there.
They are songs that make me want to dance, songs that make me smile or cry so those offended by sentimentality may as well bog off now.
Ta Ra La!
One – Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye – I put this on after hearing my very talented young cousins singing it at a family birthday party. I like it and so did 776 other jammers.
Two – Rip It Up – Orange Juice – A song that always makes me smile and want to sing along with its boppy, popcorn beat. Huge respect for Edwyn Collins after all he and his family have gone through.
Three – Teenage Kicks – The Undertones – A common love shared with John Peel – I think I’m having more fun now than I did when I was a teenager though.
Four – Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt – Covered by others more famous but there is something in the plaintive wispy singing of Robert Wyatt that makes this song even more poignant.
Five – Rock The Casbah – The Clash – Another song that makes me want to get up and dance – preferably in the dark.
Six – River – Joni Mitchell – My big sister and big brother introduced me to Joni Mitchell and my love for her music has never gone away.
Seven – Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand – Another choon to jig around the kitchen to. Love that beat.
Eight – Weapon Of Choice – Fatboy Slim – I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw the accompanying video. Having only ever seen Christopher Walken in sinister or menacing roles, this was a wonderful revelation. The man can really dance!
Nine – Life’s What You Make It – Talk Talk – Guaranteed to lift my spirits however bad a day it is. The wailing guitar solo sets the hairs on the back of my neck quivering.
Ten – Peaches En Regalia – Frank Zappa – I was amazed to find that 75 other jammers liked this one too. I listened to a lot of Zappa music in my teens – my mother hated it – but not quite as much as she hated Captain Beefheart.
Eleven – Roxette – Dr Feelgood – Timeless – and as I listen I can see Wilko Johnson stalking ominously around the stage – a fitting tribute to a lovely bloke.
Twelve – Rush Hour – Jane Wiedlin – I have to stop and sing along whenever I hear this song on the radio. Happy words and an equally happy tune.
Thirteen – Rocking In The Free World – Neil Young – ‘One more kid that will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool’. Heartbreaking.
Fourteen – A Dream Goes On Forever – Todd Rundgren – If I had to choose the best, this is a song I would never grow tired of hearing.
Fifteen – Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon – This is dedicated to the one I love – my Hub.
Sixteen – Go Buddy Go – The Stranglers – Yeah! The definitive get up and boogie song.
Seventeen – Loveshack – B52s – Hub and I have made complete and utter fools of ourselves dancing along to this one – and we DON’T care!
Eighteen – My Sharona – The Knack – A song to sing along to in the car with the sound turned up to eleven.
Nineteen – Capricorn – Motorhead – If Lemmy can be said to be romantic – this comes near it – dedicated to me by my Hub.
Twenty – Sail On Sailor – Beach Boys – Love the Beach Boys but love this one the best – it’s a bit spooky.
Twenty-One – The Time Is Now – Moloko – Such a smoky, sexy song. Flippin’ heck!
Twenty-Two – You’ll Hear Better Songs Than This – Eleanor McEvoy – My Bezzie Mate introduced me to Eleanor McEvoy. Love her voice and love the humble and beautiful message of the song.
Twenty-Three – As The Snowflakes Fall – Smith and Burrows – This is just one of the wonderful alternative Christmas songs on the album. I had to force myself to choose just this one.
Twenty-Four – Northern Sky – Nick Drake – ‘Brighten my Northern skies’. A beautifully romantic song to lighten the saddest of hearts.
Twenty-five – My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains – Captain Beefheart – Not renowned for romance, I love Beefy’s ballad the best.
Having got to 25, I am now discovering loads of other songs and singers that I’ve left out – so…
Anything by Steely Dan, The Stranglers, Paul Weller (in all of his incarnations), Paulo Nutini, Foo Fighters, Carole King, Jake Thackeray, The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac.
When I pop my clogs I would like ‘Old And Wise’ – Alan Parsons Project – playing as you troop in to the Crem, and ‘Meet On The Ledge’ – Fairport Convention‘ playing as you trudge out to admire the flowers – freesias please?
Not that I have any intention of shuffling off this mortal coil for some time to come – but it’s nice to get these things settled way ahead of time.
Oh, and the Lovin’ Spoonful, The Mamas and Papas, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Robert Palmer – ‘She Makes My Day‘ – Glorious!, my cousin Jake singing ‘Witchita Lineman‘ in my front room and making me blub.
Yes, music hath charms to soothe this savage breast (not beast) – well said William Congreve.
Time to break out of my mellow mood now and catch up ‘The Neighbours From Hell’.
This week’s jam is ‘I Won’t Back Down’ – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ – I love the song but I think Sam Smith might have been listening to to around the time that he wrote ‘Stay With Me’.
Check out ‘This Is My Jam’. You’re worth it.