The Top 10 Most Played records on my iTunes... And why I love them.
01. Shirley Bassey - This Is My Life
This song's got balls. It doesn't apologise. It's timeless. It soars, and it's epic. Several years ago, when I first moved to London, I had a Zimbabwean friend called Kupakai Mlambo. Everyone should have a friend with a name like that. He used to play this all the time. And when my ex kicked me out on the streets with everything I owned - flu-ridden, and homeless - for being a lying, cheating, jerk, Kupakai was there for me. I wish I knew where he was now...
02. Leona Lewis - Run
It's 3a.m. and I've had a drink or three. Everyone else is in bed, and I'm thinking about everything that's ever gone wrong, and everything that is wrong. This record whips me up into a sobbing wreck. It's bliss.
03. Take That - Said It All
Take That. My God, has it come to this? Nevertheless... It's big. Epic. Weepy. The video comprises of sad, tragic clowns. Say no more.
04. Bloc Party - So Here We Are
Kele Okereke soars. Epic barely covers it.
05. Toni Braxton - Why Don't You Love Me
I first fell in love with Ms. Braxton with You're Making Me High. Then came Unbreak My Heart and Tyson Beckford, and the gorgeous How Could An Angel Break My Heart. Oh, but somewhere along the line it all went wrong... This tune is epic, a paean to awful, unrequited love. Beautiful.
06. Howard's Way (Theme)
Howard's Way was one of those "greed is good" dramas from the 1980s. I have vague memories of it as a child, specifically, an adulterous couple romping on a yacht as another yacht exploded in the sea outside. I love TV theme tunes, and my iTunes is packed with them. Howard's Way is majestic - my!, one could almost be lazing on a yacht in the Mediterranean! - with a very 80s little jaunty bit in the middle. Wonderful. Listen/download here.
07. Enigma - Prism of Life
My iTunes is littered with Enigma tracks. I can get sucked into Enigma against my will. It's like sinking into warm treacle after drinking a bottle of Pinot Grigio (which I do, often), and Prism of Life - the penultimate track from Michael Cretu's third album - is heaven. Imagine being in a beautiful meadow with naked, smiling Bel Ami twinks dancing around you, and an infinite night sky of glittering stars sweeping away into infinity. And then Andru Donalds starts singing, "We must try / To live our lost illusions / They're the sun at night..." Simply beyond beautiful.
08. Robbie Williams - Advertising Space
First Take That, now Robbie Williams... Again, this record is epic, addressing loss, legend, legacy, death, and our awful, shallow, fucked-up world. Or maybe it's just that I love the lyric, "At what point did you realise everybody loves your life but you?" Tortured, tragic geniuses gone too soon? What kind of a fag would I be if I didn't lap it up?
09. Chicane - No Ordinary Morning
No Ordinary Morning weeps out of the speakers. It's an anthem to those crippled by unrequited love, and betrayal, and obsession. I've never been there, but I've been a step away from falling off the ledge. "If there was nothing that I could say / Turned your back and you just walked away / Leaves me numb inside / I think of you / Together was all I knew." Together was all I knew - imagine that.
10. Girls Aloud - The Loving Kind
Oh, this is a gorgeous, sexy, pop record, produced by the Pet Shop Boys. Yes - Pet Shop Boys + Girls Aloud. The video is stunning, packed with doe-eyed girls, all white-face and mascara. Silly girls - only a gay man could have written this tune, about being unable to do the whole love thing. And we all know how that goes, don't we?