Yesterday I created a post in which I shared a list of ideas for beating the January blues. Number 7 on that list focused on music playlists that were designed to motivate and inspire in moments of what I call ‘The Down Days’ and in the comments I received in response there were a number of people that liked the concept. When my good bloggy friend Steve asked me to guest post about it in more detail I jumped at the chance as we share the same passion for music.
Music has always been a core part of my life. I’m a classically trained violinist, having gained an honours degree from a good music conservatoire here in the UK and have been employed as a music teacher in a secondary school for nearly ten years. Music was constantly played in my childhood home – my father was self taught on the guitar and was heavily involved in the 1960’s pirate radio station Radio Caroline (which is still broadcasting). My parents had very different musical tastes – my mother preferred Motown and Northern Soul, while my father was a rock enthusiast, so my sisters and I were raised listening to everything from Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin to The Beach Boys, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
Consequently, my own musical interests are varied and, at times, eclectic. I adore what I would consider to be ‘soft rock,’ having seen Bon Jovi (five times), Thunder, Van Halen, Springsteen and Bryan Adams in concert, but on a daily basis I will listen to lots of different genres and over the years I have created a set of ‘go to’ playlists that will reflect my moods. To combat the January blues I wanted to share with you my ‘Down Days 2015’ playlist that I have designed to get me through what I consider to be the most depressing month of the year. They aren’t in order of preference.
1. Listen to the Man – George Ezra
(Credit – GeorgeEzraVEVO)
I challenge you to listen to this song without at least tapping your foot and I guarantee that you won’t be able to – it’s impossible. It’s catchy, fun and combined with Ezra’s gorgeous deep voice and a brilliant video (with the fabulous Ian McKellen) it is currently my favourite song.
2. Animal – Def Leppard
(Credit – Def Leppard)
It’s cheesy soft rock at it’s best, but the stereotypical Def Leppard harmonies always lift me up. I call them ‘gut chords,’ namely because I feel them in my gut whenever I hear them.
3. Red Red Wine – UB40
(Credit – emimusic)
As an honorary Brummie, having lived in Birmingham for thirteen years, no happy playlist should be without this song. It makes me think of lying on a beach, cocktail in hand in glorious sunshine.
4. A Little Respect – Erasure
(Credit – DayVideoEdits)
At the end of last year a video of a group of passengers singing this song on a London Tube platform went viral. Why? Because it’s an awesome song, guaranteed to bring a smile to anybody’s face on a dull day.
5. Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell
(Credit – emimusic)
I was begrudgingly forced to listen to Glen Campbell by my mother when I was growing up – she has been a lifelong fan and has followed him in concert since the 1970’s. I took her to see his final UK tour after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and when this song was played it brought back many happy memories of peaceful Sundays at home with my family.
6. Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
(Credit – dennis b)
While this is slower than most of the playlist, this song always uplifts me. What a voice.
7. Killing In the Name – Rage Against the Machine
(Credit – ColtsCubsPacers)
It’s angry, it’s loud, it’s awesome. Grrr. I have included the radio edit as I don’t want fragile ears to bleed from the original lyrics.
8. Fooled Around and Fell In Love – Elvin Bishop
(Credit – ChalkyDogVidz)
This song was recently featured on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack and even though I hadn’t heard it in years it reminded me just how great it is.
9. Streetwalker – Michael Jackson
(Credit – sccuderia)
This is one of Jackson’s lesser known songs, taken from the ‘Bad’ album and whenever I listen to it I get the urge to strut. Or at least walk a bit quicker.
10. You Make My Dreams – Daryl Hall and John Oates
(Credit – Troyman021)
Again, it’s from the 80’s, it’s cheesy and it makes me smile.
11. No Diggity – Blackstreet & Dr. Dre
(Credit – BlackstreetVEVO)
Another strutting song, but with a bit more of a swagger. Imagine a white classical violinist doing this… you get the idea.
12. Lola Montez – Volbeat
(Credit – AW12009)
I heard this on the radio last year and couldn’t understand a word of what they were singing, but I loved the pace and the chord progressions. Since then my ears have adjusted to their Danish accents and I’m hooked.
What about you guys? Would you listen to these songs on a bad day? Do you have your own playlist?
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And don’t forget Steve…