Tim Booth of James tells us what makes him shake his body.
1 CORNERSHOP – Brimful of Asha (Wiija single) – Tjinder and co’s dancefloor smash
“I first heard this in America a while ago and really loved it. I thought it was really hip and ahead of its time. I love it because it seems so innocent and guileless. It’s brilliant how they’ve managed to resurrect the word ‘bosom’ and forced it into the national consciousness through so much radio play. I’m not sure how badly they want or need fame and success. I just hope they don’t make the same mistakes we made.”
2 NICK CAVE – Are You The One I’ve Been Waiting For? (from the Mute album “The Boatman’s Call”) – The Lord Of Gloom at his depressing best.
“I’ve been a fan of his for years. This song is a rather self-indulgent choice. It’s for the times you’re pining for your loved ones and you feel all mopey and sad without them. I first saw him live when he played with The Birthday Party who were supporting Bauhaus. He came on wearing a dog collar tearing pages out of a Bible. It made Bauhaus seem pretty pathetic in comparison.”
3 JAN GARBAREK – Officiarden (ECM) – ambient choral music for those monastic moments
“It’s these monks performing choral music with a lone saxophonist in the middle of the whole thing which sounds really peaceful and haunting. I like it because it’s extremely soothing and therapeutic. It works best when you’re having a Radox bath. It’s a wonderfully still and tranquil contrast to the rest of my life. I usually listen to it on tour when things get too hectic”
4 HILDER VON BINGHAM – Canticles of Ecstasy (Hyperion) – F**ked if we know, Ask Tim
“It’s 13th Century Christian music. I listen to this when my memories are frazzled. It’s an extremely calming influence. Best listened to when you’ve got the lights off and you’ve got nowhere else to go except your own bedroom. It’s the ultimate sound of loneliness. It’s an extremely good reminder of why you miss your loved one when she lives in America.”
5 THIS MORTAL COIL – Song To The Siren (from the 4AD album “It’ll End In Tears”) – Ethereal classic and 4AD in a nutshell
“It’s from their atrocious debut album, it’s the only decent song on it. It reminds me of a Tim Buckley song called ‘I Need To Cry.’ Liz Fraser’s (from the Cocteau Twins) voice is one of the best voices of the Eighties. And that’s what separates this song from the rest of the album. It reminds me of a lot of the stuff I did with Angelo Badalamenti, because it’s dreamy, sensual and dangerous. Apparently David Lynch wanted it for ‘Blue Velvet’ but he couldn’t afford it. If it had been used on ‘Blue Velvet’, it would have been the perfect soundtrack.”
6 ESTHER AND ABI OFARIM – Cinderella Rockafella (Philips Single) – Glam rock stomper from the age of the dinosaurs
“I just remember seeing them as a child in the Sixties. They were this old hippy couple who became this one-hit wonder. It’s a really stupid song, the sort of song you can have a laugh about. It reminds me of my relationships because of the absurdity of it and because you can turn songs like this into your own special little song. And it’s also a self-indulgent reminder of my youth and I’ve included it for purely nostalgic reasons.”
7 FLEETWOOD MAC – Rumours (Warner Brothers album) – Classic transatlantic MOR from the Seventies
“I didn’t like it at the time because I was a punk and it didn’t really tie in with that scene. It was the same with Blondie. They weren’t really heavy enough. But it works if you go back and rediscover it. It’s an incredible album because the pain involved is evoked so subtly and it’s translated so wittily, creatively and eloquently.”
8 NEIL YOUNG – After The Goldrush (Reprise album track) – Classic whiney-voiced ballad from the King Grumpy
“I’ve been a fan for 15 years and it still thrills even now. It just comes across as being so naïve with all those cackhanded solos. The lyrics are very focused and concentrated, although at times it seems like he’s had one joint too many. It requires a lot of effort to truly appreciate him, but once you’re in, then it’s definitely love. This is Neil Young at his authentic best. Touring with him was amazing. I defy anyone to not enjoy his acoustic shows.”
9 RADIOHEAD – OK Computer (Parlophone album) – Groundbreaking, mindblowing opus from Prince Grumpy and chums
“I like the randomness and awkwardness of it. It seems to have been made without any commercial concerns at all. You can’t understand the words, but that’s part of the appeal. They toured with us early on and I found them a little too tortured, too intense, but there’s more of a balance here. I like the campness of ‘Karma Police’ with that line ‘They think I’ve lost it completely.'”
10 JAMES – The Best Of (Mercury album) – Britain’s Number One album!
“New James compilation album. The most underrated band of all time from Manchester. Available for all occassions, including weddings and barmitzvahs. Priced £13.99 from all good record shops.”