Desert Island Discs by Matthew Foran

This is my first entry to TQS Magazine and I thought the easiest way of introducing myself would be by doing my own version of the BBC Radio’s “Desert Island Discs”.

If you’re not familiar with the format they get a person on usually of some public interest be it actor, sporting personality, author etc. and they pick 8 tracks to take with them to a desert island along with The Bible, the complete works of Shakespeare along with a book of their choice and a luxury item.

I won’t lie this has been a bit of a challenge the bit of paper which I’ve had my ideas on has more scores on it than a prison wall. All of my songs have a very personal meaning to me, with most of them having connections to family and friends.

1. My first choice is Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”, a song that brings a huge link to my father and his blue Ford Mondeo driving us to our weekly visit to Ayr Baths (the local swimming pool). Sadly the blue Mondeo has gone but my love of Springsteen has grown year by year and I would say that this song is one of the main reasons why. I may not have understood the complexity of the “Born in the USA” at that young age but it never really mattered.

2. “Invisible Touch” by Genesis would be my second, Genesis aren’t my favourite band by a long shot but it was a band which were constantly played in my house by my mother who was probably my main source of music growing up, it would have been easier to go with one of her other favourites Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin two bands which I adore. But this song was one that means a lot to her so it means a lot to me.

3. The next track is a huge change of pace and its “Testify” by Rage against the Machine, the first real band that I really realised what music could do. Introduced to me by the new kid in class about 12 years ago, needless to say we became very good friends and we still are to this day. Giving me a copy of his CD which I transferred their album The Battle of Los Angeles onto a blank tape (yes tape) and this was the first track, I can recall vividly the first bruising burst of Tom Morello’s guitar from that point on I was a music fan.

4. “Time For Heroes” by The Libertines has to come with me to the island as it’s just one of those songs that defined a certain era of my life in this case my first year of college. It was the definitive track of that year. The bands problems are well noted but that doesn’t make the entire Up The Bracket album any less noteworthy and people should never forget what an important influence they were in the music world.

5. I’d have to take a song by my favourite band and in my case that’s Modest Mouse and the song would have to be the first one of theirs that I heard which is “Float On”. Yes it’s probably their “pop” choice, but hell it’s a cracking track full of hope and a fantastic beat. Hope isn’t something that Modest Mouse deliver an awful lot but when they do by God do they delivery in spades. It’s a song that I’d never get sick of.

6. Next up is the man I’d call the best song writer of modern times, Bon Iver. This was the most difficult one to choose which track to take and even now while writing this I’m still not 100%…..in fact I may have to come back and edit this later. But I’m pretty sure it would be “For Emma” the sort of title track to his highly acclaimed debut album For Emma…Forever Ago, it’s a fantastic song of love, loss and all the bitterness that comes along with it. And on the desert island no one would see my tears.

7. I would of course have to take my favourite song of all time with me which is “Train in Vain (stand by me)” by the Clash. Strummer just had a way of getting to me, he was never afraid to show off his intelligence in his lyrics. The perfect frontman he defined a generation that was sick and tired of being told what to do and this was probably his best work.

8. And for my final track I’m gonna take “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Ottis Redding. Again I revert back to my childhood with this one, I can recall sitting in Ayr Odeon Cinema and this coming on as background music to a Nescafe advert which was playing. I dare you not to smile while this plays and let’s face it it would be perfect for me, myself and I on a deserted island.

The book I’d take would probably be The Rum Diary and the luxury if I were allowed I’d have to take my laptop.

Thanks for reading……

You can find Matthew on Twitter here if you want to let him know what you think of his choices! What would your 8 tracks be?

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