MD Disclaimer: This whole exercise has been the most challenging thing EVER. Music is so important to me. I could have chosen hundreds of tracks, all for very different reasons and depending on my mood on a particular day. That said, I’ve chosen tracks I’ve played consistently over the years that still bring me as much pleasure and enjoyment now as they did when I first heard them. Enjoy!
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Choosing just one Pink Floyd track is a tough call but I’ve opted for this because it’s pure perfection.
As a track on Pink Floyd’s concept album, The Wall, it tells a narrative story. However, it also stands alone and doesn’t need to be heard in the context of the whole album.
In my view, it’s one of the greatest guitar solos ever. Perfect if you like to play air guitar. Perfect for listening to in a dark room.
Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
Apart from being a sublime piece of music, this holds a very special place in my heart and takes me straight back to 1982, my second year at university.
While all the ‘cool’ kids were wearing black and getting depressed to The Smiths, I was wearing bright pink legwarmers and bouncing through life.
I first heard it at a jazz funk weekend at Caister, where the gathered ‘tribes’ were given a sneak preview ahead of its UK release.
When we returned, my pal Andy and I went straight to a specialist record shop in Soho (where we were in a queue with Jonathan Ross, who was just starting to hit the headlines for the first time) to pre-order it on 12” vinyl (yes, I still have it).
It arrived six weeks later and we drove everybody mad playing it over and over and over. We became indelibly associated with this song after playing it every fourth record at our parties, which led to us being featured in the student newsletter.
It was a joyous time and whenever I hear it, I immediately grin and start dancing.
While I’m down memory lane, I’m going to bend the rules slightly and include another track here, Fame by Irene Cara (don’t hate me!).
I have included it because it brings back happy, happy memories of one particular night when one of my new, very posh and extremely inhibited university friends came home to Bridgend for the weekend.
I took him to the inimitable Drones nightclub, where he let his hair down on the dance floor for the very first (possibly last) time in his life.
Whenever I hear Fame, I’m back there, remembering my old pal “The name’s Chris, Chris Sheppardson but my friends call me Shep”, with huge affection.
The Morriston Opheus Male Voice Choir – Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
Perhaps an interesting choice for a non-believer but stick with it (and, above all, listen to it right to the very end – most important).
I am Welsh and extremely proud of the fact, yet I don’t speak the language. This is not for the want of trying, as many school teachers, friends and private tutors will vouch.
Often called ‘Bread of Heaven’, the lyrics to this hymn were originally written in Welsh before being translated into English in 1771. These were then teamed with the rousing tune ‘Cwm Rhondda’. Together, they have become an unofficial second Welsh anthem, despite the English lyrics.
Nothing beats belting this out at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when Wales take on England.
Singing it means I can be proudly and loudly Welsh without having to struggle for the right words in a language that sadly eludes me.
I defy you to play this track and not feel stirred and just that little bit jealous that you’re not Welsh, too!
Neil Young – Harvest Moon
I don’t know how this song got into my orbit. I don’t remember it being released but somehow it seeped in and I’m very glad it did. In fact, it ended up being ‘our song’.
Rick and I are not a soppy couple but I guarantee, if this is played, we will seek each other out – whether it’s from different rooms in the house or across a crowded dance floor – for a little smooch. A beautiful, beautiful song.
Fleetwood Mac – Don’t Stop
I wanted something to represent all the brilliant times my daughter Alexis and I have together.
We have always shared a love of music and I could have opted for Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses, which I sing to her at the top of my voice while she rolls her eyes with utter embarrassment. Or Fairytale of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty McColl, which we dance around to every year with unadulterated excitement in the run up to Christmas.
I could have chosen Rockabye by Clean Bandit, which makes us laugh hysterically each time we play it because I can never get the Sean Paul lyrics and rap right.
What I’ve come to realise is that special songs and moments are continuously being created as time moves on. With this in mind, I’ve opted for Don’t Stop because we have consistently played Fleetwood Mac over the years, especially on long car journeys, and because there is the most wonderful video of Alexis singing it when she was little.
It melts my heart each time I see it and this song will always remind me of my dinky girl, even when she’s a fully-fledged woman.