Your Life: the mixtape

Last updated 08:30 19/08/2011

You are going to make a mixtape that explains your life in song. It will feature 15 songs because that seems a good number for a mixtape. It's slightly long for an album but fine for a mix-tape and anything longer becomes, in this day and age, a playlist. The 15 songs will show various stages. And therefore show you at various stages.

So, here are the rules for assembly - you take three songs from across the first three or four albums you ever owned. You add three songs from anything you considered formative at high-school. You add three more songs from university or early working days. You take three songs from anything you've liked across the last three years. And you take three songs that show the impact of other people; their tastes perhaps - things you were put on to that might not have been your taste at first. Things that you have grown to love, maybe because you love the person who likes those songs.

That should total 15. Side one will be subtitled The Early Years and will feature the music from the first albums you bought, high-school and university or first job days (nine tracks in total). Side two can be called These Days and will feature six songs - the three from albums across the last three years and the three you've picked up from someone else's influence. Now line them up and tell a story.

Here is My Life: The Mixtape.

Side One

1. The Dead Heart, Midnight Oil (from the album Diesel and Dust)
2. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellencamp (from the album The Lonesome Jubilee)
3. Running To Stand Still, U2 (from the album The Joshua Tree)
4. The Sounds of Science, Beastie Boys (from the album Paul's Boutique)
5. God Shuffled His Feet, Crash Test Dummies (from the album God Shuffled His Feet)
6. My Michelle, Guns 'N Roses (from the album Appetite for Destruction)
7. Brown Hornet, Miles Davis (from the album Filles De Kilimanjaro)
8. If I Had a Hammer, Trini Lopez (from the album Live at PJ's)
9. Mysterons, Portishead (from the album Dummy)

Side Two

1. Moan, Kristin Hersh (from the album Crooked)
2. Codex, Radiohead (from the album The King of Limbs)
3. The Last Living Rose, PJ Harvey (from the album Let England Shake)
4.Se A Cabo, Santana (from the album Santana's Greatest Hits)
5.Whisper, Schnell-Fenster (from the album The Sound of Trees)
6. Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Saint Etienne (from the album Foxbase Alpha)

So that's my 15-track mixtape. Three songs from across the first three albums I bought (all mid-late 80s: Midnight Oil, John Cougar Mellencamp and U2).

Three songs from high school that were formative: Beastie Boys, Crash Test Dummies and Guns 'N Roses. Well, Beasties and Gunners are still music I associate with friends - and enjoy on my own. Still classic albums to me; still albums that transport me to that place and I can listen to them now and they feel fresh still. And the Crash Test Dummies I've chosen because I think it was the first I knew about guilty pleasures. I liked the album for a brief time and have the odd pang where I decide to listen to it, possibly in a weak moment. It was always going to be perceived as fad music and the guy's voice is annoying but there's some clever stuff happening on that album and I can still dig it from time to time but it almost pains me to listen to it. As I say, guilty pleasure music. My first real brush with that. And I like that feeling; I like the notion of guilty pleasure music. (Regular readers will know that already.)

Three songs from university days/daze: Miles Davis, Trini Lopez, Portishead. I listened to a lot of Miles Davis in my university era. Probably could have done with less Miles on the stereo and more miles on the footpath up the hill to class. But that's in the past. Albums like Filles De Kilimanjaro (and Sketches of Spain, Bitches Brew and Miles in the Sky) just blew me away. Still do. Trini Lopez I discovered through my first music-store job, while at university. And to this day it's my happy music, feel-good stuff. Great for a Friday. It's impossible to feel glum with this guy - look how happy he is! And Portishead was my first impulse buy at university. I heard a tape of about 90 seconds of the first song - and with that I was off down town to buy the album. It was a totally new sound to me.

From the new albums I've picked Kristin Hersh, Radiohead and PJ Harvey. Well, the PJ Harvey and Radiohead will be on my end-of-year best albums list. No question. And those two selections were the key tracks in each case; the sound that won me over. And the Kristin Hersh is an album I've just caught up with, released last year. A gem. One of her best.

The three songs I've picked that come from the influence of others are by Santana, Schnell-Fenster and Saint Etienne. And these are all things that I love, absolutely. Bands that have meant a lot to me - and favourite songs from those bands, of course. But they're bands I might not have discovered on my own. They are the first things I thought of when I thought of the people who have been the most important in my life and the most important influences, musically.

The Santana comes from mum and dad - that Greatest Hits album was one of the first CDs we had in the house. So crucial to my musical upbringing (the album I mean, but mum and dad too, sure).

The Schnell-Fenster was discovered by my brother, Kane. We share a lot of crossover in music but we have our own tastes. This album is something we bond over. This and Split Enz and a lot of the Judd- and Finn-related material. This album was/is very special though. One of my all-time favourite albums.

And the Saint Etienne comes from Katy - in fact from her collection. It seems the perfect compromise for us too; a bright and shining rendition of a great song (found in Katy's collection) by some old crusty like Neil Young (a staple of my collection).

I'm not sure that's the greatest mixtape. But in some ways that is my life in music - as much as it can be reduced to 15 songs. As much as it can be reduced to 15 songs on this day. Tomorrow I'd make a whole new mixtape, obviously. But that's my life - in music - for today.

Now it's your turn. Follow the rules and create Your Life: The Mixtape.

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m0rph3us   #1   09:25 am Aug 19 2011

Side One / The Early Years 1. Superunknown - Soundgarden (from Superunknown) 2. Ricochet - Faith No More (from King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime) 3. Jeremy - Pearl Jam (from Ten) 4. I'll Stick Around - Foo Fighters (from Foo Fighters) 5. Aenima - Tool (from Aenima) 6. Bulls on Parade - Rage Against the Machine (from Evil Empire) 7. Quality Control - Jurassic 5 (from Quality Control) 8. A Song for the Dead - Queens of the Stone Age (from Songs for the Deaf) 9. The Mob Goes Wild - Clutch (from Blast Tyrant) Side Two / These Days 1. Tres Brujas - The Sword (from Warp Riders) 2. Psychoanalyst - Rose Hill Drive (from Americana) 3. This Day We Fight! - Megadeth (from Endgame) 4. A Change of Seasons - Dream Theater (from A Change of Seasons) 5. Ghost of Perdition - Opeth (from Ghost Reveries) 6. Organ Donor - Lefties Soul Connection (from Hutspot)

i5   #2   09:34 am Aug 19 2011

1. Living Colour - Cult of personality 2. Motley Crue - Dr Feelgood 3. Def Leppard - Hysteria 4. Pearl Jam - Even Flow 5. The Tea Party - Fire in the head 6. Hum - Stars 7. The Sundays - When I'm thinking about you 8. The Superjesus - Now and then 9. Soundgarden - Burden in my hands 10. Nada Surf - Always love 11. A Fine Frenzy - Happier 12. Death Cab for Cutie - Grapevine fires 13. Jakob - Malachite 14. Jethro Tull - Life's a long song 15. Ryan Adams - La Cienega just smiled

Jonny   #3   09:36 am Aug 19 2011

SIDE ONE 1. 'Bad' by Michael Jackson, from the album 'Bad'. 2. 'Come On Let's Go' by Los Lobos from the album 'La Bamba: OST' 3. 'Heroes and Villains' by the Beach Boys from the Album 'The Beach Boys Collection' 4. 'Mersey Paradise' by the Stone Roses from the album 'The Complete Stone Roses' 5. 'Disco 2000' by Pulp from the album 'Different Class' 6. 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?' by Nirvana from the album 'MTV Unplugged Live in New York' 7. 'Better Off Without a Wife' by Tom Waits from the album 'Nighthawks at The Diner' 8. 'Every Day is Like Sunday' by Morrissey 9. 'David Bowie I Love You (Since I Was Six)' by the Brian Jonestown Massacre from the album 'Take It From The Man!' SIDE TWO 10. 'Orphans' by the Gaslight Anthem from the album 'American Slang' 11. 'Autoclave' by the Mountain Goats from the album 'Heretic Pride' 12. 'Snakes in a Can!' by Paul F Tompkins from the EP 'Sir, You Have Fooled Me Twice' 13. 'Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck' by Blood Brothers from the album 'Crimes' 14. 'Frame By Frame' by King Crimson from the album 'Discipline' 15. 'She Sends Kisses' by the Wrens from the album 'The Meadowlands'

Hey, how about that? No Dylan, No Velvets, no Joy Division, no Neil Young, no Zevon, no Nick Cave, no Iggy ... they all could have found places, and many more obviously. Hey, that's a pretty great mix tape... Simon, did this idea spring from a certain Rick Moody short story?

Melzoid   #4   09:49 am Aug 19 2011

I've only got side one of my mixtape sorted because there is nothing much lately that I could say I am enthusiastic about! (People my age like to live int he past!)

The Early Years: 1/ Neil Young and Crazy Horse - "Powderfinger" from Live Rust 2/ Rickie Lee Jones - "Night Train" - from self titled debut album 3/ (I'm ashamed to say) Abba - "Hasta Manana" - from Best Of Abba

4/ Police - "I Can't Stand Losing You" from Zenatta Mondatta (spelling?) 5/ Stray Cats - "Stray Cat Strut" from can't remember album name??? 6/ UK Squeeze - "Cool for Cats" saw it on Kenny Everett Show and was hooked

7/ U2 - "Gloria" from Under a Blood Red Sky 8/ Phantom Rocker and Slick - "Men Without Shame" (got the 12 inch single) 9/ Bruce Springsteen - "Downbound Train" the best song on Born in teh USA by far

Sorry Simon I haven't been inspired enough to complie side two

The Trickster   #5   10:00 am Aug 19 2011

This is going to be hard (and a tad shameful, especially the first few).

1. Can't Touch This - MC Hammer 2. Let's Get Rocked - Def Leppard 3. Living on the Edge - Aerosmith 4. To Live is to Die - Metallica 5. Archillies Last Stand - Led Zeppelin 6. La Mer - Nine Inch Nails 7. Spaced Invader - Hitaris (J Majik remix) 8. Move on Up - Curtis Mayfield 9. The Boss - James Brown

10. Make It With Chu - QOTSA 11. Straight to Hell - The Clash 12. Resolution - John Coltrane 13. Excursions - Tribe Called Quest 14. Ordinary Pain - Stevie Wonder 15. Man in a Shed - Nick Drake

First 3 are off the first albums I brought. Next 3 are influences in high school. Next 3 are from uni/first job.

Next 2 are from albums I've brought in the last 5 years (I really don't buy much anymore). Last 4 are from things that I've only heard for the first time relatively recently.

There is plenty of stuff that I've left out that easily could have got on - Portishead, Faithless, half a dozen different funk artists.

Danyn   #6   10:22 am Aug 19 2011

The Early Years, Side One:

Cha Cha Slide - DJ Casper. All The Things She Said - T.A.T.U Kiss Kiss - Holly Valance. The End - The Doors. Seize The Day - Avenged Sevenfold. Bleeding Mascara - Atreyu. Pop Your Bubble - Kora. Electric Dream - Shapeshifter. Tangaroa - Tiki Taane.

These Days, Side Two:

I've Got No Words - The Datsuns. Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam. Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix Bulls On Parade - Rage Against The Machine. The Pot - Tool. Epic - Faith No More.

Yeaaaaah.. Started off with crappy music but at least I've made up for it with decent bands later on in my life!!

Nick Braae   #7   10:29 am Aug 19 2011

1) Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen (Greatest Hits), 2) Poor Boy, Split Enz (True Colours), 3) Tub-Thumping, Chumba-wumba (NOW 1 haha); 4) Rock Me, Blind Boys of Alabama and Jools Holland (J.H. R n B Orchestra and Friends), 5) Paradise City, G n R (my first taste of classic rock), 6) Thunderstruck, ACDC (see 5); 7) 4500 Times, Status Quo (continuing a love-affair with boogie-rock), 8) Signed, Sealed, Deliver, Stevie Wonder, 9) Roundabout, Yes; Side Two - 1) Chris Knox, Pull Down The Shades, 2) Spellbound, Split Enz, 3) Slow Sad Love Song, The Verlaines, 4) Pride and Joy, SRV, 5) Since I've Been Loving You, Led Zep, 6) Suddenly Strange, Bic Runga. Had to bend the rules a bit seeing as I'm still at uni but that was a fun task!

Erin   #8   10:43 am Aug 19 2011

Side One/ Weather with You-Crowded House Burn for You-INXS Hakuna Matata-The Lion King Soundtrack

You can't always get what you want-The Rolling Stones All These Things That I've Done-The Killers You're the Voice-John Farnham

Heartbeats-Jose Gonzalez Golden Slumbers-Ben Folds See You Soon-Coldplay

Side Two/ Wake Up-Arcade Fire Don't You (Forget About Me)-Simple Minds Don't Stop Me Now-Queen

Summer of 69-Bryan Adams All I Want is You-U2 La Vie En Rose-Louis Armstrong

Reading through this, I know there are songs I like and listen to more, but these *mean* more. Except maybe Hakuna Matata. That's music gold right there.

His Lordship   #9   11:14 am Aug 19 2011

Ooh, a list! Good fun! Let's see...

1) Last Night (Travelling Wilburys)

2) If You Wanna Be Happy (Kid Creole and the Coconuts)

3) White Room (Cream)

4) Minstrel in the Gallery (Jethro Tull)

5) Over the Hills and Far Away (Led Zeppelin)

6) It Must Be Love (Madness)

7) So Long, Farewell, Goodbye (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)

8) Santa Monica (Everclear)

9) Thursday (Morphine)

10) Finding Out True Love is Blind (Louis XIV)

11) White Queen (Within Temptation)

12) The Idea of Growing Old (The Features)

13) Fingerpops (Garageland)

14) No Aphrodisiac (The Whitlams)

15) The Trooper (Iron Maiden) - this last because of all the fans that inhabit this Blog.

katiekate   #10   11:16 am Aug 19 2011

The Early Years: 1. Eurythmics – Love is a Stranger, 2. Elton John – Someone Saved My Life, 3. Smashing Pumpkins – Today, 4. Creedance Clearwater – Proud Mary, 5. Pearl Jam – Black, 6. Nirvana –Man who sold the World, 7. Fleetwood Mac (the original) – Black Magic Woman, 8. Rolling Stones – Under My Thumb, 9. David Bowie – Life on Mars, 10. Busta Rhymes – Dangerous, 11. Faith No More – I Started a Joke, 12. Roots Manuva – Toothbrush

These Days: 1. The Naked & Famous – Punching in a Dream, 2. Foster the People – All the Other Kids, 3. Adele – Rolling in the Deep, 4. Bloc Party – One More Chance, 5. The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin, 6. Herbie Hancock – Watermelon Man

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