Monday, January 12, 2015

Top 40 Tunes Part 2

So, back for my top twenty iTunes list.

20  Try from the soundtrack to On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) by John Barry.  Barry out Mancinis Mancini in this, his slinkiest piece of "cocktail" music ever, from an otherwise disappointing score.

19 Overture The Globe Playhouse from the suite from Henry V (1944) by William Walton.  This is in my "Films medieval" playlist.  Useful for painting a Lion Rampant force, perhaps.

18 Reel du Forgeron by La Bottines Souriante.  I do have quite a lot of strange Canadian music (I can't think why) and this infectious track by this French Canadian band is like a mixture of Riverdance, big band jazz and Cuban music.

17 Prelude number 6 in D minor from The Well Tempered Clavier Book One by JS Bach. Played by Frederich Gulda on piano, this sums up the genius of Bach in one minute and twenty seconds of perfection.  My Bach playlist has the most number of tracks on it, at 316.

16  The Raid from the soundtrack to The Big Country (1958) by Jerome Moross.  The main theme is well known, of course but this was a hugely influential score taking the Western soundtrack down a more folk-based and American-voiced road than before. Brilliantly melodic.  If I ever painted wild west figures this would be the one to have on in the background.

15 El Agualulco by Conjuntos Tlalixcoyan y Medellin.  My German friend Bettina introduced me to Sones Jarochos, a wacky mixture of African, Spanish and native music from Vera Cruz in Mexico.  Very different from the more well known Mariachi it is played on a form of harp with early versions of guitars.  Perfect when painting Mexicans.

14 L'air des clochettes from Lakmé by Delibes.  I would never have predicted that this vocal showpiece would be my highest ranking piece of classical music and it's not even the much better known flower duet from the same opera. French coloratura soprano Mady Mesplé, in her signature role, nails it.

Actually shot at Chatham Historic Dockyard. Don't get me going on everything historically wrong with this shot!

13 Giza Port from The Soundtrack to The Mummy (1999) by Jerry Goldsmith. This atmospheric track features on my "Egyptian" playlist and is excellent for painting mummies and writing dodgy stories about archaeologists to.

12 Diablo Rojo by Rodrigo y Gabriela  Sophie introduced me to this Mexican acoustic guitar duo as she is an accomplished guitarist herself.

11 Caravan by Gordon Jenkins from Gordon Jenkins featuring Marshall Royal.  This eerie version of the Duke Ellington standard was used in the pilot episode of Mad Men but I had already got it in my collection.

10  Into Miami from the soundtrack to Goldfinger (1964) by John Barry.  This is the first of two tracks on the list that remind me of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, where I stayed a few years ago and which features in the film as this music is played. Sophie and I would listen to it as we got ready to take on the frantic public areas of the hotel in the evenings.

9 Funeral in Berlin from the soundtrack to Funeral in Berlin (1966) by Konrad Elfers.  This is a very catchy tune from the second Michael Caine Harry Palmer spy film.  I used to travel to Berlin a lot and I was always whistling this tune when I was walking around the place as I used to stay in old East Berlin.  I am an inveterate whistler - it drives everyone else mad as it seems to be a habit that has almost died out - probably disappeared along with milkmen.  It took me until late 2010 to source the CD, though.

The view from my room at the Fontainebleau

8 Bogota 1984 from the Soundtrack to The Specialist (1994) by John Barry.  Oddly, this has nothing to do with my trips to Bogota but I started playing it when I stayed in the Fontainebleau Hotel (part of the film was shot there).

Lana Wood in Diamonds are Forever

7 Diamonds are Forever (source instrumental)  from the extended soundtrack of Diamonds are Forever (1971) by John Barry. This is my favourite John Barry Bond soundtrack and this slinky track is another one from my "Cocktail" playlist which is a more anodyne description of the activity that usually accompanies this playlist.

6 Héiroglyphes from the soundtrack to The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle-Blanc-Sec (2010) by Eric Serra.  An excellent soundtrack to listen to for Parisian-set steampunk and Egyptian adventures.

Bourne at Waterloo Station

5  To the Roof from the soundtrack of The Bourne Identity (2002) by John Powell.  This one helps get me through the rush hour crush at Waterloo Station.

4 Romanian Wind from the soundtrack of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows  (2011) by Hans Zimmer.  I have a number of "walking" playlists I listen to when stomping around London.  I now tend to walk rather than catch the Tube and as a result I have lost a stone in weight in the last year. 

3 Pellea de Gallos by Lola Beltran  I can't fathom why I like this song about cock-fighting by Mexico's answer to Edith Piaf so much, but I do.  Possibly it's because Sophie can sing along to it and, indeed, does whenever we are together.

She went to the same school as my son

2 The Medallion Calls from Pirates of the Caribbean the Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) by Klaus Badelt (yes we all know it's really by Hans Zimmer)  I do know that Guy listens to these soundtracks too but so do I, especially when painting pirates and the number of plays is so large that a lot of it must be me.  Certainly my top figure painting background music entry, along with the rest of the album.

1  Its Alright by Me  The Oscar Peterson Trio from Oscar Peterson Plays the Cole Porter Songbook.  I am convinced the man had at least two extra fingers on each hand.  I have 12 separate jazz playlists but this one, jazz instrumental, has 304 tracks in it.  It needs to be split up I think.

Well, all in all something of a surprising list.  I think if I was able to do a top 40 list that eliminated what I listen to on my iPod, which is not the same as I play at home, then it would, as Giles raised, have more classical music on it.  This is the only area where the list doesn't reflect what I listen to at home, I think.  There is quite a lot of film music but then I do listen to a lot of that, especially when painting, given I have playlists which are, essentially, put together for that purpose.  Just missing the top forty were the Soundtracks to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, The Great Train Robbery and You Only Live Twice.  It's mainly film music until we get to Resphigi's Pina di Roma, Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le toit, Rachmaninov's Second piano concerto (oh no, I am Mr Classic FM) and Circus by Khachaturian.

Anyway, more details on some of my painting specific playlist on the relevant blogs in due course.


  1. Where did you come across Boutine Souriante? I quite like "Je voudrais changer d'chapeau."


  2. Very interseting playlist LH. Will need to track down a few of the more obsure, for me at least, ones and have a listen.