Eight Tracks – mostly road songs

Monday, 20 June 2016

Last weekend in London I talked travel, business, Wheeler Foundation and Lonely Planet on Share Radio, in between playing eight favourite tracks on their Track Record spot. Click here for a podcast of the hour-long programme.

For some reason most of music seemed to feature travel or road songs, funny that!

Mad Dogs & Englishmen1. SPACE CAPTAIN from Mad Dogs & Englishmen (Joe Cocker and Leon Russell)
In that classic rock-band-on-the-road film from the ‘60s Joe Cocker belts out the line that gave Lonely Planet its name. Except I misheard it.

2. LAKE CHARLES from Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (Lucinda Williams)
It’s a heartbreaker, but not only has it got the road (through Lafayette and Baton Rouge, down the Louisana highway across Lake Ponchartrain), it’s also got the car (a yellow El Camino) and the music in the car (listening to Howling Wolf)

Goodbye Tiger a 3003. DEEP WATER from Goodbye Tiger (Richard Clapton)
Australia’s pub rock troubadour of the late ‘70s, came up with some classic Aussie standards including this Sydney road song. And he performed it at my 60th birthday party.

Avalon Sunset4. CONEY ISLAND from Avalon Sunset (Van Morrison)
My wife Maureen’s a Belfast girl and on a return trip in the early ‘90s there was no better guide to Northern Ireland than Van the Man talking his way across the north. We were in Belfast last year to catch Van performing Cyprus Avenue on Cyprus Avenue on his 70th birthday.

5. AICHA from Aicha (Khaled)
In 1996 we lived in Paris for a year and Khaled, the ‘King of Rai’, crooning to Aicha to ‘ecoutez moi’ was clearly the king of the Paris airwaves.

6. LAST CHANCE TEXACO from Rickie Lee Jones (Rickie Lee Jones
Another heartbreaker, another classic road song and just about every automotive metaphor you could ask for. I’ve seen Ms Jones perform it more than once, bizarrely on one occasion in Tokyo

Beach Full of Shells7. SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND, 1915 from A Beach Full of Shells (Al Stewart)
I was a big Al Stewart fan in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and I’ve seen him perform in assorted strange locations since, most recently in the Albert Hall last year. He’s best known for Year of the Cat, but this classic Al Stewart history song is quite recent.

8. FLAME TREES from Twentieth Century (Cold Chisel)
A classic returning home with regrets song carried along by an equally classic chorus line, nothing else is going to set fire to this small Australian town.