My Crap Taste in Music

I have a crap taste in music. This is universally acknowledged and I subscribe to the common belief.

What’s in my music collection? If I was being pretentious and wanting to claim I was more complex than I really am, I would describe it as eclectic. In reality, it’s a bunch of albums I’ve bought over the years and enjoyed. Some of them I still do.

The largest single artist is Mike Oldfield – some music in there ranges from prog rock through some really bad pop tracks into Ibiza-inspired instrumental stuff. “Amarok” is still one of my most listened-to albums. Track 4 on “Platinum” is just awesome. “Heaven’s Open” is just awful. “Tubular Bells” (1, 2, and 3) are ranked like the Godfather trilogy.

But moving slightly down the folder list (all my music is MP3-encoded) is Oasis. Yes, at one point I bought and enjoyed “Morning Glory” and “Be Here Now“. Don’t listen to those any more though.

Add to this the “car alarms and drum beats” (woo-woo-woo, dum-dum-dum) of the Ibiza stuff I enjoyed during the clubbing days in my 20s and you get a slightly confused picture. Lumped in together there is mix CDs of the tacky “dance” stuff which makes it into the singles charts on a ever-increasingly frequent basis; “chillout” music which was popular with stoned students and Sunday papers’ magazine inserts for a while; then some quite hard-core dance and trance which I don’t think people would normally associate with my demeanour.

Moving further on, we reach some of what I believe to be considered as the top of the pile in terms of pop tat: the albums of S-Club 7 and Aqua.

If my Status Quo album wasn’t on tape that would be listened to more often as well.

Somewhat bizarrely, I really enjoyed the music of some of the biggest gay icons of the 80s – The Pet Shop Boys. Of course I wasn’t even a teenager at that point, so I just enjoyed the albums and was blissfully unaware of the concept of homosexuality. Still listen to that occasionally.

Each genre though serves its purpose though – give me some fairly hard house or trance and I can write code phenomenally quickly. Something just clicks: under normal circumstances I wouldn’t even consider the possibility of being able to write that quickly, but given a burst of force 11 Suburban Train (Tiesto), I just hit full flow. The code usually works too.

Being entertained while driving requires a much more sedate pace of music however – you really don’t want to be listening to Radio 1 on a Friday night if you’re driving 300+ miles and want to keep your licence. Unfortunately I don’t own a Rolls-Royce, so wind and road noise tend to drown out the “chillout”-style music, so you need something with a bit more oomph – usually something by Mike Oldfield.

If I’ve had a really crap day, then putting on any of the cheesy pop stuff really helps. I’m no musician, so don’t really care about how simplistic any of it is. It’s music to switch off your brain and just forget about things. I guess it has the same mind-numbing effect of alcohol without the hangover or the need to attend anonymous meetings if you listen to it excessively. You really wouldn’t want to caught shoplifting a Steps CD from Tesco though… just pretend you thought it was a bottle of scotch and people will try to help rather than ridicule you.

I have a crap taste in music. I don’t care because it is my taste in music and my headphones are very well-insulated.