A while back I put together a New York songs playlist. Well, if New York, then why not London too? Two of the great cities – very different and very similar. And one of the similarities is that they are hotbeds of music. All sorts of music. Every sort of music. They are cities of music.
This list is just a few of the songs that remind me of London. In some cases they are about London. In others, they somehow encapsulate the sound, the meaning of London. Some are about the inner city, conveying a sense of night time, unease as well as beauty. Others are about life in the suburbs. Songs of yearning, hope and sometimes hopelessness. Some are about attitudes: anger, love, wheeling and dealing, making your way, or just having a good time, dancing.
Mostly I’ve limited each artist to one song, or maybe two. But I had to make an exception for The Jam and The Clash, both with four. Two of the greatest punk bands, one articulating the frustration of surburban London, the other, the swaggering heart of the inner city. Bands that will always be central to my teenage memories.
So stick on this playlist (60 and growing) and immerse yourself in London. And let me know if you have any favourite London songs which I have missed. Do not suggest Ralph McTell’s “Streets of London”!