CMU Playlists

Playlist: Andrew Collins

By | Published on Sunday 15 August 2010

Journalist and broadcaster Andrew Collins began his career with the NME in 1989, going on to briefly edit Empire before leaving to take up the same role at Q in 1995.

During this time, he also appeared on various shows as part of a double act with fellow music journalist Stuart Maconie, including on their own Radio 1 show ‘Collins & Maconie’s Hit Parade’. He has also worked as a scriptwriter on a number of shows, including ‘Eastenders’ and BBC sitcom ‘Not Going Out’, and written three volumes of his autobiography.

Currently he is Film Editor of the Radio Times and writes a monthly column for Word. He also presents the Saturday mid-morning show with comedian Richard Herring, standing in for Adam & Joe while they take an extended break. Collins and Herring also present their own free weekly podcast, ‘The Collings & Herrin Podcast’.

This year Andrew is performing his first solo stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe. Entitled ‘Secret Dancing’, it’s on at Bannermans at 12pm every day until 21 Aug and is free. You can also catch ‘The Collings & Herrin Podcast’ being recorded live on Saturday and Sunday, then from 18-22 Aug, at The GRV at 3pm. That one will cost you a fiver.

In amongst all that, Andrew also found time to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. He told us: “This playlist was created in tribute to Spotify, which has become a very useful tool for me while working in the British Library at my laptop over the last couple of years. If I am reviewing an album for Word magazine, let’s say, it’s a fantastic resource for researching or refreshing an artist’s back catalogue. I know I’m not the first to spot the joy of Spotify, and I’m still a bit of a novice – I’d never even made a playlist until CMU asked me to! – but with non-leaking earpieces in, I can enter my own world while all around are silent and industrious in one of the library’s Reading Rooms”.

Click here to listen to Andrew’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 The Twilight Sad – The Room
I became slightly obsessed by this Scottish group while writing about their most recent album ‘Forget The Night Ahead’, a thrillingly melancholy slice of social decay. ‘The Room’ was the third single from it, but the first to grab me by the neck. It still haunts me.

02 Ringo Starr – Drumming Is My Madness

John Harris, now a star writer at the Guardian, turned me on to the strange delights of Ringo’s solo albums when I worked alongside him at Q in the 90s. This was one of John’s pet tracks, a bluntly autobiographical ditty from 1981’s ‘Stop And Smell The Roses’, and it still makes me smile (useful after The Twilight Sad). “Drumming makes me happy”, he hoots.

03 Sheryl Crow – Leaving Las Vegas

The first “grown-up” album I was presented with when I graduated to Q magazine in 1993: Sheryl Crow’s ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’ debut. I still like it, as it represents a time in my life when all pretence about what was cool and what wasn’t melted away.

04 The Doobie Brothers – Wheels Of Fortune

My friend Martin advised me to check the Doobies’ 1976 album ‘Takin It To The Streets’ and I was hooked from the beginning of this opening track’s guitar and drums. First record with Michael McDonald on vocals. I can’t claim to be an expert, but how nice to be able to dip into the past.

05 Doom – Cellz

‘Born Like This’ by the artist formerly known as MF Doom ended up being one of my favourite albums of 2009, not least this track, which samples Charles Bukowski reading his own poem ‘Dinosauria, We’.

06 Little Boots – New In Town

I have no deep love for the wave of electro-ladies who came through a couple of years ago, but as the very first album I sampled first on Spotify, Little Boots’ ‘Hands’ lodges in my heart, and this is decent pop.

07 Of Montreal – The Past Is A Grotesque Animal

An acquired taste, these tempo-switching Athens dandies, but you’ve got to love their titles, not least this 2007 album, ‘Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?’ An eleven-minute epic from that album, but one that actually sticks to one tune. For a bit.

08 Holy Fuck – 1 MD

Bit of a cheat, as this opening track from the naughty-named Toronto ‘math rock’ instrumentalists is actually a dramatically rising intro, which leads directly into track two…

09 Holy Fuck – Red Lights

One of the best things on one of the best things I’ve heard in 2010. Although, to be honest, I don’t hear much these days that I like from one end to the other.

10 Wu-Tang Clan – Bring Da Ruckus

A curio, from their live album recorded in 2007 in Montreux, but I will always love the ramshackle, uniquely cinematic and potty-mouthed Staten Island Shaolin crew, and you have to love the shout out to Switzerland to join in with the line, “Fuck that shit!” Which the rap fans of Montreux willingly do.