CMU Playlists

Playlist: Steve Mason

By | Published on Saturday 5 June 2010

Steve Mason is best known as the frontman and one of the founding members of The Beta Band. After they split in 2004, Mason went on to release solo material as King Biscuit Time, including two EP’s and album ‘Black Gold’, as well as releasing work under the name Black Affair. Steve’s latest record ‘Boys Outside’ was released last month and is the first album released under his own name.

Produced by Richard X, the album is an attempt to apply R&B-style production to a simple singer-songwriter album. I’m still not entirely sure that plan was carried out successfully, but that’s by the by, as the actual result is one of this year’s most beautiful records.

Asked what drives him to make music, Steve told us: “It’s just what I do. I wake up, eat, smoke fags and make music. Every day. So, I’m always just trying to stretch myself, my mind and my boundaries. That’s what drives me. To keep moving forward and try to be better than anyone else and do what no one else is doing”.

We asked Steve to put together a playlist of some of his favourite songs.

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

01 Happy Mondays – Oasis
This is from their first and finest album. Shaun Ryder is on fire. Amazing lyrics and the band are great. Way ahead of everyone at the time.

02 Jimmy Cliff – Sitting In Limbo

More of a soul track than reggae, this is from the ‘The Harder They Come’ soundtrack album. An amazing record. I love the vocals and percussion. Beautiful.

03 Tony Clarke – Landslide

The intro to this gives me goosebumps every time. It’s a Northern standard and I’ve spent hours gliding round dancefloors to it over the years, mainly in shitty British seaside resorts on Scooter rallies.

04 Graham Bond Organisation – Long Tall Shorty

A great British R&B track from around 1965. Reminds me of my mod years.

05 The xx – Crystalised

Very simple and stripped down. Great vocals that are cool but not too self-aware. Great work!

06 Ultravox – Just For A Moment

Before Midge Ure joined, these guys were a good band. This is a bit of a Bowie rip-off but it works, a great track.

07 Derek Martin – Daddy Rollin Stone

One of my favourite vocals ever. Raw soul, great percussion, solid beat. Pure mod.

08 Shotgun Express – I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Around

Rod Stewart before the Faces. Quite a rare track and very unusual. Massive chorus.

09 JVC Force – We Got Our Own Thing

Top party track. Check the album it’s from, ‘Doin Damage’.

10 John Cooper Clarke – Conditional Discharge

Two geniuses here at their finest, Martin Hannett and JCC. Amazing.