IAIN ROBERTSON

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An increasing number of us take CDs, or portable music devices, with us on vacations, or on trips. Motoring mad Iain Robertson, who gets bored with radio and faltering digital signals, is also keen to hear what musical choices float your boat.

 

On a recent trip around north-east France, I realised that with Gallic radio containing a diet of ‘Europap’, I would need something more up my personal ‘rue, for the several hours of driving to and from the lovely locations visited. As my car has a plug-in point for an iPod, I downloaded onto it a copious quantity of some of my favourite tracks, composers and artists.

 

As a child-of-the-sixties, it is inevitable that my musical taste has a starting point in that era, however, even I was amazed at the sheer compatibility of some of my choices for driving on French roads. Although hardly a comprehensive run-down, as I have over 600 music and comedy tracks to listen to, I have to state that the magical pop of The Beatles, Abba and Simon and Garfunkel helped me to while away the hours.

 

Yet, the slightly more complex, bordering on ’classical’ sounds of Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Yes proved to be immensely satisfying, especially as some of their longer tracks (upwards of 12 minutes) are the prog-rock equivalents of a typical symphony. While not exactly sing-along, a duty I consider to be the preserve of Crosby, Stills & Nash (occasionally with Young into the bargain), Joni Mitchell, The Carpenters and Rufus Wainwright, one particular compilation, ‘One Amazing Night, by Burt Bacharach, contains renditions by artists as diverse as Cheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Mike Myers (yes, the comedy acting one), Chrissie Hynde, All Saints, Luther Vandross and Dionne Warwick (naturally) and its classic pop song value is unsurpassed.

 

There is no denying the quality of the songs of Phil Collins and his sidekick in Genesis, Mike Rutherford, with his own band Mike & The Mechanics, which is brilliant accompaniment to cruising at a strictly legal (enforced by the current French craze for installing speed detecting devices absolutely everywhere!) 90kph on Gallic routes nationales. Equally, with the iPod on ‘shuffle’, the occasional BeeGees hit would run in sequence and for sheer toe-tapping and harmonising amusement, their song catalogue is a definitive on any long trek (especially when travelling solo).

 

Of course, my musical choice extends someway beyond the above-mentioned artists but a lot of the solo work of David Crosby is always worth a listen, alongside the post-ABBA performance of Benny Anderssons Orkester, and the album, Story of a Heart, possesses some very poignant and moving songs. The Gaelic/Celtic sound of Clannad is simply outstanding, while The Eagles last album, Long Road Out Of Eden, is packed full of enjoyable musical tracks, as are most of their country-rock sounds.

 

However, also on my iPod are several of the works of David Bowie, Dire Straits, ELO, Elton John and some great old-timers like Gallagher & Lyle, Family, James Taylor, Jeff Buckley, Supertramp, The Police, Sting, Chicago and Jethro Tull. Yet, I also love Kate Bush, Kaiser Chiefs, Keane, Kings of Leon, London Grammar, Paulo Nuttini, the golden tonsils of Paul Carrack, Paul McCartney’s various oeuvres, REM and Yusuf (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) and they share space with all the others.

 

The best way to travel is with a solid mix of the sounds that you like. Thanks to the marvels of modern, personal electronics, the ‘shuffle’ function plays them in a good order, to ensure that you can listen, as well as accompany (as vocally as you want to) the various tracks. Do drop us a line to the website and we shall see if we can create a number of Top Tens of your personal travel music choices.

 

About Iain P W Robertson

Frequently being told to 'go forth and multiply', Iain P W Robertson's automotive wisdom is based on almost forty years in the business, across all aspects from sport to production, at the highest levels. He likes dogs and drives a Suzuki (not related).