I can’t speak for every writer but I know that for me, having music on while I write helps me. I love music and like to listen to it at any available opportunity. When I am writing, I like to listen to something unobtrusive. These are the albums I have been listening to lately – some old, some more recent:
John Lennon “Imagine”
Whether or not you like John Lennon or The Beatles, you can’t deny that they were THE most influential musicians ever. Apart from the famous title track, this album contains 9 other musical gems. At the moment, my favourite track from the album is Gimme Some Truth.
Bob Marley “Legend”
Although this is a greatest hits album, I had to include it because Bob Marley is – as the title suggests – a legend. There is not one weak song on this greatest hits compilation. With the famous line, “Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing is gonna be alright” Three Little Birds is the ultimate feel-good, mood-boosting song – perfect for writing to.
Jake Bugg “Jake Bugg”
Jake Bugg is capable of poetic lyrics – very impressive for a debut album. Although there are more mellow songs on this album, Lightning Bolt and Trouble Town are my favourites from this album. Check it out.
Half Moon Run “Dark Eyes”
A relatively new band, I don’t know much about them but I stumbled upon this album on YouTube and I like it. The song “Nerve” stands out for me.
George Harrison “All Things Must Pass”
This album rings of peace. The guitar sounds dreamy, the lyrics can be spiritual at times – George just seems so chilled out and that makes this album a pleasure to listen to. I’d recommend “Isn’t It A Pity (Version 1)” although really you should just listen to the whole thing 🙂
Jeff Buckley “Grace”
This is one of my favourite albums EVER. Jeff’s voice was like an angel’s – or should I say is, because although he is long gone, his voice will live on. It’s very difficult to pick a favourite song from this album but if I’m absolutely forced to, I will say “Grace”. I cannot accurately put into words how good this man’s voice is. You have to hear for yourself, if you have never heard it before. I first heard this album around 14 years ago – 6 years after it was released – but it still sounds fresh to me. I am still in awe of it.
The Beatles “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Quite possibly my favourite Beatles album. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is my favourite song ever, not just on this album. I love it’s psychedelic images. If I was to pick another from Sgt Pepper’s, it would be She’s Leaving Home. Again this is a song that conjures up powerful images through its lyrics. If you have never heard this album, where have you been?
Ben Howard “Every Kingdom”
One of the best albums of the 21st century – there is not a bad track on there. My favourite song from this album changes all the time because the songs are so good. At the moment, I would recommend Old Pine.
R.E.M “Automatic For The People”
When R.E.M were active, they kind of passed me by. I didn’t pay much attention to their music at all. I was vaguely aware of some of their songs but I was not particularly excited by them. Recently I bought their album Monster for £1 from Poundland and I loved it. I looked up Automatic For The People on YouTube and realised that I knew most of the songs on it but I also realised that I appreciate them a lot more now. In Drive, I love how the sound of the strings intertwines with the acoustic guitar and also the electric guitar riff in the chorus.
Radiohead “OK Computer”
One of my favourite albums of all time. I have been a life-long Radiohead fan. I find it impressive how every album sounds different. Radiohead are not afraid to try something new. After The Bends (another excellent album) they certainly did push the boundaries with OK Computer. Lead single Paranoid Android surprised critics by reaching number 3 in the UK singles chart – their highest chart position. It is possibly my favourite song from the album, purely because of Thom Yorke’s vocal in the end section. It is so full of emotion, so powerful.
I would like to hear your opinions on music as an aid to writing. Does it help you or hinder you? Who do you like to listen to? Please leave a comment below.