My favourite music

Published June 06, 2012

When people ask me, “What kind of music do you like besides ABBA?”, I always find it very difficult to come up with a satisfactory answer. There is such a wealth of music out there that I really love, and to name only a few artists just wouldn’t give an accurate picture of my musical tastes. I’ve also noticed that because I like ABBA, many people in Sweden assume that I’m also a fan of the music that’s currently in the Eurovision Song Contest and its Swedish selection, Melodifestivalen. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mention the Eurovision of the Sixties and Seventies and I can talk to you about that for hours, but the current shows and the music featured therein leave me indifferent.

My favourite band is The Beatles. That love affair has been going on since I was two or three years old, so it’s likely to go on for the rest of my life. As for other music, my main interest lies with popular music of the 20th Century in general. I like everything from old “show tunes” to late Nineties dance music, although I would say the Sixties, Seventies and early Eighties are my favourite periods. In general, the Eighties is my least favourite decade in music. The period from circa 1984 to 1988 is the most depressing time in popular music history, mainly because of the big, overblown, nuance-free productions that were in vogue at the time. To my ears some potentially great songs were ruined, simply because they were inappropriately recorded.

I tend not to be very loyal to the artists I like. I might be passionate about a certain period in that artist’s or group’s career, but will completely ignore them when I feel they’re not producing anything of interest to me.

To give you some kind of idea of “what kind of music I like besides ABBA”, here’s a list of groups, artists and genres that I’ve collected more diligently than others. I’m guessing this should give you a fairly accurate view of my tastes in music.

Burt Bacharach (mainly as songwriter/arranger/producer)
The Beach Boys
The Beatles
David Bowie
The Byrds
Marvin Gaye
The Human League
The Monkees
Harry Nilsson
Pet Shop Boys
Prefab Sprout
Frank Sinatra
Nancy Sinatra
The Smiths
Phil Spector
Dusty Springfield
Steely Dan
The Walker Brothers / Scott Walker
Monica Zetterlund

Brill Building Pop
Early Eighties Synth Pop
Seventies Disco
Philly Soul
Sixties Pop (U.S. and U.K.)
Sixties Soul
Sixties Motown
Sunshine Pop

You will learn more about my tastes in music if you follow my 1001 Albums blog.