01. Living for the City / Stevie Wonder / Taken from the brilliant Innervisions album this tune talks about struggle but also contains glimpses of hope. It always makes me want to fight my way out of any strife that might be occurring in my life. It makes me want to fight in my recovery.
02. Renegade / Kate Tempest / More poem than song but it contains so much strength, wisdom, and inspiration that I had to include it. Kate Tempest has been so important in my recovery she fill me with ideas, hope and identification. I defy anyone who's in recovery to listen to this and not relate to the feelings flowing throughout it. I love Kate Tempest. She's a true wordsmith. I'd love to have half of her talent and I'm sure that this is written about me!
03. I'm Your Pusher / Ice T / I remember buying this when I was a kid (partly because of the x-rated cover). A hip-hop take on Curtis Mayfield's Pusherman. Whereas Curtis's version was from the perspective of a drug dealer this is an anti-drugs record that contains the right sort of dope. / “We're selling dope till we're succeeded dope beats and lyrics no beepers needed.”
04. Wish You Were Here / Pink Floyd / I could've picked a number of Floyd songs and this isn't my favourite by any means, but it's been the most significant Pink Floyd song in my recovery. In my rehab during our daily 6.30pm house meeting we had to sing and this is a song that kept coming up. I can remember being in pain, having tears in my eyes but somehow knowing I was gonna get through it and Pink Floyd helped me do so (it also reminds me of my older sister).
05. Who the Cap Fit / Bob Marley / Bob Marley's music makes me happy. I've been collecting records since I was a young kid. My collection spans jazz, latin, rock, funk, hip-hop, house, techno, hip hop, etc etc etc. For me, there's only two types of music, good or bad. But if I could only take one artist's music onto a desert island it would probably be Bob Marley.
06. Head over Heels / Tears for Fears / This is my favourite Tears for Fears tune. This always stuck in my head when I was a kid. It makes me feel how I do when I'm at the beginning of a new love affair. The video is brilliant and it features in the most excellent film Donnie Darko (which I once watched 3 times in a row whilst doing a detox and almost sent myself insane.)
07. Attitude Belief and Determination / Martin L Dumas, Jr. / I was sent this from BBE records in London a few months back. It's on 'The real sound of Chicago' compilation and speaks for itself. It's so positive, uplifting and free without being cheesy. I could imagine being in a dark, sleazy club, eyes closed dancing like my life depended on it to this lovely wee number.
08. Changes / David Bowie / I love Bowie and have a lot of his albums on vinyl including Hunky Dory which this track is taken from. This is an obvious choice for my recovery but obvious is sometimes good right? Listening to this makes me happy to make change. Any fear seems a distance memory.
09. Who Knows ft. Chronixx / Protoje / I'm a huge fan of reggae and dancehall and this has all the ingredients that I need. Sweet vocal from one vocalist and gritty from the other. Catchy, uplifting, rude bwoy tings! The chorus infects and head nodding soon follows. Big tune in my rehab!
10. My Red Hot Car / Squarepusher / I once played at my friend's wedding and Squarepusher joined me on stage and played bass whilst I was djing (he's a friend of my friend). A drum and bass vibe but not strictly a drum and bass tune. It has a lovely melodic vibe and infectious vocal weirdness. It hypnotises me and sometimes that's exactly what I'm looking for.
11. Diamond in the Back / Curtis Mayfield / A beautiful tune which reminds me to be grateful. This is something that I need to do often in my recovery. This record can put me in a blissful state. It makes me feel like I'm staring out of a window into a field full of flowers and beautiful girls running around with flowers in their hair.
12. Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos / Public Enemy / “I got a letter from the government the other day, I opened it and read it, it said they were suckers” / Sometimes I wanna feel militant and when I do my go to crew are Public Enemy. Political with the funk. I've been listening to these guys since the 80's and they're still relevant today, maybe even more so. Whereas the Curtis Mayfield tune makes me feel all floaty this one makes me want to smash the system. It's good to have balance no?