Norman Jay's rooftop sets at The Prince of Wales are the stuff of legend - all-inclusive, ram-jammed, unpretentious parties. Ahead of his show there on August 7, London's original funkster, MBE holder and purveyor of good times gives us a selection of his top tracks for various occasions. Enjoy!
1. Tune I like to chill to:
'Cavatina' (Theme from 'Deer Hunter') - Stanly Myers.
One listen to this and you get the point completely. A guitar NEVER sound so good. The quintessential chill-out tune of all time for me.
2. My Guilty Pleasure track (today):
'Philadelphia Freedom' by Sir Elton John no less.
Have loved his songwriting and great pop songs since I was kid and STILL play this at the right gig.
3. Track I opened my last set with:
'Up On The Roof' by The Drifters.
This has since become a 'rooftop anthem' with the awesome Brixton crowd who sell out my gig every time I play up on that incredible roof terrace.
4. Guaranteed (Good Times) floor filler:
Either 'Tears' by Frankie Knuckles (for my older, more musically mature dance crowds) or 'My Head Is A Jungle (MK Remix) by Wankelmut & Emma Louise for my younger danefloor.
5. Track I wish I'd written:
'The Politician' performed by the great Lou Rawls
One of my all time fave Jazz vocalists. Just as relevant and hard hitting social commentary today as it was when it was first released back in 1972.
6. Ideal sunshine track:
'Here Comes The Sun' by Nina Simone.
Have played this evergreen track on the sunniest and hottest days at parties and festivals around the world for years and year. From Notting Hill Carnival to the Big Chill. From the Sydney Festival to Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival (and everywhere in between.)
7. Most emotional track:
'Just Right' by Bare Knuckle Soul
Originally from Sheffield this UK outfit absolutely nail it when it comes to pure unbridled soulfull emotion. I still maintain that this song is one of the best home produced and perfomed soul tunes of all time in my opinion.
8. LP I always come back to:
Would be my own collection of 'Good Times' series of compilation CD/LP. They have been an ever present staple in my record bag for a least the last decade. A body of work I am STILL most proud of.
9. One track I felt that didn't get enough love recently:
'Shades of Blue' by Eska from last year.
Criminally underrated left-field brilliance. Go discover and show it some love. WICKED tune!