Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Going Underground's Soundtrack...

"Do you listen to music when you write?  Anything you would recommend?"

This was one of the interview questions the lovely Michele Fogal asked when I featured on her blog the other day. 

In brief, the answer I gave was no; to have music playing in the background whilst I'm working would be too much of a distraction.  But that doesn't mean I don't hear music when I write.  In fact, I often hear a song playing in my head that feels relevant to what I'm trying to say.  Music's a great way to give a book that extra dimension. 

With Going Underground though, I took this one step further and gave it a definite soundtrack.  A playlist of songs that reflect each chapter either lyrically or in tone.  An element of the book that most readers have picked up on, can see why it works and ultimately rather enjoyed.

Anyways, chatting with a fellow author and twitter friend the other day, he suggested I publish the playlist here.  And I thought why not? 

Some of the songs you should recognise, some you might not... either way, it'll be a trip down memory lane and I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

And yes, the book is set in the Mod/Scooter scene!

So, in order of play, here goes:

  1. Funeral Pyre - The Jam
  2. News of the World - The Jam
  3. Too Much Too Young - The Specials
  4. Ghosts - The Jam
  5. I've Had Enough - The Who
  6. Boy About Town - The Jam
  7. Behind Blue Eyes - The Who
  8. March of the Gherkins - Madness
  9. Going Underground - The Jam
  10. Making Time - The Creation
  11. Time for Action - Secret Affair
  12. Driving in My Car - Madness
  13. Doesn't Make it Alright - The Specials
  14. Tales From the Riverbank - The Jam
  15. My World - Secret Affair
  16. Keep Moving - Madness
  17. It's Hard - The Who
  18. Down in the Tubestation at Midnight - The Jam
  19. Save it for Later - The (English) Beat
  20. All I knew - Madness
  21. 21. It's Up to You - The Specials
  22. Town Called Malice - The Jam
  23. Runaround - The Lambrettas
  24. Faith in Something Bigger - The Who
  25. House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
  26. Turning Blue - Madness
  27. One Step Beyond - Madness
  28. I Can't Explain - The Who
  29. The Seeker - The Who
  30. Walls Come Tumbling Down - The Style Council
  31. I'm One - The Who
  32. Night Boat to Cairo - Madness
  33. Itchicoo Park - The Small Faces
  34. James Bond - The Selecter
  35. Shout to the Top - The Style Council
  36. There's a Ghost in My House - R. Dean Taylor
  37. All or Nothing - The Small Faces
  38. Poison Ivy - The Lambrettas
  39. Dreams of Children - The Jam
  40. Summer Nights - The Circles
  41. Zoot Suit - The Who
  42. And Your Bird Can Sing - The Jam
  43. Shut Up - Madness
  44. Ghost Town - The Specials
  45. Thick as Thieves - The Jam
  46. The Bitterest Pill - The Jam
  47. Happy Days Toy Town - The Small Faces
  48. Don't Push Me - The Lambrettas
  49. Walls Come Tumbling Down - The Style Council (Take 2)
  50. Time for Truth - The Jam
  51. The Young and the Old - Madness
  52. Move on Up - The Style Council
  53. One's Second Thoughtlessness - Madness
  54. Sole Salvation - The (English) Beat
  55. Enjoy Yourself - The Specials
  56. Leap Before You Look - The Lambrettas
  57. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere - The Who
  58. All Out to Get You - The (English) Beat
  59. Substitute - The Who
  60. Jackpot - The (English) Beat
  61. Yesterday's Men - Madness
  62. Is it in My Head - The Who
  63. Lip Up Fatty - Bad Manners
  64. Watch Out I'm Back - The Lambrettas
  65. Things Are Going to Get Better - The Small Faces
  66. Batman - The Jam
  67. The Doors of Your Heart - The (English Beat)
  68. Long Hot Summer - The Style Council
  69. Maybe Tomorrow - The Chords
  70. A Message to You Rudy - The Specials
  71. Angel - The Style Council
  72. Bank Robber - The Clash
  73. The Sun and the Rain - Madness
  74. Music Must Change - The Who
  75. English Rose - The Jam
  76. The Communicator - Madness


So, Guys, do any of you develop a playlist to go with your work?  And would you like to share a few tracks with the rest of us?

Until next time... x


  1. Wow! That's a list.

    I definitely hear music when I write. I've even created my own original music soundtrack inspired by a story.

    For my debut novel Rhythms & Muse, I wrote, performed and recorded five songs, and also mention these 1970s tunes:

    American Woman, The Guess Who
    Annie's Song (Live), John Denver
    Bagatelle In A Minor, Beethoven
    Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven
    Carolina In My Mind, James Taylor
    Dream Weaver, Gary Wright
    Evergreen, Barbra Streisand
    Everything I Own, Bread
    The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack
    Hokey Pokey, The Puppies
    Iron Man, Black Sabbath
    Killing Me Softly With His Song, Roberta Flack
    Kookaburra, Susie Tallman, Richard Pleasance
    Love Will Keep Us Together, Captain & Tennille
    Misty Mountain Hop, Led Zeppelin
    Moonshadow, Cat Stevens
    New York State Of Mind, Billy Joel
    Peace Train, Cat Stevens
    Penny Lane, The Beatles
    Proud Mary (Live), Tina Turner
    Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Susie Tallman, Mark O'Connor
    Shout, The Isley Brothers
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours, Stevie Wonder
    Somebody to Love, Queen
    1812 Overture, Tchaikovsky
    These Eyes, The Guess Who
    Walk This Way, Aerosmith
    You Are So Beautiful, Joe Cocker

    My original tunes are:
    What's In You
    Like the Moon Pulls the Tide
    My Dreams, My Own
    Not Far Away
    Mind and Time

    I'm also currently writing a YA fantasy adventure in which the faerie and human worlds are connected via music.

    Words and music, now how can you go wrong?!

    Ann Narcisian Videan

    1. Wow, Anne! And you think my playlist is long... Looks like you were going for the box set too. Not that I think I could ever write my own songs let alone record them. But you're so right, words and music do, indeed, go together.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll visit again soon x

    2. Wow! You and I have the exact same musical tastes! I too am a lover of mod music from 60s stuff to 80s revival stuff and 2tone era stuff. That's the soundtrack to my life right there.
      I'm also a Bajaj Chetak owner.

    3. It's great to hear you identified with the soundtrack, Anonymous. It certainly is a trip down memory lane, isn't it? A groups of Mods came to one of my book signings earlier in the year and I remember one of them was riding a Bajaj Chetak. It was this gorgeous muted green colour and I remember commenting how lovely the scooter was. Anyways, thanks for dropping in, hope you'll visit again and most of all, happy scootering x

  2. That's a great list Suzie - glad you went ahead and did it. Blimey - Paul Weller's voice would be hoarse after all that lot - he certainly gets a good showing! It took me back to the time in question just reading the track listing. It also reminded me how much I like The Beat. I'm off to hit Spotify.

    1. The book's present day, but there's a point to the dated playlist... It ties in on quite a few levels - but what I didn't expect was for the storyline to unfold through the song titles!

      Anyway, glad it brought back memories x

  3. Tore Svein Olsen19 June 2012 at 13:11

    Fantastic idea, Suzie. I have your book, however did not think along these tracks, even if you told me the story over a coffee. To develop a story, what could be easier than using music? I have to compile a list of jazz titles now ....

    1. Being from Norway and more of a jazz fan, it's understandable you didn't link the songs to the story. But as you know, you don't need to know the playlist to appreciate the book - the soundtrack just gives it an extra dimension x

  4. I only recognise 2 on the list!

    1. Jenny, you surprise me! Where have you been? Lol x

  5. Great post Suzie. I don't have a soundtrack to write to as don't actually write apart from blog. It made me laugh though as when I was nursing on the wards and doing drug rounds with my trolley the conga always use to always be in my head! lol! I shall thing of each song as I continue reading your book (which I'm loving by the way). It will be interesting knowing the songs and reading the book.


  6. Thanks for dropping by, Kate, and I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying Going Underground.

    When it comes to the Conga, as long as you didn't kick you legs out when doing the drugs round... that may have raised questions about who was taking what? Lol x

  7. Well you can use a song title to name a chapter, could work out. Though I've never heard most of those, it's the lyrics that count. If you ever watch the show "My Name Is Earl", and you should, best sitcom ever made. No laugh track but they use really appropriate soundtrack for a bit in various scenes Lots of great 70's and 80's music, all of which I recognize. That was my era though I'd like to think of these being the good old days too!

    1. Hi, Tom. Thanks for dropping in. I completely agree with you when you say it's the lyrics that count, so it's a shame you don't recognise most of the tracks for Going Underground. As with 'My Name is Earl', it's the lyrics that back up what's going on in each chapter. Still, such knowledge isn't essential to enjoy the read or, indeed, the TV show. Songs are just a great way of adding that something extra x

  8. Suzie,
    Great book i loved it,cheers Marshall

  9. Thanks, Marshall. That's very kind of you to drop by and say x