Desert Island Discs

Darren Black tells us why he loves nothing more than rocking the night away to classical music, as he lists his top ten songs

There are two key influencers in my love of music. My brother who is a decade older than me and my cousin, Michael Mason, a self-taught musician and member of 1980s local punk band, Legendary Dead Men.

I don’t have a style of music that I would call my favourite as my tastes are quite varied. I listen to everything from rock to classical which is why I probably have 100 favourite songs not ten!

1 Tomita; Firebird.

This is a Japanese composure that performs classical music electronically. I first heard this in the late 1970s as my brother had bought it and I used to listen to it when he was away with the army. I love this album and it is best enjoyed alone with a glass of red, or two.

2 New Order; Blue Monday.

I don’t know what it is about this song but it just makes me feel good, which is strange because I don’t like a lot of New Order music but I love this song and listen to it all the time.

3 Madness; House of Fun.

This was the first single that I ever bought! It was purchased from Woolworths in Jarrow. The funny thing is it wasn’t until a little bit later I found out what the song was about!

4 AC/DC; Big Balls.

As a motorcyclist, you’ve got to have some rock in your life and this song is a bit of fun. I love both the old and new line up and local hero, Brian Johnson, is amazing as lead singer.

5 Portugal the Man; Feel it still.

When I heard this song on a television advert, I just knew it was going to be a hit as it’s an excellent song and makes everyone feel happy.

6 Green Day; Basket Case.

This is probably my punk side showing through. I love Green Day but the video for this song is another level of brilliance. I have often watched it on repeat!

7 Kraftwerk; Autobahn.

In 1983 I went on a road trip to Hameln, Germany, with my father and brother. It was very rare that we all got together for any length of time as my brother was in the army, so when we did it was special. Being a fan of the band, I love this song as it reminds me of our trip.

8 Bronski Beat; Small Town Boy.

This takes me back to my clubbing days, when I thought I was the best dancer around and went out every weekend before I settled down and started a family. I remember those days fondly but don’t miss the hangovers!

9 Scala; Creep (Radiohead).

I was watching a program with Ruby Wax where she talked about her battle with depression. She mentioned this version of Creep and how good it is and she was definitely right as there’s something special about a song being flipped to a different genre entirely. The power of a choir is something that is often underestimated and this song leaves me with chills.

10 Jim Reeves; I Love you because I Love You.

This song instantly takes me back to my childhood. My granda’ was a big fan of Jim and would have it playing when we used to go for Sunday lunch at his house. I love how music can bring up memories and take you back to a certain place in time.