Soundtrack Of My Life – Elijah Wood On Prince, Pulp And Getting Down To LCD Soundsystem

Ex-Hobbit, part-time DJ and star of the new comedy-horror film Cooties Elijah Wood reveals the songs that have defined his life so far…

The first song I remember hearing

Michael Jackson – ‘Thriller’: “I remember when the video premiered on MTV, it was a real big thing. My whole family gathered around the TV to watch, but the beginning of the video is like a horror movie and I found it absolutely terrifying! I remember running into the basement for refuge, and though the basement was a terrifying place for me too, I felt safer there than in front of the TV.”

The first album I bought

Prince – ‘Batman’: “I was a huge Prince fan and a huge Batman fan, and at the time I thought the songs ‘Batdance’ and ‘Partyman’ were awesome, so I went out and bought the soundtrack album with my own money. Looking back, it’s not one of Prince’s best albums, but it has ‘Arms Of Orion’ on it and that’s still a dope song.”

The song I do at karaoke

Pulp – ‘This Is Hardcore’: “It’s just a great karaoke song. I did it recently at karaoke as a duet with [Spanish filmmaker] Nacho Vigalondo. It’s a relatively easy song for me to sing because Jarvis’ vocal register is pretty low and mine’s relatively low too. I was screwed when I tried to do Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ because of all the high notes.”

The first song I fell in love with

The Temptations – ‘My Girl’: “I was about eight when I got into this song. I think I just heard it on the radio one day, it was definitely before it was used in the film My Girl. I remember listening to it over and over again and asking my mum for a ‘Best Of The Temptations’ album because this song resonated with me so much. It just hit me on a really deep level.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Ugly Kid Joe – ‘Everything About You’: “This was a big hit on the radio when I was growing up. I guess it’s sort of a medium-tempo dirty rock’n’roll song about hating somebody. At the time it felt like a novelty because it was so angry and belligerent, but in a funny way. In retrospect, it’s just a terrible, terrible song. I think even the band may acknowledge that now.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

The Sundays – ‘Homeward’: “I’m a big Sundays fan and this is an awesome song from their final album, ‘Static & Silence’. I was listening to it yesterday and I’ve had it stuck in my head for the last 24 hours. I want Harriet Wheeler to come back, please. She needs to make another record.”

The song that makes me want to dance

LCD Soundsystem – ‘All My Friends’: “The build that this song has is just incredible. It’s one groove but it keeps getting tighter and tighter; it’s a masterpiece. I’m a DJ and I love playing it in my sets.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Pink Floyd, ‘Fearless’: “Fuck, dude! I’d want it to be something celebratory and this song has a lifting, lilting vibe to its chord progression. It ends on those chords and a load of people singing, which I think was recorded at a football match. It feels weirdly appropriate for a funeral, I think.”