Soundtrack Of My Life: Dylan Moran

Fast-talking funnyman, music industry conspiracy theorist

The first song I remember hearing

Stevie Wonder – ‘Superstition’

“That’s the first record I can remember very clearly being etched onto my brain because of the incredible drum break in the opening, which I think Stevie Wonder played by the way. I played that on vinyl all the time. We had loads of Stevie Wonder records in the house – I’m lucky with my father’s musical tastes because he was all blues, jazz, blues-classical, Motown, Atlantic, really good records.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Joy Division – ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

“As a teenager, it was all about those indie bands. I was mad about Joy Division and New Order. I used to send away to Germany for bootleg Joy Division gigs on vinyl. They were good live performances. I actually stole that ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ record from my local record shop and got caught. It was terrible, I learned my lesson, I didn’t do it again.”

The first record I ever bought

Jean-Michel Jarre – ‘Oxygen’

“Can I lie? It’s so awful. It was awful then and when you listen to it now it sounds like something that cleans the floor warming up.”

The first gig I went to

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Stevie Wonder – at the Royal Dublin Society, 1984

“You know, when people talk about somebody having an audience in the palm of their hands it doesn’t quite convey it because what it’s like is: he has your breath in his hands and he gives it back to you. You get this incredible tension in everybody’s diaphragm in the room. Stevie was at that level of musicianship where he could do anything – it’s like he’s flying a plane upside down and looping the loop any way he wants, he doesn’t give a shit. He can do it half asleep at four in the morning. Your sensibilities are swung around, it’s like you’re a bucket on the end of a rope that somebody’s swinging around their heads full of water because he’s got all the power but you’ve got all the feeling. You’re the little car on the rollercoaster of his musicianship and you go anywhere and everywhere, places you can’t go by yourself. It’s so thrilling.”

The song that reminds me of home

Those Nervous Animals – ‘The Business Enterprise (My Friend John)’

“It’s a really ‘80s sounding record and one of the lyrics is: “The business enterprise of my friend John”. That reminds me of Dublin when I was young.”

The song I wish I’d written

Bill Haley & His Comets – ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’

“‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’ is an incredibly brilliant lyric. ‘The harder I work the faster my money goes/I believe to my soul, you are the devil in nylon hose’. That’s a line. Those guys sure weren’t worried about the whole PC stuff and if you listen to 1950s rock ’n’ roll I love all the euphemisms for sex, which is the engine, the kinetic energy of rock ’n’ roll. ‘Shake it baby’ is a heartfelt plea that has always been around.”

The song I do at karaoke

Ray Charles – ‘Georgia On My Mind’

“Most of them are old time standard stuff – they’re songs you can really sing,
songs with melodies. I have never done karaoke but I go for the odd singing lesson. It’s really good for you. I’m just doing it to treat my rubber duck to a better time in the shower.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Daryl Hall & John Oates – ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’ (Pomo Remix)

“They design songs now to do that now – they stick an auditory burr in your briar. I read a long article about this programme they’ve written: the record company people put the tunes into this programme, and it sort of constellates hits. It’s part of the vast conspiracy to stop people feeling anything. That’s anti-art, it’s anaesthesia. That’s an engineered song, there’s no question. It’s the most genius version of it I’ve come across. To me it’s like hotel room service food – it’s kind of delicious, you know it’s bullshit and it’s not going to make you feel very good, but it sort of looks classy enough. It can’t be junk food, it’s like a meal, right? That’s what this is, it’s probably very bad for my neurons, but man it glides along.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Aretha Franklin – ‘I Say A Little Prayer’

“Aretha always makes me cry – you’ve got to make sure you have a Kleenex in your pocket. She’s so many different kinds of genius, she just knows exactly what she’s doing, she understands how good that song is.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Chaka Khan – ‘I’m Every Woman’

“It’s a fucking great song. I would like that it would be a bit silly. But also, I think I get annoyed about all that gender stuff that’s going on right now and people are getting very angry about. So I think everybody needs to just learn how to begin to relax about how complex being a human is.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Marvin Gaye – ‘Got To Give It Up (Pt. 1)’

“I’ll dance to anything. I’ll dance to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Rapture. I’m the best dancer in the world, and it’s official. I check every day, I check the scoreboard.”

Dylan Moran’s ‘Dr Cosmos’ will stream exclusively on DICE on May 8 and 9 at 8pm

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