Soundtrack of My Life: Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Singer-songwriter and star of the lockdown Kitchen Discos picks her all-time fave tracks

The first song I remember hearing

Soft Cell – ‘Bedsitter’

“I remember this song and ‘Stand And Deliver’ by Adam and the Ants being around a lot when I was really small. I was kind of fascinated by them and loved the videos as well. I guess ‘Bedsitter’ was quite a dark song for three-year-old me to be drawn to, but something about it connected with me – maybe it was the dancey beat?”

The first song I fell in love with

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Madness – ‘Our House’

“I loved it so much, especially the intro, that my dad took me to the record shop to buy it on 12” vinyl. My dad was such a passionate music fan that he made trips like that into an event, which is something I’m really grateful for. Because even now when I hear this song, it brings back all those emotions I was feeling when I was about four.”

The first gig I ever went to

Pink Floyd – Wembley Stadium, 1988

“My first gig and my second gig were Pink Floyd with my dad because he’s a massive Pink Floyd fan. And I think he was very excited about making that my first gig, which now makes for a fairly cool answer. But at the time, I didn’t find it that cool because I felt like I was the only 9-year-old there and it was just loads of men my dad’s age kind of nodding to the music. Obviously now I actually can appreciate it a lot more. There was loads of stuff going on: I remember there was a big inflatable pig that came through the middle of the venue with lights in its eyes, and a plane that flew from one side to the other. They’re known for doing amazing visual things like that at their gigs.”

The first album I bought

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En Vogue – ‘Funky Divas’

“I bought it on CD which meant that I probably just skipped to the singles, which obviously you couldn’t do with vinyl. But I did really love the singles: ‘Free Your Mind’ is such a brilliant song.”

The song I wish I’d written

Madonna – ‘Like A Prayer’

“There are so many songs I wish I’d written, but I have to go for ‘Like A Prayer’ because it’s arguably one of the best pop songs ever written. It’s about everything: sex, love, desire and religion. It’s just an absolute powerhouse of a single and it’s really uplifting to listen to. I love it as much now as I ever did.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Eurythmics – ‘There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)’

“When my mum and dad first divorced, when I was little girl, my mum had a boyfriend who we went on holiday with. And he used to start every single day by playing this song really loud. And so now I just always think of that. He wasn’t a bad person or anything, but it was just like, ‘I don’t wanna hear this song every morning’. I actually really like the Eurythmics and Annie Lennox but I’m never going to be able to get into this song for that reason.” 

The song that reminds me of home

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – ‘You’re Welcome’ from Moana 

“We love the Moana soundtrack in my house anyway, but my littlest one, Mickey, who’s one now, has just got into it. So when ‘You’re Welcome’ comes on, we all end up doing the rap and singing along. If you don’t know the soundtrack, it’s really brilliant. Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music so it’s really beautiful with all these dense and satisfying lyrics.”

The song that reminds me of lockdown

Sophie Ellis-Bextor – ‘Take Me Home’

“We sang it at every single Kitchen Disco, but it became ‘Stay At Home’ – I changed it into a sort of government message. I think it’s probably forever going to be etched in my mind now as one of my own songs, but with a pandemic twist.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Jennifer Lopez – ‘Let’s Get Loud’

“Mickey kind of calls the shots at the moment because he dances to literally everything. I mean, you’re chopping vegetables and he starts dancing. He’s into Elvis Presley and Chubby Checker at the moment, but he really adores this Jennifer Lopez song because of the Latin beat – it’s his jam. And it really gets stuck in my head after we play it.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Toni Basil – ‘Hey Mickey’

“I know this is an odd choice but I’ve loved this song since I was a kid and I feel like people would associate with me. I mean, it’s not going to make people cry, but maybe I could have it as the exit music when they leave the funeral?”

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