The musical tastes of our politicians

Downing Street last night insisted that Tony Blair had paid properly and in full for his winter break, after a day of confusion over the arrangements surrounding his stay in the Miami mansion of former Bee Gee Robin Gibb (left). As yet another political storm rages around Blair's holiday arrangements it is difficult to know what is more suspect, his financial judgement or his taste in music. But appalling musical taste is not limited to the prime minister, as Michael Church pointed out in an Independent article in July.

What it adds up to is the rampant anti-intellectualism that I found Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (below) raging against, when I visited him at the Royal Academy of Music. The Master of the Queen's Music has just been listening to David Cameron's Desert Island Discs choice on BBC Radio 4, and he's not amused. "In any other European country," he says, "a politician who chose that sort of garbage would be laughed out of court. The anti-artistic stance of our leaders gets up my nose. Their main aim is to turn us all into unquestioning passive consumers who put money into the bosses' pockets. That is now the purpose of education."

David Cameron is the leader of the Conservative Party, and here is the music which caused Max to rage.

1. Tangled Up In Blue, Bob Dylan, CBS 26334
2. Ernie, Benny Hill, EMI CDGO 2040
3. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd, EMI 536112
4. On Wings of Song, Mendelssohn, Kiri Te Kanawa and Utah Symphony Orchestra
Decca 475 6013
5. Fake Plastic Trees, Radiohead, Parlophone CDRS6411
6. This Charming Man, Smiths, WEA, YZ000ICD2
7. Perfect Circle, R.E.M, I.R.S.DMIRHI
8. All these Things that I've Done, The Killers, Lizard King,Lizard012

Book:The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Luxury: A crate of Scottish whisky.

For more on the musical tastes of politicians visit Condoleezza's musical mystery tour revealed, and for more Maxwell Davies visit A musician with teeth,.
Image credit - MaxOpus. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Pliable said…
Today's Guardian leader tells us that Bill Clinton used focus groups to select his holiday destinations.

Not too surprising as many thought that David Cameron's media-friendly selection of music came from his political strategist Lynton Crosby.

Recent popular posts

Folk music dances to a dangerous tune

A tale of two new audiences

Does it have integrity and relevance?

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius

Is classical music obsessed by existential angst?

Music and malice in Britten's shadow

Le Voyage de Sahar

So it's not just listening ...

Nada Brahma - Sound is God