Each week we invite music lovers to share the songs that have soundtracked their lives. This week it's musician Debbie Harwood, lead singer of 80s supergroup When The Cat's Away. Her debut EP of original work, The Sun, is out now.
This was so hard! Sixty years of music summed up in seven songs, I had to cull for days. It came down to the musicians and producers for me, the songs and the individuals who moved me.
Not everyone thinks like musicians do but we will flush out the sensitivities and troubled. I believe it's our job to catalyse emotion and to uplift and heal.
Once I started making my own music I barely listened to music much, so I end at 18 years of age when New Zealand music began dominating my interests.
1. What The World Needs Now – Jackie DeShannon
This is where I realised that music invoked strong emotions and made life bearable. Burt [Bacharach] rules!
2. Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat and Tears
Other than the obvious long-term passion for The Beatles throughout my formative years (and, boy, does McCartney know how to open those emotional sluice gates) there has been the odd, uniquely anomalous, song that has left spikes on my life-music chart. Spinning Wheel is one of those. This recording shows the use of stereo at it's finest! The trumpet in your left ear, Hammond organ in your right. The air in the recording is astounding – there is room between every instrument and yet it packs such a punch, I love that. This was definitely a catalyst for my love of brass – and I had the enormous pleasure of standing in front of Mike Russell and Chris Green for many years in bands we were in together. Nothing gets your hair standing on end like a superb horn section.
3. Ballad of Danny Bailey – Elton John
Dee Murray's bass playing is astonishingly good – that's where I fell in love with the bass guitar and wanted to learn it. He left his bass guitar to my friend Clive Franks (Elton John's soundman for 42 years) who lives in Devonport, so I've had the pleasure of caressing Dee's bass. Some people wanted to climb Everest, I just wanted to touch Dee Murray's bass.
4. Burn - Deep Purple
I loved David Coverdale's voice and Jon Lord is the Lord, but Ian Paice's drumming on You Fool No One is preternatural. My brother Mark brought this album home and it's still on high rotate for me.
5. Without A Doubt – Split Enz
My first live concert. Sitting in the Napier Municipal Theatre, watching this exceptional band I knew that this was my future.
6. Gutter Black – Hello Sailor
The kick-drum sound changed my life and fuelled my passion for music production. I recorded the front of the song off the radio and listened to it over and over again. That drum sound and anticipated kick-drum blew my mind. It was that year that my unalloyed love of New Zealand music was embedded.
7. Bye Bye Love – The Cars
After Roy Thomas Baker produced Bohemian Rhapsody he wanted to pare back everything and The Cars were his outlet – take it back to the raw song and sounds but drive those VU meters into the red at all times. I love the juxtaposition of Queen and The Cars production-wise. Same ears, extreme ends of the production spectrum: Benjamin Orr, The Cars' singing bass player. He not only had a high, raspy and very attractive voice, he was also the master of understatement in his bass-playing but if he wanted to, he could play like Pino Palladino. I love it when musicians have a ton of head-room in their abilities but only put down what works best for the song. Benjamin epitomised this.