Each week we invite music lovers to share seven songs that have shaped their life. This week, we speak to Kiwi music legend Peter Urlich, following Th' Dudes recent induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame and ahead of their national tour next April.
1. Fever – Peggy Lee
The finger-clicks, that bassline, that impossibly sultry voice. This homage to horniness drifted out of the radio when I was probably 4 or 5 and I didn't really understand what was going on but I certainly felt the sizzle. Fantastic sparse arrangement and Peggy's amazing delivery make it a classic. We had a big old wireless in the kitchen and I remember thinking the radio must be a big place like a recording studio and the bands would wait and each come in and play their songs, rather than a guy playing records.
2. Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
This song was among my mum's record collection. She liked all sorts of music and played the piano. I wasn't even 10 years old and didn't analyse it but often at that age I just liked the atmosphere of songs and I loved Frank's personality because he was so cool. It was originally called In Other Words and had already been recorded 100 times by other artists; but Frank's version, arranged by Quincy Jones, quickly became the definitive one. I never tire of Frank's effortless phrasing, the charm of his tone as he rides atop of Count Basie's stunning band. He took the lyrics, which could be twee and made it cool with that Rat Pack and slightly mafia-esque delivery. This was, is and will forever be Swing - and I was hooked.
3. A HARD DAY'S NIGHT – The Beatles
My mum worked at the picture theatre in Panmure and on Saturdays I would go with her because I was the baby of the family and there was no one to look after me. I'd go to the 11am, the 2pm, the 5pm - and sometimes the 7pm screenings. I saw this movie when I was 9. I will never forget the impact of seeing the Fab Four exploding out of the screen to this track. The gleaming 12-string guitar, the harmonies, the relentless driving beat. The theatre went crazy and I was in love with pop music. It is so powerful. It still resonates with me - seeing a big image on the screen and hearing a song together.
4. SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL – The Rolling Stones
This is the first song that I sang onstage, at Sacred Heart College with a fourth form band led by Angus Macdonald. I started with my back to the audience but by the end, I was front and centre, in thrall to the power of live rock. I was an absolute Jagger devotee and when I saw him at Western Springs in '73 I was in awe of his stage presence and movements, which I copied to a T. Keith's funky bassline and the percussion propel the song into a slightly manic anthem. The brilliant lyrics of course explore the dark side of humanity and my take is that we all have a touch of Lucifer in us.
5. WHOLE LOTTA LOVE – Led Zeppelin
Jimmy Page's greatest riff - and he's had some pearlers! Even though Robert Plant nicked some of the lyric ideas from Willie Dixon, this is 5'33" of blistering, throbbing, monumental rock, complete with a "freakout" section, a theremin solo and Plant's incomparable vocal, threatening to give "every inch " of his love. I was 13 when I first heard this and I think I may have wept. It was orgasmic and, of course, at that age I was quite interested in those dark secrets. If you listen to this song on headphones it's incredible what's going on – panning from left to right. They got some leakage from the first vocal recording and couldn't get rid of it so they put some delay on it and its absolutely one of those mistakes that turns into history.
6. GOOD VIBRATIONS – Beach Boys
My older brother Mark introduced me to this song. He was a good guitarist and he'd sit on his amp in his bedroom playing his Jansen Invader and get me to sing. He was the one who really let me know that I could sing. He gave me a big vote of confidence when I was only young. Again, I was 8 or 9, so a lot was happening for me at that time and I was so impressionable. From the very opening with "ahh" through to the bubbling chorus it's just perfect. When I first heard it, the beautiful vocal, you can feel a sense of Brian Wilson's longing. I knew that whoever was responsible for this song had something going on. It was something mysterious. The Beach Boys were famous for happy surf songs but there's a sweet spot here between feelings of joy and melancholy together and it was irresistible.
7. ZIGGY STARDUST – David Bowie
I would have been in my late teens when Ian Morris imported this from the UK and it arrived in the mail. He rang me and I rushed over to his flat so we could listen to it. Bowie was a genius, a magician who plucked crazy ideas from his hat and turned them into the most exciting, thrilling concoctions – a rockstar from Mars backed by Mick Ronson and The Spiders. It was part glam, part Vaudeville and fully mindblowing. Ian, Dave and I started making plans.