Last night in London was the party to celebrate ABCDCS, the book about David Collins Studio.
David was the most extraordinary architect and interior designer, who died suddenly and shockingly last year.
He was a dear friend, a man who lived west but loved east.
He was a great fan of the Joiners Arms, and I was asked to create a playlist for the event.
It was a total pleasure, revisiting the records we used to play at weekly night I did there with friends from 2008-2012, called Macho City.
It was so lovely to choose these records thinking of David, and his attitude to life.
Each record is about love, the celebration of life, friendship, idealism.
Any record that was sad would not be played.
David had been working on the book before his death.
It features an A-Z of his passions and themes. M is for Music, and in it he talks of “the divine days of disco”.
It was clear the way to go with the playlist.
Here, via the world of YouTube, is every song played, in specific order.
First, Claudja Barry.
Love For The Sake Of Love.
For obvious reasons.
Next, I’d wanted to play Arthur Russell, but the version I’d got was glitchy.
And I didn’t want glitchiness.
But here it is, non glitchy.
Such a lovely song about the way men can be together.
Next, self explanatory, is Happy Man by Chic.
The next record is one of the most gorgeous songs that I know.
Hot Butterfly by Bionic Boogie (the below clip says it’s Gregg Diamond, who was also Bionic Boogie).
The vocal is by Luther Vandross, before he found fame on his own.
It is glorious.
I put this song on next because it was Amanda Lear and she’s obviously amazing.
Then I realised that this song, Alphabet, fits so well with the title of the book – ABCDCS.
This next song is an absolute favourite of mine.
Daft, sunny, blissful, ridiculous.
Forever Lovers by the Italian Boys.
Next is a record we used to love playing at the Joiners Arms.
I Love Men by Eartha Kitt.
On a similar theme, Calling All Boys by The Flirts.
Ohmygod what is this video…?
Hey Hey Guy by Ken Laszlo.
Then the most major record ever – Another Man by Barbara Mason.
The next record is the most modern I played all night.
When I started this list, it was super long, and had loads of new stuff.
But this was the only record that made sense in the edit.
Who Wrote The Rules Of Love?, by Omar S with vocals by Colonel Abrams.
(this version jumps a couple of times in the first few seconds – apologies – stay with it – the record is gorgeous).
I love the next record.
How To Pick Up Girls by Bobby Orlando.
Another self-explanatory record – Handsome Man by Sparkle.
This next song has so much optimism and excitement about what a night could bring.
Call Me Tonight by Cerrone.
On a similar bent, In The Evening by Sheryl Lee Ralph.
“In the evening/The real me comes alive”.
Another record with the naivety of nighttime possibilities.
First Time Around by Skyy.
The next record is by the mother of Sinitta.
What more can be said?
So Many Men, So Little Time, by Miquel Brown.
To me, this is the sound of the Joiners Arms at about 2.23am.
Love Pains by Yvonne Elliman.
More gorgeousness – Come To Me by France Joli.
I Like You by Phyllis Nelson.
I thought about this next one long and hard.
Madonna was David’s great friend.
Should I play a Madonna record?
To me, this version of Open Your Heart is the most perfect mix ever.
Taking a record, and stretching out its components, letting them shine on their own, to create the most extraordinary, balanced, beyond exciting new work.
Here’s how I decided it in the end.
Would David have liked to have heard Madonna himself?
The answer was obviously yes.
So on it went.
Another extraordinary mix.
Always On My Mind/In My House by Pet Shop Boys.
Another self-explanatory record.
I Need A Man by Grace Jones.
Which was on the first ever cassette I ever bought – her Island Life compilation.
I was aged 12.
Wait for the zithers at 5.16.
The quite fabulous Fashion Pack (Studio 54) by Amanda Lear.
Here she is, performing it um live…
And so the pace picks up.
Don’t Stop The Train by Phyllis Nelson.
I’m Learning To Dance All Over Again by Lorraine Johnson.
Another super important record for us at the Joiners Arms.
Hit And Run Lover by Carol Jiani.
What I loved about doing the Joiners was finding the most amazing records that totally worked, and which seemed not to be known.
Like this one.
Fly Me On The Wings Of Love by Celi Bee.
I’d programmed four hours of music for the party last night, but actually this was the last record played.
I love it.
And I thought that David would find it hilarious.
If My Friends Could See Me Now by Linda Clifford.
Here’s what would have come after.
I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross.
I Want Your Love by Chic.
There were four records with which, if it was my turn, I always ended Macho City at the Joiners Arms.
The always hopeful, always optimistic Maybe This Time by Norma Lewis.
(And it was a slightly different mix from this, but it ain’t on the world of YouTube…)
This next is a record that just makes me dance and weep and dance.
Band Of Gold by Sylvester.
David was an avid fan of Donna Summer.
Here’s her Last Dance.
And then, one of my favourite records in the world.
Take Me Home by Cher.
What a total honour, and pleasure, to put those records together.
Thank you, David.