James Blunt is back with his latest album Moon Landing. James tells iHeartRadio, "What I’ve made is something I think, for me, has been a special journey and captured an album I really love."
James teamed up with iHeartRadio when he was in New York City recently to Guest DJ a radio station that represents his personal taste. Check out his favorite tracks and the stories behind them below!
1. "Back To Black" - Amy Winehouse
Well I suppose I’ve been in the music industry myself. I’m exposed in some ways to the pressures that are involved and I write about these kinds of things too. I’ve written a song called “Miss America” which is about Whitney Houston and I think her story is really similar to that of Amy Winehouses’ phenomenal talent and an incredible voice. I suppose what I was touched by was the tragic story of Whitney Houston because, I think of Amy’s too. So this is a song which brings out loads of memories for me when I was recording my second album, and a special person.
2. "Just THe Two Of Us" - Bill Withers
I’ve chosen this song really because it reminds me of that Mike Myers movie. What was the movie again? It was with Mini Me. Austin Powers! Just an awesome moment in an awesome movie but actually when you strip it back, it’s a really brilliant song too.
3. "Heart of Glass" - Blondie
Blondie just had an amazing vibe really, and an amazing feel and sound and look. And this is a wicked song for me, [it] just brings out for me, again, really great memories.
4. "Babylon" - David Gray
When I started out in the music industry, the album that was out at the time and selling masses was White Ladder by David Gray. For me, it really kind of set the benchmark of an entire album where you could press play and listen to the whole thing. For me it didn’t have a bad song on it and it’s something I really aspire to as a musician. Some people have then said after my own album Back to Bedlamb, did I even open the door for other singer-songwriters. I think no I didn’t. I think if anyone did for a period of time it was David Gray and probably his biggest hit from that is “Babylon.”
5." I Will Follow You Into The Dark" - Death Cab For Cutie
Death Cab For Cutie are label mates of mine on Atlantic Records, and this is one of my favorite songs of all time. I don’t know if it was a single of theirs, I didn’t know if it was played on the radio, I have no idea what kind of charts success it is. It’s just the most beautiful, delicate, sweet song both musically and lyrically.
6. "Walk On The Wild Side" - Lou Reed
One of my favorite albums of all time is Transformer by Lou Reed. It was a very special era for music as well and I’m very sad to hear about his passing, so that’s why I’ve added “Walk On The Wild Side.”
7. "Graceland" - Paul Simon
When I recorded my album Moon Landing, I lived with Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia from Star Wars) who was once upon a time was married to Paul Simon. His son Harper passes through the house occasionally, and again like I said with Lou Reed, Paul Simon came from a very special Golden Era of the singer/songwriter. I think as a musician he really truly is genius and I have The Paul Simon Anthology. [He is] really a truly inspiring musician and it’s a fantastic song.
8. "Where Is My Mind" - Pixies
The Pixies are a cool sounding band and this is one of my favorite songs of all time and I’ve covered it too. I’m sure they’re not too pleased that I might have covered it or not have done it any justice, but it’s an amazing special song.
9. "Message In A Bottle" - The Police
I’ve loved The Police for years. What I’ve really loved about them - which is maybe what I’ve tried to take my own time around - is to enjoy and appreciate silence as much as sound. There are only three guys in that band and it’s - you can really understand that actually you can use that sound and use that space. I’ve kind of tried to do the same with my own album Moon Landing and I suppose they also have a song called “Walking on the Moon” but this is a favorite song of mine called “Message In A Bottle.”
10. "Wine" - U2
I think when I first started writing songs, I think I remember hearing this song and thinking it was probably the most perfect song I’ve ever heard. And if I’d ever wanted to achieve anything as a song writer, [to] try and make something as special as this. I don’t think I ever have and I don’t think I ever will.
Check out James' single "Heart To Heart" from his latest album Moon Landing below!
Photo Credit Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio