5 albums to play at dinner parties
Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or not, now is the time of year when you want to invite friends and family round to eat. The weather is colder, you have a surplus of pumpkins and you’ve found a new cheesecake recipe (if you make it without the pretext of a dinner party, you won’t be able to tell anyone about it because you will have eaten it all, on your own).
Whenever my parents had people round for dinner, they often had three albums in rotation for background music while we ate- Elton John, Yellow Brick Road, The Beatles, Abbey Road and The Best of Matt Monro. No matter who was at the table, everyone enjoyed the music and it helped to fill any awkward silences.
So in their honour, here are some of my favourite albums to play when people come over.
The Very Best of the Eagles
Every song is a hit. Just like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles transcend music genres, generations and nationalities.
Everyone has a favourite Eagles song.
People will happily sing along but the music won’t every intrude on your conversation.
My favourite of their hits used to be ‘Desperado’, but we were lucky enough to see them play live in LA this summer, and their on stage version of ‘Lying’ Eyes’ made the hair on my arms stand on end. So now I have a new favourite. And yes, they were even better live than on record.
Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
I’m a newcomer to Father John Misty. I wish I’d listened to his music when his first album Fear Fun came out in 2012. I got it into my head that he was a try-hard musician playing super odd psych folk for the sake of being cool.
Once I put on Pure Comedy however, I fell in love big time. His songs are like Elton John with added savage wit, pop culture references and swearing. It’s beautiful, clever, miraculous music that keeps better every time you listen to it.
It’s also perfect for dinner parties- sophisticated, interesting and it sounds lovely. Note the swearing though, just FYI.
My favourite track is the opening one, also called ‘Pure Comedy’.
Luke Sital-Singh, The Fire Inside
I want everyone to listen to Luke Sital-Singh. He has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard live and he writes stunning heartfelt music.
He should hugely famous, yet he’s not. And Taylor Swift is… the universe is cruel.
His music, like all great music, sounds as if it has been discovered rather than created. It’s always been in existence, we’ve only just found it.
You will have to stop eating to properly listen to ‘I Have Been a Fire’- it’s that beautiful.
The Greatest Hits of Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole has one of the top ten voices in my opinion. If you’re looking for something smoother than silk and classy then this is the perfect choice.
Most people will be surprised how many of these hits they know as well.
I used to listen to this album every night when I was little, to help me fall asleep. It’s still one I turn to whenever I want to just sit quietly and relax.
My favourite song in the collection is ‘When I fall in love’.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Volume 1
After a slurry of superhero movies that ran the gamut from dull to offensive and made Barb Wire look like Oscar material, I had low expectations for this film.
As soon as the opening credits started and Chris Pratt danced along to Redbone’s ‘Come and Get your Love’ however, I knew I was wrong. I loved it.
I’ve seen both movies in the series many times now and I always think how perfect the music selection is. It’s rare that you find a collection of songs that make you want to dance and hug people.
Perfect for after dinner dancing or to stop your family arguing.