A few weeks ago Legend asked me to come up with a soundtrack to the book, and it was genuinely one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever been given. It reminded me of being a teenager again, and going on dates where the guy would ask what my favourite song was (oh the sweaty palms, the jacked-up heartbeat). Your music taste says so much about you, doesn’t it? These songs had to mean something to Tallie – they had to be ones she would listen to, or ones that resonated with her character. I wanted her to be cool, but not too cool. So many sleepless nights. Below are the final ten songs I managed to cobble together, with a little explanation for each:
JXL – A Little Less Conversation.
This one was easy – it’s the song that’s playing on the radio when Tallie gets the call about her father’s heart attack. It sets the book firmly in 2002, when this was No. 1 for almost an entire summer. I remember being sick of it back then, but you know, it’s actually kind of fun.
David Bowie – Golden Years
The song title speaks to Tallie’s childhood, but the lyrics resonate more with how she’s living her life at the start of the novel (static, lost). Plus David Bowie is very cool, no?
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Tallie inherits this record from her mum, but I think the title is so perfectly about her, too. It’s also a pretty catchy tune.
The Beatles – You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
Tallie and Toby listen to this when he visits her at home. It’s probably my favourite Beatles song, and something that Tallie does very well (hiding her love).
Aerosmith – Dream On
This is all Tallie. She’s obsessed with Aerosmith when she’s younger, and wears an Aerosmith t-shirt. At that age I liked Eternal, but then she’s not actually me.
Erik Satie – Gymnopedie No. 1
This is for Malkie, who teaches Tallie piano and is an all-round good guy.
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Such a beautiful song. And although a lot of people love Tallie, they can’t stop her falling apart (maybe she even falls apart because of the way they love her), so the lyrics are pretty apt too.
Destiny’s Child – Survivor
Tallie is a survivor. Fact
Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror
By the end of the novel, Tallie realises she has to change herself too, come out from where she’s been hiding since she ran away, so it’s relevant in that respect. Plus I think she’s a big MJ fan, she mentions him quite a few times throughout the book.
The Kinks – This Time Tomorrow
This sums up the ending of the novel – no one can know what will happen now between Tallie and her family. Where will she be tomorrow? (Probably the hospital again, seeing her dad, but you know what I mean.)