Art and design






Life and style








US news

World news

Readers recommend playlist: songs about obsession

Thom Yorke of Radiohead
Everything in its right place … Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Photograph: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from hundreds of suggestions on last week’s callout. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly series works at the end of the piece.

I sought your suggestions with a relatively open remit for interpretations, and some readers shared songs they obsess over, but many of those featuring in our playlist this week contain lyrics that describe a deep passion and compulsion towards something or someone as the object of the artist’s obsession.

The playlist on YouTube.

If you feel an affinity with Gang of Four’s Outside the Trains Don’t Run on Time (“Order – he’s obsessed with order / Discipline is his passion”), misplaced and mistimed items become an obstacle to your search for order in the home and out. So you might want, as do Radiohead, Everything in Its Right Place. But even still, sounds might set you on edge, as in Juana Molina’s Ferocisimo, a song whose narrator – says our Spanish-speaking nominator – is “obsessed with the noise around her”.

You might have a little fun with your obsessions, as with Beatrice Eli and her Girls – “I’ve got the girls on my mind all the time (all the time)” – or Fine Young Cannibals on their 1989 hit She Drives Me Crazy, in which, memorably: “She drives me crazy like no one else / She drive me crazy and I can’t help myself.”

Your romantic obsessions may inevitably take on a dark side, as in Dinah Washington’s Mad About the Boy (“I know it’s stupid to be mad about the boy”) or Moses and Joshua Dillard’s My Elusive Dreams. They are overtly unhinged when they sound like Steven Wilson’s Index.

Unhinged obsessions can feed each other, as in Jane’s Addiction’s Ted, Just Admit It... What explains the 1980s era media and societal fixation on the crimes of Ted Bundy? Let’s not think about that too long and hard when we can put John Martyn’s The Easy Blues on repeat instead.

New theme: how to join in

The next theme will be announced at 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 1 February. You will have until 11pm on Monday 5 February to submit nominations.

Here is a reminder of some of the guidelines for readers recommend:

This article titled "Readers recommend playlist: songs about obsession" was written by Samantha Birchard, for on Thursday 1 February 2018 12.00pm


Tracks of the week reviewed: Tinashe, Ne-Yo, Factory Floor

Tinashe ft Future Faded Love Pity the female R&B singer who just wants to have fun but has a… Read more

Anna von Hausswolff: Dead Magic review – doomy epic from a supernatural talent

The organ is a strange and compelling instrument, its pedal board capable of moving the secular and… Read more

Turnstile: Time & Space review – teeth-rattling hardcore … with a dash of Status Quo

Eight years after singer Brendan Yates and guitarist Brady Ebert started rehearsing in a… Read more

Nils Frahm review – short on harmony but texture and tone in spades

He might be the most popular solo pianist on earth at the moment but the Berlin-based… Read more

Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu review – African accordion star still an original

The “obscure outsider artist from beyond the west” has become a familiar trope for old music… Read more

Beyoncé on ice! How pop gave new life to figure skating

As the emotive piano line of Adele’s Hometown Glory burst through the stadium, Eric Radford landed… Read more

It's time to light the lights! Muppets to play first ever UK shows

The Muppets have announced their first ever live shows in the UK, to take place at the O2 Arena,… Read more

Stormzy's Brits triumph sees grime star take on the world

When Stormzy and producer Fraser T Smith started work on the grime star’s debut album, the pair… Read more

Readers recommend: share your songs about fairness

This week, we’re looking for songs about fairness in everyday life. For more on how to interpret… Read more

Lisa Marie Presley sues former manager, claiming only $14,000 left from Elvis cash

Lisa Marie Presley has sued her former financial manager Barry Siegel, accusing him of “reckless… Read more