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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
As told to Rich Pelley

‘I’ve followed Radiohead from the start – I recognise genius when I hear it’: Rickie Lee Jones’s honest playlist

Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones … ‘When I first heard the Beatles, I was captivated’. Photograph: Astor Morgan

The first song I remember hearing
It’s a tie between Honeycomb by Jimmie Rodgers and (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window? by Patti Page, which came out the year before I was born. I’d have heard them on the radio, growing up in Chicago and then Arizona.

The first single I bought
Ticket to Ride by the Beatles, because I liked the B-side, Yes It Is. My first album was Fifth Dimension by the Byrds, because I loved I Come and Stand at Every Door, about a ghost from Hiroshima. In Phoenix, you could buy records at the drugstore, so I’d have bought them from Walgreens.

The song I inexplicably know every lyric to
Into the Mystic by Van Morrison. I’ll sing it when I’m just hanging around, because I know all the words.

The best song to play at a party
Got to Give It Up by Marvin Gaye or Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) by the Jacksons, because you can really dance to them. I can really dance to them anyway.

The song I stream the most
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen is fun to listen to when I have to clean up the yard. I’ll be out there singing to myself and imagine the whole neighbourhood singing along with me.

The song I secretly like but tell everyone I hate
I don’t like to do that because it can hurt somebody’s feelings. But let’s do it anyway. I feel I should hate Sad Eyes by Robert John, because it’s very sexist, but I can’t because it’s so pretty.

The song I can no longer listen to
Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel. Or anything by Billy Joel.

The song I wish I had written
Anything by Radiohead, so I’m going to say 15 Step, which was used in Twilight. I introduced them on ABC’s In Concert when they first debuted with Creep – I was the host – so I’ve followed them from the very beginning. I recognise genius when I hear it.

The song that changed my life
When I first heard the Beatles, they captured not only my imagination but where they lived, what they felt and who they were, which was very exotic to me in Arizona. When I heard There’s a Place or Please Please Me, I was captivated.

The song I want played at my funeral
That’s always changing, depending on how I think I’m going to die. At the moment, I’d like my own song Away from the Sky at my funeral.

Rickie Lee Jones’s new album, Pieces of Treasure, is out now.

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