Nicholas Peter John Hornby (born 17 April 1957) is an English writer and lyricist. He is best known for his memoir Fever Pitch and novels High Fidelity and About a Boy, all of which were adapted into feature films. Hornby's work frequently touches upon music, sport, and the aimless and obsessive natures of his protagonists. His books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide as of 2018. In a 2004 poll for the BBC, Hornby was named the 29th most influential person in British culture.
Links To Peel
Peel reviewed in the Observer, published on 23rd February 2003, Nick Hornby's 31 Songs book, which was a collection of 26 essays about 31 songs listed by the author that had particular emotional resonance for him. The 31 songs listed in the book were:
- Teenage Fanclub – "Your Love Is the Place Where I Come From"
- Bruce Springsteen – "Thunder Road"
- Nelly Furtado – "I'm Like a Bird"
- Led Zeppelin – "Heartbreaker"
- Rufus Wainwright – "One Man Guy"
- Santana – "Samba Pa Ti"
- Rod Stewart – "Mama, You Been on My Mind"
- Bob Dylan – "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?"
- The Beatles – "Rain"
- Ani DiFranco – "You Had Time"
- Aimee Mann – "I've Had It"
- Paul Westerberg – "Born for Me"
- Suicide – "Frankie Teardrop"
- Teenage Fanclub – "Ain't That Enough"
- J. Geils Band – "First I Look at the Purse"
- Ben Folds Five – "Smoke"
- Badly Drawn Boy – "A Minor Incident"
- Bible – "Glorybound"
- Van Morrison – "Caravan"
- Butch Hancock and Marce LaCouture – "So I'll Run"
- Gregory Isaacs – "Puff, the Magic Dragon"
- Ian Dury and the Blockheads – "Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3"
- Richard and Linda Thompson – "Calvary Cross"
- Jackson Browne – "Late for the Sky"
- Mark Mulcahy – "Hey Self-Defeater"
- Velvelettes – "Needle in a Haystack"
- O.V. Wright – "Let's Straighten It Out"
- Röyksopp – "Röyksopp's Night Out"
- Avalanches – "Frontier Psychiatrist"
- Soulwax – "No Fun / Push It"
- Patti Smith Group – "Pissing in a River"
JP mentioned that this was the first Nick Hornby's book he had read and gave his opinions on the songs listed:
"I'm going to have to step out of the closet here and confess that there are 11 records listed that I simply don't know at all, and at least three I don't like. It would be a bit fatuous to list these, especially as one is by Bruce Springsteen and it seems to be Hornby's absolute all-time favourite and he has harsh things to say about people who don't like Springsteen (we're smart people who are dumb, it seems). Then there is, by a pretty coincidence, one artist and song listed - Rufus Wainwright and 'One Man Guy' - that I'd replace with the artist's father, Loudon, and 'Father and Son'. This song I always imagine to be about me and my son William, because the words fit so well. But there are four tracks here that would at least make the Final Eliminators of any comparable list I might make. These are by Richard and Linda Thompson, OV Wright, Jackson Browne and, finally, the Velvettes. The last named is probably the only one that would be in my final 31. I think Nick Hornby and I would agree that you should hear it as soon as you possibly can. Trust us. And don't talk while it's playing." On his 12 March 2003 show, Peel mentioned that his autobiography would contain lists, "imitating Nick Hornby". These would include "a list of the ten best gigs that I've ever been to in all of my life. Just sitting in a pub in Central London I got twelve already, so that's pretty exciting. I'll read them out some other time actually because we haven't really got time right now." Sadly, Peel died in 2004 before his autobiography was completed and his lists were not included in the book. However, Sheila, his wife, in the book (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, page 273) gave a list on what was likely the Twelve Best Gigs Peel saw in no ranking order.