(Credits: Far Out / Anthony Bourdain / CNN)
“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.” –
As a sullen teen who felt he was sheltered from the cutting-edge of culture while living in a stilted New Jersey suburb that his struggling family could ill afford to live in, Anthony Bourdain hungered to get out and devour the feast of the happening world. However, as he hurled himself into the hustling life of heaving kitchens, he did so with a monkey on his back.
In shedding this, he paired his love for dining with a literary outlook, striking gold and a new lease of life with the travelling realisation that the way to grasp the world’s heart is through its stomach. In the process, he became not just a culinary inspiration but such a clear communicator of style that you could even describe music as having a Bourdain quality.
His tour diary was more akin to George Orwell’s
Down and Out in Paris and London than some highfalutin fancy guide to caviar coteries. In true counterculture fashion, he shunned elitism and sampled what really made the world tick, even stating the following about death row meals: ”When we ask ourselves and each other the question, what — if strapped to a chair, facing a fatal surge of electricity — would we want as that last taste of life, we seem to crave reminders of simpler, harder times. A crust of bread and butter…poor-people food.”
He lapped up music in a very similar fashion. He got to the heart of how it made societies tick, recognising that a bowl of seafood broth is intrinsically linked to the sound of Buena Vista Social Club or that a baloney sandwich is somehow, in some way, connected to the CBGB boom — it is all part of culture. And as it happens, the culture Bourdain liked is the culture that I liked, the playlist chartering his favoured music makes me feel seen to such an extent that I’m paranoid that he might have hacked my iPod in his time with us.
He had friends in the form of Iggy Pop and even started his culinary journey with a sort of kitchen rock in mind. “[W]e recruited every young, pot-smoking, head-banging hooligan we’d ever worked with, filling their heads with dreams of glory. ‘We’re forming … like … a rock and roll band, man, an all-star group of culinary superstars … kinda like Blind Faith’,” he writes in
Kitchen Confidential. His aim was “a faithful re-creation of the kitchens we’d grown up in: insular, chaotic, drenched in drugs and alcohol, and accompanied constantly by loud rock and roll music.”
Thanks to Morgan Neville, the director of the documentary charting Bourdain’s life,
Roadrunner, we get an insight into what was playing. The creators rifled through his record collection and notes on music to provide a mammoth playlist of the songs he loved most. And now we are the benefactors of this cracking listen. To hell with all the restaurant recommendations he may have made, this is probably the most delectable treat that the late, great Anthony Bourdain left us: delicious peasant food for the ears. Anthony Bourdain’s favourite songs: Roadrunner – The Modern Lovers Album: Rock Generation, Vol.6 Down on the Street (2005 Remaster) – The Stooges Album: Funhouse (Deluxe Edition) Beautiful Strangers – Kevin Morby Album: Beautiful Strangers b/w No Place to Fall Maggot Brain – Funkadelic The Burning Spear – Sonic Youth La decima vittima (From “La decima vittima”) (Main Title) – Piero Piccioni Album: La decima vittima – The 10th Victim (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) God Only Knows – The Beach Boys Album: Pet Sounds (Original Mono & Stereo Mix Versions) Roving Eyes – James Chance & The Contortions Album: Buy Contortions 35th Anniversary (Deluxe) Damaged Goods – Gang Of Four Album: A Brief History Of The 20th Century Bad Luck (feat. Teddy Pendergrass) – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Album: To Be True (Expanded Edition) With Our Love (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads Album: More Songs About Buildings and Food (Deluxe Version) I Saw the Light – Todd Rundgren Album: Something / Anything? Lipstick Vogue (2021 Remaster) – Elvis Costello & The Attractions Album: This Year’s Model (2021 Remaster) Now I’m Happy (feat. Marvin Pontiac) – Marvin Pontiac Album: The Legendary Marvin Pontiac – Greatest Hits The Passenger – Iggy Pop La Araña – Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds Album: La Araña Es La Vida Editions Of You – Roxy Music The Evil Has Landed – Queens of the Stone Age Chinese Rocks – Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers Album: L.A.M.F. (The Lost ’77 Mixes) [40th anniversary: remaster] Pusherman – Curtis Mayfield Album: Superfly (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) Raw Power (Iggy Pop Mix) – The Stooges Lust For Life – Iggy Pop Gimme Danger (Alternate ‘Violent’ Iggy Mix) – The Stooges Search and Destroy (Iggy Pop Mix) – The Stooges High On Rebellion – Patti Smith Group On Some Faraway Beach (2004 Digital Remaster) – Brian Eno Album: Here Come The Warm Jets Heroes – David Bowie The Big Ship (2004 Digital Remaster) – Brian Eno Album: Another Green World Supertouch/Shitfit – Bad Brains Bleeding Muddy Water – Mark Lanegan Band Another Green World (Remastered 2004) – Brian Eno Album: Another Green World Straight to Hell – The Clash I’m Gonna Booglarize You Baby – Captain Beefheart Have Love Will Travel – The Sonics Album: Have Love Will Travel Marquee Moon – Television Bush Tetras Can’t Be Funky – mariammshvildadze Gloria: In Excelsis Deo – Patti Smith Can’t Seem To Make You Mine – The Seeds Crush With Eyeliner – R.E.M. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) [2005 Remaster] – Talking Heads Album: Remain in Light (Deluxe Version) Nightclubbing – Iggy Pop Elegie – Patti Smith Atomic – Blondie Unsatisfied – The Replacements The Boss (feat. The J.B.’s) – James Brown Harvest Home – Mark Lanegan Use Me – Bill Withers Penetration (Iggy Pop Mix) – The Stooges Rudie Can’t Fail (Official Audio) – The Clash Sym. No. 1, Movement 1 – Glenn Branca Album: Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus) Nocturne (Adrian Sherwood Remix) – Mark Lanegan Album: Still Life With Roses (Gargoyle Remixes) The Modern Lovers – Astral Plane These Days – Nico Mad World – Tears For Fears The Message (Extended Version) – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Album: Extend the 80s – Electro Life During Wartime (2003 Remaster) – Talking Heads Album: The Best Of Talking Heads Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) – Marvin Gaye Sweet Jane (Live) – The Velvet Underground Album: The Velvet Underground (45th Anniversary / Deluxe Edition) Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder What a Wonderful World – Joey Ramone Album: Christmas Spirit…In My House People Who Died – The Jim Carroll Band I Ain’t Living Long Like This (Live at KCRW, Los Angeles, CA, 7/14/1988) – The Dream Syndicate Gun Street Girl – Tom Waits Decryptated – Rosa Yemen The Hill – Unrest Genius Of Love – Tom Tom Club Transit Of Venus – Tony Conrad & Hangedup Never My Love – Etta James Penal Colony – Women See No Evil – Television Shadowplay (2007 Remaster) – Joy Division Album: Unknown Pleasures (Collector’s Edition) Here Today, Gone Tomorrow – Ramones Ride Into The Sun (“1969” / 2014 Mix) – The Velvet Underground Album: The Velvet Underground (45th Anniversary / Super Deluxe) Dance This Mess Around – The B-52’s Ghost Rider (2019 – Remaster) – Suicide Album: Suicide (2019 – Remaster) Ring of Fire – Wall Of Voodoo Monkey Man – The Rolling Stones Album: Let It Bleed (50th Anniversary Edition / Remastered 2019) Beast Of Burden – The Rolling Stones Album: Some Girls (2009 Re-Mastered) Hank Williams Sr.. Ramblin’ Man – 1951.wmv – V.A. HOSS Do Your Thing (Extended Jam) – Isaac Hayes Album: The Spirit Of Memphis (1962-1976) Someone I Care About – The Modern Lovers Little Child Runnin’ Wild – Curtis Mayfield Memo From Turner – Mick Jagger Album: Performance – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Cry For Love – Iggy Pop Anemone – The Brian Jonestown Massacre Album: Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request 96 Tears – ? & The Mysterians Album: 25 Original Greatest Hits- Cameo Parkway Flash Light – Parliament Album: Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome Can You Get To That – Funkadelic The Man in Me – Bob Dylan Long Slow Goodbye – Queens Of The Stone Age Album: Lullabies To Paralyze Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohen Lost My Mind – Froth I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms – The Modern Lovers T.V. Eye – The Stooges Album: Funhouse (Deluxe Edition) Hungry, So Angry – Medium Medium Album: Cherry Red Singles Club: 1980-1981 AI AI AI AI – John Lurie Album: African Swim and Manny & Lo – Two Film Scores By John Lurie Baby’s On Fire (2004 Digital Remaster) – Brian Eno Album: Here Come The Warm Jets Funtime – Iggy Pop Bad Luck (feat. Teddy Pendergrass) – Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Walk On the Wild Side – Lou Reed – Album: Transformer Jet Boy – New York Dolls Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand Strawberry Letter 23 – The Brothers Johnson Album: Strawberry Letter 23: The Very Best Of The Brothers Johnson I’m so Bored with the U.S.A. – The Clash Human Fly – The Cramps Beat on the Brat (2001 Remaster) – Ramones Bodies – Sex Pistols Album: Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols LUST. – Kendrick Lamar Album: DAMN. COLLECTORS EDITION. Do the Dog – The Specials Album: Too Much Too Young Under My Wheels – Alice Cooper Man in the Box – Alice in Chains Dirty Money – Antibalas We’ve Gotta Get out of This Place – The Animals Album: The Best of the Animals House Of The Rising Sun ’98 – Animals II Album: House Of The Rising Sun ’98 Intergalactic – Beastie Boys Bernard Herrmann – Taxi Driver (theme) – deviantrake Human Behaviour – Björk Lonely Boy – The Black Keys Simple Twist of Fate – Bob Dylan Album: Short Days, Long Nights Do The Strand (1999 Digital Remaster) – Roxy Music I’m Deranged – David Bowie Golden Years (2002 Remaster) – David Bowie Pay to Cum – Bad Brains Riot Act – Elvis Costello & The Attractions White Lines (from 25th Hour) (Re-Recorded) – Grandmaster Flash Fight For Your Right – Beastie Boys Sonic Reducer – Dead Boys Album: Young, Loud And Snotty Personality Crisis – New York Dolls This is Not a Love Song – Public Image Ltd Album: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2011 Tangled Up In Blue – Bob Dylan Kill City – Iggy Pop & James Williamson Album: Kill City (Restored Edition) Once in a Lifetime (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads Album: Smash Hits Punk And New Wave Straight Up And Down (Long Version) – The Brian Jonestown Massacre Album: Take It From The Man Too Many Creeps – Bush Tetras Shelter from the Storm – Bob Dylan Across 110th Street – Bobby Womack Album: The Best Of Bobby Womack: The Soul Years Bonnie and Clyde (feat. Serge Gainsbourg) – Brigitte Bardot Album: One night in saint tropez – starring brigitte bardot 7-29-04 The Day Of – David Holmes Album: Music From The Motion Picture Ocean’s Twelve I’ll Be Good To You – The Brothers Johnson Time Has Come Today – The Chambers Brothers (Don’t Worry) If There Is a Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go – Curtis Mayfield Hard Times – Cro-Mags Album: The Age of Quarrel She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult Album: She Sells Sanctuary Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – Ryuichi Sakamoto Album: 1996 (Re-Mastered) Peter Gunn – The Cramps Album: Big Beat From Badsville Still D.R.E. (feat. Snoop Dogg) – Dr. Dre California Uber Alles – Dead Kennedys Album: Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death Useless – Depeche Mode In The Good Times – Defunkt Album: Defunkt / Thermonuclear Sweat Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy) – Devo Album: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! [Deluxe Remastered Edition] Peter Gunn – Dick Dale and his Del-Tones Album: Greatest Hits 1961 – 1976 Forgot About Dre (feat. Eminem) – Dr. Dre Violent City (Main Titles) – Soundtrack / Cast Collection Album: Morricone, Ennio – The Gangster Collection You Dropped A Bomb On Me – The Gap Band LOVE. (feat. Zacari) – Kendrick Lamar Album: DAMN. COLLECTORS EDITION. Sex Beat – The Gun Club Rainy Day, Dream Away – The Hendrix Files – Phil Bee Sister Midnight – Iggy Pop Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix Machine Gun (Live At Fillmore East, 1970 / 50th Anniversary) (Live At Filmore East, New York/1970/1997 Digital Remaster) – Jimi Hendrix Album: Band Of Gypsys (Live) Some Weird Sin – Iggy Pop I Need Somebody (Iggy Pop Mix) – The Stooges I Can’t Stand Myself (Bonus Track) – James Chance & The Contortions Album: Buy Contortions 35th Anniversary (Deluxe) ELEMENT. – Kendrick Lamar Album: DAMN. COLLECTORS EDITION. Contort Yourself – James Chance & The Contortions Album: Buy Contortions 35th Anniversary (Deluxe) Ask Me No Questions – Johnny Thunders Night Train – James Brown Album: Late 60s Mod Hits, Vol. 2 What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye Guts – John Cale YAH. – Kendrick Lamar Album: DAMN. COLLECTORS EDITION. Heartbreak Hotel – John Cale Et moi, et moi, et moi – Jacques Dutronc Subway Train – Johnny Thunders Strychnine – The Sonics Album: Here Are the Sonics Impossible Tracks – The Kills Hollywood Swinging – Kool & The Gang Bullitt (Main Title) [Movie Version] – Lalo Schifrin Something Wild – Iggy Pop Dirty Blvd. – Lou Reed Some Velvet Morning – Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood Por Tu Amor – Los Apson Album: Mexican Garage Rock ’66 California Dreaming. Mamas & Papas – The Film Band Album: Las 50 Mejores Canciones De Pelicula Deep Black Vanishing Train – Mark Lanegan Band Blue Monday ’88 – New Order Dead On You – Mark Lanegan Album: Whiskey For The Holy Ghost What’s Happening Brother – Marvin Gaye Right On – Marvin Gaye What’s Happening Brother (Detroit Mix) – Marvin Gaye Album: What’s Going On: The Detroit Mix Theme from The Rockford Files (feat. Larry Carlton) – Mike Post Album: Television Theme Songs Baby Pigs – Marvin Pontiac Album: Marvin Pontiac: The Asylum Tapes Città vuotà – It’s A Lonely Town – Mina Mannish Boy – Muddy Waters Wholy Holy – Marvin Gaye I Can’t Quit You Baby – Otis Rush Album: I Can’t Quit You Baby California Love (feat. Roger Troutman & Dr. Dre) – 2Pac Violent City (Main Titles) – Soundtrack / Cast Collection Album: Morricone, Ennio – The Gangster Collection