50 SHADES OF GREY – Evening Standard, 20 July 2012

Up to now I’ve managed to remain immune to the erotic pull of 50 Shades of Grey, thanks to everyone I know who’s read it stressing first and foremost what a spanking great load of old tripe it is. However, I take active umbrage at its ubiquity when it starts to affect the music charts too. The Tallis Scholars’ recording of Thomas Tallis’s 16th Century choral piece Spem In Alium is this week’s classical number one, thanks to its appearance on the presumably wipe-clean “playroom iPod” described in the novel.

The writer has a playlist for each of the three books listed on her website at eljamesauthor.com/music and it’s a confused concoction of classical works and painfully literal rock such as Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire, The Police’s King of Pain and Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. The surprise inclusion of Danny Kaye’s children’s novelty The Ugly Duckling would be enough to make anyone scream in pain, and not in the way that Christian Grey would prefer.

Musical taste is such a personal thing that in our house it’s hard enough to settle on an agreed playlist during a car journey to Tesco, never mind a dominant/submissive session featuring an extensive array of naughty paraphernalia. One wrong push in the throes of passion and you’re playing the kids’ Mary Poppins soundtrack. Better to stay silent and let your own favourite bondage music play in your mind.