When Ricky Gervais reprised David Brent in 2016 for the spin-off film Ricky Gervais: Life On The Road, he went the extra mile to promote the project and even revealed a list of the cringe-worthy character’s favourite songs.
A lot had changed in the 15-year gap between The Office coming to an end and Gervais resurrecting Brent. He was no longer working at Wernham Hogg in Slough and, somehow, his life had got even bleaker, and Britain had become a crueller place. However, his ambitious dream to become a pop star didn’t dwindle.
In the film, Brent spends his life savings on recruiting session musicians to reform his old band, The Foregone Conclusion — who were once supported by a little-known Scottish outfit called Texas. It was his last chance to chase his dream, and unsurprisingly, his escapades were a calamity from start to finish.
To coincide with the film, the former paper merchant spoke to The Guardian about his favourite songs. While his selections aren’t necessarily bad, the reasons he picked them couldn’t be anymore Brentian.
One track he includes is ‘Streets Of Philadelphia’ by Bruce Springsteen, and the message Brent managed to take from the song isn’t perhaps what ‘The Boss’ envisaged. “Even though this is a song about a bloke slowly dying of Aids, Bruce keeps it upbeat and catchy. That’s why he’s the boss,” he explained.
He also included The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’, although Brent does have some words of advice for Sting. The Foregone Conclusion frontman told the publication: “Sting singing about keeping his eye on some girl. It’s a lovely tune, but someone should tell him the difference between wooing and stalking.”
Brent described Mike + The Mechanics’ ‘Living Years’ as a “cracking tune from Mike about his dead dad.” Meanwhile, there’s also love for Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and Susan Vega’s ‘Luka’.
As Brent was on the promotional run, he humbly included a couple of his own tunes on the list. “Everything in this song is factually accurate, so you can learn as you listen. Clever,” he said about his ode to his hometown, ‘Slough’. He also picked out ‘Lady Gypsy’, which Brent revealed “is a song about when I first had intercourse with a gypsy. A lady gypsy, obviously.”
Although Brent’s second bite at the apple didn’t work out and ultimately left him out of pocket, at least he gave it a shot. Below is a playlist of his favourite songs of all time, which provides an insight into the psyche of one of Britain’s most treasured salesman turned singers.
David Brent’s favourite songs:
- Bruce Springsteen – ‘Streets of Philadelphia’
- David Brent – ‘Slough’
- Des’ree – ‘Crazy Maze’
- David Brent – ‘Ooh La La’
- The Police – ‘Every Breath You Take’
- David Brent – ‘Lady Gypsy’
- Tracy Chapman – ‘Fast Car’
- Suzanne Vega – ‘Luka’
- Bob Marley – ‘No Woman No Cry’
- Mike + the Mechanics – ‘Living Years’