I don't know why, but there is no song more comforting to me than All Tomorrow's Parties by Japan.
It's like pulling a blanket over you when you're cold, or getting into a warm bath. That feeling of security and peace. In times of trouble - no matter what it is, from turbulence on a plane to the London riots - this song always pops into my head and I must seek it out and hear it at once. And then I feel better.
I first became aware of it at the beginning of 1982 (though it scraped the Top 40 as as single in early '83), when I was mad about Japan and snapped up their entire back catalogue. On their Assemblage album - one I can't recommend highly enough, by the way - is this gem of a Velvet Underground cover. If ever a cover was better than the original, it's this.
I'd just gone to live with my aunt and uncle for six months, who lived in the neigbouring town to the sixth form I was at. All my friends were changing, everyone was drifting apart and finding new groups, I felt adrift and for a while, quite alone.
This song touches on that feeling, thinking of what might be - all those parties I wanted to go to but never did and thought I never would. This song's got such a sad vibe. It sends shivers down my spine just to think of it.
Things didn't turn out that way in the end of course, so perhaps that's why I find it such a comfort. Everything will be alright eventually. It usually is.