January 1st 2017: I made myself a few resolutions about this place. Here they are:
- I will comment more on other blogs (I’ve been following folks’ blogs for years now, and have mostly been one of those people who read what’s been written, probably download the song(s) in question and left it at that. Now I write myself, I realise how gratifying it is when someone takes the time to leave a comment.)
- I will reply to more Comments. (I know I’m a bit rubbish at this. It’s nothing personal. I truly appreciate it when you take the time to say something about what I’ve written, I just don’t really know how to react to compliments in a way that doesn’t make me sound like an utterly sarcastic, ungracious twat. Working on that. There’s an exception here though: The Chain. In the same way as comedians stay off Twitter, I do worry that I may use up my best gags when I reply to your suggestions, so don’t be offended if I don’t reply when you contribute to that, it usually means I’ve thought of a gag but don’t want to spoil the next post. See, even writing that makes me feel like I have an overblown sense of my own importance. On The Chain, a like means I’ve read it and it’s in.)
- Write more of the original purpose of this place. (For the uninitiated, that’s to write about every record I bought in the order that I bought them. The most common thing that friends say to me is this: “I wish you’d write more of those autobiographical pieces.” I know what this means. It means: “When are you going to get round to telling THAT story?” It’s a belter, granted. I’ll get there soon. But, it’s tricky, since not every record has a story behind me buying it; sometimes I just went to Andy’s Records and bought a record.)
- Make this place more interactive than it already is. As someone who has always enjoyed writing and loved music, and who seems to have finally found a voice here, this has been something that I want to encourage in others. This has been a long-term aim, and some of my friends will attest that I have asked them to write something (they haven’t, bar one, which I’m reluctant to post since it says just too many nice things about me). Long-term readers will recall a piece that my brother wrote for me which you can read here. It’s annoyingly good (post-edit, of course).
So here’s the open invite: I’d love to hear from you on one of the following topics:
a) the first pop record that you ever bought or had bought for you
b) the record that everyone else says is a “guilty pleasure”, but which you see no reason to feel guilty about liking. Remember: there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. You just like a pop record, you really don’t need to feel guilty about it.
So: if you’d like to write something under one of those categories, please do, and email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I promise to post what you have written. After editing.
And to get your writing juices flowing, here’s the post I wrote about the first pop record I had bought for me. I’ll repost the thing I wrote about the first pop records I actually bought for myself in a bit:
Cool Cool Kitty
No, don’t go. Really, this is just the start!
Picture the scene: It’s 1978 and me, my older brother and mother are visiting the sprawling metropolis that is Kettering. I am 8, maybe 9. We are in the record section of WH Smiths. My brother (and he won’t thank me for announcing this to the world) has persuaded my mother to buy him the single which is Number One: “Rivers of Babylon” by Boney M. Being a precocious little brat, I insist that she also buys me a single, and announce that I too want a copy of the same record. Mother, quite rightly, refuses, and asks me to choose another one smartish. My bottom lip thrust out in a massive gib, I decide I’ll have the next best thing: the Number Two single. And that, my friends, was “The Boy From New York City” by Darts.
And lo, my addiction to records began.
Ok, this doesn’t exactly fall into the stone cold classic category. Firstly, it’s a cover version. Not always a bad thing, and at least I can cling to the knowledge that the original, by The Ad Libs was produced by Lieber and Stoller, of whom I’m assuming you need no further introduction. Secondly, 50s-esque doo-woppy bands were ten a penny in the late 1970s and early 1980s (see Showaddywaddy, Manhatten Transfer, Rocky Sharpe and the Replays). But there’s something about this song that even now, 36 years later still makes me want to pop on a zoot suit, click my fingers and start pleading harmonically to “Cool Cool Kitty” to tell me ’bout the Boy From New York City”.
Go on, give it a go: