50 Ways to Prove I’m Rubbish #32

So here we are: a Bank Holiday weekend, and I have nothing to do except drink, think of reasons to postpone still further the building of a new shelving unit I bought months ago (I figure: the drink serves as a particularly adequate reason) and write stuff on here.

The plan is, therefore, that I’m going to spend much of the weekend reigniting past series’ which have fallen by the wayside over the past few months. Yes that includes The Chain (if anyone is still interested in it), as well as another long mix that I’ve been working on and hope to have actually got pretty much right, not that anyone seems even the slightest bit bothered about them.

But for now, this: a series I started as I was approaching the milestone age of 50, and here we are, as I approach the slightly less milestoney age of 52, and I’m still only just over halfway through the 50 posts I intended to do. As with pretty much every series I start, I didn’t actually bother to plan out what each post would be about.

For those who haven’t stumbled across this series before – and since the last time I posted one was in November 2020 that may be a few of you – ordinarily, the idea is that I post a record by an act that I simply didn’t “get” when I first heard them, and didn’t connect to until much later.

Usually, it’s band or a record which is universally loved and/or considered to be “cool”, but I’m not sure that’s the case with today’s entry.

See, when this record came out 1987, I had just started 6th Form and was busy reinventing myself as a cool indie kid. This record, written and mixed by the despised (by me) Stock, Aitken & Waterman was the anti-Christ as far as I was concerned: everything that was wrong with pop music was encapsulated right here.

Plus there was this story about how this artist was just the tea-boy in the studio where the self-proclaimed Hit Factory producers wove their magic, and they happened to overhear singing one day. This sounded like bullshit at the time, and has subsequently been confessed to being just that.

You know who I’m talking about by now, of course.

A couple of weeks ago, my brother and I went to visit my parents on the event of my Dad’s 81st birthday. Long-term readers may recall that we were unable to celebrate his 80th partly due to Covid restrictions, but mostly due to the fact that he was in hospital following a fall which had fractured his hip.

Before any of you call the Covid police, we followed the guidelines that were in place at the time of the visit, staying outside until our folks had gone to bed, and then the two of us ventured inside to watch TV for a while. It was a Friday night, but the music shows on BBC4 held no appeal, so we ended up watching a programme on Channel 5 of all places, which was running down the “best” – by which they meant best-selling – records of 1987.

And as this song began, I turned to my brother and said “You know, my feelings towards Rick Astley and this record have softened over the years. I think it’s a pretty great pop song now.”

To my surprise, and he won’t thank me for saying this (and will probably deny it in any event) my brother nodded: “Me too.”

You know what’s coming next:

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up

A reminder: it’s absolutely fine to like great pop records, and that is a great pop record, irrespective of what I thought about it 30-odd (Jesus…..!) years ago. Your achingly cool stock should be enhanced as a result of you climbing on board.

More soon.