Saturday, 17 January 2015

A Musical Journey - Part 2 The 1980s - Part 2

This blog will be my musical highlights of 1983 - 1986.  Basically, my time from moving to the upper campas of my school until the 6th form.

By 1982 I was buying singles and albums, whenever I had the money. Sometimes compilation albums. Compilations albums were great for finding new stuff like...
 Aztec Camera - Oblivious

and not so good for finding other music,  (from the same compilation record)
Forrest - Rock The Boat

1983 - 1986 was a great time musically for me.  Punk was pretty much dead.  Synths were taking over music, it was an exciting time.   For me,  I couldn't get enough music (which was weird, given I dropped music at school for wood work....).  

                                                            Heaven 17 - Temptation

Thompson Twins - Love on you side.

(still one of my favourite songs).

"Records and Tapes", my local music shop, was my Saturday pilgrimage into town, to check out what was coming out.  John, the owner would let us play and check out new tracks, and occasionally track down some imports.

Late 1983, was the year I started and quite quickly stopped trying to be a break dancer...

Afrika Bambaataa - Renegades of Funk

Chaka Khan - I feel for you.

Malcolm Mclaren - Double Dutch

1983 also saw the start of the, still going, compilation series.  "Now that's what I call music".  A relatively cheap way of getting the latest hits.   Of course, I was still taping the charts each Sunday and doing my own compilations.  I did sometimes, compile the cd into the same order as the record.  We did own a copy of Now 1.

Now 1 had, one of my all time favourite artists on ot.  Namely Howard Jones.   Human's lib is another of my all time favourite albums.  
Howard Jones - Hide And Seek

Hide and Seek, is my favourite song ever.   I don't know why!

Now 1 also had such classics on it as

Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance

Will Powers - Kissing with Confidence

All manner of dodgy '80 tunes went through our house.

Though it did have my favourite Madness song on it and the Cure.

Madness - The Sun and the Rain.

The Cure - Love Cats

1983 was also the start of my 12" collection and possibly the start of me starting to collect everything by a band.

Christmas 1983 and I got for Christmas something that would define me for the rest of my life.  Namely my first computer.   The Zx Spectrum.   From that moment on, I wanted to be a computer programmer.    Thirty plus years later I am still computer programming.   (Plus I got Seven and the ragged tiger on cassette!).

1984 for me is THE music year.

The year when I started a paper round, and starting really having my own money.    My mum once complained I was buying too much vinyl.  My reply was that my friends were all drinking and smoking.  I bought records. Which would she prefer.

My favourite memories of 1984 were playing games on my ZX Spectrum listening to Seven and the Ragged Tiger (Duran Duran), Human's Lib (Howard Jones), Thriller (Michael Jackson), No Parlez (Paul Young) and Into The Gap (Thompson Twins).

1984 was also the year of Frankie Goes to Hollywood.  Yep, I have some rare 12" versions and picture discs of Relax and Two Tribes

Other 1984 highlights include
Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't it be good.
Bronski Beat - Small town boy

Plus 1984, I was introduced to two of my soon to be favourite all time bands -


and the Cocteau Twins.

1985 and my 12" and album collection continued to grow.

Two big musical highlights of 1985.

Live Aid

and me picking up this album, on a whim, well I quite like Run to the hills.

As a synthy punk, I'd seen Iron Maiden on Top of the Pops a few times, and liked a few of the tunes.  Bought this album with some Christmas money.  Never looked back.

Seems a bit weird to go out and buy an Iron Maiden album and also at the same time buy this album.

 Whitney Houston - Saving all my love for you!

and this album. Sade - Your love is King

But that is the way I roll.  I'll listen to anything me and decide myself, regardless of the genre.  If I like it, well, I like it.

Highlights of 1985

Aha- Take On me

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

Madonna - Like a Virgin

King - Love And Pride

Tears for Fears - Shout

Stephen Tin Tin Duffy - Kiss Me

Marillion in the meantime had released Misplaced Childhood and had a hit single with Kayleigh.

Not my favourite album of the band.  Lavendar spoils the album for me.   But I did get to see them live in 1985.

So that is it for part two.  still into pop music, and synth pop, still got my motown influences, but slowly adding a rock touch.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Musical Journey - Part 2 The 1980s - Part 1

The 1980's the decade fashion forgot.  My formative years so to speak.  The '80s was a decade for me of inventive music and terrible fashion.

The big change for me was going from junior school to secondary school.   I had hated junior school with a passion. By comparison.  I loved Secondary school.   My form were (still are) a great bunch. (Can you spot me?)

So at the time of joining, I was still into my punk.

Peter and the Test tube babies.

Though I couldn't get around some of my brother's love of Crass.

1980 saw the release of the film "Breaking Glass".  Starring Hazel O' Connor.

The soundtrack being one of my favourite albums of all time.  One I've bought far too many times.

                                                         Hazel O' Connor - Will You. 
                                       (with one of the most famous saxophone solos ever).

Hazel O' Connor was the first gig I ever went to see.  At the Cornwall Colliseum in St Austell.  Allegedly, Duran Duran supported, but I'm not convinced from the research I've done in the gig.

I also managed to photograph her at Farmer Phil's Festival a couple of times and got to speak to her too!

Our secondary school was split over two sites.   In some ways my musical influences are split over those two sites.

The lower site (years one and two) were defined by Ska, and particularly Madness and The Specials.

Madness - Baggy Trousers

The Specials - Ghost Town

As well as the other Ska usual suspects.

The Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom

I was lucky to photograph The Beat a couple of years ago. I'll try and find a photo!

Selector - Three minute hero

Another band I've been lucky enough to photograph (a couple of times)

As well a the normal Thursday's top of the pops, I had stared home taping the charts every Sunday night, making mix compilations of the best bits.

This was additionally suplimented by the Friday night discos at Swanvale Youth Club.  Where a lot of the local kids in my area would go to dance and see whom you could slow dance with at the end of the night.

At some point at least some of the Grease soundtrack would be played.

ABC - Poison Arrow

Altered Images - Happy Birthday

My love of synthesiser music was also growing.   Duran Duran were my favourites, though to be honest, I prefer a lot of the album tracks more than the actual singles.   Ultravox were also influential.  As well as Tears for Fears.

Duran Duran - Careless Memories.

This one time in music, I was asked to bring in a tape with a song on. Careless memories, being my favourite song at the time.  Naturally, I spliced the song, so it went straight into the Sex Pistols' "Friggin in the Riggin".  Oh how we laughed!

Ultravox - Hymm

Tears for Fears - Pale Shelter

Spandau Ballet - To cut a long story short

Visage - Fade to Grey
For me though with the new romantic movement,  I was never into the fashion aspect of it.  It was all about the synths and funky bass for me.  

1982 was a big year for me, firstly, we got our first VHS video.  This meant we could hire films and music videos, which meant we could see all the rude banned videos.  Plus Channel 4 launched so had The Tube as well as we could stay up late and watch music video exclusives and some previously banned films.  (plus Countdown! Comic Strip presents etc_).

Belious Some - Imagination (uncensored 12")

Duran Duran - The Chauffeur.

Public Image Limited - This is not a love song - The tube 1983

So that is the end of part 1 of part 2.  Which basically covers 1980 - 1982.
Part 2 will cover 1983 - 1986
Part 3 will cover 1986 - 1989.