Tuesday, 4 June 2019

THE POWER OF MUSIC


Corgan, my closest male friend who I’ve told you about HERE, is offloading old CDs that he no longer wants…he’s essentially divorcing them; slinging them out like the trash they aren't in favour of Alexa and Spotify.

Some of these CDs I will already have…some not – I’ll have a sort through and take what I already have to a charity shop…or at least share the music in some other way.  But it's very kind of him to think of me.  And, because I’ve known Corgan since ‘back in the day’ I got to thinking about relationships (not just boyfriend/girlfriend ones) but all kinds of relationships…friends, family etc and how music and songs, albums and artists conjure up specific memories…some good…some not so good.

I’ve had a look through my collection, at all the amazing vinyl I still own and haven’t touched for years…because my record player broke and I never replaced it.  Do I sell the records or get a new player?  This post might help me decide – memories or a bit of extra cash?  

Ooooooo, but the artwork though…the sleeves.  Even getting these records out, touching them, looking at the cover designs and reading the play lists already feels exciting and nostalgic. 

It reminds me of running to the local shop to collect the NME and Melody Maker (in newspaper format kids) to help me decide from the reviews which records I should purchase next with my limited, scraped together pennies.  It was a Wednesday thing!  I lived for a Wednesday then, not the weekend, cause it was NME, Melody Maker, record shopping and student night at our favourite club where a double vodka and coke cost a mere £1.00…£0.50p if the barman liked you…although the cola was always flat.

My records aren’t stored in any order…they’re a bit like my life…‘random and disorderly’ so I’ve just pulled out a handful to see what comes out first and what memories they trigger.

First up is a 12” by ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ and on the ‘A’ side is a song called ‘Plush’ the original version, with a beautiful acoustic version of the same song on the reverse.  


This immediately takes me back to my first ‘love’ (my description) or ‘obsession’ (as everyone else would describe it).  You’ll already know about this one…not because I’ve written about him…but because I broadcast all around the world that I was head over heels in lurve with him.

You’re bound to have heard about ‘me and him’…EVERYBODY knew he was ‘The One’ – I broadcast this information very regularly to anyone and everyone who would listen.  'Up the proverbial aisle' he went a few years ago…only not with me…

Oh god the irony of pulling this record out first!  My first love ^^obsession^^.  And the lady he married was his ex’s best mate.  I remember her (the lady he married) back in the day briefly consoling me in the toilets of some club whilst ‘Plush’ played in the background, after this one had upset me AGAIN.  She was telling me that he was ‘a user’, ‘a law unto himself’, ‘he’d drag me down with him’ because he was ‘putting it around college like there’s no tomorrow’.  

‘One not to be trusted’ she called him.  ‘Move on; he’s a waste of space and a piece of shit’ she snapped as I sniveled NOT for the first or last time over him to a total stranger (which she was)…and then all those years later she ended up marrying him…the actual chances of that!  How do you go from 'he's a piece of shit' to 'he'd make an amazing husband' is what I'd love to know!
  
Now, I’ve just re-listened to this song, 'Plush', and even though I know the words like the back of my hand I haven’t a clue what it’s about…I’ve googled the meaning and found out that it is a ‘metaphor for a lost, obsessive relationship…’ now that really is ironic…because that was one hell of a ‘lost obsessive relationship’ that was going on there.  We have mutual friends.  I think he’s happy.  I hope he’s happy; I mean him and the Mrs wear matching Christmas jumpers and circulate the photos of them doing so every year…so that must be happiness right…and true love?  

...and don’t get me started on the wedding photographs, where he actively climbed into a shopping trolley and was paraded around by his new bride in front of the photographer whilst their guests appear to be looking on utterly bemused…like I say…mutual friends do love to share WTF? type photos!

This is getting weird now, because the next record I pull out is The Wonder Stuff EP, ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats – The Original Soundtrack E.P’.  THIS record was gifted to me by the ex I talk about HERE…oh God…AND, I swear this is NO word of a lie…he’s on the front cover of this EP – which is the reason WHY he gifted it to me!  



As you can see the main picture is partially of this band’s audience at Bescot Stadium and he’s in that part of the crowd, clear as day.  I mean…I love The Wonder Stuff…they are one of my absolute favourite bands…BUT…hell…I’d forgotten this ex’s mug is on the front cover and I feel a bit grossed out so I think I’ll get rid of this one...!  Who knew this would turn into a clear out!  For now, it’s going to the back of my cupboard where I can’t see his face.


An album!  Lush’s ‘Lovelife’…I don’t personally know anybody else who actually liked this band.  An ex got me tickets to see them for my Valentine’s Day pressie and proceeded to then spend the whole gig moaning that they were shit (they weren’t), thoroughly ruining the whole experience.  Who wants to go to a gig with a moaning boyfriend?  Not me.  

I managed to lose him when I dashed off to the loo (that I didn’t need to use)…only he found me again whilst they were playing one of my favourite 'Lush' songs ‘Single Girl’…and right then I wished that that was exactly what I was rather than the ‘In a Relationship Girl’ with a nagging fucking boyfriend in her ear...distorting the acoustics.

Please let the next record bring me good memories!  And…

…oh yes…Hole 12” Beautiful Son…this immediately takes me back to seeing them live AND in their hay-day.  

Part way through the set my absolute idol, Courtney (Love), had jumped off stage into the crowd and was surfing.  Everyone was reaching for her, throwing her around, carrying her through the air and wanting to put a hand (and in some instances more) on her.  And my friend (who I’ve named Bella cause she was beautiful) had a bottle of poppers in her hand.  As she sniffed up the legal high Courtney’s foot smacked her in the elbow and the entire content emptied into her (Bella not Courtney’s) eyes…thus blinding her.  So another concert ruined…I mean I couldn’t leave her to fend for herself blinded at a very raucous gig screaming hystericaly ‘Courtney  blinded me!!!!’.  


We spent the rest of the concert repeatedly swilling and bathing her eyes until her sight materialised again.  I could hear the band in the distance over Bella shrieking ‘my eyes, I’m blind, they were my best feature’…so I suppose all was not lost.  I’m sure my mate felt consoled as her eye sight disappeared for a good twenty minutes that Courtney was still singing to her in the background.  Oh yeah…Bella hated Hole, hence the desire to get off her face…so perhaps not! 

Somehow John and Yoko’s ‘Double Fantasy’ album has sneaked into my collection.  This is not mine, I can’t take the accolade for this great purchase…it’s my mom’s…looking at the playlist though, what a classic album.  My mom and I used to listen to this every Sunday…along with ‘Imagine’ which I remember then melted into ‘Crippled Inside’ from the ‘Imagine’ album which I can’t seem to find – she used to do the vacuuming and I’d play ‘Woman’ and ‘Beautiful Boy’ over and over again – and over the sound of the hoover - it still sounded good.   

My mom actually worked with John Lennon’s first wife’s sister-in-law.  

This mother of mine was asked if she wanted any of their furniture when the couple's divorce was going through.  Of course my mom being hmmm, crap, said…NO??????  Which has caused many WTF??? conversations between us over the years…I mean…I don’t mean to revel in anybody’s divorce or unhappiness but I would have loved a bit of Lennon memorabilia in the form of an arm chair or writing desk…or white piano! 

More ‘The Wonder Stuff’ singles ‘Unbearable’ and ‘Caught In My Shadow’, with their amazing B-sides. 

This band basically sums up my youth.  I’ve seen them countless times…a bit of joy I can no longer revel in because every time I do go to see them I bump into a whole load of people from my past that I never want to bump into again (including this ex)…let’s just say, their fan base is loyal A.F – always the same faces and essentially always many new ones too...such is their prowess.

The Doors ‘Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine’ album…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Doors!  They were way before my time, so I didn’t get to see them live…I had to settle with The Australian Doors before they disbanded, who were very good btw!  The same ex who features on The Wonder Stuff EP cover sleeve got me into them, along with (the film) Withnail and I, if you're in the mood for a great cult movie.  

A different ex’s best mate was a massive Doors fan too.  Only he was delusional.  He actually thought he was Jim Morrison reincarnated.  He lived in leather trousers regardless of the weather or activity he would be engaging in and he wore his hair like Jim.  He talked about Jim ALL THE TIME, so I was ok with that!   

I remember getting out of a taxi with him and my ex around 3-4 miles from our final destination as we’d run out of money and therefore could not be transported any further…and me and him skipped…YES SKIPPED…the rest of the way back singing The Doors back catalogue.  I know you’re thinking at least two things here…HOW did you skip 3-4 miles?  And WHY were you both ‘skipping’?  And the answer is 'I don’t know' – I’m not a skippy person...hell, I rarely even smile – it was the power of the music and the lyrics and I was pretending that I was skipping with Jim – cause I’d have skipped with Jim ANYYYYTIME.



OOOOHHHHHH, Back to the Planet…A Small Nuclear Device EP.  On the back of the record sleeve it says ‘Stuff The Criminal Justice Act; Party On!!’  Absolutely Back to the Planet…you rebels…and advocates of human rights, anti-discrimination, peace, love and saving the planet before ANY of these things were a 'THING' – ahead of their time were this band. I can't find any songs from this particular EP on YouTube, so I'll link what is quite possibly their most famous song and probably their second most famous song which is just dreamy.  

Their ‘Mind and Soul Collaborators’ album is here too…aaaahhhh, what?  The record is missing.  Where the hell has that gone?  It’s such an epic album and I don’t think I’ll be able to replace it...I had problems getting my hands on it shortly after its release, so I’m going to have no chance now.  

So that’s upset me.  A lot.

Back to the Planet was another band I love/loved all by myself, which is how I know that the record hasn't been 'nicked' and instead merely 'lost'. 

The only exception to this was that my first love (the one who wears the matching Christmas jumpers and did the shopping trolley 'thing') also loved them.  I bought us tickets to see this band.  We weren’t together-together btw.  

The weekend before the concert I was away and when I got back the tickets had ‘disappeared’.  I. WAS. MORTIFIED.  My mom had thought they were rubbish…they looked a bit like raffle tickets or bus tickets tbf.  She’d bloody chucked them in the outside bin…maybe…perhaps…although she couldn’t definitively say.  

This was a disaster…I was going to lose out on a ‘date’ with 'The One' – my life was over!  She hated him…she’d conspired to ruin my life I KNEW IT! 

I THREW THE TANTRUM FROM HELL…like, I probably threw myself on the floor with dramatics more times that day than I had during my entire terrible twos.  My poor mom emptied the outside dirty bin and went through it with a fine tooth comb several times whilst I shrieked and yelled and cussed in her ear the entire time.  She did eventually find them and I got to go the ball!  

Bloody amazing live band they were/are…I’ve linked my favourite song of theirs’ HERE, because it’s just SOOOO STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL and very underrated IMO…so let’s get them a bit of exposure...with one more for the road!  After all, they conspired to get me the only actual date I ever had with my first love ^^obsession^^!  I’m grateful to them for that!  It was such a good concert, even if The ONE was a boring bugger not wanting to dance!  I mean I get that now…but not back then!  

We were young and he wanted to act like an old person at a Coldplay concert.  Now look at him…rocking around the Christmas tree in his jumper!  She got him in a shopping trolly on their wedding day ffs and I couldn’t even get him to nod his head and tap his foot to a live band!  This is what love does to a person…it changes them…the right person can do wonders for a grump!

The next couple are a bit embarrassing…but ok…I won’t miss them out…you need the full picture…’Dirty Dancing’ and ‘More Dirty Dancing’…I’ll say no more other than Dirty Dancing is pretty much the only Chick Flick I actually like…and like many other ladies throughout the world can quote pretty much the whole film and give you all the lyrics to all the songs.  I know, I know…every one-in-three ladies can do the same…but I’m willing to admit that I’m one of them.

The Levellers ‘World Freak Show’ 12”…wow a tooooon I’d forgotten even existed…and the chorus has immediately come back to me and is going round and round in my head…like a record ironically…‘circles and roundabouts, how much do you know, going round and coming back the world freak show…’  and then there’s a very complicated rap-type-ish bit that I wouldn’t have a clue what I was singing about back in the day…all about Pol Pot, Perestroika, Glasnost, walls coming down and borders closing.  Stuff that would interest me now but not so much back then…I just liked the song because...well....it's catchy…what did I know about Cambodia and Russia?  The Levellers are a band I’d love to see live but for some reason I just always seem to miss them.  They’re on my to-watch list.

Blondie…'Heart of Glass' 12”…I had my first kiss with this playing in the background.  The recipient of this kiss was THE most bloody gorgeous human being I’ve EVER set eyes on in my whole life…so he wasn’t interested in me.  He wasn’t even interested in Bella and Bella was beautiful.  He liked one of our other friends…she didn’t like him!  So Karma really and all that…but for a first kiss it was bloody outstanding (for me anyway).  That’s a damn good memory of mine is that.  He was a God!  Infact, on this occasion the song didn't live up to the memory... now if Atomic (Sleeper's version) had been playing...that might have been a different story. 

Senser anybody?  The album ‘Stacked Up’?  I can’t remember ANY of their stuff.  Let’s have a listen to one of their songs of which I recall absolutely none…errrm….what’s happened to my head…I don’t remember any of this…  Right…this is bringing back no memories whatsoever.  I sort of remember one song after a brief listen and let’s just say this band is not for me anymore.  Anyone like ‘Senser’?  Free gatefold album giveaway happening right here!  Drop a comment if you want it!  First come, first served…I’ll get it packed up and posted onward.

Oh my God…Consolidated and the ‘Play More Music’ album.  Right…I don’t know anything about ‘Consolidated’.  I don’t know if it’s a solo artist or a band – this was purchased for one song only…and what I do know is THIS...  

There was a collaboration between Consolidated and some ladies called ‘The Yeastie Girlz’ (spelt with a cool ‘z’ rather than a correct ‘s’ which is annoying).  

This song was massive in the clubs we used to frequent…but to be fair to us, we could never really hear all the words…or any of the words actually…apart from ‘You Suck’.  So my friends and I all thought it was a basic angsty anti-blokey ‘you’re a dickhead, so you suck’ type anthem.  Well…it was THAT…but mainly not in the context that we thought it was.  I’m actually cringing about this as I type.

My friend and I had my mom telephone around every record shop in town trying to get hold of this damn song.  We didn’t know who it was by.  We just knew the song was called ‘You Suck’.  And each time my mom got off the phone to a record shop she’d say ‘it’s really odd…but when I ask them if they know who sings this bloody song and if they have it in stock the shop person laughs…really loud…and says…'yeah…I know the song but we don’t have it in stock…haha…good luck with that’.  

My friend and I dismissed this but its scarcity caused us to ramp up the pressure on my poor mom to find the damn song!  Want what you can’t have type stuff – the story of my life!  This is before internet shopping kids.  So my mom must have called around 15 to 20 record shops until she actually located the song…on vinyl.

She went to pick it up for me – the amazing momma that she is.  When she collected it the student lad serving her laughed and said…‘oh yeah we’ve put it aside for you on request…you’re the ‘You Suck’ lady’…and he chuckled.  My mom said, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m getting a bit of a complex over this record…I’ve been calling every record shop asking for it…and it seems to cause a bit of a ‘reaction’.  Louder chuckles come out of the mouth of the young student server, and in fact his colleagues…and then…he said ‘…I take it you haven’t actually listened to the words?’  My mom’s like ‘No?  How do the words go…?’ 

He said… ‘I’ll give you the first two lines…’  He cleared his throat and in hushed tones so other customers couldn’t hear the profanity, rapped…


‘I know you’re really proud cause you think you’re well hung…

...well I think it’s time you learnt how to use your…’


...and my mom was OUT OF THAT SHOP QUICKER THAN HE COULD FINISH THE LAST WORD OF THE SECOND LINE, WHICH OF COURSE, WAS...



My mom, unlike me, is a lover not a hater, but she damn well frizzbied that bit of gold-dust full force and straight at my head – I can see the dent in the spine of the record sleeve where it hit me in the chin – and red in the face she swore never to help me ‘record shop’ ever again (which is much less than what I deserved by the way).  

My friend and I were still totally bewildered…a bit ‘mom’s acting crazier than normal today - fancy launching a record at my innocent face!’ until we put the dirty record on…and then…oh my God…yes…we died and died and died again.  My poor mom! 

I’ll stick the link to the ‘offending song’ here…but seriously…if you’re easily or moderately easily offended then give the link a swerve – I’m sure you’ve got the gist already.  It still remains the most explicit song I’ve ever heard…and that’s more than 25 years after it was made.  OH AND IF YOU'VE GOT CHILDREN…DON’T PLAY THIS IF YOU ARE IN EAR SHOT OF CHILDREN OR ELSE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME MAJOR EXPLAINING TO DO THAT YOU WON’T WANT TO BE DEALING WITH UNTIL THEY ARE AT LEAST 30.  DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

Madonna’s sneaked in here with her ‘Human Nature’ 12” looking all bondaged up – I don’t have any stand out memories of this particular song…but I am wondering if this record might be worth a bit of dosh.  

Ebay time!!!!...Bloody hell…thanks Madonna 45.00 quid…can’t sniff at that!  And to the other extreme I’ve got a novelty shaped Shampoo jaggerdy ass 'Girl Power' 7”; worth £0.99 IF THAT, according to Ebay – can’t even give it away! 

This was the start of ‘Girl Power’ loves…that’s right…The Spice Girls did not invent that little slogan they endlessly spew.  It was actually two little cute blondies from London causing 'Trouble'…in the genre ‘bubble gum pop’.  It was shouty, girls can’t sing so they shout type stuff; so to that extent not dissimilar to The Spice Girls…and Japan loved them…and they were a guilty little pleasure of mine for a month or two.  Here they are...knuckle dusters and all...argue with them and they'll stamp 'girl power' on your face for you...



And finally, the last of the few I’ve pulled out is an Independent compilation record, featuring the likes of ‘Inspiral Carpets’, ‘Saint Etienne’, early ‘Pulp’, early ‘Verve’, ‘Suede’, ‘Mega City Four’, 'Senseless Things' and ‘Madder Rose’.  Such a concoction of memories and emotions going through my head…happy, sad, best days of my life, worst days of my life, youth, happiness, love, hate, hormones, freedom, clubbing, pubbing, gigs, bands, music and no pressure.  I’ve laughed, cried, puked and danced my heart out to all of these artists and songs…and I’m lucky enough to have seen them all live too…including the Mega City Four before the sad death of Wiz…who held my hair out of my face whilst I puked up just missing his feet by mere millimetres at a certain festival.  What a gentleman he was.

I feel inspired now to go through my CDS…don’t worry…not today…I’ll leave that for a rainy day…I’m off now to purchase a record player…I need to relive my youth right now and for the next 15 hours until it’s time to come back down to reality and y’know…go to work.  I can’t get rid of these babies…they are part of my life…you can still have the Senser record though…that one is out on its ear. 

Music is a funny thing…just so damn powerful and memory provoking and sometimes, like say when you associate a relationship-breakup or breakdown with a song…you’ll never be able to listen to that song again without feeling sadness/anger/regret etc.  


So the moto is ‘Relationships Can Ruin Songs’!  and the message…‘Be careful who you’re around when your favourite tune comes on’.  

Do you remember any of these songs?  Which songs hold memories for you?  I'd love to know!  Comment below, if you feel so inclined. 





6 comments:

  1. Oh my god I think I remember shampoo!!!

    I had two vinyls, Kylie and Michael Jacksons bad.

    I had some awful CDs when I moved out though. Bewitched, Hanson, aqua... Oh the shame!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah...Shampoo are unforgettable all right!

    Haha! A Kylie 7" was my very first record - Kylie started my collection. I'm not saying which song it was though...I can't bear to admit to it!

    OOOOOOOO dear, Bewitched, Hanson...that's really scraping the barrel is that - full credit for the the totally honest admission there! Aqua...a one to two hit wonder as well, but at least their efforts were OK-ish I suppose... maybe...perhaps...at a push... Thank you for the comment!

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  3. Memories, mine are of the skating rink and the Commodores. You may have been too young. And always Blondie was a favorite and still is to this day. But I must add ABBA in there. What awesome music we once had. My teen's music right now is much worse than the You Suck song, I assure you. I am really not easily offended, until she turns that mess on!

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  4. They just don't make music like they used to! Oh yes! The good old skating rink where we almost broke our necks.

    Ohhhhh worse than the You Suck song? I'm obviously not down with the kids anymore!

    Thank you for your comment!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved shampoo! I’m off to go and search to have a listen!

    Think it was one of my first cd singles x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were just a bit catchy really...

      I've still got all their stuff...I'll never listen to it again, if you can't find your own...!

      Delete

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