Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fabulous Fifteen

Deep Kick Girl has been busy celebrating Rocktober by (thankfully) not selecting the usuals found on Fogey FM but those that are quirkier and edgier and have formed the soundtrack to key points in her life.

I don't have the strength to do a daily song list right now but have grabbed a Facebook version that only takes fifteen minutes. After you read (and no doubt scoff and snort at) mine, I invite you to compile your own with a link back to this post and a comment to let me know when you've done it. After all, I'm always looking for more songs to run/walk/cycle to and have got a few goodies already from Plastic Mancunian, Princess Pandora, Franzy and the afore-mentioned DK Girl.

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. When it's posted on your blog, tag fifteen other bloggers (including me).

Most of mine are from my childhood and are firmly linked to memories of family, travel, growing up and when I first realised that music could sum up a feeling, a specific occasion or a phase. Here goes, in no order of merit or chronology:

1. Abba Arrival - every song fantastic EXCEPT for the arrival instrumental crapfest at the end.

2. The River - Bruce Springsteen - Came out in 1980 but I wasn't aware of its existence until the end of 1985 and it's now linked with my first really serious relationship and a certain loss of something that makes the song 'Drive all night' still very poignant. Ahem, enough of that. The double album certainly sounds pretty dated these days but alternates between joyous and laidback and heartbreakingly sad.

As in we go from this:

'Your mamma's yappin' in the back seat
Tell her to push over and move them big feet
Every Monday morning I gotta drive her down to the unemployment agency
Well this morning I ain't fighting tell her I give up
Tell her she wins if she'll just shut up
But it's the last time that she's gonna be ridin' with me' from Sherry Darling,

to this:

'Last night I was out driving
Coming home at the end of the working day
I was riding alone through the drizzling rain
On a deserted stretch of a county two-lane
When I came upon a wreck on the highway

There was blood and glass all over
And there was nobody there but me
As the rain tumbled down hard and cold
I seen a young man lying by the side of the road
He cried Mister, won't you help me please

An ambulance finally came and took him to Riverside
I watched as they drove him away
And I thought of a girlfriend or a young wife
And a state trooper knocking in the middle of the night
To say your baby died in a wreck on the highway

Sometimes I sit up in the darkness
And I watch my baby as she sleeps
Then I climb in bed and I hold her tight
I just lay there awake in the middle of the night
Thinking 'bout the wreck on the highway....' in, quite literally, 'Wreck on the highway'.

3. Born in the USA - Brucey again - I cried when I first heard 'Downbound train' and had to explain to more than a few people that 'Born in the USA' wasn't a pro-Reagan song whatsoever; it's just that Reagan and his people were dumb enough to think that it was.

4. Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo - such a quirky eighties band with a highly musical side and a very, very dark side. It's no surprise that the lead singer and writer, Danny Elfmann has become huge in the film composing world and is one of Tim Burton's frequent flyers.

5. Hot August Night - Neil Diamond - the continuous soundtrack played on our brand new, start-of-the-art tape player in the car during our four month family trip to Queensland in 1979. We'd all sing along to Sweet Caroline, Porcupine Pie and Crunchy Granola Suite.

6. Children's Favourites - sung by Jon Pertwee (my second-favourite Dr Who after Tom Baker) - we three kids nearly wore the needle off the radiogram listening to 'Froggy went a-courtin', 'My Grandfathers clock', 'Three little fishes' and 'I know an old lady.'

7. Robin Hood - dialogue and songs from the 1970 Disney cartoon movie with voices by Roger Miller (Alan O'Dale the minstrel), Terry Thomas (Sir Hisssss) and Peter Ustinov (Prince John)

8. Complete Madness - a cobbled together best-of-so-far bunch of songs by Madness that was the very first cassette purchased with my own money in 1982. It was played over and over again on my mono-tape/radio device - also bought with my own hard-earned babysitting money. All the classics were there but I particularly loved 'Bed and Breakfast man', 'The Return Of The Los Palmas 7' and 'Embarassment.'

9. Bryan Adams - Reckless. Look, it was 1985. I had a spiral perm, two pairs of panelled denim jeans and a skinny pink tie. He was NEW to most of us then, not on constant Fogey-FM replay. He saw me through many nights of year twelve studying and pining for Sean H, introducer to me of the joys of Springsteen and, um, other things.

10. Bryan Adams - Cuts like a knife - 1983. Loved him even earlier than Reckless. Became sick to death of him from around 1987 though.

11. Super Trouper - ABBA, 1980. Had an utterly miserable time for the first six months in Scotland and used to come home from school and play this over and over in my attic bedroom. Mum said she'd hear the 'thump thump thump' of the base coming through the ceiling and worry herself sick about what to do with a sad twelve year old who only wanted to make a friend and didn't seem to know how to do it in a land of weird accents, punks, mods, poseurs, rockers and other sub-groups she'd never been exposed to in country town South Australia.

12. Phantasmagoria - The Damned, 1985/6. Bought the tape at the uni music shop on the strength of 'Eloise' but then discovered 'Grimly Fiendish' and that the 'ol punk band could play more chords than those on 'Smash it up' (a great song to run to) in the late 1970s

13. The dark at the end of the tunnel - Oingo Boingo, 1990. Every song was perfection and it formed my own personal soundtrack that year..... Big decisions about work, life, travel and men.

14. Stoneage Romeos - Hoodoo Gurus, 1984. Pure pop brilliance. 'My girl don't love me any more...' and, of course, 'Tojo', their catchy song about cyclone Tracy that we'd dance to when drunk a couple of years later at uni. 'Tojo never made it, Tojo never made it Darwin....'

15. Red Sails in the Sunset - Midnight Oil, 1985. My older brother got me into them and if it wasn't Bryan Adams it was this tape that gave me strength and fortitude during year twelve and let me onto to searching out older tapes of '10, 9 ....1' and 'Head Injuries' before seeing them in concert at Memorial Drive the day after my final exam was over.

Now it's over to you, blogger buddies - don't take more than fifteen minutes and don't worry about the dag factor - just share with us the ones that really stuck (and still stick) with you, even today. And link to me, will you?


The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Some of those bring back memories.

Abba - Arrival - I was a child when this was released and I had a huge crush on the blonde one. My favourite song from that album is, bizarrely, "That's Me".

Springsteen - The River and Born In The USA - Yep - Good choices. I particularly like the song "The River".

Neil Diamond - Hot Auguat Night - Is that the one where he invites "The Fonz" to sing "Song Sung Blue"?

Bryan Adams - "Run To You" is one of my favourite songs.

The Damned - Eloise - Great tune.

Not sure about Oingo Boingo though




Kath Lockett said...

Fair enough, Plasman. Actually for such a heavy metal head like yourself, I'm pleasantly stoked that you like more than one of them!

Helen said...

I've always been more of a song person than an album person - probaly because I spent most of my teenage years making mix-tapes off the radio and never heard the whole album...

Kath Lockett said...

I was the mix tape QUEEN in my teen years and these days it feels a bit the same because now I just buy songs on iTunes, not albums and I don't even know what the bands look like - just whether I like the sound or not.

franzy said...

I haven't done the album list thing!
Have I?
Am I crazy?

Baino said...

Oh wow I dont think I could isolate 15 and the ones I remember from the past are for entirely different reasons than their musicality. Loved the Hoodoos and I used to hate Abba until Mamma Mia the musical. Now it's a road trippin' necessity.

Deep Kick Girl said...

I'm so with you on Madness (highly disappointing to see them miming at their concert back around 1990) - I loved them then and still love them now.

Also, Brucey baby, Hoodoo Gurus, ABBA, Neil Diamond (hoping to go and see him next year) and The Damned.

Can't stomach Midnight Oil (especially now). Never got into Oingo Boingo and probably too late for me now.

Kath Lockett said...

Franzy, no you haven't but over the years of reading your blog you've mentioned a song or two that I - as someone who largely ignored music from 1993 to 2006 took note of.

Baino, that's why you should do your list - it's whichever fifteen albums immediately spring to mind REGARDLESS of the reason. :) Go ON girl!

That's fine, DKGirl - I'm stoked that you, like Plasman, even agree with just a few of them!

franzy said...

Hmm ... I notice nothing I might have suggested made the list ...

Kath Lockett said...

True Franzy, true. These are the albums that have stuck with me for years - and I adhered to the rules religiously, so fifteen minutes doesn't allow for much deep thinking.

So what are yours, then?

River said...

I haven't bought many albums, ever, although I've had a few given to me as gifts. Mostly I've bought songs, fisrt singles cassettes, then downloading freebies and finally I-tunes. To make mix tapes of course. I'm another mix tape queen. I also made mix tapes from cd's my K bought. I had one of those stereos where I could play a cd and copy chosen songs to a tape. for my walkman cassette player.
So, fifteen albums? Mmm, no.

Miles McClagan said...


Kenickie - At The Club
Catatonia - International Velvet
Artificial Joy Club - Melt
Mono - Formica Blues
Britney Spears - Britney
Zero 7 - Simple Things

Well that's 6 that spring to mind...I try and post a favourite song with each post. You know my tastes are all over the shop by now...