Wayback Machines – My Songs
Last week I posted an idea for a meme for listing the songs that transport you back to a specific time in your life.
Here are the songs that I’ve come up with (so far, might add more as they occur to me). I’ve added all the songs to this collaborative playlist on Spotify, please add your songs! This meme has worked a treat for me, I’ve had a major ball putting this together and listening to the playlist as I write it up.
Here we go…
1982 – Tomorrow’s Just Another Day
It felt so grown up getting a proper album for Christmas, aged 12. The Rise and Fall by Madness was that album and this was (and still is) my favourite track from that album. Back then, I didn’t have the music centre in my room so I had to sit near to it with the headphones on a play the album over and over. And then record the charts.
1983 – Our Lips Are Sealed
In 1983 I was on my way back from town in a taxi with my Mum after having bought my first ever 12″ single for £1.49. It was Our Lips Are Sealed by Fun Boy Three. I can see myself now, gazing at the sleeve wondering what the Urdu version would be like.
1984 – What Difference Does It Make
Stuart will always claim he was cooler than me. And perhaps there were times when that was true. For Christmas 1984, he asked me to get him Hatful of Hollow by The Smiths. I dutifully obliged and, I’m guessing, still in 1984, I heard it it for the first time in Stu’s bedroom. I can still remember the record player in his room and the first time I heard the opening riff of What Difference Does It Make. It’s still genius, even now.
1985 – Sunrise
Some times in your life don’t really have an evocative some, other times have many. I suppose when you’re 15-16 these things seem terribly important so you tend to have more. Had a choice of a few for 1985 but I went with Sunrise as Low Life never really left the Waltham Music Centre turntable in my room and I was often to be seen playing along to the guitar on my unamplified cheaper Fender copy.
1986 – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Young Michael Stark is just about a year older than me so he passed his driving test in 1986 (I think, I’ll ask him!). The day he passed his test, he picked me up in the Dad’s Mazda 626 and we went for a drive. Not the Pacific Coast Highway, not sure where, but I very clearly remember driving through Gorgie/Dalry weaving through buses listening to Morrissey beseeching us to get twatted by a bus. How we laughed.
1987 – Birthday
I had just started University in Glasgow. There were two songs I always put on the jukebox in the Queen Margaret Union. One was Hey Luciani by The Fall, the other was Birthday by the Sugarcubes. Still a brilliant (if a little disturbing) song. My friend Stephen Wallace always knew I was in the bar if Birthday was playing.
1988 – Crash
Still in first year at University but now we’re at the Glasgow Art School seeing The Primitives play live. I was fairly sure Tracy Tracy stared at me for most of the gig. She did, didn’t she? Here we go, way too fast…
1989 – Stop This Car
This was released the year before, but I have an oddly vivid memory of a walk to the tube near the end of term to head home to Edinburgh. End of 2nd year was great, I only had to Maths exams and they were easy. There is a strong feeling of summer euphoria when I hear this song (a fairly obscure Woodentops B-side) – and obviously, that strong nostalgia associated with the Walkman.
1990 – Deadbeat Club
Studying for my 3rd year exams was almost hard work. I’d not really had any end of year exams up to that point. And it was quite sunny too, it was a struggle. With what money I had I bought two albums on cassette, Chemicrazy by That Petrol Emotion and Cosmic Thing by The B. 52’s. I remember being in my room in Woodlands Drive with the window opening listening to Cosmic Thing with the sun shining outside. It was a choice between Deadbeat Club and Roam.
1991 – In Yer Face
In my final year at Uni at I was in bed like a good boy and then some ne’er-do-well called Russell McNeil turns up at the door saying it’s his 21st birthday and before I know it I’m in the Sub-Club with In Yer Face melting my ear drums. Magic.
1992 – The Only Living Boy In New Cross
Still young, still skinny but working now with that blinding optimism for a career ahead with my fringe unfurled. Fringes, remember them? This song still reminds me of that optimism and vigour from that time. I’m not saying I’m not optimistic and vigourous now, just that you are unlikely to catch me running for a bus. I still
1993 – 50ft Queenie
I bought NME like a good wannabe trendy and it had a cover CD of the usual random guff on it. So I stuck it on. Mamma-actual-mia. The first time you hear 50ft Queenie really loud. Well, you remember it. The version on the Spotify playlist is a somewhat awesome live version. Play it loud. And then play it again. Glory, glory, lay it all on me. Might even run for a bus if I had this on.
1994 – I Can’t Imagine the World Without Me
Weird one this but for some reason I have a very vivid memory of being in my house in Bishopbriggs listening to this Echobelly album reading a book about the Mongols.
I’m going to have a big gap here – I’ll think about this more – there will be something…
2000 – Sunshine On Leith
I was on Calton Hill looking over Leith on a sunny evening. It was proper lovely, the beginning of the beginning. We danced to this song 5 years later.
2004 – By TV Light
One final fond memory. It was 3am in the morning. My daughter had just been born. I got in the car and this was the first song I heard. Strangely, nowhere near my favourite song from the Turin Brakes first album but even so, it stuck in my head.
That’ll do for now. Maybe there are more musical memories to add, sometimes you can’t force them to come to mind. When they do, I’ll add them. For me. Not you.