We don't really do out and out retro but there's been a lot of DJ's on Facebook recently nominating each other to list the albums that shaped their early musical years.
So after a nomination by Stuart Holliday, I thought I'd pour myself a beer and jot down mine. The list takes in the 'fag-ends' of punk to new romantic, indie, pop and onto the dawn of the revolution in ‘87. The musical journey starts with my Grandad and goes up to my 18th birthday in November 1987. It's not all cool but hey, growing up never was...
1, Manuel & The Music of the Mountains – Beyond the Mountains (1967) ‘light music’ played on my Grandad’s ‘radiogram’ to show off his stereo sound. My love of vinyl started with the ritual of him putting records on like Spanish Eyes; light covers of pop classics by James Last and folk by Roger Whittaker. Manuel was actually Geoff Love who came from Todmorden; after the war he made a series of lush instrumental LP's much loved by my Grandad, (Music of the Mountains, Sunrise Sunset, Ecstasy, Beyond the Mountains).
2, Goofy Greats – Ktel's 1975 Surf pop and novelty hits LP. I was 5 and had my first record player a second hand Dansette ‘Bremuda’ in a carry case. Weirdly, Jarvis Cocker recently said this was also one of his first childhood LP’s. Ktel were huge in the 70's with ads like this on TV. A mention also to Johnny Morris who's stories about Lorenzo the naughty monkey my cousin and I listened to on his record player in Formby.
3, Simon & Garfunkle’s: Greatest Hits (1972) my parent’s copy and I've never given it them back. It feels a bit 'Partridge' to say my favourite album by them is their greatest hits LP but I don't even think I knew what a greatest hits LP was when I was playing this.
4, The Police: Reggatta de Blanc (1979) – The first LP I purchased with my own pocket money.
5, Adam & the Ants: Kings of the Wild Frontier (1980) Killer in the Home!
6, AC/DC: Back In Black (1980) When starting high school, like most boys I had a rock period and was pretty skilled at drawing on my Army and Navy store rucksack.
7, Duran Duran: Duran Duran (1981) My sister was the bigger ‘Duranie’ but I also loved Rio (1982) which we played to death. Stylish, timeless pop.
8, Simple Minds: New Gold Dream 81,82,83, 84 (1982) Someone, somewhere in summertime!
9, OMD: Dazzle Ships (1983) Attracted by the sleeve which I much later found out was by Peter Saville. This was the follow-up release to the hugely successful Architecture & Morality LP and was hated by most people for being too weird and experimental – I played it to death and it changed the way I thought about music and design.
10, Echo & The Bunnymen – Porcupine (1983) features The Back of Love/ The Cutter/ Heads Will Roll. Jif and I loved the Bunnymen and this is the influence of watching The Tube on a Friday night. We also played their Ocean Rain (1984) LP loads and had a bootleg tape of them playing live in New Brighton.
11, Tears For Fears: The Hurting (1983) Pale Shelter, Mad World and Change are featured on this great new wave debut LP along with my personal fave 'Ideas As Opiates'.
12, U2: The Unforgettable Fire (1984) epic Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois production. Most boys’ liked U2 in the early 80’s.
13, The Housemartins: London 0 Hull 4 (1986) fantastic LP and great gig at the Parr Hall, Warrington supported by The Farm plus just about everybody from my school in attendance.
14, The Smiths: The Queen Is Dead (1986) described by my Mum as "that Man with the depressing voice".
15, B.A.D: No 10 Upping Street (1986) the first band I saw play live supported by Schooly D at the Royal Court in Liverpool when I was at City College. This reminds me of my cousin Christopher and the great long summer of 1986 with the Mexico World Cup and both B.A.D. albums played everyday.
16, Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987) Jif, me and some friends went to the Def Jam Tour in ‘87 at the Manchester Apollo. An amazing line up with Run DMC, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim and Public Enemy. PE were our band and their brilliant second album 'It Takes A Nation of Millions' just misses the chart by one year.
17, The House Sound of Chicago: Vol 2 Chicago Trax (1987) Seminal, all roads lead to here.
18, Eric B & Rakim: Paid In Full (1987) Jif gave me this album on the day of my 18th birthday so it’s a perfect way to round off the list.