Monday, 26 March 2012

New York, London, Paris, Munich, everybody talk about pop music

These trousers (and the wall) are not dissimilar to the colour of my legs, so despite the wonderfully warm weather, I can't get them out until I've slapped on some fake tan... I'm hoping to distract you from the dull bottom half by a frenzy of pattern on the top - has it worked?

1960s dress (vintage fair), 1980s sunglasses (vintage shop), kimono-style jacket, knit trousers, leather belt, bangles, bead necklace, patchwork leather bag (charity shopped), Art Company sandals (some website sale, worn to death)

The lovely Vix tagged me a while back, and as it's a music-based tag, I've tried harder than my usual lazy response (ie. complaining it's too difficult, I caaaaan't, and then ignoring it).

I'm not repeating all the rules or tagging anyone else, I'm just inflicting the tracks of my teenage years on you.

But it's been a tricky task, it really has. How do you narrow down your teenage musical tastes and influences to a shortlist? Do you choose songs which meant the world at the time, but you never listen to now? Or those songs/albums which you continue to enjoy?  Oddball one-hit wonders which are completely of their time? Or serious musicians with long illustrious careers? Aaagggh!! I can't decide!

Now is probably the time to come clean and reveal how terminally uncool I am. Laugh all you like, I'm used to it. I utterly refuse to go along with the notion of guilty pleasures. If you like it, you like it - nothing to feel guilty about. They're only songs.

My grammar school years were 1976 - 1982. Just so you know the context.

Abba's glory years were probably the mid to late 1970s, and I adored all those songs; SOS, Fernando, Mamma Mia, Knowing Me Knowing You, Dancing Queen, Take a chance on me, The Name of the Game, Summer Night City, Gimme gimme gimme, Chiquitita. It's a shame they have been rendered hackneyed and boring by repetition and over-use, because they are perfect pop songs which take me back to the long hot summer of 1976 and beyond, to those early, emotion/hormone-fuelled years of "big" school. 

My next selection is Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street. While my friends were donning ripped t-shirts and pogo-ing in 1978, I was in love with this song. I have no idea why a song about separation, deluded dreams and failure so appealed to me, or why a grumpy, bearded alcoholic Glaswegian bloke spoke to me in a clearer voice than the angst-ridden teenagers of punk, but there you go. I was an old soul.

Another 1978 record was Kate Bush's The Kick Inside. I loved this album, all of it, but particularly The man with the child in his eyes. Kate's work is unique, individual, inspired and intelligent. This song is hauntingly beautiful and I still love it, and her quirky genius.

Everyone owned a copy of Dare by the Human League in 1981, so I have to choose Don't you want me? I'm sure it was a subliminal reason for opting to go to university in Sheffield. I imagined I would be bumping into Phil Oakey in the supermarket, and he'd ask me to join Joanne and Susanne as a backing singer. I'm still available, Phil.

Songs to Remember by Scritti Politti was the accompaniment to my A Level revision. My mum insisted I couldn't possibly concentrate with loud music playing. I could then, probably couldn't now, but I still happily listen to this album. The Sweetest Girl remains a gorgeous track.

And finally. I first heard Dimming of the Day as an album track covered by Any Trouble, a little-known, barely successful Manchester band of the 1980s, loved only by me, I think. I adored this song, and noted it was written by "R. Thompson". To my shame, I didn't know who R. Thompson was. I went on to discover the whole wonderful catalogue of Richard Thompson's melancholy genius, with Fairport Convention, ex-wife Linda, and his solo career. Dimming of the Day still makes my soul contract with joy. It's beautiful.

This was such a difficult but enjoyable task - thank you, Vix, for taking me back! I wanted to include some Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, the Grease soundtrack, Gary Numan, Adam and the Ants, Blondie, Roxy Music, Fleetwood Mac, Robert Palmer, Squeeze, Any Trouble, Heaven 17, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, Steve Winwood...

I could go on and on, and you'd all die of boredom.

So why not listen to the 1979 one-hit-wonderness of M? Shoobedoobedoowop...


Kylie said...

Not boring at all. Especially considering we are of a similar vintage. We'd have quite a few songs/bands im common if I could be bothered to put my own shortlist together. But I'd have to include The Smiths, The Clash (who I saw in concert),The Beat, The Jam, U.K. Squeeze (or did you call them the Squeeze?) and that's just for starters...
Please don't forget to send me your dress size, I really want to send you a frock or two. I love my pressies, in case you didn't read my comment x

Anonymous said...

I totally agree about "Dimming of the Day." We have a Linda Thompson version in her haunting voice.

Max said...

I loved the human league and had naughty thoughts about phil oakey at a frighteningly young age! I though all my dreams had come true when in my early 20's at a sheffield night club (yo sushi?) phil oakey approched me at the bar and asked if he could by me a drink. Before i could pick up my jaw my annoying boyfriend beetled over, wiped my mouth and dragged me away. I've not many regrets but that is one. Still listen to and love their albums x

Sissy said...

I love 80's music, just learning "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette on my uke over the weekend, yeah I'm a dork but it sounded good to me...will have to check out "Dimming of the Day", thanks for the post, nice to find your blog....

Krista said...

I have been meaning to finish this post I simply must! I have thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning from your choices. Human league I dug and Pop music was fab but this video is the best! I love the prego lady rubbing her belly!

I will have to check out the others as they are not ringing any bells. In a frock or in a frock with pants, I love you Curtise!!!!!

karensomethingorother said...

Curtise, the only reason I didn't tag YOU in my last tag people post is because I know how much you LURV being tagged. Hee hee. Still, even though you were forced, this music tag is a fun one and I enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed reading Sarah Misfit's list!

Oh, but Baker Street...I can't listen to it. Bad things happened when that song was playing. :(

Still, what a fun list! ABBA was SUPER popular in England, weren't they! I like them quite a lot myself.

Oh, and loved your colourful outfit, paired with the cool pants. Don't worry about not being tanned. It's a sign of maturity and concern for one's skin.

Hot Pink Combat Boots said...

I would never have thought to combine those two prints - but you know what? It totally works! I love looking at your pics - they are always so inspiring.

Any chance you're size xs? I have a dress I'll send your way.

Melanie said...

I'm writing this listening to your music clip...blast from the past! I love this garden party of spring flowers and midnight flowers on you! The wide-legged trousers are great with them. My legs are white-walled as well.

Vintage Coconut said...

Well HELLO there Mrs funky dress!
Don't you look all spring-like & Stylish. =D

I like ABBA!

Vix said...

M's Pop Music will never be the same after Johnny "The Oracle" Vegas's rendition of it on Benidorm.
Some great choices, Curtise. My brother used to play "Baker Street" non-stop so many times it still sets my teeth on edge when I hear it.
Love your pattern mixing. Slap that fake tan on and get flaunting those killer legs!

Anonymous said...

I love "pop muzik" and the human league. Oh and Scritti Politti!

I adore that dress, so lush!

Le Material Girl xo

Miss Simmonds Says said...

Fantastic! I love Baker Street, anything late 70s- 80s that has a saxophone in it... which is quite a lot since every band seemed to have one.

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

You're never boring, Curtise. Love this post. When we were inSheffield, we went to CrAzy Daisy which is the club where Phil O discovered Susanne and Joanne. We always say it could have been us! I was in Sheffield from 1980 to 83 so we overlapped a bit but visited it a lot thereafter. Do you remember the Beehive and the pub with the teapots (The Washington, I think).

Anyway, enough of this. The mix of patterns look great and I love your necklace. xxxx

Fiona said...

You, boring. Never! Love the trip down memory lane. Seems our taste in music back then was quite similar. Still LOVE Abba, and I have LP's by Scritti Politti and Kate Bush, still rate her too. (Mum bought me The Kick Inside when I passed my O levels in 1978, such was the relief!) Gerry Rafferty is a favourite although I preferred 'Get it right next time' to 'Baker St.'
Terrific outfit, am loving your pendant and dress and the mix of prints really works. I have the same trouble with my legs at the moment, although I may have caught some rays down the allotment.
Bop bop shoo op. x

Bella Q said...

Oh you take me back. Music should be more pleasure than guilty- i like your attitude about that!

And your deft pattern mixing. Swah-heet.

Style Sud-Est said...

Hi Curtise,

Funky you are today! i like it! i see you are inside!

Same musical tastes, i saw your list i listened pretty well to the same thing and some of it is in my Ipod!

You are freezing our asses here, terrible -10! it will be better next week!


Ariane xxxx


I was wondering about the trousers, jejejjeje.
My daughter calls after winter legs, cheese legs.
Gorgeous clash of colours.
What no children or cat today??? dam!!!
Big hugssssssssss

La Dama said...

I love 80's music !
You look good with or without pants amor.
Great mixing of patterns Curtise!

Ivy Black said...

Wonderful playlist! I'm with you on all of it especially Kate Bush. I was mad about that album...still am.xxxx