Friday, May 15, 2009

Gremlinfc invites you to...


Having nominated songs by SPARKS for several topics in a row and got absolutely nowhere (apart from kind words from some nice Spillers) , I thought I ought to come out and declare they were my first love. It wasn't easy , even though "This Town" was at number 1 for weeks and everyone loved it or hated it - the rest of the songs proved "challenging" to say the least to a 9 year-old expecting a whole album of such chart-toppers. But, as with all weird shit, it has proved an edukayshun and they were a positive influence, especially as preparation for the weird shit around the corner from '78 onwards...Songs like "Amateur Hour" and "Equator" , not to mention "Talent Is An Asset" are still odd. Although they slipped off the radar around '75/ '76 I kept my ear out for them and when they came back in '79 re-invented it was fantastic..."Number 1 Song" , "Beat the Clock" , "Tryouts for the Human Race"...but not easy explaining those away between the Joy Division , TG , PIL , Killing Joke etc - HiNRG was not quite where it was at as a 14 year old...
So, fellow Spillers - what were your first albums?
Do you still listen to them now and again or were they shit?
Don't cheat and pretend you were cool as a 7 year old!
I showed you mine...

30 comments:

DarceysDad said...

Genesis - And Then There Were Three.

Draw your own conclusions!

goneforeign said...

OK, Rainman.
I didn't buy any 'til I got here on Fri Aug 8th 1958.
I went to the supermarket on Sunday morning and was amazed to see racks of vinyl near the checkout stands for 88cents each! I found a Duke Ellington compilation and a Mel Torme, so I treated my self for a dollar 76! They of course went the way of everything else at the divorce 12 years later but they've been replaced.

BalearicBeat said...

First album I bought was The Police: Regatta de Blanc. At the time I thought they were really good, but I didn't have any real concept of what else was going on at the time. Can't abide them now. I then went through about as much of a New Romantic phase as an 11 year-old lad from Manchester can get way with without the make-up and frilly shirts and was into The Human League, Soft Cell etc.
Sparks are ace btw!

gremlinfc said...

@Balearicbeats - they are ACE aren't they? Just under-appreciated. I loved the Human League too but not once they got the silly girls in - Sheffield was great for its contribution to the 80s and Cabs are still AWESOME.

BalearicBeat said...

It's amazing to throw in things like early Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17 (and indeed Sparks)into DJ sets now and hear how fresh they sound, especially in the light of the recent revival of that early 80s sound with the likes of Lady Blah-Blah. Just been reading Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up and Start Again, which is a great book about those years.

gremlinfc said...

MUSTs for the dance-floor:
* "Yashar" +
* "Split Second Feeling" - both Cabs and both Killers in different ways...
* "Hot On the Heels of Love" - Throbbing Gristle - runs "I Feel Love" a close 2nd
* "Only After Dark"
* "The Dignity of Labour" and of course the CLASSIC
* "Empire State Human" - the Human League
Those industrial techno-bands were well funky...

Japanther said...

First album was:

Michael Jackson - Bad

No regrets or embarrassment, it's still a great album!

Re: Sparks. I was in Helsinki last year and saw a collection of quite ordinary looking geezers in the hotel lobby that looked like they were in a band, but slightly too old to actually be.
"Who are they?" Mrs J asked me,
"Well, that one in the middle looks just like the bloke out of Sparks, but I don't think they are still going".
"You should go over and get an autograph", "Hmm....but i'm not sure, they are about the right age suppose, but he's supposed to be a right miserable bugger and I don't think he'd appreciate me goi....",
"Fucking hell, hurry up, we are going to miss the train, let's go".

I later picked up a Helsinki free paper with a picture of the lobby loungers on the front and the word "SPARKS" in big letters underneath.

Japanther said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gremlinfc said...

Wonder who "Comment deleted" is?

tincanman said...

Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
Before all that I heard was Elton John & Kiki Dee, Kung Fu Fighting and Afternoon Delight on the radio. I had no idea what music really was.
Once I heard Gimme Shelter, I never turned on pop radio again.

-----
One other one, one song from which was surprisingly nominated here a couple months ago, was Let's Clean Up the Ghetto - some benefit/awareness thing featuring Teddy Pendergast, O'Jays, Harold Melvin etc. I was in a discount department store waiting for my mother to buy tampons or something and flicked through a bin of crap they couldn't sell. I thought, ok for 50cents why not.

Soul and motown have never resonated with me, but that record plus the Rolling Stones led a white middle class Canadian farm boy into a lifelong love of blues and country and R&B and all other forms of 'real' organic music.

tincanman said...

oh, i have to add something I meant to add somewhere else last week:

Someone admitted they originally didn't rate most of the bands they now love. I've always been so envious of people - like many on this blog - who seem to be able hear a band once or twice and get it right. I have 'talent spotted' quite a few artists early on, but have missed the boat spectacularly much of the time.
Prince? U2? Crap; won't last.
Not saying any of the names I thought were the next great thing for the first 8 listens. Too embarassing.

gremlinfc said...

@japanther - like the anecdote - i've never really been close to many "pop stars" -just David Bowie in Paris and he was a knob.
@tincanman- that moment when your musical tastes are defined forever is a great one - mine was the week I heard "Holidays in the Sun" in 1977 along with "No More Heroes" in the same Top 20 - music was never quite the same after that...

Abahachi said...

Ultravox, Quartet; still listen to it occasionally, but found that I preferred the earlier records.

Chris said...

My first album was by Manfred Mann. I'd loved 5-4-3-2-1 and the other early singles (before Mike D'Abo) but the album was a little different. I seem to remember their Smokestack Lightning was OK.
Second album was With The Beatles. They were quite good, I think.

32 shillings and sixpence (£1.62-and-a-half) was a lot of money back in the day: you had to spend it wisely.

ToffeeBoy said...

Strawbs - From The Witchwood but that was a cassette so I'm not sure if it counts. My first 12" vinyl was Live In Concert by Derek & The Dominos. Wonder what happened to dear old Derek?

saneshane said...

first two albums with my own cash:
best of Blondie and best of Madness.
I was into singles more, why I then payed for these is beyond me as I had loads of the tracks on 7".

But I didn't have to buy many cos my dad had great taste and my aunt and nan had a record section in the hardware store where they worked.
We re-filed the albums we wanted, so they didn't sell.. then got them cheap.. it was a good system.
Judge Dread (allegedly) owned the shop up the road from them too, I have a nice 2tone collection (all warped and scratched from 30 years of playing) that I got there.

@tin
at my Dads best mates 21st birthday bash a pre famous Bowie played.. my old mans critical analysis:
'he might make someone an okay guitarist, but he hasn't got the voice or presence of a front man'
He never got the scouting job!

Now 83 to 85 were the more interesting(!) record buying years..

severin said...

Hot Hits volume 5 on the MFP label. With startlingly unconvincing cover versions of Brown Sugar, Malt & Barley Bluesand other hits of the day.

The first "proper" album was T-Rex's Electric Warrior which I bought mail order from an advert in Disc magazine.

gremlinfc said...

@severin- Hot hits! They used to sell those albums in our local chemists - 99p for an album of shit cover versions - what a memory!

ToffeeBoy said...

@ gremlin - I seem to remember that the Hot Hits albums had another attraction for the hormonally-charged young lads amongst us ...

gremlinfc said...

@toffeeboy - aha! I know what you are driving at - the mmmories are flooding back( sorry i seem to have irritable Vowel syndrome)- yes, those front covers...

debbym said...

I was given a Hot Hits when I had my tonsils out; can't recall the lady on the cover doing much for me though, apart from making me wonder what a girl stretched out on the bonnet of a car had got to do with A Whiter Shade of Pale...
The first album I ever bought with my own money was Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water

gremlinfc said...

@saneshane - i know where you're coming from about singles - they were my main passion too. In fact whilst thinking about a major turning point in my life , hearing "Holidays in the Sun" on the Top 20 run down in October '77 followed by "No More Heroes" - that wwas mind-blowing and the single cost...75 p.

saneshane said...

that's the thing.. even as a wee kid of 7 I earned 25p an hour on me dads farm. Saturday football, Sunday 5 hours work, Monday 2 new singles.

Then in 79 me brother took as out on strike, because we worked harder than the adults, (who must of been on at least 2.10 an hour!!)
...then I got my first LPs.

and when LPs broke the 5 quid barrier I vowed never to buy any more because it had become too costly.

TatankaYotanka said...

My parents never had a record player or any particular interest in music. First I had to buy a stereo from my mum's Grattan catalogue ... then I bought Pawn Hearts by Van Der Graaf Generator and In The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson. Still listen to both and have been led a merry dance by Hammill and Fripp ever since.

gremlinfc said...

Is it a bit like going to see your first football match? That's your first major experience and has a profound effect on you - even if it is crap?
I've never , ever liked that sort of stuff Tatanka but did try , really I did when I took loads of stuff home from Donny record library - we're just not compatible!

tincanman said...

@ shane
We got $1 a day on our farm. Wish your brother had been there to organize us.

Exodus said...

First album I asked for & had bought for me was a Christmas present - Abba Greatest Hits volume 1, which got flogged or given away a couple of years later. First time I went and bought albums with my own money, I had about £15 left over from money I'd saved for a school trip; they were Wings London Town, ELO Out of The Blue, Kate Bush Kick Inside and a Donovan album that was around at the time (77/78)- don't remember the title ( & don't really remember why I bought it, to be honest). Of those the only one that's still with me is Kick Inside. Of the rest I think the only one I'd listen to now is Out Of The Blue, but I've never really felt the need to replace it. I do remember having my pocket money stopped for two months because 'if you're going to waste your money on that rubbish, you don't need it'. It wasn't a musical family. Well it was in the sense that if I'd gone out and bought a couple of Mozart symphonies and a bit of Elgar they'd have been bragging to the neighbours.

After that the money went on singles till I was earning from a Saturday job, sometime in'79 which co-incided with my getting into new wave. A goldmine for me was the place in the next village that was part cafe & part amusement arcade, which also managed all the juke boxes in the pubs for miles around and sold off the ex-jukebox singles for 25p.

The Sheffield 'scene' was pretty good, wasn't it? The Cabs 'Nag Nag Nag' can still fill a dancefloor (provided you cut down the intro a bit) & is usually followed by a string of 20 year-olds coming up & asking 'What the **** is that?'

gremlinfc said...

Spot on Exodus - "Nag Nag Nag" is absolutely fantastically awesome now 30 - yes 30 , 30 - years after it first hit the dancefloors in Steel City. I still get a buzz when I hear the first few notes - that distorted almost growling keyboard noise and then the sustained feedback with those repeated notes, then the rhythm kicks in - what a fooking masterpiece. How can a band be so under-rated for so long?

treefrogdemon said...

Mine, as previously documented here, was The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which I bought because I'd read a review of it in the Observer. As I'd never heard Dylan before his voice did come as a bit of a shock, but when a 14-year-old shells out 30 bob on a record, by golly she'd better like what she's got and so, very quickly, I did.

It used to make my mum run screaming from the room however. I subsequently bought his first album and then all the next few as they came out - until Blonde on Blonde, which as a double album was too expensive for me. (It's all right, though - I've got it now.)

gremlinfc said...

My folks used to give me the "Turn that racket off" moan on many occasions , especially with the industrial/punk sort of stuff and I found myself moaning to my daughter about her "gangsta rap shit". Seems it's a generational thaang.
Glad you got 'Blonde On Blonde' - not good to have holes in your collection- I sold ALL my albums & single in 1990 to supplement my dole and I have regretted it ever since.