Friday, August 10, 2012

Ahh, the good old days

There's nothing like a visit from an old friend to warm your heart and make you grab for the old faves in your CD collection. You know what I mean. You're sitting down having a drink and a laugh with someone who you used to paint the town red with in the 80s. Someone who's seen you looking your best and acting your worst. This is not the time to explore new music trends, this is Memory Lane time. It's time to play those guilty pleasure CDs.

Memory Lane is an odd place to trip down. Why is it that music I used to scoff at a quarter century ago now makes me misty eyed and nostalgic? My music taste back in the day was what you'd probably call "alternative". The top 40 was something to roll your eyes at. Now, after a few drinks, or worse, a few too many, almost anything goes. "Woooo hooo... Working Class Man... yeah, go Jimmyyyyyy!"

Still, as I retreat to the kitchen to drink and cook and sing out of key, sanity prevails and I reach for a CD that helped define me in my youth. The Smiths - The Smiths. That magical blend of Morrissey's voice and lyrics with Johnny Marr on guitar, pure genius.

I decree today that life
Is simply taking and not giving
England is mine - it owes me a living
But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams

Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body ?
I don´t know....

I first heard this on cassette tape (Google it kids) copied and given to me in early 1984. I forget what was recorded on the other side as all I did was to play it, rewind it and play it again. Surely no other group has sung of the Moors murders and made it sound so sweet, crooned about Oscar Wilde or given us the lyrical beauty of Girlfriend In A Coma. No, they haven't and I'll wager they never will.

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