XTC – Senses Working Overtime Virgin VS 462 1982 UK
I happen to think that this is one of the greatest 45’s ever pressed to wax, a truly brilliant pop song that has intelligent lyrics but a rather simple hook. XTC had a lot of great songs but this one, as far as singles go, is right up there at the very top in a collection that is already in another league.
Public Image Ltd – Public Image Virgin VS 228 1978 UK
I saw the single in its newspaper wrapping in Woolworths, though I can’t remember where, in Oxfordshire I would guess. I remember walking over to it and picking it up, then opening it up to have a look to see what it was and then putting it back because I had no money. In Abingdon maybe? No matter, the important bit is that I couldn’t buy it, which is a shame as I absolutely loved it and still do all these years later.
We all have different views, opinions and tastes but for me, this is a masterpiece.
The Clash – Tommy Gun CBS, CBS S CBS 6788, 6788 1978 UK
I never owned a copy of this as far as I remember, a couple of friends did and I used to play their copy whenever I went around to their house. I remember setting up an elaborate trade with one friend, some of my singles for some of theirs and this was in the ones I would be getting as part of the trade but, despite spending hours discussing it, somehow valuing things in fractions with this being worth 1.5 of whatever I was offering, or something like that, the trade never actually happened.
Although I didn’t listen to it very much, the B-side is pretty decent too.
The Beat – Hands Off She’s Mine/Twist and Crawl Go-Feet Records FEET 1 1980 UK
The first time I heard The Beat was at a fun fair in Didcot, on the site of where the football club used to be. I was standing by the Dodgems thinking what great fun it looked, but unable to have a go as I didn’t have money, as was so often the case. I would have been 13 years old. Blasting out of the dodgems sound system came this and it sounded amazing.
The whole ska revival was really vibrant following hot on the heels of punk as it did and reaching back into a musical past that your typical white boy living in middle England would have no idea about. 40 years later I’m listening to and buying some of those songs that were covered and given new life and a new audience.
Dreaming – Blondie Chrysalis CHS 2350, CHS2350 1979 UK
Now you may be thinking “Of all the Blondie tracks you chose this one?”, to which I will answer, no. I’m not limiting the box to one 45 per artist, this may, or may not be, the first one I picked up off the pile as I am not really doing these in any order, even though they are numbered. The numbers are meaningless.
“When I met you in the restaurant you could tell I was no debutante You asked me what’s my pleasure, “A movie or a measure”? I’ll have a cup of tea and tell you of my dreamin’ “
There was a period from the late seventies into the mid eighties when Blondie ruled the charts and pretty much everything they released went top 10, they were unavoidable, quite rightly, as they were an amazing singles band, and, of course, Parallel Lines (which this isn’t from) is one of the best albums ever.
Tubeway Army – are ‘friends’ electric? Beggars Banquet BEG 18 1979 UK
That this still sounds fresh to me even today is testament to the impact it had when it was originally released. There has been much talk about Numan appropriating this or that from various places, but nobody did this like he did this.
I had a load of singles once upon a time but I gave them away when I was 16 and moved to a new town, that is a regret I have as I can’t remember now what half of them were, but each one was so carefully chosen as they cost all the money I had.
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Christine Polydor 2059 249 1980 UK
I remember well the first time I heard this single, it sounded so rich and full and was one of those songs where you just picked up the needle when it had ended and put it back to the start to listen to it all over again. I don’t think I ever played the B-Side, Eve White/Eve Black until today, which is a shame as it’s really very good.
So good in fact that I’ll include it below as well, with the added information that I liked it much better on the second listen. Thinking about it, I may have never heard the B-side because U may not have had my own copy at the time and listened to it several times at a friends house, which, as I’ve mentioned before, was a thing in the pre-internet days.
The Beatles – Hey Jude/Revolution Apple Records R 5722 1968 UK
I loved the Beatles as a kid, and there’s a lot I still like about them now, however, after hearing it for almost 50 years I bloody hate Hey Jude, all those nah, nah nah, nana nah nah’s bore me senseless, they just go on too long and when McCartney plays it live I am just hoping he will stop soon. So why is it here? Because I love the B-Side of this single, Revolution, it is a single I had when quite young and I played that B-Side over and over again, it just rocks, and I do prefer a Lennon vocal to a McCartney one.
Imagine then, my disappointment when I first heard Revolution No.9, I was expecting a kick ass extended version and I got the cutting room floor tapes randomly glued together. Fortunately I still love this B-Side version, and though the copy I have is rather battered and bruised, it still plays well enough.
I decided yesterday to create a box of singles that represents my music listening life up to 1983, when I turned 16. The box will contain 7″ singles that I either owned, wanted or that friends owned and each one will have a note explaining why it is in the box. I will, eventually, give it to my son so that he can put it in the attic, forget about it and one day throw it away without looking at it when having a clear out.
I have about 40 singles for the box already and will be picking at random for this series of posts. So here we go, 7″ number 1:
Toyah – IEYA
There is every possibility that the lyrics to this song are completely meaningless having been constructed by throwing darts at a copy of National Geographic, but I don’t care. I was 13, it was sort of punk and I liked it. It is probably the only song of hers that I can say I really, really like, though many of the other Punk-pop releases she did are perfectly listenable and there was a period here in the UK when Toyah was all over the singles charts. She’s very likeable, and clever, as well as, at the time, being a bundle of endless energy.
I honestly don’t know why but listening to that again now I got chills. It must just connect me to that specific time in my life. It looks a bit corny in places now but it was sort of cool at the time.
Zion, Zooberon, Necronomicon, Zion Zooberon, Necronomicon