my favourite book of the year so far is garry mulholland's fear of music:the 261 greatest albums since punk and disco. it is what the title says - a selection of reviews of 261 albums arranged in years - from 1976 to 2003 with opinionated descriptions of each. it's even better than his this is uncool: the 500 greatest singles since punk and disco. why? i don't know... i suspect it's because the trajectory he takes in terms of music is not too dissimilar to mine - he must be a similar age. there are some years where i had pretty much every album he picks. he takes a journey through post punk bands like gang of four, echo and the bunnymen, talking heads etc goes through the hip hop thing and then into dance music beginning with kraftwerk and so on. i followed that journey.
i have observed two approaches to music. some people buy and love a lot of music in their teens and student years. then they seem to listen to exactly what they listened to then for the rest of their lives. so a look at the music collection is a timewarp, or even worse attending their parties is subjection to seventies and eighties greatest hits collections. others keep moving on - sure they keep the old favourites but keep listening and keep discovering new music. i am definitely the second. in fact i find the first approach really weird if i'm honest. one of the factors that also made a differehnce for me was the shift to CDs. partly because of storage and partly because of lack of space for a record player i ended up either passing on albums to my older brother or selling them to a second hand shop and converted to CDs. that was all fine because i kept listening to new stuff.
however reading this book has definitely reminded me of how fantastic some music i listened to was and how much i'd like to listen to some of it again which is a sentiment i rarely have. i know what you'[re thinking - along with the allotment, getting the garden done and golf jonny is clearly having a mid-life crisis! i don't think i am at all but whatever... i'm not going to list all the albums as that would be a tedious blog entry but i may well hunt down the odd xtc, new order, echo and the bunnymen, the jam, elvis costello, kraftwerk, or talking heads albums over the next year or so to find out if they really were that good or if it is just in the memory.
now where did i leave my pipe and slippers?