Eliminator, now we’re talking. One of my top 10 LPs ever, it gets played at least once a week and Mrs 1537 is possibly even a bigger fan of it than I am. An important one for me this one. A friend sent my dad a wonky taped copy very shortly after it came out and for some reason I pounced on it, took it up to my lair, jammed it onto my clock radio cassette machine and blasted it as loud as it could. It was the first music I can remember being mine, all mine. Not my parents’, mine.
You see I suffered from that nastiest and most debilitating of childhood ailments, one in fact I have yet to make a full recovery from – cool parents. Do I have your sympathy? I should do. Do you know what it’s like to hear your folks singing along to ‘It can’t happen here’, or to have parents who used to watch Floyd at the UFO club, or a dad with a massive collection of roots reggae, or a mum who loves The Stranglers and Captain Beefheart, a dad who went to the first ever Glastonbury Festival ( who still, confusingly, refers to it as Pilton), who saw The Doors at the Roundhouse … The list goes on. Any idea how soul-crushing it is to come home from school, blast AC/DC and have your mum stick her head around the door and suggest you try Led Zeppelin II ? It’s a wonder I didn’t grow into a Chris Rea Fan.
This was mine though, a new sound for me. It was all my mate David Holvey and I talked about in school (to this day I still find myself speculating in private precisely what manner of sexual act would constitute ‘flagging’ someone down) and this was just on the music alone, the videos weren’t relevant yet, this was before the whole beardieleggycarphenomenon (a word of my own devising there, of limited general utility, but pretty damn accurate in this context). and what music it was, my fave bit, then and now, is the bit in ‘Sharp dressed man’ where it all dies down for a few bars. I’d never heard anything so heavy and intense before.
It’s not flawless of course, I could live without hearing ‘Dirty dog’ and ‘Bad girl’ again, but I think the point is the rest is just superlative ‘Gimme all your loving’, ‘Sharp..’, ‘Legs’, ‘Under pressure’ = perfecto. Yes I know they named better LP before this one, I know it’s a bit artificial and trebley in places – I don’t care, this is just phenomenal music which bypasses all critical faculties and connects somewhere around the brainstem level. It sounds just as good on my turntable now as it did on my tinny tiny clock radio in ’83. Even better like most taped treasures back then I had to spend long hours trying to decipher the lyrics, hand on the pause button, ear to the speaker, I know that most of what I’ve sung along to these tunes over the last 29 years is inaccurate drivel, but know what? I don’t care it just makes I even more personal to me.
This is truly music which is mine, all mine.
4 down (I own two copies, the normal one and a Donnington commemorative picture disc version. True story.