More trawling through my listening collection for the penultimate post in this mammoth A-Z music meme.
Admittedly I had a lot of trouble with N. I wanted to feature New Order, but thought it Manchester overkill, especially as I’ve previously featured Joy Division and Magazine. I toyed, very briefly, with Gary Numan. Then I remembered Kate Nash with this fantastic song. Miles above the higher-profiled Lily Allen.
In the early 80s Top of the Pops didn’t always know what to do with the more unusual chart bands. I’ve already featured the off the wall Associates, and here’s another Scottish band from the period who the BBC decided to surround with dancing girls. During this decade, pop was a party for the BBC. Fun, balloons and gurning DJs. Orange Juice were a great pop band, but somehow didn’t quite gel with the party they were thrust into here.
P is for Pink Floyd and my chance to feature the great Syd Barrett. The internet was a dream come true for Barrett obsessives, YouTube even more so, with obscure footage surfacing of his post-Floyd life. I’m going for the traditional, this promo for the Floyd’s extraordinary first record Arnold Layne.
Next to I, Q was my most difficult letter. And I don’t like Queen, so who else to choose from? There’s always ? Mark and the Mysterians with this jolly tune.
I’ve had a funny relationship with the Rolling Stones, going through lengthy periods of not liking them at all. But this clip of Gimme Shelter is unbeatable. Notice the ? on Mick Jagger’s shirt? I haven’t just thrown this together you know.
It’s got to be The Smiths. Don’t accuse the young Morrissey of being a poser because, for me, The Smiths helped rid the world of the posers of 80s music. Morrissey could look cool in a pair of old jeans – there was no longer a requirement for the elitist fashion of the Kings Road. At last! When The Smiths emerged I’d already been wearing my granddad coat for a couple of years. Now I found a new avenue for my wardrobe – flowery shirts! Quiffs were allowed!
The Smiths were a part of my growing up, and I can align memories of where I was and what I was doing with the release of every one of their albums. I’m glad that Morrissey is still around, still successful and still making records, but he’s a shadow of his former self. He sings a rather pitiful version of This Charming Man with his current band, but here’s the original in all its glory. The business.