Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Guest Spot: Jay's Memories of Summer Playlist

Hello from Jay. I'm taking over the blog today and my playlist is made of songs I remember from the summers through my life.

Here it is:
1. Boney M., "Brown Girl in the Ring"
2. David Soul, "Don't Give Up on Us"
3. Grease soundtrack, "Summer Nights" and "You're the One that I Want"
4. The Police, "Message in a Bottle"
5. Blondie, "Call Me"
6. Adam & the Ants, "Ant Music"
7. Madness, "Baggy Trousers"
8. Kim Wilde, "View From a Bridge"
9. Men at Work, "Down Under"
10. Soft Cell, "Tainted Love"
11. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, "Relax" and "Two Tribes"
12. Duran Duran, "The Reflex"
13. Michael Jackson, "Thriller"
14. The Damned, "Grimly Fiendish"
15. Bauhaus, "Bela Lugosi's Dead"
16. Falco, "Rock Me Amadeus" and Modern Talking, "Brother Louie"
17. Guns N' Roses, "Welcome to the Jungle"
18. Mouse T, "Horny"
19. Duran Duran, "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise"
20. The Damned, "I Don't Care"
In school, my earliest musical memories are of Boney M. "Brown Girl in the Ring". I remember listening to this and picking blackberries. It was one of those songs you heard everywhere at the time. It's still one of the top 10 sellers in the UK of all tim, I believe.

Then, it was David Soul's "Don't Give Up on Us." My mum was a massive David Soul fan so I heard this one a lot. My mum had just passed her driving test and "Don't Give Up on Us" was on the obligatory car tape. There were also things like David Essex's "Oh, What a Circus" from Evita as well as a lot of Beatles, etc.

In junior school, I remember "Summer Days" and "You're the One that I Want" from Grease  being all the rage during the summer. Although I hated the music (it's really not my thing,) it was all you'd hear because the girls brought in tape recorders with the Grease soundtracks on them. If one girl wasn't playing it, another was. I loved the parody, though, by Arthur Mullard and Hylda Baker.

Next would be "Message in a Bottle" by The Police and then Blondie's "Call Me", which take me up to the late Eighties. "Call Me" makes it to the list because I remember we were coming back from Ogmore on a camping trip with the school and it was playing on the bus. It was my last year in that school and it was the very end of term. "Message in a Bottle" was just catchy. I really liked that one. I didn't have a musical identity at the time so I was more open to different types of music.

I think the next song I would go with is "Ant Music" by Adam & the Ants because it was the first time in my life I actually wanted to be like somebody -- even though I was too young and scared to try. The first time I saw the video, I was like, "Wow! Who the fuck is this?" I loved the tribal beat. I'd never heard that double drum sound before.

"Baggy Trousers" by Madness is next. One of my friend's fathers, Len was his name, used to give us a lift to school and he'd have the radio on. Instead of a tape, like in my mum's car, we'd hear what was on the charts. There were so many good Madness songs but "Baggy Trousers" is the one that reminds of being that age. They always had a distinct sound and no one has really managed to match it, even after all this time.

Kim Wylde's "View From a Bridge" is next. It's one of those songs that I associate with summer but I couldn't give you an exact reason. It just does.

Men at Work and "Land Down Under". I remember it playing at the school discos, along with "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. "Tainted Love" is a song that keeps coming back. It feels like it's just always been. I heard these songs so many times at the end of term discos and at the youth clubs. School discos in Britain aren't like prom or anything, they were just dances held in July because that was the end of term.


I suppose the next two have to be from Frankie Goes to Hollywood. "Relax" and "Two Tribes" were absolutely everywhere. I went to Majorca that summer and everywhere you went, all you heard was Frankie. People everywhere were wearing Frankie Says Relax shirts and Frankie played on every radio.

The next song is "The Reflex" by Duran Duran. It started my love affair with Duran Duran. I'd been aware of them a long time but "The Reflex" was the first song that made me go out and buy one of their albums.

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson has to make this list, too. It was massive. The reason that it makes this list, even though it wasn't really a summer song, is because I went to see Jackson four years later in Cardiff. It was one of my biggest musical memories of that summer.

The Damned's "Grimly Fiendish" is next. Most people would say that's not summery at all but it is for me. That summer, there were two albums I listened to constantly. One was Black Celebration by Depeche Mode and Phantasmagoria by The Damned. I had just started to dress in black, even though I wasn't a proper goth yet. Damn, I would sweat my tits off in that baking sun! It was the year school finished for me and my life was changing. I was getting more into the goth scene and finding my musical identity.

The following summer, the goth anthem was "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus. I heard "Bela Lugosi's Dead" that summer at an all-night picture show and shortly after that was when I started going to the local goth club. I started going in about June and for the next year and a half that was my life. Having your hair spiked and backcombed on a hot summer day is definitely something you remember.

Another song that reminds me of summer is- wait, two songs that remind me of summer are "Rock me Amadeus" by Falco and "Brother Louie" by Modern Talking. Both were very European sounds. I remember them because they came out when I was on holiday and they were just huge, a couple of months before they ever hit the UK.

I remember being in college and listening to Guns N' Roses's "Welcome to the Jungle". I heard it first in Sudden Impact, the Dirty Harry film. Then there was an explosion of bands like Poison, Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard. Rock sort of took over. It was good fun, college. You didn't have debts and worry. It was an easier time -- then you do something stupid like get a job...

You know we went to Greece on holiday several times after that. We had what we called a "very mellow tape" -- things like Mansun, Dandy Warhols, etc. I can't include all of those but I can include the songs that were everywhere at the same time like "I'm so Horny" and "I'm too sexy". I'm going to pick just one from holidays and that would be "I'm so horny" by um... Mouse T, I think. where ever we went in Kavos that year, that song was playing.

Next, "(Reach Up For The) Sunrise by Duran Duran because its a modern song for summer. I hadn't bothered with Duran Duran for so long and then I found something that reminded me of why I liked them. It's a perfect song for the summer, too.

Right. If I have one more (I think I have one more), I would go with "I Don't Care" by The Damned because it reminds me of this summer. It's been a hot summer but a good one. Evil Spirits was the first Damned album in a long time and it's hard to chose a song because it's such a good album. It's like when Pete Murphy brought out "Eliza, a return to the things I loved when I was younger.


That's it, my Memories of Summer Playlist. You might not think these songs are summery but they're my memories of summer. I could probably add another hundred -- and it's hard not to -- but these are the main ones. Thanks to Wondra for letting me take over today.

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