Times Of Our Lives: 1987 – Charlie ‘n’ all that

1987; the rebirth of Arsenal Football Club under George Graham came to fruition on 5th April at Wembley when Barry Davies exclaimed, “It’s Charlie!!” much like many of Howard Marks’ mates at the time.

The final was a salutary lesson, kids. We decided, in the time-honoured Wembley fashion, to take a home-made banner. White bedsheet procured, black paint retrieved and witty banner message decided upon, we set about our work.

I honestly can’t remember what witticism emerged from the white background but I recall that we seemed to think that our hard work – as of yet unfinished – deserved a pint. We’d have a quick one and then return to finish our labours.

Which we did, three sheets to the wind at about 11pm that evening. The following morning, the lovingly stencilled endeavours stood out compared to the wonky slapdash work of our post-libation efforts. Suffice to say, the following morning at 7am, it was duly deposited in the dustbin as we headed for a fry-up in central London.

Other than Arsenal’s glory, I thought the year unremarkable. Certainly I can’t recall any momentous events in my own life worth reporting here. There were, of course, but such things have no need to be aired here.

Instead I recall things such as the ‘Great Storm’ which made a mockery of Michael Fish, even if Ian McGaskill later admitted he was the true culprit having given the Fishmeister his reports that day.

I didn’t know that, for instance, it was the year golliwogs were banned; I thought that happened far sooner than ’87. Margaret Thatcher went to the Soviet Union and rather inconsiderately, they let her leave as well.

Trawling through the deluge of data which is now available for the year, I was for some reason, struck by the descritpion of Holly Glynn as an “Unidentified decedent”. Jane Doe in American cop TV parlance, it turned out. She did apparently unlock one of the mysteries of life:


Anyhoo, enough of the frippery and on with today’s playlist. 1987 wasn’t the best year musically, I have to say. The bright spot was one of the finest debut albums of my lifetime, George Best by The Wedding Present. It was an lp worn out through use many years ago and one of the first cd’s I bought in 1990 which tells you how late I came to that particular game.

If the playlist doesn’t play below, click here to listen in your browser.

Title Artist
Lips Like Sugar Echo & the Bunnymen
Kuff Dam Happy Mondays
Birth, School, Work, Death The Godfathers
Angry Young Man Steve Earle and The Dukes
Paper In Fire John Mellencamp
Dancing With Peter Pan’s Shadow The Faith Brothers
I Couldn’t Believe It David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks
Breakout Swing Out Sister
Don’t Argue Cabaret Voltaire
My Favourite Dress The Wedding Present
These Important Years Hüsker Dü
Boom Boom Mancini Warren Zevon
Hourglass Squeeze
Between the Wars Billy Bragg
Rainmaker The Rainmakers
Same Song The Higsons
Exhuming McCarthy R.E.M.
Bounty Hunter The Men They Couldn’t Hang
Hey Jack Kerouac 10,000 Maniacs
Harriet Tubman’s Gonna Carry Me Home The Long Ryders
Pulsar Julian Cope
I Wanna Be A Flinstone The Screaming Blue Messiahs
Five Get Over Excited The Housemartins
Hit the North Part 1 The Fall
Ever Fallen In Love Fine Young Cannibals
I Say Nothing Voice Of The Beehive
Birthday The Sugarcubes
Bo Diddley Is Jesus The Jesus and Mary Chain
Trust In Me Siouxsie and the Banshees
Shiny Cage The Dukes Of Stratosphear
Angel in Her Kiss Marc Almond & The Willing Sinners
Pale Spectre The Wake
When It All Comes Down Miaow
Touched By The Hand Of God New Order
Another Town The Railway Children
Weird Feelings Kalima
Compressor Biting Tongues
In God’s Country U2
Fairy Tales The Style Council
Pain in the Neck The Larks U.K.



4 thoughts on “Times Of Our Lives: 1987 – Charlie ‘n’ all that

  1. Quite a few there that I would have in my playlist. I also enjoyed the House sound that come to the fore this year. For reasons I won’t go into, I bought a shed load of older music this year and discovered all sorts of gems from the 1970s and 1980s, so it wasn’t just the music of 1987 that brings back memories of this year.


  2. Never into house music myself. Flirted with the fringes but never jumped headfirst into it. Been given a portable record player for Xmas so that’s now in the office while I work along with a few vinyls although listening to 45s while working is a tough gig!


  3. You need a DJ. I could come and spin the 45s while you were hard at it. That way productivity would soar and you could afford to pay me.


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