Times of our Lives: 1988 Two-bit Visionary

Mickey Flanagan delivered a priceless monologue on Mock the Week some years ago, about fashion. There’s a line about “you always go back to Marks'” which stayed in my mind. Not because I have returned to that well-known high street retailer for fashion, we occasionally use their local food outlet which is a little insight into our shopping habits that you probably didn’t need.

The basic premise of returning to former pleasures is the same with music. I’ve got back into vinyl, like many others, after many years away. Before you become excited or concerned, I’m not here to talk about what type of stylus or whether your sub-woofer or upper-tweeter is best. Don’t engage in the perfect bass level; I’m more likely to turn the volume up to eleven than fiddle with other settings. That’s just the way I roll.

I do have a confession to make, though. It’s an open relationship, or more accurately, it’s an open relationship on my part. Not in the vinyl’s case, no; I’ve never been good with sharing records. In the old days, they all knew I was a bit precious about it all.

Not much. If someone asked to borrow a record, I’d tape it for them and then take it to school or work the following day. Fortunately, Pops was – and still is – more generous. Records from his collection regularly found their way from his shelves to my turntable. I was fortunate that his taste in music was 60s soul: northern, Tamla, Stax, anything and everything from the popular to the obscure.

The availability of music electronically, be it streamed or mp3 or whatever, changed the relationship between listener and record labels. I’m like everyone, streaming makes things easier; it changed the blog I had in mind. Originally, I was going to put a Bandcamp player rather than Spotify but apparently the ‘Jukebox’ element doesn’t work from the Bandcamp app: it’s one band or nothing.

Which, I have to say, is a genuine shame. There is some wonderful music on Bandcamp; it’s a fabulous platform for music lovers. The search facility is outstanding, and you can meander through a genre at will. Many evenings have been lost in the site, drifting from one band to another. Not all of its good; some of it is not to my taste all, but that’s not the point; you click and follow, discovering new bands.

And that takes me back to my youth. Digging through crates of records in shops, chatting to the staff, finding out about bands through word of mouth. Bandcamp is the 21st Century version of that.

New suggestions of bands are always welcome BTW.

Anyhow, today we trip back to 1988. This week’s playlist is ‘Two-bit Visionary’ which seems wholly appropriate on so many levels. If the player below doesn’t open, click here to listen in your browser.

Artist Title
The Prisoners Joe 90 Theme
Siouxsie and the Banshees El Dia De Los Muertos
Pixies Gigantic
Wire Kidney Bingos
New Order Fine Time
Happy Mondays Wrote For Luck
Big Audio Dynamite Esquerita
U2, ft. B.B. King When Love Comes To Town
Steve Earle Copperhead Road
Big Country Thousand Yard Stare
Talking Heads Blind
The Wedding Present Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now ?
The Darling Buds Hit The Ground
Throwing Muses Mexican Women
The Fall Jerusalem
Billy Bragg Little Time Bomb
The Smithereens House We Used To Live In
Pixies River Euphrates
R.E.M. World Leader Pretend
The Prisoners Hush
Happy Mondays Brain Dead
Voice Of The Beehive Don’t Call Me Baby
The Wedding Present Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm
The Icicle Works Starry Blue-Eyed Wonder
The Style Council Changing Of The Guard
Marc Almond Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart
Billy Bragg Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards
Steve Earle Johnny Come Lately
The Pogues Sketches Of Spain
10,000 Maniacs What’s The Matter Here?
The Larks U.K. Charlie
U2 Angel Of Harlem
A Guy Called Gerald Voodoo Ray
Was (Not Was) Out Come The Freaks (Again)
Fine Young Cannibals Good Thing
Roachford Cuddly Toy
Voice Of The Beehive I Walk The Earth
Talking Heads Mr Jones
R.E.M. Pop Song 89 – Remastered
The Primitives Crash
Sandie Shaw & The Smiths Hand In Glove
The Parachute Men If I Could Wear Your Jacket…?
Throwing Muses Juno
Inspiral Carpets Theme from Cow
McCarthy Should the Bible Be Banned
Public Enemy Night Of The Living Baseheads
Happy Mondays Lazyitis
The Fall There’s a Ghost in My House
Brian Wilson Love And Mercy
James Taylor Quartet Theme From Starsky & Hutch

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