Music has always been important to me, especially in my angst-ridden teenage years when I made mix-tapes for everyone I loved (and lost) or wrote long, meaningful letters made up from lyrics from songs. I'm sat here listening to Top Of The Pops 2 whilst writing this post and keep stopping to watch and listen, reminiscing and trying to remember when I last heard a particular song. To me, music is timeless although it does tend to represent a certain era in my life, rather than define the year is was released. I'm not sure that will make much sense to you, but it does to me.
My first memories of music are from around 1976 - I was four years old at the time. The first song I ever recall is Brotherhood of Man - Kisses For Me and remember my Nana recording it off the TV with a cassette recorder and handheld microphone. She then started and stopped the tape, rewound it, repeated and carried on until she had all the lyrics written down so she could teach it to me. Around about the same time the bloke from The Darts scared the living daylights out of me with his big staring eyes the but the song I'm going to share with you is by Showaddywaddy. I can still remember dancing around the living room to this:
My defining years were the 1980s and the music from that era is music that I can still go back and enjoy even now. There was meaningful songs, dance numbers, sing-a-long cheese and music that has ended up as timeless. There are two groups that completely moulded my teenage years.
The first was Five Star. They were my first ever concert and, taking my Nana's dedication one step further, I videoed all their TOTP performances and taught myself the dances. I was completely gobsmacked to see Denise Pearson on The Voice recently and may have gone completely gooey each time the Official Five Star twitter account retweeted one of my tweets and when Stedman Pearson accepted me as a friend on Facebook (I'm trying to get to interview them... fingers crossed. I know, I know... stalker tendencies... hush now!)
The second is, very obviously, Duran Duran (*sigh* Simon le Bon, be still my beating heart). My first ever copy of Look In magazine had a poster of John Taylor and the lyrics to "Is There Something I Should Know". I instantly fell in love.
I was allowed to go to the Five Star concert in 1986 because it was a the Guild Hall, Preston (not too far away from home) but I was never allowed to go to a Duran Duran concert as they only toured the main cities - or so it seemed. My life was incomplete... that was until 2005 when I found out that Duran Duran were back in the UK and touring again. I snapped up two tickets and dragged my sister-in-law, Trish, along (she was a hardened Spandau Ballet fan). We had THE BEST time ever! I have a picture of me somewhere with my hair plastered to my sweaty little head after dancing my socks off and singing my heart out. They've never stopped recording or touring but do concentrate on the USA and Germany markets more now. The video below is one of their more recent tracks that I love (start it at 2m 35s).
My Dad introduced me to a number of artists that will always remain favourites. I listen to them in the car and sing at the top of my voice. Elkie Brooks, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon, OMD, Yazoo... but here's one from Genesis that was one of the first records I
And for now, In a houseful of teenagers and with Radio 1 playing in the car in the mornings it's hard not to keep in touch with current music and after hearing the chart rundown last Sunday I was actually surprised how many of the "Top Ten" that I actually know. The thing is, though, I have noticed more and more how Radio 2 is becoming my sort of station. You know you're getting on a bit when the station that you normally associate with your own parents plays all the music you now resonate with and you tweet out "TOP tune on #radio2 just now" more times that you care to count.
I believe Glee and commercials have been a great way to introduce and reinvent music from the past. I'm sometimes taken aback when I hear Jake (aged 13) sing a song from way back when, but I'm also enjoying hearing the music pumping out of the bedrooms that is something I can sing along to. Here is my current favourite that I feel actually had no boundaries and was played equally on Radio 1 and Radio 2.
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I've called this "Volume 1" simply because I can never ever narrow down the music that defines my life to just five songs. I'm going to introduce certain chapters in my life once a month through music. I'm also going to feature some friends and their own Soundtrack To My Life . If you'd like to join in then fill in this form (the link will open in a new window/tab) and I will let you know when you're being featured.