Monday, 31 May 2010
“If you are caught in the open,
Much as I hated my school days, I never bunked a lesson. Never seemed much point. I’d ask the kids who did: “Where’d you go?” “The woods.” “Oh, but wasn’t it raining?” “Yes.” “So what’d you do there?” “Skipped stones on the pond.” Brilliant.
But despite my bid for the perfect attendance record, I can clearly remember one Monday in 1984 when I was 13 and faked a sickie. The reason? The new Frankie album was out. And it was a double! I was bursting with excitement and actually close to making myself sick for real (the irony!). I’d spent the year buying everything they released. Which was only actually two songs, but each came in a dozen different remixed versions. Now the album was finally here.
Somehow I actually managed to convince my parents to pop out to Our Price in town that morning and buy it for me. I guess they thought, ‘Surely our son wouldn’t try to get a day off school just to hear an album. Who’d do that?’ Parents, eh? They never understand you.
At the time, it was every bit as magnificent as I had hoped. Just trying to decipher Paul Morley’s sleeve notes was a joy before you’d even put the album on. Then you had the first side of the first record basically taken up by one song (a master stroke in the days before I’d heard Dylan and the Velvets). Followed on the second side by yet more remixes of their first two singles. How could sides 3 and 4 get any better? They couldn’t. Looking back, there’s an awful lot of filler and peculiar covers. But there’s ‘The Power of Love’ nestling at the end. And I still really love just holding this record and thinking of that day. Like I’m doing right now. And that’s more than many albums give you.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes - Annihilation
(Another album that isn’t on Spotify yet, but here’s the classic ‘Annihilation’ remix of ‘Two Tribes’ that reminds me of going down the youth club with my cousins.)