Tuesday, 7 June 2011

‘On Tape’ – The Pooh Sticks (1988)

"You want it,
I’ve got it,
I’m talking about everything.
I’ve got the Monkees’ ‘Head’ soundtrack …
On tape."

Always be suspicious of anyone with a good-looking record player. They’ll have the most awful record collection. Fact! No point arguing. Music lovers spend money on vinyl. Level 42 fans spend money on turntables. This is true. I conducted a survey. Yes, when I was about 15, admittedly. A couple of kids at school were very proud of their ‘hi-fis’. It’s just a shame that they only owned about two records between them. And those records were both ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ compilations.

Every penny that came my way growing up was spent on records. That’s a lie to emphasise my point. Every penny that came my way growing up was actually spent on records and Star Wars figures, cards, comics, transfers, pencil cases, bubble bath, etc. Every record player that came my way growing up was a present. I had two. Both of little monetary value, but they meant everything to me. The first was manual (you lifted the arm yourself) and you could play 78s – only really useful if I wanted to listen to my mum’s old Adam Faith singles. Which I didn’t. The second, about five years later, was automatic and had a central spindle where you could stack records and they’d drop down after each side ended. A revolutionary way to scratch and warp your beloved collection. I’m only on my third record player now – had it a good 15 years – and would still rather spend money on new music than new equipment. Although I’m happy to invest in a good record duster if anyone has ever found one – I really should stop using my shirt sleeves.

This track by The Pooh Sticks always made me smile, with its wonderfully astute lyrical digs. Still does. I bought it in the Friary Shopping Centre in Guildford. No idea why I remember that so clearly. I’m sure it’d sound great on a top-end record player. But it feels perfectly at home on mine.   

Obviously Spotify has failed me again, but here’s the song on YouTube (with a great pic showcasing a haircut I copied for my upper sixth form school photo): 

Everyone should express their greatest loves through the medium of badges (or buttons, if you're reading this in the US) - here's my parka: