I received a nice comment from Richard Naylor - about my top 20 album post; but unable to relate to the Level 42 choice. Benno had told me, on Saturday, that he wouldn't have chosen one of those albums in his his top 20 - and I brought him up listening to the best music available anywhere in our house!
How can this be? It's very simple if you can accept that music is able to conjure memories that are irrevocably linked to times, people, places or events, that have shaped the way our lives have turned out. It doesn't need to be "the best" to be capable of such a trigger. I am under no illusion that Retroglide is the best album that Level 42 have made - it just fitted the bill at that particular stage in my life! Therefore, those twenty albums were not meant to be the best albums of the period, just those that had the power to recall the most significant events during my life! As we were at the RMC, Benno and I had a conversation about how difficult it would be to pick your top 10 tracks (not singles) that would represent the journey from school to adulthood - if there is such a thing?
I don't think that it is possible, but will make a stab at it (with reasons) in the knowledge that it will be unique - as was my journey to where I am today. So, if you don't agree with my choices, don't get mad - just see if you are able to summarise the journey with 10 tracks? (They are not in chronological order)
1. In a Broken Dream - Python Lee Jackson (featuring Rod Stewart) Back in my "skin-head" days, of time spent at Gadebridge Youth Club, this track is one that is able to recapture the essence of that period of my youth.
2. Ride a White Swan - T. Rex : It contains the lyric "Wear your hair long and you can't go wrong" I've stuck by this ever since - much to my cost! To my credit - I've never sold out and am so much happier for it.
3. Tracks of my Tears - Smokey Robinson: More memories from my youth club years (Where I met my first wife!)
4. Fascination - The Human League: The signature tune for the craziest period of my entire life. Big fish, massive bouts of lunacy as reason was swept aside in a bid to become the best! Mad times and mad memories!
5. Seven Seas of Rye - Queen: I've probably drunk them! I am fortunate enough to have seen Queen perform on many occasions - Freddie Mercury was the greatest showman of his era, Robert Plant a close second!
6. Whatever Happens in Your Heart - Gerry Rafferty: This track sums up everything I feel about being an individual. (Gerry was a troubled soul and died a lonely and bitter man - such a pity for a wonderful lyricist and musician)
7. I Believe - Joe Satriani: Everything I need to say is encapsulated in this track - not the best that Joe has produced; he is a better guitarist than song-writer - this just fits the bill!
8. For the Love of God - Steve Vai: A musical treat without equal - if you appreciate genius?
9. Errin Shore - The Corr's: Music that is the foundation of Bev and my relationship - it is a lasting memory of our early time together - magic stuff.
10. Avalon - Roxy Music: In my opinion the finest "pop" song ever produced - Bev and I signed the wedding register to this.
So the question is "Is it possible to summarise your life with 10 tracks?" These are in no way the best examples of the song-writers art that I could recall, just music that fits the situation as my life moved on. If you want a bit of controversy? The finest example of the singer/song-writer's art whilst I have been on this planet - try "A Different Corner" by George Micheal (he was just 17 years old when he wrote this)