After eventually clicking on The Jam documentary that’s been sitting on TiVo for a couple of years I’ve spent the last week re-living the band that meant the world to when I was miserable schoolboy. Of course, those were the precious years when singles ruled the musical landscape, and coolest bands didn’t put all of them on their LPs, so you didn’t end up paying twice for the same song. The tune I’ve been humming is Strange Town – Weller’s bittersweet tribute to the capital that he’d loved from afar, and then seemingly fallen out of love with after rubbing up against the big boys of ‘76 and ‘77. Ignoring later greatest hits round-ups, let’s have some love for stand-alone 45s.
1969 isn’t the best for albums, at least not compared to the previous four years, but its singles are plenty and very wonderful.
We did a thread on the singles of 1968 last year but I reckon 1969 could be even better. Then, I started off with Simon & Garfunkel. I’ll do same now.
The Boxer, featuring Hal Blaine.
I’ve been dipping into the TV Cream website for many years now – they style themselves as a 70s & 80s pop culture repository and though they can veer into the “Spangles & Chopper bikes” nostalgia zone, I mostly find them pleasingly irreverent…
Years ago they published a top 100 singles list, and have recently updated it… they’re not clear on how it was arrived at, though the comments clearly indicate some kind of voting system, but it’s a pleasingly bonkers celebration of 70s/80s pop & rock, and probably more diverse than many “cooler” charts out there… I’d also wager there’ll be a few “blimey, I’d forgotten about that” moments to be had too, especially in the YT clips they provide…
It might just be a bit too-uncool-for-school for us Afterworders, but I’d like to think it might also be a bit of an antidote to the angst-y handwringing we can sometimes be guilty of in analysing our listening likes & dislikes…
Top 10 in the comments (the number 1 might raise a few eyebrows), and the whole list is at the link, enjoy and have at it (and remember, don’t have nightmares…)
In 1981, Kraftwerk were on a high. They had won friends and influenced people with their electronic sound, including David Bowie, and were revered. They had upgraded their sound. Computer World was sleek and smooth and, frankly, gorgeous. In a market packed with records paying homage to them, records like Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, Ultravox’s Vienna, Spandau Ballet’s Chant No. 1, Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough, Duran Duran’s Girls On Film, The Human League’s Love Action, Imagination’s Body Talk and, even, Laurie Anderson’s O Superman, they pitched their new single, Computer Love. It is a warm, gentle love song that sounded more modern, more futuristic and, yet, more human than any of the competition at the time. All those great singles seemed amateurish in comparison. No doubt, quietly confident of a smash, they sat back ready to light their cigar.
It stalled at number 36.
Then, some DJs noticed the B side, The Model, an old song from a three year old album, which was a long time in the Pop world of 1981. The record company decided to re-release the single but, this time, as a double A side. Kraftwerk objected. After all, The Model is jerky » Continue Reading.