Music Was Better In My Day

Was music better when I was a teenager? Probably not to be honest as it’s all subjective. While I see the charts now as being diluted rehashes of other songs, it’s not all about singles, there are many amazing albums out there that never become super popular but are still quite brilliant. I think the difference between my day and now is how important the singles charts were to so many of us.

Sunday evenings were so important, I had to listen to the Top 40, with finger hovered over the pause button of the tape recorder to stop the song at just the right time before the DJ spoke, sometimes rewinding and re-cueing just in time before the next home_taping_is_killing_musicsong started. Happiness was hearing that the song you liked had gone up the charts, and annoyance was a song you hated climbing more places than your favourite. My home taping wasn’t killing music as I wouldn’t have bought the records anyway, I had no money for that and nobody was going to buy them for me so it was the only way to get music. Things became a little better when we got a twin cassette deck, which allowed me to record the whole of the charts and then remove what I didn’t want by recording tape to tape.

Why was I even thinking about all this? Well, I was looking at the charts today for no real reason and decided to see what was happening at roughly the same time in 1979, when I was 12, and I liked a lot of what I found, there was a lot I didn’t though and my memories of these charts full of amazing singles is seen through rose tinted spectacles it appears. There are plenty of them, really great singles, but there are rather more that I really disliked than I remember. Here are some examples of the tracks that I would have definitely left off my chart cassette:

DONNA SUMMER AND BARBRA STREISAND  – NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH)
GIBSON BROTHERS – QUE SERA MI VIDA
DR. HOOK – WHEN YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN


THE THREE DEGREES – MY SIMPLE HEART
PAUL MCCARTNEY –  WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME
FIDDLER’S DRAM – DAY TRIP TO BANGOR

LENA MARTELL – ONE DAY AT A TIME

DOLLAR – I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND

BILLY PRESTON AND SYREETA – WITH YOU I’M BORN AGAIN
SUZI QUATRO – SHE’S IN LOVE WITH YOU
THE COMMODORES – STILL
ABBA – I HAVE A DREAM
THE BARRON KNIGHTS – FOOD FOR THOUGHT

If you listened to any of the above it’s your own fault. I’m not knocking them as such, but my 12 year old self hated them.

Had I been taping the charts yesterday night, but 37 years ago (really? That long!) then below is what I would have been pressing record for. In descending order down to that weeks number 1:

4 Comments

  1. EclecticMusicLover

    I really enjoyed this post, as I used to do the same exact thing – listen to the weekly countdowns and record songs from the radio on my cassette recorder. Sure brought back memories. Several of the songs you list were pretty awful, but I did like “With You I’m Born Again” as well as anything from ABBA. Though I was a fan of both Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, “No More Tears” was truly horrific.

    Like

  2. fishface

    I enjoyed this too, a few gems for me; Paul Weller looking so young and assured, the sheer power of Motorhead, the Stranglers taking the piss and the wonderful Clash. The Damned brought back memories of seeing them in the late 70s at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, Rat Scabies playing drums with his todger hanging out….hilarious!

    Like

  3. verian

    Thanks. Taping from the radio is a dying art. If I had a working cassette deck I would probably give it another go, just for nostalgia’s sake. I mus also confess that I had the 7″ vinyl of ‘I have a dream’ by Abba, but don’t tell anybody, it would ruin what little street cred I have left!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. verian

    The Damned played in my local venue a couple of months ago. I couldn’t decide whether to go or not, it ended up being not but I regret that a little now. I remember playing the 7″ of ‘Smash It Up’ until it wouldn’t play anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

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