Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Ten - Ten Songs or Albums That Remind Me Of Different Places and Times

Whenever I hear one of these records, I am automatically transported back in time.

1) Nessun Dorma - Luciano Pavarotti: Any time I hear the last minute or so of Nessum Dorma, I'm 10 years old and spending the summer holidays with my Granny and Grampa in Brechin. The World Cup is on the BBC every day, and the green pitches seem especially bright under the Italian floodlights. Every match is preceded and followed by the tournament's adopted theme tune, bellowed by Pavarotti. This piece of music is a whole mish-mash of different memories - watching the matches in my Granny and Grampa's house, recreating Salvatori Schillachi's bug-eyed goal celebrations and Packie Bonner's penalty saves in Brechin Public Park, and generally playing more football in a day than my legs could now manage in a month.

2) This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours - Manic Street Preachers: This was the last album I bought before moving to Edinburgh for university at 18. In the flurry of leaving drinks, packing, work and general excitement in the week leading up to the move, I barely listened to the album. But once I'd unpacked in my new home in Craiglockhart Halls of Residence and set my stereo up, this album remained in the CD player for a while afterwards. All of the tracks are now forever associated with that first week away from home and the exciting new world it presented.

3) Who Killed The Zutons? - The Zutons: One of the first albums I bought after returning from a year traveling around the world, this coincided with me buying a car and an in-car CD player and getting a job with the Oban Times. As I scooted around the town from Mrs Wife's folks' house to the office, the Liverpudlians' first album became the soundtrack to that first week as a full-time journalist.

4) A Grand Don't Come For Free - The Streets: A few months into our round the world jaunt in 2003-2004, Mrs Wife and I were skint and living hand-to-mouth in Perth, Western Australia. One of my friends took pity and sent across a pile of albums to help pass the time. Later, when we were based in Melbourne, he did the same again, just before we started traveling down Australia's east coast by bus. One of the CDs was The Streets' second album, and I would often listen to it on overnight bus journies, this curious English concept album soundtracking sleepless nights staring out into the pitch-black bush.

5) Love Is Noise - The Verve: The Verve's fourth album was released the day I set off for Norway for the first time with work. I'd decided before leaving that Love Is Noise would be my anthem for the three-day jaunt, and I listened to the track any time I had a spare five minutes. I also drove my colleagues to distraction by singing it at all other times, including making an odd hooting noise to recreate the instruments. Any time I hear it now, I'm back in Stavanger in the summer sunshine.

6) Be Here Now - Oasis: Oasis opened the concerts on their Be Here Now tour of 1997 with the song of the same name, and any time I hear it I can remember the excitement of being in the front row, my arms squeezed against the barrier to stop my ribs snapping, as the band burst out of a red phonebox and straight into this song.

7) Did You Miss Me? - The Cooper Temple Clause: When working in a canteen while at university in 2001, I would arrive at 8am on Saturday morning (not a student-friendly time of the weekend), hook up my CD player and stick on my favourite album of the time, The Cooper Temple Clause's majestic debut See This Through and Leave. The opening keyboard refrain still helps perk me up on occasion, although I don't have an endless supply of bacon rolls and Coke on hand any more.

8) Death Trip 21 - Ash: In 1999, five of us from university went to Ireland for 10 days. These were the days of portable tape players, and my friends and I swapped compilation tapes. Strangely, the only track I can remember putting on mine is Death Trip 21 by Ash, from their Nu-Clear Sounds album. Hearing it now reminds me of the train ride from Belfast to Dublin.

9) In The Meantime - Spacehog: This song reminds me of the same holiday, as it was on the jukebox in the hostel we stayed in in Dublin. We were in the Irish capital in mid-April, but it was hammering down with snow for most of our time there. So we spent a lot of time in the hostel bar, and this song got a few airings during our stay.

10) Here, There and Everywhere - The Beatles: The first dance at our wedding. Mrs Wife had this on her list of potential first dances from her teenage years, and it was an easy choice to make. It also features in the episode of Friends where Phoebe gets married, played on a steel drum, but ours was the Fabs' version.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

... brother, I'm getting OLD... I have never even heard of half those bands you were listening to..... good grief....