Well, this has turned into a nice way to get some posts done while still spending the remaining weeks with That Girl before she heads off to Big Girl School. Well, nice for ME anyway. Maybe boring as shit for YOU. Sorry.
So, this week, my Desert Island Disc pick reveals that I am most definitely a child of the 80s. I cannot help it. The 80s was the decade when I really, truly became a music geek. It was also when I began to refine my musical tastes, deciding what I loved and what I hated, what moved my soul and what moved my bowels, as it were.
The 80s was full of a lot of crap, that’s for sure. But the group I chose can’t be accused of producing much of that. (There was some. I can’t lie. But not much.) I loved them then, and I love them now.
My fourth disc is one of the lesser known but one of the best songs Squeeze ever produced, “Annie Get Your Gun”.
I chose this song for two simple reasons. Firstly, it’s a dance party song at our house, which means it is sung at deafening volume and with joyous abandon by all, and provides endless bed-bounding opportunities for That Girl, so it is full of happy memories. And secondly, because it is by Squeeze. And they are one of my favourites from when I first discovered a love affair with so-called “popular” music, and so hearing them also brings back happy sentiments of my early years.
Squeeze came out with some of the best songs of the era, produced by a songwriting team — Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook — that many music journalists say is of Lennon and McCartney calibre. High praise, much deserved in my opinion.
Their lyrics and melodies stand the test of time, still catchy and singable even now, over 30 years on. Chris Difford had a way of turning stories into songs that were lovely and quirky and full of clever turns of phrase. Beautiful vocals were provided by the beautiful Glenn Tillbrook, one of my teen idol crushes, I can’t lie — and he still has That Voice. And he was, and still is, a very good guitar player.
And it’s hard not to love a band that periodically features Jools Holland playing boogie woogie piano. For serious.
They had so many brilliant songs in their relatively short career, but this one is by far my favourite. And that’s saying something because it was never a hit, not here anyway — it was never even released on an album — and thus is was that I only ever heard it sporadically until I actually purchased a greatest hits compilation sometime in the 90s.
So now I have a song to bounce around and dance to on my island — although I won’t have the bed to bounce on like at home, I will still have the happy memories. And I will sing with joyful abandon — badly, unlike Glenn Tillbrook — and won’t have to worry about the neighbours complaining.