On BBC4 last night there was a programme called When Albums Ruled the World (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01qhn70/When_Albums_Ruled_the_World/), it was a look at the ‘album’ culture of the mid 60’s until the late 70’s, though I think we called them LP’s. I realised that I was a part of this and it was a very important part of my life. The programme discussed a considerable number of the LP’s I had owned, and still have, now on CD, though don’t often listen to as I am so busy listening to new stuff I keep finding!
There were people who lovingly told of taking an LP home and putting it on the turntable for the first time, I could relate to that and I spent ages in a record shops, though when I was 16-19 there wasn’t a decent record shop in Hanley, there was however a small shop in Leek where I was at college and I remember buying many things there, I can remember the days buying Basket of Light, Black Sabbath, Valentyne Suite, Tapestry, Sweet Baby James, Hot Rats, In the Court of the Crimson King, and so many more. People I knew didn’t buy singles, they represented a music we were not interested in, and yet I loved the Northern Soul!
Watching the programme I realised that I have never heard two of the heavily featured albums, Never Mind The Bollocks and Dark Side of the Moon,all the way through. I saw Pink Floyd twice in 1969 and 1973, but never bought the albums, I thought then and still do that a band like King Crimson were much more interesting. Many friends bought them and the Yes albums but I thought they were just not musically interesting, a sort of glorified supermarket music and I hated the covers! I saw a lot of punk bands, enjoyed the genre in 1977, but I always thought of The Sex Pistols as a bit poppy. Listening now to bands like them and The Ramones, they hark back to the late 50’s early 60’s, bands like The Clash seem to me to have been able to have the door opened by punk, but offer so much more. Of course this is my taste.
What struck me about the programme was how far away it now visually feels, but in my mind only a few years! That of course is age, something maybe we didn’t see in our parents when they talked about what felt a very distant past, and anyone below 30 must think when I start rattling on!
Is the album/LP dead? Well many collections seems to have a bit too much padding in them, perhaps more bands/singers should think about the EP. But there is a joy to hearing different aspects of a band/singer rather than just the song that hooks you for a short period. I don’t like this nostalgia for vinyl LP’s, seems silly as they always get damaged but each to his or her own.
Today’s photograph is of a toad in the hole I have just made!