As a special treat for you today – 3 pages of the ‘500 singles’ list and a bonus picture of a 30 year old copy of Smash Hits found in the loft in the same box as the singles list.
It’s not just any old Smash Hits mind, it’s the Japan break-up edition. Contained inside is an interview with David Sylvian in which he is generally pretty miserable and moans about some of his earlier music – fairly representative of every David Sylvian interview I’ve ever read!
As usual, Mick Karn looks cool.
If you’re well behaved you might get more from this issue of Smash Hits at a later date as it also includes features on A Flock of Seagulls and Blancmange, a competition to win a Commodore VIC20 and a ‘what on earth has happened to The Rubettes’ question on the letters page – but for now it’s back to pages 5, 6 and 7 of the ‘500 singles’ list.
Page 5, as you can see starts with ‘Save the last dance for me’ by Drifters and ends with ‘December 1963’ by The Four Season. At least that’s what the list says – I’m fairly sure that there was more than one of them!
The Inbetweenies (Copyright Ian Dury) on page 5 are three by Duran Duran (before they were rubbish – sorry BT kids!), one by the aforementioned Ian Dury, Sheena Easton (I’m not proud of this), three by Echo and the Bunnymen (I am proud of this), Elias and his zigzag jive flutes (Tom Hark), four by ELO (including ‘Sweet talkin’ woman on purple vinyl), ‘The original bird dance’ by The Electronicas (rather than the vastly inferior remake), The Eurythmics (Sweet dreams), the fantastic ‘Wikka Wrap’ (list spelling rather than correct spelling I think) by The Evasions, The Everly Brothers, Falco (Junge Roemer not Rock me Amadeus), Fall out Club (nearly missed and included in the margin as an afterthought), five by The Farmer’s Boys (I loved The Farmer’s Boys – still do!), Bryan Ferry, Fischer Z, Fleetwood Mac (Tusk, still a revolutionary single), three by the amazing Flying Lizards, Eddie Fontaine, Foreigner and a very lonely Four Season.
I’ve given a lot of thought to my favourite page (which I know is rather sad) and I think I’ll choose at the end, but I hope you’ll agree that page 6 will be a serious contender. It has quality and variety, but it may also have, in number 186 (D.I.S.C.O. by Grops) the worst single on the whole list.
Page 6 starts with John Foxx, which I hope you’ll agree is always a good thing and moves on through Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Fun Boy 3, Funkapolitan (‘As the time goes by’ one of the world’s great under-rated singles), Future Daze (two by them but not sure why), Peter Gabriel (2), Genesis (Many to many, which I now know is spelled incorrectly), Robin Gibb, Ginger (not Baker just Ginger!), Glass Torpedoes (never seen another copy of this), ‘Angel Face’ by The Glitter Band (who of course started life as G**y G*****r’s backing band), God’s Toys (Everybody’s got a mother), Peter Godwin (only one because most of my Peter Godwin collection is on 12” singles, yours is probably the same!), Graham Gouldman (from the soundtrack to a cartoon that I can’t remember the name of), two by Grandmaster Flash (‘the message’ and ‘it’s a shame’ which is not the same as the Talk Talk track of them same name), Zaine Griff, Grops (with their vastly inferior version of D.I.S.C.O. – a fairly clever feat to pull off), H2O, George Harrison, Havana let’s Go (check them out on YouTube – you’ll love them! Unfortunately only ‘Torpedoes’ seems to be available), three by Heaven 17, Trevor Herion (also worth checking out), two by Nick Heyward, Jennifer Holiday, Honey Bane (her version of the Supremes’ ‘Baby love’) and Hot Chocolate.
Page 7, as you will understand if you know me, is dominated by The Human League and Japan but there are some other treasures too (and rather too many by Engelbert Humperdinck for comfort);
As you will see both my numbering skills and my grasp of the alphabet seems to dessert me on page 7, where we start with five by The Human League (all brilliant, but Empire State Human just gets better and better as the years go by ), three by Engelbert Humperdinck (more by ‘The Hump’ than by John Foxx – something’s very wrong here), two by Icehouse, two by The Icicle Works (including ‘Nirvana’), The Imposter (Declan to his Mum), In Embrace, ‘Steamhammer Sam’ by Intaferon (only the second single ever to use the ‘mouldy old dough’piano), I start Counting, three by Michael Jackson (he was very good, but the ‘King of Pop’ was actually Anthony Newley who features on page 10), The Jacksons, Rick James (is it me, or are a lot of the people on these three pages dead now?), six (SIX!) by Japan (including ‘Second that emotion’ on pink vinyl), and then, in no specific alphabetic order, Billy Joel, Gloria Jones (Tainted love – what else!), Grace Jones, Johnny Pearson Orchestra, France Joli and Tom Jones – there’s more Tom on page 8.
Join me soon for pages 8 and 9 when we reach the halfway point (sneak peak – Joy Division – Mick Karn – Leisure Process – M – Kate and Anna McGarrigle – Modern Romance – Naked Eyes and many more!)