Strange how the world turns because now these pleasures are big business, an overground cult where the uncool is cool and it’s ok for all our sins to be forgiven. Strange how the time has finally come for all those geeks who were never part of anything, who never saw music as anything other than a nice tune.
So here I go back to the age of innocence, the age of leaning against a tree in a sweater, shorts and long grey socks, almost ending with the dawn of the eighties and my twentieth birthday.
I guess my very first listening experiences came from my ol’ Pa’s love for showbizzy types, Tom Jones, Roger Whittaker, even Bobbie Gentry. I’m surprised there’s no Val Doonican or James Last on here somewhere. Record wise he only had a few old Beatles singles, Bob Dylan’s first Greatest Hits and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ so we had to make do with those Music For Pleasure Chart Hit collections, 10p from your local newsagent and packed with hastily recorded cover versions. Most of these songs, certainly up to 1973 were heard in this way. Now over 30 years later the originals don’t seem quite as good. But of course they still time warp me straight back to those past people and places, filmic scenarios running through the DVD player of my mind.
With a shady punk past, at one time I would have been laughed out of town for admitting any acknowledgement of the Doobie Brothers, Mr Big (a completely forgotten classic by the way), Andrew Gold and particularly the hippy Supertramp. Late 70’s era Rod Stewart was an even more serious offence, as he churned out high quality dross without the merest hint of credibility. But, ‘I Was Only Joking’ is a jewel, neatly summing up some of my youthful antics most accurately.
So what’s the difference between all these and my regular listening habits? I think it’s obvious. These Secret Pleasures are pure nostalgia, music from and stuck forever in the rose tinted past. None of these songs made or make me believe music could matter so much, that music can transform the world, even if only through altering just one persons perceptions or enlarging their sense of possibility.
For that reason these are my Secret Pleasures and remember, never mind the bollocks here’s some more!
01 Tom Jones / Green Green Grass Of Home / November 1966
02 Jackie / White Horses / April 1968
03 Bobbie Gentry / I’ll Never Fall In Love Again / August 1969
04 Roger Whittaker / Durham Town / November 1969
05 B.J. Thomas / Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head / February 1970
06 Gilbert O’Sullivan / Nothing Rhymed / November 1970
07 White Plains / When You Are A King / June 1971
08 Lobo / Me And You And A Dog Named Boo / June 1971
09 CCS / Tap Turns On The Water / September 1971
10 Cher / Gypsies Tramps And Thieves / November 1971
11 Chilites / Have You Seen Her? / January 1972
12 Bread / Baby I’m A Want You / January 1972
13 Elton John / Tiny Dancer / February 1972
14 David Cassidy / How Can I Be Sure / September 1972
15 Clifford T Ward / Gaye / January 1973
16 Hudson Ford / Pick Up The Pieces / August 1973
17 Charlie Rich / The Most Beautiful Girl In The World / February 1974
18 Terry Jacks / Seasons In The Sun / March 1974
19 Hot Chocolate / Emma / March 1974
20 Ronnie Lane / The Poacher / June 1974
21 Brian Protheroe / Pinball / September 1974
22 Ace / How Long / November 1974
23 Ralph Mctell / Streets Of London / December 1974
01 David Essex / Stardust / December 1974
02 Cockney Rebel / Mr Raffles / May 1975
03 Leo Sayer / Moonlighting / August 1975
04 Hello / New York Groove / October 1975
05 Sailor / A Glass Of Champagne / December 1975
06 Four Seasons / December 1963 / January 1976
07 Doobie Brothers / Takin’ It To The Streets / March 1976
08 Candi Staton / Young Hearts Run Free / May 1976
09 Mr Big / Romeo / February 1977
10 Andrew Gold / Lonely Boy / April 1977
11 Supertramp / Give A Little Bit / June 1977
12 Julie Covington / Only Women Bleed / December 1977
13 Rod Stewart / I Was Only Joking / January 1978
14 Plastic Bertrand / Ca Plane Pour Moi / May 1978
15 Sad Café / Everything Hurts / September 1979
16 Donna Summer / State Of Independence / November 1982
17 Toto / Africa / February 1983
18 A-Ha / Hunting High And Low / June 1986
19 Hue And Cry / Labour Of Love / June 1987
20 Faith No More / Easy / January 1993