Monday, March 2, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Music That Shaped Me (part 1)

First of all, thank you to everyone for your kind words over the loss of our beloved cat, Marla.

It's been tough these last nearly seven weeks, and it's been hard to concentrate on anything without memories coming flooding in. I've been away from social media, and away from most things except the day-job and staring into space. However, things have slowly been progressing with WILD, and there's some really exciting news on the horizon...

But, I need to get back to writing.

A few days ago, I was tagged in one of those Facebook things where you post something each day and tag a friend to get them involved. (Thanks Milo!). This one was twenty albums that defined you, shaped you as a person, and had a major impact on your life.

I started to do it on Facebook, but I didn't feel like torturing other people by tagging them, but then I thought about it - Why am I just posting a picture of an album on Facebook? There's no backstory - no reason for why that album had an impact. I started working out my list (not an easy task) and I'm finding it a great distraction from grief - and also, if I write a little about the posts and I can see it as a warm up exercise for actually doing some proper writing on what I should be working on.

Someone I worked with in a different dayjob used to get up at 6am to write a short story - some flash fiction - each morning. I'm not getting up that early (though I'm usual up for 7am) but this may get me back into the habit of throwing words down on the computer.

So here we go. A new part of my autobiographical series of posts I call "Roll Your Own Life" - it may not be daily, but I'll try to do 20...

The Music That Shaped Me (part 1) - From the Tea-rooms of Mars (1981)

I'm really not doing these in any sort of chronological order, just as they come to me, so please bear with me.

Up to this point, I guess my music tastes were really whatever my parents listened to, or the Star Wars soundtracks, but electronic music was starting to fascinate me and I remember seeing Landscape on Top of the Pops playing Einstein-A-Go-Go and thinking it was different, nerdy, and really cool. I also remember the lead guy from Landscape, Richard James Burgess, being interviewed on Tomorrow's World about drum synthesisers.

I hadn't really bought a lot of music before this. I had some soundtracks, some ELO, the odd single here and there, but I remember getting this album and loving it. The opening track European Man had the most epic opening for an album I'd ever heard before, and could imagine it being the opening titles to a movie.

And then there was the second single from the album, Norman Bates. At the time, I'd never even heard of Psycho, but my mother was a big fan of Hitchcock movies and related the story of Psycho to me so I understood the record. And next time it was on TV, I was sure to watch.

The other stand out track for the album was a really odd one called The Doll's House. I have no idea what it's about - a weird instrumental thing with echoing voices, creepy noises and a drum beat over the top. I listened to it repeatedly trying to fathom out what was going on, but still have no idea.

Certainly worth checking out if you like early 80's electronica.

No comments: