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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Great CD Robbery of 1991

The finest act in the world of modern pop is, of course, Girls Aloud.

They can pretty much be summed up by this line from their song 'Graffiti My Soul': "Spike heels and skin tight jeans / I've gotta fistful of love and it's coming your way, baby". In other words: "Don't I look like a slapper? Fancy a quick handjob?" Marvellous.

When my Better Half came home the other day to hear me listening to Belle and Sebastian, he yelped with surprise. "What's this? It's not a girl band!" After I'd sulked for several hours and got all my anger at him out in true passive-agressive style, I came to see he had a point. Not everything I like is sung by women, but an awful lot of it is.

Girls Aloud, to me, represents one end of a grand line of trashy tradition which stretches all the way back to Bananarama, and beyond. Here is that line:

fig1

A fine line of wonderment, which takes in such cultural landmarks as the Spice Girls, Shampoo, Shakespear's Sister, B*Witched, Daphne and Celeste... Pure joy! But this is how that line has looked to me for the last 15 years:

fig2

And all thanks to one drunken day in Durham. I'd left a lot of my CDs at a friend's house, and we'd headed off with a big gang to the beautiful jewel of the North East to get horribly sloshed. We were students. There was jumping into rivers involved. Great fun.

When we returned, wet and shivering, to his house at the end of the day - horror! He'd been burgled. His stereo, TV, Sega Megadrive... All gone. As had a big pile of CDs, including mine. I couldn't stop crying for days. A big slice of my late 80s/early 90s musical touchstones - gone!

Both Voice of the Beehive albums. Bananarama's Wow. Even Big Bang by We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Going To Use It. In all, I lost about 20 CDs that day, which was a big dent out of my collection back then. I can't even remember why I'd taken that bunch of gay nonsense over to my friend's house that day - his taste, after all, being more along the Whitesnake-and-Lynyrd Skynyrd lines - but that decision had sealed my fate. All I was left with was the CD single of 'Meet El Presidente' by Duran Duran and a few Tanita Tikaram albums. (My friend, it seemed, wanting nothing to do with them.)

For years, my music collection has limped along with that little chunk of flesh bitten out of its side. As a student, I was too poor to replace the missing items at the time and, as the years went by, I forgot all about them. Occasionally, I'd be in a record shop and remember they were missing. I'd have a flick through their stock but it soon became clear too much time had passed and most of these gems had been long deleted.

Slow on the uptake as I ever am, it only occurred to me last week that eBay could be the answer. And BANG! Before you know it, there's the two Voice of the Beehive albums and the Fuzzbox one back in my collection. And they sound just as good as I remember. It's like having an arm stitched back on; a whole four- or five-year period of my late teen years has been woven back together.

The relief!

I'm not going to replace the two Sinead O'Connor CDs, though. Some things are better left in the past.

9 comments:

Kirses said...

i've lost more cd's than i've bought in the last 10 years (yeah i know there's no logic in that). but anytime i've replaced something i used to own it's just not been the same. so i don't do it anymore - better to just keep the memory.

Lee said...

(from on high)

David, you're a big gay.

David said...

Oh, come on, you *knew* there was a reason you asked me to fill in! :D

CyberPete said...

I couldn't live through losing my Sabrina cds. That would be scary, although not as scary as listening to her fight her way through Lady Marmelade and Kiss.
Just bought the most recent Girls Aloud album, gonna have to give that a listen soon.

Dantallion said...

What. No Bangles?

Snooze said...

Ebay saves the day just in time for your civil partner ceremony later this year.

Qenny said...

And I thought I was a bit queenie for having a load of Pet Shop Boys and Erasure CDs. Maybe I'm showing my age.

The Lady Muck said...

You're right about the Sinead O'Connor cds... *winces*
I had a blast from the past the other day... anyone remember Mel and Kim? Loves it.

Fuckkit said...

I'd be tracking down another Megadrive. Retro gaming joy :)