Saturday, 18 September 2010

15 albums when I was 15...

Currently doing the rounds on Facebook again is one of those pop-cultural chain-letters wherein a friend offers a list of 15 albums that have meant something to them, this list copied to 15 friends and appended with the request that each friend make their own selection of 15 LPs and copy this on to 15 more... Impossible for me to play this game by the stated rules - what, only 15? - but I thought I could put some useful parameters round the exercise and give myself a little Proustian rush by picking 15 albums that had influenced me considerably by the time of my 15th birthday in late 1985... List as follows, roughly in order of when I first heard/bought/taped off a friend the long-player in question.

Blondie, 'Parallel Lines'

The Beatles, 'Revolver'

Talking Heads, 'Remain in Light'

Elvis Costello, 'Imperial Bedroom'

Kraftwerk, 'The Man-Machine'

Dexy’s Midnight Runners, 'Searching for the Young Soul Rebels'

Peter Gabriel, 'Peter Gabriel (IV)'

Echo and the Bunnymen, 'Porcupine'

Bob Dylan, 'Infidels'

Bruce Springsteen, 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'

Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 'Welcome to the Pleasuredome'

Run DMC, 'King of Rock'

New Order, 'Low-Life'

Propaganda, 'A Secret Wish'

Kate Bush, 'Hounds of Love'

Monday, 13 September 2010

Good old common sense in the FT

Because I agree with him, I must say that Phillip Stephens talks customary good sense in the FT on the already wracked state of the ConDemNation, and the resultant opportunity for Labour:
ConDemNation: "Britain’s coalition government set out its plans to eliminate the fiscal deficit in the bright sunlight of certain conviction. A couple of months later, it confronts the chilling realities of shrinking the state...Nick Clegg protested the other day that the spending cuts drawn up in Whitehall were “not dramatically different” to plans laid by the previous government. This softening in the language of austerity says it all. The Liberal Democrat leader once thought “savage” reductions were vital to repair the nation’s finances. Now he must weigh the political costs..."
Labour: "David [Miliband] is the choice of those at the top of the party, who are keen to return to power. Alone, he has talked about rebuilding the coalition that won the party three election victories from 1997. His handicap is that this tags him as the Blairite choice... Ed, the younger Miliband, who could yet win as everybody’s second choice, has offered mostly mush – policies and promises calculated to make the party feel good about itself and about his candidacy... By choosing David Miliband, Labour would be saying it wanted to win back England’s aspirant classes – that it was still serious about power. But the party’s heart could yet rule its head. Mr Clegg – and Mr Cameron – are cheering on the younger of the two brothers."