I spent most of the 1980s living in various shared houses. One of the effects of this is that there are large holes in my record collection as I wouldn’t bother buying music that someone else in the house owned. Sometimes I can’t remember which albums I own. Sometimes I’m surprised by albums that I own. I came across a good example last week.
For some reason I felt like listening to some Dire Straits. Don’t ask me why. I have no excuse. Sometimes I just get an urge to listen to music that I normally wouldn’t go near. I knew I had at least one Dire Straits CD, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. So I went to look and was appalled by what I found.
Oh, I had Dire Straits CDs. But not the ones I hoped for. I didn’t have the first album. The one that’s still really rather good. The one (the only one) that I’m still prepared to defend in an argument. The one with “Sultans of Swing” on. Nope. Didn’t find that. I didn’t even have the second album. The one that isn’t anywhere near as good as the first but does, at least, have “Romeo and Juliet” on it. Apparently I never got round to buying that either.
I did find Love Over Gold. Terrible album. Its only redeeming feature is an obscure album track called “Industrial Disease”. Oh and it has “Private Investigations” which I definitely remember hating even back when it was in the charts. And, even worse, I found Brothers in Arms – the very epitome of 1980s yuppie coffee-table music. The closest it comes to having anything interesting on it is “Money for Nothing” which was reasonably entertaining the first million times I heard it, but unfortunately MTV has overplayed it just a bit and it’s now pretty much impossible to listen to without grimacing.
Wasn’t there a law back in the mid-80s that it was illegal to sell a CD player without selling at least one Dire Straits CD with it? To demonstrate the quality.
Strange how tastes can change so much. What was I thinking? Sometimes I think that if I ever get a time machine I’ll just waste my time going back and trying to drum some taste into my younger self.
I didn’t listen to either of the Dire Straits albums I found. I listened to some 10,000 Maniacs instead.
Update: Oops. Further research indicates that I’m misremembering Dire Straits’ early albums. It seems that “Romeo and Juliet” was on their third album, Making Movies, not their second album as I claimed above. The second album was apparently called Communique. But, be honest now, can anyone remember that album at all?