Rip It Up And Start Again

Rip it Up
Rip it Up

Yesterday I mentioned that I had recently read Rip It Up And Start Again by Simon Reynolds. It was a really interesting read, but (at least in part) not for the reasons I expected.

It was interesting because it was full of bands that I had never listened to and had always meant to. This was particularly true in the early chapters when it was talking about people like The Pop Group, The Slits and The Raincoats. I remember being vaguely aware of these bands at the time, but I don’t remember listening to them and it’s been costing me a bit of money filling in some of these gaps in my music collection. I’ve been enjoying this very much.

All of which leads to another question. Who was I listening to during this period? I haven’t yet resorted to getting the vinyl collection out from the back of the cupboard to check, but I’ve started to piece together some memories.

I was definitely starting to listen to Bowie in the late 70s. I have a complete run of Bowie singles from about the time of “Heroes” to sometime in the mid-80s. I also know that I listened to more heavy metal than I’m comfortable admitting. The end of my interest in heavy metal is neatly marked by a copy of Gillan‘s Future Shock album which I bought in 1981 and played about twice. There was also a lot of Hawkwind being listened to at the time, along with bands that no-one has ever heard of now like Barclay James Harvest. There were, however, some indications of wider interests. I bought Tubeway Army‘s Replicas when it was first released and saw Gary Numan on his first solo tour (supported, if I recall correctly, by OMD).

In 1981, I moved to London to start university and I put away childish things. I’ve already mentioned my conversion from heavy metal (except Hawkwind, of course) but it was replaced in my record collection by all sorts of interesting music. I seem to remember spending all of 1982 listening to Dexys Midnight Runners‘s Too-Rye-Ay and ABC‘s The Lexicon of Love – both of which are mentioned in the book.

And from then on, my tastes coincide with Reynold’s book far more closely. There’s Talking Heads, The Cure, The Human League and Depeche Mode – all bands that I still listen to today.

So, all in all, Reynold’s book triggered a big nostalgia trip for me, even though a lot of it wasn’t directly mentioned in the book. It has cost (and continues to cost) me a bit of money as I buy music that I missed out on or replace stuff that I only have on vinyl. And one day soon I am going to have to get all the vinyl out and see what other musical treasures I have forgotten about.

One comment

  1. It’s easy I expect to say that the years when you were growing up were the most exciting in music.I see nothing to match 1978 – 1984 though :)

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