Thursday, 24 April 2014

The 45 That's Been With Me The Longest



Forty-five as I keep telling myself is just a number, before yesterday it was always a pretty cool number but now I'm not so sure. Today I find it a tad depressing.

Earlier this year I thought about doing the 45 at forty-five countdown, JC's excellent feature from a few years ago but to be honest I found it rather too difficult a task to choose between the singles in the red box and anyway my absolute favourite was released 6 years prior to my birth and therefore would be excluded as I couldn't possibly have bought it at the time. So I have decided to post the single that I have owned the longest, thirty five years sometime this year.

I bought Alternative Ulster at the record stall at Wishaw Market. The stall had a lot of the punk singles of the time but mainly specialised in Heavy Metal and also had a large stock of badges and patches. I would become a regular customer over the next couple of years badgering my mum to take me to Wishaw on a Saturday so I could root through the singles and if none took my fancy I would always come back with at least a couple of badges. Luckily my aunt and uncle lived in the town so regular visits were not a problem.

The single was bought  at the time as much for the cover as the music. I used to sit and look at it for ages wondering what it would be like to have soldiers on your street, a prospect which was not without it's merits to a ten year old who wasn't really aware of why the troops were on the streets in Northern Ireland.

Even now when I hear that simple guitar intro the hairs on my neck stand up and my pulse beats that little bit faster. Back in 1979 I could make out most of the lyrics but didn't have a clue what they were on about but I knew that they were angry and felt that they meant it. The track was raw, fast and furious and more's to the point when I got it home and played it on my parents Philips music centre my mum said that it was a horrible racket and to turn it off. What better recommendation was there than your parents hating a song.

Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster


7 comments:

Simon said...

Its funny, SLF are a big part of my musical 'thing'. Tin Soldiers was the one that caught me. Around 83/84 lots of the little mod bands around were covering it. I got my copy from my local record shops backstock for 50p. When I first went online I was listening to the first album and called myself Johnnywas. It's still there as my twitter name. Some things just stick. Best live band (along with Black Grape) that I ever saw too. Tiny little venue 1991 with Foxton on bass. Amazing.

Walter said...

A very good start into your life with 45's. It's one of my favorite tracks from this era. And your right - listening to the intro you'll get a chicken skin.

charity chic said...

If your parents hated it and it still moves you after 35 years they must have been doing something right

Scott said...

There are few better 45's from that era. A great intro to the mighty 7".

Swiss Adam said...

Good post Drew

Martin Jay said...

Eloquently put....

Darcy said...

Yes one of the best from back then. Never fails to move me - so much energy... and soul.

My beloved copy is still nestling in my punk/new wave box amidst all the other wonderful pic sleeves.