A little while ago I explained how I had come over all nostalgic and started to create top 10 lists from my formative years. I started of with a blog on the Top 10 TV from my Formative Years.
Undeterred by the fact that this blog was only read by about two people, neither of whom were inspired to join me in my nostalgia, I have decided to persist, this time concentrating on the music of my formative years.
I must strongly emphasise that this in no way reflects my favourite music now. In fact, it doesn’t even necessarily reflect my favourite music then – it is merely the music that, for some reason, sticks in my mind from my early years.
As with my previous Top 10 I am blatantly cheating by actually doing two Top 10s as there were two distinct periods in my formative years musically. Early on I didn’t really have much interest in music, but there is some that sticks in my mind. This forms my first Top 10 and is broadly in chronological order.
10. My Grandfather’s Clock
This is one of the earliest songs that I can remember and was from an album called something like “Children’s Favourites”. I have no idea who it was by nor why it had such a resonance, but even now I know the words to the first verse.
9. Two Little Boys – Rolf Harris
I never really particularly liked this song, but it is one that I remember my mum playing quite a lot. My parents’ music collection contained a lot of depressing music – it’s amazing I didn’t become a Goth.
8. Ernie (The Fastest milkman in the West) – Benny Hill
This was Christmas No 1 in 1971 – they don’t make them like that any more!
7. Long Haired Lover From Liverpool – Little Jimmy Osmond
Another Christmas No 1, this time from 1972. This was the first record that I expressly asked to be bought for me: give me a break, I was only 6.
6. Crazy Horses – The Osmonds
I am conscious that having 2 Osmonds songs in this top 10 risks marking me out as a fan, which I really wasn’t – honest! This is also from 1972 and at least it has some vague rock credibility. It was great for running around the playground like a loon shouting out the ‘Whaaa, Whaaa’ bits.
5. Under the Moon of Love – Showaddywaddy
This was in the singles chart in 1976. I was a big Showaddywaddy fan until the age of about 11, but I never owned any drainpipe trousers.
4. Heart of Glass – Blondie
All of a sudden, when I was about 12, there seemed to be an explosion of good music – maybe it was just that I had started to notice. This came out in 1979, but I think it was probably the video more than the song that caught my attention. The following all came out at around the same time: 1978/79
3. Hit me with Your Rythm Stick – Ian Dury and the Blockheads
2. Cool For Cats – Squeeze
1. Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd
How could any song that started with the lyric “Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone” fail to catch the attention of a 13 year old boy.
The Teenage Years
Once you’re a teenager you have to choose your tribe. Although I didn’t have a great interest in music I did have a yearning to ride a motor bike and the whole leather jacket and jeans image appealed to me, so it was initially this rather than the music that led me to join the tribe disparagingly known as the ‘Greebos’.
Many of my fellow Grebes had older brothers or even parents who were into rock music, but I hadn’t really heard much of it so I had to take a crash course. There are so many great rock songs that formed the soundtrack to my teens that it’s hard to pick just 10, but after much deliberation these are my Top 10 – some I still like, some I’m less keen on these days.
10. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
9. Run for the Hills – Iron Maiden
I distinctly remember suffering whiplash at a party when, having drank all of my friend’s dad’s booze, we spent the rest of the evening banging our heads to this track.
8. Breaking the Law – Judas Priest
7. La Grange – ZZ Top
There are other Southern Rock bands that also deserve to be in this list – Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot – but ZZ Top were the best.
6. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
One of the first singles I bought as a Greebo – initially I found I too mellow, but I loved the ending.
5. Bat Out of Hell – Meatloaf
This song was so played to death that I later came to hate it.
4. Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
Put a guitar in the hands of a teenage boy in the 1980s and he would try to play the opening bars of this track. Classic.
3. Rocking All Over The World – Status Quo
I saw Status Quo in concert more times than any other band – they make the most of those 3 chords.
2. Ace of Spades – Motorhead
Play it loud!
1. Whole Lotta Rosie – AC/DC
AC/DC were the greatest of the bands and I loved all of their stuff.