Day 7 – Belinda Carlisle – Runaway Horses

Right, so we’ve had the first album purchased by myself, but that was 2nd hand, what about the first one I’d actually bought from a shop? Yes, that’s right! Step up “the 12 Commandments of Dance” by The London Boys! “Wait, what”, I hear you say… I thought this was going to be about Belinda Carlisle? Well.

Fast forward a few days later than the Jason Donovan LP, I ended up on a coach trip to Whitby. In fact, this was on Saturday 31st August 1991. I could explain how I know the date, but it’d bore you senseless… Well, if you’re reading this, you must be pretty bored, but you know what I mean.

Anyhoo, around this time, my interests were changing slightly. Up until this point, if we ever went anywhere, like for a holiday, I’d get a computer game as a memento. Earlier on in the year, Daddykins had brought a music centre home. He was a TV engineer, so I assume someone was either giving it away, or it was getting scrapped, or something. I have no idea of the model number or type, but it appeared in the Hogmanay episode of Still Game…

This was the week that my music collecting began, definitely for records anyway. I’d always had the equipment to play tapes, but these were always ones taped off the radio. It was time to get some original albums.

So, back to the trip. For the journey there and back, I’d taken my “walkman”. Personal stereo if you want to be pedantic. The trip, as always, involved a visit to Woolworths, but instead of a game for my Spectrum, I thought I’d treat myself to a music tape. As I mentioned, I’d picked up “The 12 Commandments of Dance”. Unfortunately, after getting the tape out of its box, it became clear there was a manufacturing defect. There was an extra pressure pad bouncing around inside the tape’s casing. For those who remember tapes, this is the metallic bit with a bit of foam or felt on it that would press the tape against the head. I didn’t think much of it, but as my dad rightly pointed out, having a loose bit of metal bouncing around inside would soon rip the tape to shreds, so off back to Woolies to exchange it.

It was the last copy they had. Bugger.

So, off back to the shelves. I wanted something that I’d heard of, and back then, with my tiny music knowledge, there weren’t too many I could choose from. I plumped for “Runaway Horses”. I knew the songs “Leave a Light on” and “We Want The Same Thing”, so at least there were two songs I liked…

Fate was on my side that day. I absolutely got the best one out of the two albums. The first track was “Leave a Light on”… Later in the day, I remember sitting in a pub courtyard, looking at one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Still, to this day, I wonder what happened to her. Every time I hear that song, I’m transported back to that moment. It may have been The Pier Inn. So, if you were there on 31st August 1991, leave a comment. Or don’t, you’re probably old now.

So, yeah. I loved the album as soon as I heard it. I played side 1 mainly. “Leave A Light on”, “Summer Rain” and “La Luna” are still favourites to this day. The album ends with “Shades of Michaelangelo”, which unfortunately is my least favourite song on the album. Very slow and dreary, with an instrumental bit that really does out-stay it’s welcome.

A few years ago all of Belinda Carlisle’s early albums were remastered and expanded, in a booklet style case, with 2 discs and a DVD. Quite a few of the tracks are just the single versions of the songs, which are no different except they fade out early. There are a few other mixes, such as the acapella version of “La Luna”. Even after 30 years since its original release, the majority of the album still sounds good today.

I can’t conclude this without mentioning the London Boys album. I picked it up years later, and I absolutely hated it. “London Nights” is okay. So is “Requiem”. They get a spin every so often, but everything else on it is truly terrible. In fact, I gave my first copy away. A second copy turned up for 49p so I got it again, just for completeness.

I do wonder what path my music collection would have taken, if it weren’t for that faulty tape. Would I have hated the London Boys album back then? Would I have been so disappointed by it that it put me off buying albums? We will never know.

So, in conclusion, London Boys bad, Belinda Carlisle good.

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3 thoughts on “Day 7 – Belinda Carlisle – Runaway Horses”

  1. Him! Who are you my friend? I think your writi gs are excellent ! I have just stumbled upon your ‘memories of TFM’
    You are obviously a real radio buff like me. Personally I am an old geezer in his mid fifties so I well remember Radio Tees in Dovecot Street. Graham Robb was a bloody genius ! As was Alistair Pirrie . Wonderful man was Alistair.
    So, Just wondering who you are really?

  2. Hi Lee, many thanks for the comment! Sadly, I’m a few years younger so I missed out on probably what was known as the hey-day of the station. I can’t remember if I mentioned in the original post, but I have at least one record that Alistar played on air – “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac…. he had it as his pick of the week, and for some unknown reason, it barely grazed the bottom of the charts. He was right though, as no matter what the chart position was, 40+ years later, it’s one of their most popular songs. I was saddened to hear of the passing of Alistair a few years ago, from the clips I’ve heard online etc, he really was a good radio personality. Back then, DJs really were DJs, and they had to keep an acceptable level of sanity while records skip, and cart machines jam all around them. I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall of an 80s radio station, before automation and computers kicked the format’s arse.

    As for me personally, I’m just a bloke, now the wrong side of 40 from the lovely fishing village of Hartlepool. Never had a job in the media, just a great interest in it!

  3. Hi my friend ! Thanks for the reply .
    Ahhh Alistair Pirrie “ what a superb DJ /radio personality.He lived just around the corner here . He used to frequent a certain pub along with Chris Cowey and so my dad used to chat to him sometimes. Both were extremely friendly . Alistair was a comedy genius in my eyes .I would lay awake until 2 A.M. listening to his phone in on Radio Tees. Wonderful times. Same with Graham Robb .Now Graham really was superb ! I have a tape somewhere of one of his shows I think if you would like to hear it? He used to do a regular Comedy ‘soap opera’ with Peter De Dee on Radio Tees.Those were the days .I have so many wonderful memories of Radio Tees in the 70s and 80s .As you say , local radio was just that back then LOCAL .Unlike now with it’s soulless , pre programmed tripe .Even the new digital format leaves me cold.
    I would love to chat some more with you about it all.
    Drop me a line if you fancy a natter via email .

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