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.