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  • Titel-Magazin
    TITEL kulturmagazin
    Montag, 21. August 2017 | 06:40

    Die Popkolumne aus London


    It Was Acceptable In The Eighties

    Going back to the cherished music of your youth can be a terrifying and disorientating experience, seriously calling into question the image of the sophisticated urbanite you’ve spent years cultivating. And, while you may have compiled a list of hip first records and albums you enjoy reeling off to your friends, the reality can be a far darker place. By JOHN BITTLES


    It was with some trepidation that I approached this project. Was it really a good idea to dredge up old memories? After all, isn’t repression a necessary defense mechanism that exists to protect the psyche? What if, upon listening to the albums I used to fawn over I then revert back psychologically – or psychotically – to the spotty, awkward teenager I once was?


    Still, for better or worse, I decided that this was a trip that I was going to have to take. Like all journeys, preparation would be the key. After stocking up on bags of sun cream, insect repellent and Immodium Instants, I secured myself some alone time in a darkened room with four cans of lukewarm beer (that’s how it was in the old days), a large packet of crisps, a man-size pack of hankies (FOR TEARS YOU PERVERTS) and some very good headphones to aid me in my quest.


    First up was a much beloved album from my childhood: True Blue by Madonna. I would revel in running off to my room to play my one album over and over during my ›gay phase‹, shaking my skinny little butt while singing along in my high pitched falsetto.


    Listening to it again now, I can still remember pushing the play button hoping against hope that the tape machine wouldn’t chew it all up – the greatest First World Problem of the 1980s – as I prepared myself for what I was convinced was a grown up and spooky glimpse into the mysterious powers of pop.


    Into the Groove and La Isla Bonita transport me back in time and murky memories resurface of watching Poltergeist with my babysitter (I hid behind the cushions during the scary parts like the brave little soldier I was).


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    Next up is Europe with The Final Countdown. See, this is what is meant by embarrassing skeletons in your closet. It doesn’t matter though as I genuinely used to love this album when it was released in 1986 and wished that I possessed something akin to Joey Tempest’s glorious mane of hair. It was also the very first vinyl album I ever owned, fact fans.


    The Final Countdown is a classic track – is there any greater album opener? It instantly has me banging my head in delight. Unfortunately, I have to stop halfway through the song though as my neck and head are getting sore.


    The feel good rock vibes continue with Carrie, Rock the Night and, my personal favourite, Cherokee, which I actually sing along to with my eyes closed. Amazingly, I still remember all the words. It is almost impossible now to imagine that at one time something so unashamedly uncool could have been created and enjoyed with absolutely no pretensions whatsoever. Did anybody bother to like things »but you know, ironically« back then? We need more of this please music makers!


    And then we come to 1987 with INXS and Kick. I’m afraid that INXS were probably about as cool as I ever got in my youth. If you would have accused me of this then though I would have told you to ›wind yer neck in‹ in my loveable Northern Irish drawl as I smashed your shins in and proceeded to run for my life. Still, we all move on and I mostly like to forget this troubled period. (Didn’t I explain the positives of repression earlier?)


    Anyway, back to the task at hand. Each song is a classic in my mind. New Sensation and Devil Inside still have me rocking out while Never Tear Us Apart actually brings a tear my jaded and cynical eye. The other one remains unmoved. Lucky I equipped myself with those man-sized hankies – who’s laughing now suckers?


    Moving forward on my journey of nostalgia, it was in the late ’80s I discovered Prince or, more specifically, the seminal album Purple Rain. Is Prince cool now? One minute he is, the next he ain’t. I just can’t keep up! I call the »Prince: Is He Cool Or Not Cool?«-hotline daily only to realise each time that I’ve had my phone cut off.


    This was the first LP that I got into mostly because I really fancied a girl. I’ve only got foggy memories of the girl now but Jesus, what an album! Plus, any record that features the line I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine was sure to fulfill everything I ever wanted from an album in my teenage years. And now in fact. Now where the fuck are those hankies?


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