TRISH TAKES FIVE: By blogger Trish Burgess
It was while shopping in the supermarket that the CD caught my eye: Now That’s What I Call Music 93.
93? Is that possible? Surely it’s only a few years since the first Now That’s What I call Music hit the shops?
Sadly no. The first album was released in 1983, 33 years ago. This discovery was enough to make me howl at what had happened to the intervening years.
I found a list of the tracks on the original album and they were all instantly recognisable by name, taking me straight back to when I was 19, at university, listening to these songs in college bars and tacky discos.
Immediately I started singing ‘Red, Red Wine’ by UB40, ‘Too Shy’ by Kajagoogoo and ‘Down Under’ by Men At Work. Big hits by Culture Club, Tina Turner and The Cure jostled for position with Simple Minds and Madness. The words were all there, stored neatly away in the ‘they don’t make tunes like that any more’ folder which everyone over the age of 30 has nestled in their memories.
Turning to the new album of 2016 was completely baffling. Glancing at the names and song titles, no melodies or lyrics came to mind, apart from the last one on CD 2 which happened to be ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie - and he was only there because he had unfortunately passed away.
I couldn’t believe I was really so out of touch with modern pop culture so listened to the song clips and was relieved that I knew about a dozen of the 44 that were included (you only got 30 tracks on the original, but oh boy, were they a brilliant 30).
Of course, some of the songs I recognised were by well-known names such as Coldplay, Ellie Goulding and The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir. There was also a cover version of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ which, of course, being old and crotchety, I had to berate as not being anything like as good as the original.
Many of the others were a puzzling collection of names, several listed as ‘featuring’ which I presume means a DJ/producer created the mix, hence we have Snakehips featuring Tinashe and Chance the Rapper or David Guetta featuring Sia and Fetty Wap. Fetty what?
Five of the new songs were listed as ‘clean’ which confused me for a while until it dawned on me that there were obviously some ‘not so clean’ versions kicking around. Naturally I did a search for those.
Interestingly, although the artists’ names are long-winded in the 2016 album, with all this featuring going on, the song titles are very short: ‘Army’, ‘Worry’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Sax’, ‘Sugar’, ‘Dessert’ and ‘Roses’. Don’t they know that the best song titles are wordy and have brackets? Just ask Paul Young - ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)’.
You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk