Tuesday, May 10, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter B, Part 28)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the end of the letter B. Perhaps the best has been saved for last. 'Singles Going Steady' might very well be my favorite band compilation in the collection and just about the most listened to album in my middle teen years. That's the perfect time of your life to discover Buzzcocks. It felt like I was flipping the bird to the world right along with Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle as I sang along in my room all those years ago. Last year on Black Friday the 1978 album 'Another Music in a Different Kitchen' was reissued on vinyl. Since the copy from my youth was worn to nothing, I couldn't resist.

The vinyl is thick and heavy, and the color is a lovely opaque orange that perfectly matches the lettering and trim on the front cover. The cover itself is crisp and of a heavy stock. The sound is pristine. It's all so beautiful... and that's the problem. My Buzzcocks aren't supposed to look and sound this good. I don't like it. I miss the pops and cracks, and I anticipate them because after decades of listening I know exactly where they are supposed to be in each song. Unfortunately, I didn't keep my ragged copy, and I regret it. I'm sure you all know the singles and B-sides from Buzzcocks. So, today, I'm going deep for a favorite from the second side of the "new" album.

"I Need"

You know how on some restaurant menus an entrée description will say something like "perfect when paired with a Sam Adams lager." Well, to keep me interested in this series, from time to time, I think I'll add a bonus song to accompany the featured one. I used to make quite a few mix tapes. I bet you did too. There were certain songs I would always put together back to back. The reason could be as simple as similar lyrical themes or as complex as a story from my life that would only make sense to me. This song from the Pastels, circa 1986, would always follow "I Need" because the background vocals were so alike... and, oh, how I love those "ahs!" Buzzcocks should have trademarked that.

"Truck Train Tractor"

8 comments:

Echorich said...

Down with 180 gram vinyl I say! Everytime I pick one up I just think - this is the weight of my grandparents Caruso 78 rpms! Audiophile vinyl was a scam in the 60's and the 70's and hear it is again for the better part of the 21st century.
Now as for Buzzcocks (again I choose to leave the "The" off unless the band use it themselves) I agree that Singles Going Steady is probably the best singles compilation of any band ever - take that Rolling Stones...
I don't know if I have a favorite Buzzcocks album. I was entranced by Another Music From A Different Kitchen from the first listen. Fast Cars has an adrenaline level that as a teen I was jonesing on a daily basis. The album is Punk that felt more in tune with my own teen experience - more than the almost anthemic feel of Never Mind The Bollocks or the chaos of The Clash. For that reason I didn't run out and get all my friends to join in my emerging fandom. Buzzcocks remained mine and mine alone, among my friends, for quite a long time. On my Sixteenth birthday I woke up and put on the record player in my room which was already cued up to play Sixteen. It was a Monday and I had to be at school, but it was all ok after hearing Sixteen.

Echorich said...

Sorry one last note on AMFADK...you mentioned mixtapes and I remember for years, I Don't Mind was the final song on side two of all my Punk mixtapes. The opening song of side one you ask? Well more often than not it was either White Riot or Blitzkrieg Bop.

charity chic said...

Never mind Running Up that Hill, Ever Fallen in Love With is perhaps the best British record of all time!

The Swede said...

Buzzcocks produced a pretty flawless body of work during their United Artists years, 'What Do I Get?' and 'Are Everything' in particular still send shivers up my spine every time I hear 'em. And as for mixtapes, 'Love You More' by Buzzcocks and 'Stephen Does' by Swell Maps were always my go-to tunes to fill a short gap at the end of a side. I must've used them both dozens of times.

Brian said...

Hi fellas. No "The" for sure, Echorich. Seriously, I used "Sixteen" for 16-year-old birthdays more than once in my youth. Lots of fantastic go-to songs here in the comments section. I don't think I can pick just one song from tracks two through seven on 'Singles Going Steady.' Today, at this moment, I would go with "Everybody's Happy Nowadays." Can never ever go wrong with "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" though, as CC says. Swede, I really like your back-to-back choice for a mix tape. I had a couple of minutes and tried "Love You More"/"Stephen Does" today. Sure seems like a slam dunk series, doesn't it?

kevinpat said...

For two days I've tried to think of something memorable or interesting to say but all can think of is I LOVE BUZZCOCKS. Always have. Always will. Love Bites is the one I reach for when I just want a quickie. Singles Going Steady when I want to sing along. (I know every line I'm sure...) and In A Different Kitchen when I want something to last a little longer. Damn! "16 Again" is the song I now use for each birthday which has occurred a lot!. Ha!

Brian said...

Thanks for chiming in, Kevinpat. I can't say I'm too surprised. Buzzcocks have your name all over it. You use their albums in much the same way as I do. I drive an old car that doesn't have an aux jack. So, I'm still depend on CDs and cassettes. There are two CDs that never leave the car and Singles Going Steady is one of them. Sing along, indeed.

JC said...

"My Buzzcocks aren't supposed to look and sound this good. I don't like it. I miss the pops and cracks, and I anticipate them because after decades of listening I know exactly where they are supposed to be in each song."

That's how I felt about London Calling when I bought a CD copy years after wearing out amd throwing out the vinyl. But I got used to it.

Just as well I never saw this post back in the days or I probably wouldn't have embarked on my new series on Buzzcocks....you're right in that everyone with taste will know both sides of the classic singles.