Growing up, I was never far away from a music magazine. To begin with it was Smash Hits, and it’s fair to say that their swingorilliant mixture of hilarious portmanteaus, absurd non sequiturs (“does your mother play golf?”) and frequent interjections from the [Sniiiiiiiiiiiiiip! – Ed.] had a lifelong effect on my own writing and what I liked to read. It was energetic, imaginative, and had that brilliant effect of making you feel like you were in a very exclusive club whilst actually reading the top-selling magazine of the day.
After that it was NME, and for a while I talked earnestly about The Woodentops, That Petrol Emotion and Pop Will Eat Itself (mostly I was going through a Marillion phase but that’s something that as a forty-mumble year old I still don’t like admitting to). And then I heard “House Nation”, started buying MixMag, Record Mirror and DJ. Soon after I was DJing professionally, and these magazines were more about the industry. The fun had stopped with the sad demise of Smash Hits.
But then I discovered Popjustice and all was right in the world. True, exactly 80% of modern pop music is no better than Nadine Coyle’s solo album, but at least the writing has zip and zing; it was fun again.
So imagine how excited I was to discover this terrific piece in the Guardian today, by Popjustice contributor Michael Cregg:
One of the things that I’ve always wondered is why there are no great sites for Google Play Music playlists. Like the Guardian “10 of the best” series, I love being able to play the songs as I read about them and I thought, “wouldn’t it be great to do the same for Play Music?” which is a great service with many features far better than Spotify.
And then I discovered, it’s because you can’t embed a playlist like that, which sucks giant floppy donkey dick. Nevertheless, I thought it might be fun to write listicles about my favourite songs from one artist, or around a theme, or from a specific year. What I needed then was a name. How to come up with a catchy name, musically inspired, containing a number, that maybe just went a little further…
Back in 1984, as a socially awkward Smash Hits disciple with a penchant for the esoteric, there was one band I loved amongst all others, and that’s who my first listicle will be about…