Saturday, 9 May 2009

A friend once told me...

...that T'Pau were always overlooked. Well, for good reason I would reply. But Owen (above) wouldn't have any of it. I'd just be talking to his hand when I said Carol Decker probably smelled a bit unwashed and had a mouth like a sewer. This was just to get him going, of course, but he'd stand there and laugh his head off. He'd then go off into a rant himself imagining all sorts of slutty behaviour by poor Carol finishing with a cackling "Dirty slaaaaaaaaaag!"

I still couldn't imagine EVER liking a T'Pau song until I played Owen's vinyl records. I inherited them on my birthday this year - an amazing gift that gives me goosebumps even as I type this - and T'Pau's I Will Be With You, despite the cheese, had a chorus that says exactly the right thing. We lost him two years ago but this isn't some kind of sad eulogy. It's just an acknowledgement that he hasn't gone anywhere. I talk to him all the time!

Below are five of my favourites from the pile that had WAY too many Whitneys but thankfully loads of Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

I Will Be With You - T'Pau (zShare)
They were a funny bunch: it was like the near-schoolgirl barmaid gets up and sings with the thirty-something blokes doing Marillion covers in the back room. Actually, isn't that what really happened? They were full of themselves for having such a huge hit though. I was backstage (get me) at the Tyne Tees pop show The Roxy and they were flicking through the show's 1987 Annual looking for themselves. Carol spots the only appearance, a poster pic and says angrily, meaning every word, "Two fucking million copies of China In Your Hand? The biggest record this year and we get a one lousy poster pic? No I'm not fucking signing it. They can go fucking whistle, I tells ya". And Owen wondered where I thought the Decker potty mouth came from.

Dreamin' - Vanessa Williams (zShare)
This track wasn't as big in the UK as the US but I remember it being a radio favourite, a great pop soul crossover. A very Tony Blackburn record, in fact. And Owen would have loved Vanessa's resurrection as Wilhemina in Ugly Betty.

The Best of My Love (Full Dance Mix) - Dee Lewis (zShare)
This remix by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow for PWL was a Hitman and Her stalwart. Picture the scene: Frightwig Clive the choreographer permanently auditioning for Flashdance with Michaela Strachan trying to limbo under his massive packet while Pete Waterman bellows into a mic showering poodle perms and be-suited car mechanics in spit. And that was the national TV favourite every Saturday night after the pub. There aren't any clips of Dee Lewis on the show, but here's a GREAT one of the Reynolds Girls.

That's The Way It Is (Pete Hammond House Mix) - Mel & Kim (zShare)

F.L.M. (Pete Hammond Extended Mix) - Mel & Kim (zShare)
I LOVE these two Mel & Kim tracks remixed by PWL's Pete Hammond. The man is a genius. It's full of his trademark arrangements and sounds. And for added value on the house mix he's nicked the bongos from Pump Up the Volume. Mel Appleby was mad as a bunch of frogs and Kim, her older sister, the calmer, patient one. Here they are on a vare strange, Dutch TV show: "Everyone finks 'Get Fresh for the weekend means getting up and havin' a wash!". And here's a touching interview from 4 years ago where Kim talks to Trisha about her sister and their rise to fame.

Owen's collection of vinyl is a brilliant time capsule of the late 80s when he first began buying records. It stops at 1990 when he started his reknowned CD mountain. But this collection of 12"s, which include Terence Trent D'Arby, Eurythmics, The Pasedenas, Janet, Michael and, yes, even the Whitneys is a privilege to take care of. Bless his cottons.


Paul said...

he had great taste in music, i think i would have gotten along with him just fine. plus he was tasty :P

So sorry for the loss of your friend but sounds like you are remembering all the ace things about him...

xolondon said...

These records are is safe hands!

He was so cute, yes?! And thank you again for your kind words last month - I realize this is who you were talking about.

DanProject76 said...

Records (epecially vinyl) are great for memories, aren't they?

I've downloaded a few of these.