Today I am 45.
"It's only a number."
Yes. But it is a number I have both dreaded and looked forward to. Dreaded for all the obvious reasons (I am drowning in mid-life crisis angst, but you don't want to know about that); looked forward to because I knew it would give me the chance to write this post. And also because, obviously, it's cool to have revolved around the sun as many times as a 7 inch single spins in a minute. Not that I own any 7 inch singles any more, nor a turntable to spin them on. Sigh...
A few years back, JC, The Vinyl Villain, one of my blogging heroes, marked his own 45th birthday with an epic selection of his 45 favourites 45s. I knew I couldn't compete with that. As should have become painfully obvious by now, I can only count to ten. And so, here are ten songs that focus on the number 45. Special thanks to John Medd for posting about the sleeve of the first Generation X single from 1977 (above). I'd never seen it before, but it was just the image I needed for this post.
Oh, and just for JC: here's Orange Juice with Blokes On 45 to start us off... (Sorry it didn't make the ten, JC - I love Edwyn, but this isn't one of his strongest efforts, despite the cool title.)
10. Babybird - 45 & Fat
Well, that's a nice way to start, isn't it? Thanks for the kind words on my birthday, Babybird.
Still, as this song appears to be Stephen Jones' love song to C-O-C-A C-O-L-A, maybe if he didn't drink so much of that, he wouldn't have to worry about his weight. I mean, come on, Stephen - sugar is the hidden killer for men our age...*
(*Says the man who consumed a whole bag of Bitsa Wipsa with his coffee yesterday.)
9. Dallas Wayne - Old 45s
A word of warning to all you vinyl junkies out there...
"Old 45s will kill you - like a bullet to the brain!"
"It's just a piece of plastic
In a paper sleeve
But in each groove
Lives me and you
And the love that now is
8. The Tall Boy - 45s & Books
Here's one that came from the blogosphere... I've no idea when or where, and google won't tell me anything else about the artist. Cool song though.
And while we're on the subject of 45s and books, I should drop a mention to Deacon Blue here... although they were only interested in paperbacks (with torn out pages).
7. Readers' Wives - I Love You More Than 45s
Readers' Wives, on the other hand, are a band I do know something about. A few years back, at the height of my previous blog's popularity, the band sent me a copy of their album to review. I loved it and we got chatting. At the same time I was also writing a few comics so I sent them some copies of those. For a while, we talked about me writing a comic about their band. It never really got off the ground and the band have now split up, though lead singer Niall James Holohan is still recording and perfoming... I must check out what he's doing these days.
6. Todd Snider - Forty Five Miles
One of Americana's finest, this is from his 2000 album Happy To Be Here. Which seems like a pretty apt thought for today. I should take that on board.
And there's Another 45 Miles right here, from Golden Earring.
5. The All New Adventures Of Us - 45 Forever
Another one that was gifted to me by the blogosphere many moons ago... so I'm gifting it back. A lovely little tune by a band stuck on my wants list for far too long now. I must track down some more of their stuff.
I've got two boxes4. The Gaslight Anthem - 45
Paved with rockets
Where all my best friends sit
When they smile, I take their jackets
And give them a spin...
"I'll see you on the flipside."
There's an expression you don't hear used very often these days.
3. Shrag - Forty Five 45s
Ah, Shrag. Whatever became of you?
Oh. You split up. Never mind. It was good while it lasted.
You want to hang out2. Cornershop - Brimful Of Asha
Talk about music
You play that record
Over and over
Judging by my tastes
I would really like it
And you would lend it to me
Tell me you met them
Not in a fan way
Said they were nice guys
Not too pretentious
You knew them for ages
Before they were famous
And how they hadn't changed...
But I don't care what you say
I liked them first anyway...
Because everybody needs a bosom for a pillow.
1. Elvis Costello - 45
Written and recorded in 2001 when Elvis was going through the same terrible thing I'm going through now. It's his autobiography in 7". Brilliant.
I could quote the whole song, but here's a few selected highlights...
Every scratch, every click, every heartbeat
Every breath that I held for you
Bass and treble heal every hurt
There's a rebel in a nylon shirt
But the words are a mystery, I've heard
'Til you turn it down to thirty three and a third
'Cause it helps with the elocution
Corporations turn revolutions
Bells are chiming and tears are falling
It creeps up on you without a warning
I heard something peculiar said:
"Perhaps he's got a shot and now he's dead"
Sorry, can't stick around to chat. Have to go and "celebrate" encroaching middle age...