Sunday, 19 March 2017

My Top Ten 45 Songs

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 boxes
Paved with rockets
Where all my best friends sit
When they smile, I take their jackets
And give them a spin...
4. The Gaslight Anthem - 45

"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 out
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...
2. Cornershop - Brimful Of Asha

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
Forty five

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
Forty five

Bells are chiming and tears are falling
It creeps up on you without a warning
Forty five

I heard something peculiar said:
"Perhaps he's got a shot and now he's dead"
Forty five

Sorry, can't stick around to chat. Have to go and "celebrate" encroaching middle age...


  1. MHROTD! Dig out a copy of 33s & 45s by Wrecless Eric; you'll be glad you did. J

    1. Thanks, John. Always got time for a bit of Eric.

  2. Happy birthday Rol. 45? You're a mere slip of a lad! Back to check out the tunes later.

    1. I do appear to be the terrible infant of this particularly corner of the blogosphere. I wonder what the younger bloggers are doing?

  3. A very happy birthday to you Rol. If it's of any comfort, I think 45 is a really nice age to be, when you know who you are and are at ease in your own skin, and it's not wrinkled. Enjoy!
    (There's a 4 and a 5 in my age later this year too. Just the other way round...)

    1. To be honest, I've never been happy with any age I've been. Such is human nature, I guess.

  4. Happy birthday youth - still just a slip of a lad
    Cornershop was my first thought and not because of bosoms!

  5. 45 is it?, You'll have to speak up, sonny, the old ears aren't what they once was. Many happy returns and cheers for serving up one of EC's better songs of this century - JTFL

    1. Thank you, Johnny. Yeah, he's not really bettered this since. Which leaves me somewhat worried that, like Elvis, my best years are definitely behind me...

  6. Many Happy Returns - It's a great age to be from where I'm sitting. And, if it's classed as middle-aged (sounds too young for that) you have a whole other half to go! Marks the end of the winter and Spring is on its way.

    Of course you could be relied upon to have 10 x 45 songs as well - excellent.

    1. Seasons appear to work a little differently in your world than mine, Alyson. I just see it as the end of summer again...

    2. Not really being metaphorical, just remembered that your mum told you your birthday was the day before the first day of Spring (vernal equinox as per my last post) so you were a tail end of the winter baby!

  7. Happy birthday, Rol. I think you are the babe of this blogging community. Great No. 1. Probably the last EC album I loved.

    1. Thanks, Brian. Yes - what happened to EC?

  8. Happy birthday, Rol, hope you have a good one.

    Whilst discussing my disintegrating knee with a hospital consultant last year, he said "If you were still a great ape living out in the wild, your life expectancy would be 45, so nothing is really designed to last longer than that. How old are you now?" When I replied that I was 46, he concluded "Well, there you are then!" as if that explained everything and, in a way, I suppose it does. Next stop: pipe'n'slippers.

    1. Cheers, Martin.

      I'm surprised he didn't just shoot you and put you out of your misery.

    2. I think it was a close call...

  9. Belated Happy Birthday! I hope you had a nice day despite the threat of middle age. I still have a few years until I reach 45. Look on the bright side, there are advantages to getting older. Experience and knowledge just to name two.

    1. Experience of all the worst parts of life, knowledge that the best are all behind you?

      At least I feel a little better now to know that I'm NOT the youngest blogger on the block, Chris.

  10. Facing life in your mid 40s.Maybe you found the topic for your next book Rol? Pouring your angst into something creative, that's my suggestion.

    I think you've surrounded yourself with bloggers of a certain age in this corner of the web. There are younger bloggers out there, although (in the last 5-6 years) I've been frustrated by the short-termness of the blogs by 20somethings and 30somethings. The over 40s tend to be more constant(with exceptions of course)

  11. Stupidly belated happy birthday Rol. Delighted to see The All New Adventures of Us in that wonderful rundown.

    Scary that, like C, i too have the same numbers in my birthday but in the reverse order. Where has the time gone?

    Oh and can I say that I miss your comics.



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