My 80’s Non-Stop Oldies

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Recently, I was part of a discussion about radio stations playing 80’s music (quelle surprise!). The conversation soon got round to Sara Cox’s “Sounds of The 80s” show, which airs on Radio 2 every Saturday evening. I was reminded of the show’s launch, back in October 2013.

Ahead of the show’s debut, I was asked to prepare a playlist of my favourite Eighties’ tracks, to be played on Steve Wright’s show, during the Non-Stop Oldies feature, the day before Sara’s first show. I was to choose at least 15 tracks, although less than half of the songs would be played in the half hour time slot – oh, the pressure!

Days of deliberation resulted in a playlist I loved, and which I felt best encompassed my favourite decade – a delicate mix of pop, excess, camp and class! On the day of the show, I eagerly awaited to hear which of my tracks had been chosen. I wasn’t disappointed. It was fantastic to hear some of my favourite 80’s music being played again on national radio. A couple of tracks were omitted, which I would have liked to have heard: The Kane Gang’s “Closest Thing To Heaven” and Big Sound Authority’s “This House”, but I still enjoyed the selection. For anyone who missed it first time round, I have finally managed to upload a recording I made of the broadcast:

Apologies for the abrupt beginning and ending – my editing skills remain firmly in the Eighties, taping off the radio with my cassette recorder!

My 80’s Non-Stop Oldies:

Party Fears Two – Associates

War Baby – Tom Robinson

Come Dancing – The Kinks

My Favourite Waste of Time – Owen Paul

New England – Kirsty MacColl

Calling Your Name – Marilyn

The Bitterest Pill – The Jam

Mighty MacColl’s Merry Christmas

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One of the very few regrets I have in life is that I never got to meet Kirsty MacColl, before she met her untimely death on 18th December 2000. One of my favourite songwriters, with wide-ranging musicality (compare “They Don’t Know” to “My Affair”) and lyrical genius (“Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me, Sonny Jim!” being my favourite), I’ve always felt it an unfair reflection of her talent that her highest charting solo single release was “New England”, written by Billy Bragg. Her best known self-penned number, “There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis”, may be catchy and fun, but offers only a glimpse of her versatility and creativity. If your knowledge of Kirsty’s material stretches little beyond this, then treating yourself to her “Kite” album will show you what I mean. It is nearly Christmas after all!

Of course, it is at this time of year that we hear the lovely Ms MacColl singing alongside The Pogues’ Shane McGowan. “Fairytale of New York” is not only my favourite Christmas song, but its video features my teenage crush, Matt Dillon, dressed in a police uniform. So, as an early Christmas present to myself, and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, here it is…