Monday, 12 February 2007

Soundtrack Of My Life - Tracks 9-12

9.99 Luftballons (Kerner/Brendel/Karges/Fahrenkrog-Petersen) NENA
Back in the early eighties "Top Of The Pops" included a run down of the European top ten, so I had heard this song before I went to visit my German relatives at Easter 1983. I remember there being some confusion when I was in the record shop asking for the single. But the story my Oma (German for Grandma!) tells is that I told her I wanted 99 Luftballons - which translates as 99 Balloons (red was added for the English lyric) - and she couldn't really understand why I wanted so many balloons - I don't recall this happening at all but she is quite certain! I got Nena's next couple of albums but then lost interest in her for many years, then about four years ago I was in Germany when Nena had just released an album of new recordings of her early hits. I loved it so much I have gradually collected her back catalogue since then. There is the odd track in English but the majority has been in German - although the last few years have seen me become more open to foreign language music so that's fine! Overall the song really sums up that particular holiday for me

10.Rough Justice (Jolley/Swain/Dallin/Fahey/Woodward) BANANARAMA
This just reminds me of a school trip to Holland in 1984. An odd little trip which amongst other things saw the teachers inadvertently taking us to a gay bar, and some of the group playing strip poker one night, not to mention someone climbing up one of the flag poles to steal a flag - and breaking the flag pole! One evening we spent watching the most peculiar ballet on television as well. All the male dancers were wearing quite grubby pants and not much else, and at one point they actually removed the pants, sat on the floor butt naked and washed them in a bowl of water then did a little nudey dance after! Very odd (but they had wonderful physiques!) It really was the oddest trip - I still have a quite odd sort of seal thing I bought there! Anyway for some reason this song always reminds me of this trip!

11.I Want To Dance (Heneker) from the musical "Peg" CAST
No sooner had I got back from Holland than I found myself coming down to London to work in the theatre for the first time. The show was "Peg" (my Uncle was in the cast) and it was, frankly, on it's last legs. It really was a different world - to be working in the company of adults for the first time - and rather eccentric ones at that! It was great fun to work on though, and I remember that all of the front of house staff would often be found dancing along to the somewhat bizarre choreography of this number.

12.Nobody's Side (Rice/Andersson/Ulvaeus) from "Chess" ELAINE PAIGE
I have already said I love this show, and this song is chosen on behalf of Jackie who felt it explained what she was going through at a particular point. She, as all of us do, had her own personal demons and along with the breakdown of a group friendship which saw me and Jackie on one side, and four former friends on the other she felt the lyrics of this song were quite significant. I can remember one of the former (now quite malicious) friends saying to me "Why does she think we are talking about her? The F***ing bitch is paranoid" . Says it all really! Frankly it's just a good bloody song.

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