Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Childhood. Show all posts

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 44 - Zambezi (The Piranhas)

Flipping heck... I hadn't heard this song in years until hearing it earlier today.  I remember loving it when I was kid.  Utter crap now, but boy it sure gave me flashbacks of my youth. 

A cover of Zambezi by Lou Busch and his Orchestra, this was released back in 1982 by The Piranhas (and featuring Boring Bob Grover - The Man With The Golden Trumpet) where it entered in to the UK Top 40 in September/October when I was but a 5 year old lad with obviously no decent taste in music.



"Well if my bank should phone, tell them I ain't at home,
Just say I packed my plastic bag and went away.
As for the landlord's rent, I spent it on a tent,
So if he's asking questions, you'll know what to say.
 
 

You don't get lyrics like that anymore.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 43 - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (The Carpenters)

Yikes....  That's been a long hiatus, but I'm back with another "Song That Reminds Me Of My Childhood".  This time, we go back to when I was VERY little with The Carpenters version of "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", originally released by them in September 1977 (I was only 7 months old), and in fact is a cover from a song by Klaatu which was used by the pirate radio station Radio Caroline as an opening song for their midnight transmissions - Thanks Wikipedia.  The original is not a bad version, but I prefer The Carpenters cover, especially the intro with All Hit Radio and the supposedly Mike Ledgerwood on the request line.

I vaguely remember first listening to this one night in the 80s when my Dad was listening to a Carpenters album, and I've loved it ever since.

It really doesn't get more 70's than this.

Hey babe, what would you like to hear?


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 42 - Don't Lose My Number (Phil Collins)

Well, here's the first "Songs That Reminds Me Of My Childhood" in a very long time (sorry for the delay).  Whilst reacquainting myself with Phil Collins excellent "No Jacket Required" album, Don't Lose My Number gave me a massive flashback feeling.  Gosh, I forgot how much I love this song, and how good an album it is.

Enjoy!


Sunday, April 02, 2017

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 41 - Dancing Girls (Nik Kershaw)

Another S.T.R.M.O.M.C. to make up for a lack of them over the past year.  As I've probably mentioned before in a previous post, my sister was a massive fan of Nik Kershaw, and quite often when I was a small child in the mid 80s I would be able to hear his tunes coming through the wall between our two bedrooms.  At the time, I was not a fan but over the years I've grown to really like his music.

Whenever I listen to Dancing Girls, I have a vivid memory of helping my sister write a "Nik Kershaw" lyrics program on our Commodore Plus 4 computer in BASIC, a programme I still have stored on one of hundreds of old cassettes to this day, named "Nik 16"


Coincidently released exactly 33 years ago on this day - April 2nd 1984, (gosh, 33 years ago - I feel old), Dancing Girls was a single from his excellent "Human Racing" album and peaked in the UK charts at No. 13 around the same time as classic favourites of mine such as Queen's "I Want To Break Free", Depeche Mode's "People are People" and Blancemange's "Don't Tell Me"

Enjoy this classic example of mid 80's synth-pop


 
 

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 40 - Shattered Dreams (Shattered Dreams)

Blimey, I've been neglecting my poor Blog lately, and I can't believe it's been well over a year since my last "Songs That Remind Me Of My Childhood" post.  483 days to be precise.

Anyhoo, there are a large number of songs that remind me of family walks from Leigh-on-Sea to Southend, mostly because we used to stop off at different pubs on the way, and most had the songs of the day playing over the speakers.  This was around the mid to late 1980's where we'd jump on a Class 302 from Laindon, get off at Leigh-on-Sea, and stop for a quick drink at the Peterboat, Ye Olde Smack, and then onwards towards Southend-on-Sea with a quick stop at the Cliffs Pavilion for another bevvy - or in my case, another pint of orange squash!.

Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz is one of those songs that was played a lot in those pubs.  It was released in March 1987 and went straight to number 97 in the UK charts.  Only through lots of airtime on the radio did it finally reach a deserving number 5 two months later.

An absolute stonker of an 80s track.  Enjoy


Monday, December 07, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 39 - Keeping The Dream Alive (M√ľnchener Freiheit)

Wow, here's a blast from the past.  I loved this song when I was younger, and completely forgot about it until hearing it on the radio earlier today. 
 
I had some serious childhood flashbacks after hearing this one again after such a long time.
 
Released in 1988, it peaked at number 14 in the UK Charts during December of that year and is apparently known as being a Christmas song due to it being released during the festive season, even though the song has no link to Christmas at all.
 
Crank up the volume and listen to that awesome orchestral sound.  It always reminds me of a bit of a mix of ELO and the stuff Paul McCartney released in the 80s.
 
Enjoy.
 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 38 - A Good Heart (Feargal Sharkey)

Well, it's been a few weeks since my last "Songs That Remind Me Of My Childhood", so for this one I have decided to pick Feargal Sharkey's "A Good Heart" which coincidently became number one in the UK charts exactly 30 years ago this week.  Yep, November 1985 saw him get his one and only UK number one, and what a great song it is too.

It's another song that reminds me of family walks along the seafront at Southend.  Many of the 'watering holes' between Leigh-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea would play this whilst I drank my pint of orange squash and spending many 10p's on the arcade machines.  Happy days.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 37 - Why (Carly Simon)

Listening to this song always brings back nostalgic memories of when I was a wee lad.  There's nothing special about the song that makes it stand out for me - in fact, the video is three and a half minutes of cringworthy footage of Carly prancing along a street (back in the days when music videos could be done on the cheap and still be successful).   Still, I remember listening to this song on the radio when it came out, and I guess that memory just stuck with me.  Released in 1982, it reached number 10 in the UK charts in August of that year....  I was only 5 years old.  Gosh I feel old. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 36 - Battle in the Mutura Nebula (James Horner)

I was going to write a post today to celebrate the one month anniversary of us being in our new house, but that was before I woke up and heard on the news about the tragic death of James Horner (composer to many of my favourite movies) who died in a plane accident yesterday.

James Horner wrote and composed a number of scores that rank highly as some of the best written, including of course Titanic, Apollo 13, Cocoon and Aliens, but to me he will always be remembered for writing the music to the best Star Trek film ever...  Star Trek II : The Wrath Of Khan.

Listening to this score always brings back memories of me and my friend Steve pretending to be in command of the Starship Enterprise in his parents living room, battling Khan in the hijacked USS Reliant whilst pretending his coffee table was the helm of the Enterprise, and Star Trek II playing on the TV...  Hey, we were only 9 years old!  We must have worn out that old VHS video!

I actually think it was his score to this great movie that got me interested in movie soundtracks.

It's a tragic loss, but he always be remembered through his wonderful music.

Battle in the Mutara Nebula (Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan - James Horner)

It has made me think how easy it is for any one of us to go.....   Scary thought.

 James Horner in an uncredited acting cameo in Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 35 - Down Under (Men at Work)


It's funny how this song always reminds me of a particular memory so long ago.  Men at Work's "Down Under" brings back vivid memories of getting ready to go on a family day trip in to London to visit the Cutty Sark.  It was on in the kitchen, and I can still remember my Dads old radio that it was playing on.

Weird!

Such merry times, and happy memories from a period of less stress and worry.

Anyway, it's a great song which was released way back in 1981...  Back when I was just 4 years old.


 
And for even further nostalgia, here's a picture of me on that very trip to the Cutty Sark.
 
 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 34 - Fade to Grey (Visage)

 
Strange (no pun intended) that I was actually going to make this a STRMOMC a few weeks ago, but with the recent sad passing of Visage lead singer Steve Strange, I thought it would be appropriate to include it now.
 
As a massive fan of 1980s music, I find that this song pretty much sums up the beginning of this great decade, during a time when pop culture movement New Romanticism was beginning to take over the night clubs (ok, I was a bit too young for that) and the charts.  A time when it was perfectly acceptable for a guy to wear more makeup than your average woman!  It was also during this great period when synth music was set to become much more wide spread in the music world leading to some of the best pop songs ever written in subsequent years by different groups.  This itself is one of the main reasons why I love this song..
 
Such a great song, and great memories from a time long gone.
 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 33 - Like To Get To Know You Well (Howard Jones)

 
Well, its about time I had another classic from 80's legend Howard Jones simply because a) it's a bloody fantastic song, and b) it will always remind me of playing on my Commodore 64 in my bedroom, and my sister would be listening to Howard Jones (amongst many others) in the room next door.
 
Released back in 1984, I still wonder to this day why this song never reached any higher than number 4 in the UK charts (even Agadoo by Black Lace got higher around the same time!)  Oh well, no accounting for taste.
 
Enjoy this gem from good ol' HoJo.  Even the video is sooooooo 1980's.  Love it!
 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 31 - Heart (Pet Shop Boys)


The Pet Shop Boys were a band I was never particularly in to back in their heyday, which is surprising when you consider the similarities between them and my favourite synth group Erasure.  Sure, I loved West End Girls, It's a Sin, Always On My Mind and pretty much everything else on their "Please" and "Actually" albums, but I never paid much attention to what they produced after that until only a few years ago.  Boy, was I missing out.

Anyway.....

Having said that, I always had a fondness for Heart.  Released in 1988, it entered the charts in March at number 30 before rightfully reaching the number one spot the following month where it stayed for a few weeks.  I didn't realise until only recently that Sir Ian McKellen played the vampire in the accompanying video. 

Ahhhhhh...  I was just 11 years old at the time.  Life was so much easier (and less stressful) back then.



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Games that remind me of my childhood Number 28 : Ghost Town (Commodore Plus 4)

There are a few games that we had on our Commodore Plus 4 computer back in the 1980's that will always stand out, and in that memorable list, it features all games created by legendary C16 and Plus 4 programmer Udo Gertz.

Ghost Town is one of them and is a wonderfully simple adventure game released in 1986 by Kingsoft and published by Anirog in the UK.

Looking back at the game now, it's quite a simple affair with only a small handful of rooms to explore, but I remember spending hours playing this game and trying to complete it - something I never managed to do until only recently.  It's crazy that I can now finish it in under 10 minutes, but that is one of the reasons why I love playing old computer games - for their simplicity, and the ability to complete them in such a short space of time - ideal for killing a few minutes to spare.

The story goes that some wizard called Belegro has cast a spell on a once prosperous town, turning it in to.....  Yep, you've guessed it - a Ghost Town.  Having arrived in town, you must explore the 19 rooms featuring as stated on the game box "High Resolution Graphics" (yeah, 156x192 was hi-res back then!), utilising various objects which can be found scattered about to complete the game.  Once you've solved the simple puzzles and kill Belegro, you can free the town from the spell once and for all, and collect the treasure awaiting you.

The title screen.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.

There's a glove in the tree, but how can I reach it?

Oooh, a hidden key.  Does touch the bush, but I need the cutters.

Ahh, the ladder will be useful to reach the glove in the tree, but I need a key.  Find a key in the potion AFTER you've killed Belegro

Simple enough....

Which door should I enter?  Perhaps the "?" on the previous screen might help?

Another simple room, but some breathing apparatus is hidden somewhere here.  Just need a spade.

Erm, which door should I use?

Avoid the Sacred Column at all costs, but look for something useful so you don't get electrocuted later on.

That spade will be useful, but how can I breathe under water?  And I need to smash the jar to get the boots.

Boris the spider makes a guest appearance from Tom Thumb.  Don't touch him

Don't touch the laser beam.  Also, be careful not to get electrocuted

The little axe will be useful for smashing something.

A lightbulb can be found here.  It's needed to illuminate a room.

Ouch...  I think I need some boots to stand on the nails

These traps can only be seen with some additional light.

Easy enough to avoid

Don't be tricked...  Just head for the top item.  The secret code is 06138

Kill Belegro and avoid the rock

Get the treasure (but you'll need the key from an earlier screen)

This is how you're rewarded for all that hard work, and wasting 10 minutes of your life on this game!

Commodore User didn't rate this game much in its May 1986 (Issue 32) magazine, and only gave it a measly 2 stars out of 5 overall, but I don't care.... I love this game.  It's simple, has memorable graphics and sound, and will always remind me of fun days when I was younger trying to complete this.  Hey, I was only 8 years old at the time!

Commodore User's Review - Issue 32 (May 1986) - Click to enlarge
 
The box art - Click to enlarge

The tape - Click to enlarge


AND finally, for those of you still interested, here's me playing (and completing) Ghost Town on the Commodore Plus 4...


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 30 - Cardiac Arrest (Madness)

 
For my 30th song that reminds me of my childhood, I've gone with Madness and Cardiac Arrest.  In all fairness, I could have gone with any of their major hits from the early 1980s as I always enjoyed listening to my Dads "Complete Madness" album when I was little.

Now, why have I gone with this one?  Simple really....

a)  I really like it
b)  It pretty much sums my life at the moment.

From what I can work out, the song is about a family man (average husband, with wife and kids) who lets his work take over his life and who has become a workaholic.  He is shown becoming rather agitated and stressed over simple things like the bus running late, and getting to work for an important meeting.  Ultimately it ends with him suffering a heart attack on the way to work.

Yep, that sounds like my life, just without the heart attack...yet! 

Sound advice really - Don't let work take over your life and ruin your family time.  Perhaps I should heed the advice given from Suggs and rest of the gang and change the way I look at work.

Easier said than done. 

Anyway, enjoy.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 29 - Atmosphere (Russ Abbott)

Possibly the cheesiest song ever to come out of the 1980's...    Yet it is so much better than the utter rubbish that continues to fills the charts today.

Russ Abbott was quite a celebrity during the 80's.  He had several primetime comedy sketch shows on the BBC (Remember Cooperman, C.U. Jimmy, and Basildon Bond).  He also released a number of (unremarkable) singles, the most popular being this one.

Yes, the image of Russ Abbott arriving to a party on a bike, wearing a sweater, and showing us his moves on the dance floor will forever be imprinted in my memory until the day I die (and many others too it seems since it managed to peak at number 11 in the charts during February 1985 - obviously quite a few people went out and bought this).  It's a fun song, and not to be taken seriously. 

Come on, who is going to admit to having this in their vinyl/cassette singles collections?


 

Proof that good ol' Russ was actually beating Bryan Adams, Phil Collins and even Tears for Fears for a time.  Go Russ!
 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 28 - Raumschiff Edelweiss (Edelweiss)

Erm....  Where do I start with this one?

I'm feeling a bit down at the moment and while going through my vast library of songs on my hard drive, I was trying to find some tunes to cheer me up and put a smile on my face.  After a bit of searching, I found this...

...  So...  My next "STRMOMC" is a rarity from Austria which never actually made it in to the UK charts.  It was released in 1992 but I didn't get to hear it until early 1995 during a Star Trek documentary on MTV to coincide with the then imminent release of the movie Star Trek Generations.

Yes 1995, which means it only barely passes as a song from my childhood (I had only just turned 18) but since the song originally came out in 1992  I thought I would include it here.

The song in question is...  Raumschiff Edelweiss (or in English, Starship Edelweiss). 

Edeweiss were a popular eurodance/pop group in Europe during the late 80's and early 90s.  I don't suppose many readers of my blog will know who they were and you might be surprised to hear that their hit song Bring Me Edelweiss actually reached number 5 in the UK charts in May, 1989).  Now, I'm no expert on the group, and as far as I can tell they only ever released one album - but what an album!

Raumschiff Edelweiss is a Star Trek inspired spoof song (which in my opinion is miles better than The Firm's Star Trekkin') and features the original Star Trek theme, mixed with a dance track and some whacky visuals and a video that could only have been made with the use of some drugs and high levels of alchohol consumption.

Have a listen, and give it a chance....  It's not all that bad!


AND if you liked that...  The song had a follow up - called Planet Edelweiss (featured below) which I swear sounds like something that could have been 'tracked' on a Commodore Amiga!  That’s a good thing by the way.  


Yes they're cheesy, but I'm proud to admit I actually have this album in my music collection, and it always makes me smile.  It's also the only place you will ever get to see a Klingon rapping and singing reggae! 
 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 27 - The Safety Dance (Men Without Hats)

The Safety Dance, from Canadian new wave band Men Without Hats will be forever in my childhood memories, as well as the memories of many people who grew up in the 1980's simply from it's memorable video which accompanied the song featuring frontman Ivan Doroschuk and dwarf actor Mike Edmonds prancing about West Kington near Chippenham, South West England (amazing what you can find out from Wikipedia) showing the local townsfolk how to dance by repeatedly forming an "S" sign (S for Safety) by jerking both arms into a stiff pose. 

The music video alone is pure 80's cheese but in my opinion is better and more creative than anything produced today.  The song is quite catchy too!  If only they still made stuff like this!  I'd buy it.

 
 
I love this song so much, I'm even going to post a video from the Status Quo cover.  Not exactly a song from my childhood, but a damn good version from a band I'm not particularly keen on. 
 

 
AND FINALLY.....   I even have to admit that I quite like the Glee version too!  Sad or what!ARRRGGGGHHHHHH!
 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Songs that remind me of my childhood Number 26 - The Sign (Ace of Base)

Oh my, it's been just over a year since my last "Song that reminds me of my childhood".   To make up for it, here's one that some may argue was not a song from my childhood at all.  Here's "The Sign" from Ace of Base.




I've always said that my childhood pretty much ended the day I walked out of my secondary school on Friday, June the 25th 1993 but I'm going to stretch it a little here because this song came out in October of that same year, and will forever be imprinted in my memory due to the constant air time it had on the local radio station (Essex FM) when I was doing my work experience at the Echo newspaper during my brief time at Basildon College in 1994. 

Now for me, the 90's wasn't really a great decade.  Sure, it had a few good things going for it, but for me music wasn't one of them.  During the early 90s, my interest in music was pretty much non-existent apart from listening to Erasure, Jean Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield.  I suppose this song, and The Beloved's Sweet Harmony are the two songs that really define my musical tastes from those early years of a decade that to me will always be fondly remembered by me for playing my Amiga 500, getting my head around playing Magic (some card game) with my friend Dan, ogling over Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax in Star Trek Deep Space Nine) and watching Noel's House Party on a Saturday evening.

Anyway, on a separate note - I do really hope to update my blog with more posts over the next couple of weeks.  Work has been considerably busy and stressful and has pretty much taken over my life.  I'm literally living and breathing servers, and computers to the point where I'm even losing sleep!  Yes I know it's not healthy, but what can I do....  It pays the bills!!!   The good news is that this time of year is usually a quiet time for us in the IT department at EHS (most of the students are either on study leave for their exams, or have left), so hopefully things will calm down for me so that I can get myself sorted again in time for the mass of work we'll be doing to the school network over the summer holiday. 

Onwards and upwards, and don't forget you can check out my other "Songs that remind me of my childhood" by clicking here.