Updated: Feb 15
Welcome to the Music Hall of Shame.
We all have friends and acquaintances that we define by their musical tastes. Think of someone you know right now and I bet you’ll be able to mentally visualise their ideal playlist. We make assumptions based on our knowledge of that person; the gigs they’ve been to, the stuff they talk about, the clothes they wear, what we’ve seen in their record collection. But what about the stuff you haven’t seen? I’d put money on there being at least one surprise album that you would never associate with that person. In fact I’d wager that you’ve got some ‘guilty pleasures’ of your own!
I live for music. It’s a huge part of my life. It’s what I do for a living and it’s also something that I indulge myself in to relax. My love for vinyl is no secret and and my record collection is becoming as extensive as it is diverse. Within it I have several albums that many of you wouldn’t associate me with. Albums that give me great pleasure when I’m listening to them but not necessarily albums that I’d shout about in the presence of muso friends. But why is that? Why do we feel inclined to feel guilty about liking something that’s not perceived as ‘cool’ among our friendship circles?
There’s a huge amount of snobbery that comes with musical taste as well as a very narrow-minded approach from many. Not to mention the whole ‘tribal’ thing that is endemic within modern society.
Music really affects me. Sometimes it’s indescribable as to why I like something - I just ‘feel it’ and that’s the joy of music. It stirs emotions within and the diversity of music available worldwide means that the journey of musical discovery is never ending.
So, throwing that unreasonable (and quite frankly unnecessary) ‘guilt’ aside here’s a snapshot of just some of the music in my collection that, for those that know me, you may find a little surprising. Let's call it my Music Hall of Shame.
Yep, Haircut 100, a perfect slice of early 80's pop funk. Pelican West is an exceptional album with tracks as fresh as a summer's day. I had this on cassette in my car in the 80's and recently found a mint vinyl copy. Bloody fantastic.
Curiosity Killed the Cat
Groovier than a vinyl record itself, Mr Ben Velpolier and his crew certainly had something going on. I own Down to Earth, Name & Number and Free on 12" - all absolute bangers!
Yep, love 'em. Beautiful songs performed beautifully.
Gilbert was never the coolest of icons to a teenager in the 70's. But his singles of that period always had something about them and I've recently hunted down his first five albums from the early 70's. They are all wonderful. He's still touring and still writing fantastic songs.
Nat King Cole
In my opinion if you're looking for the ultimate in cool from the 50's and early 60's then look no further than Nat King Cole. I've been a big fan since my early twenties and just love his smooth voice and effortless delivery. My Nat collection is growing nicely with a few rarities too!
Herb Alpert and the TJB
Who doesn't love a bit of Tijuana Brass? Not everyone apparently. I've got to be in the right mood - perfect for a chill-out session on a Sunday afternoon.
Oh yeah, the love walrus. Incredible voice and sublime arrangements from the Love Unlimited Orchestra.
There you have it. I’m not in any way embarrassed or ashamed of what’s in my music collection - on the contrary, I’m extremely proud of it and thankful that there is so much diversity in which to indulge. Perhaps calling it my Music Hall of Shame is a little harsh on the artists and even a little harsh on me. The 'shame' is only in the eyes of those that perceive what you like to be shameful.
I’ve shared my guilty pleasures, so why don’t you share yours...