Crashing through the Vinyl Piles – The Great Decluttering

It isn’t hoarding, it is collecting. There is apparently some difference between the two. Incoherent that may be, the line has blurred for the shelves and shelves that face this desk and computer. Off to the side, what was once a bed is now a temporary pile of vinyl. 45RPM discs, a handful of 33RPM pieces too. Years inside the steel box, finally taking in this chalk grey sky and the cramped conditions of living in a makeshift art appreciation/office/bedroom. The time has come to declutter, and the only way to take on a task so big is to do it all at once, like a normal person. But to do so would mean hours of tedious walking back and forth, jotting down thoughts, changing the record. It’ll have to be done in chunks. The first batch is ready.

Cliff Richard – We Don’t Talk Anymore / Count Me Out

Some very listenable pop-rock from Cliff Richard here. We Don’t Talk Anymore has a nice ring to it, and that immediately forgettable quality that 45RPM records often hold. Or, at least, the ones inherited hold that quality. Its B-side offering, Count Me Out is an odd and strange beast. “What kind of love is this?” he opens with. No clue, but Count Me Out is at least rather nice. There is a sombre, sinister tone to it all that clashes thoroughly well with the guitar that backs these lyrics. It has that upswing of positivity, yet it is determined to keep that notion of being out for the count alight. Smart writing indeed. It is that track that keeps this record from being flung from the window like a Richard-owned frisbee. It is better to own these tracks and not need them than it is to need them and not know their location. But in that rare, dawning moment where Richard is the only option for a 70s themed vinyl evening, it’ll serve its purpose fairly well.

The Supremes – You Can’t Hurry Love / Put Yourself in My Place

As a blasphemer who prefers Phil Collins’ cover, to find this buried at the bottom of the box was a bit of a surprise. One of those ultimate classics that has such endless value as a track for both enjoyment and discussion. Rich with lyrical style, that classic Swinging ‘60s tone is underlined so monumentally well on You Can’t Hurry Love. The tone and meaning behind this classic of audio and Put Yourself in My Place is excellent. A Motown classic, and the way Put Yourself in My Place explodes through the speaker is not just a shock to the system, but a great B-Side that compliments the leading track incredibly well.

The Rolling Stones – 19th Nervous Breakdown / As Tears Go By

You can’t beat the classics. The Nervous Breakdown is criminally overlooked on all of those “Best of…” lists that crop up like gophers. A spoilt song of rock and roll, with classic Mick Jagger crooning to smash it all together. It feels more mod-rock than anything else, but that is a blessing in disguise. Upbeat enough to shift your leg to, but the lyrics are mean and pushy. It is a superb mixture. Father Time has not been kind to the scratched 45RPM of As Tears Go By, which for the first few seconds is nothing but the cries of a record player asking for mercy. But it powers through, the lyrics come clear and the slower-paced Jagger tones and the wishes to “hear the children sing,” provides an especially sombre, touching side to The Stones. An incredible single that takes the men best known for Paint it Black and Mother’s Little Helper to soothing sides that contemplate the wisdom of the 1960s.

Buggles – The Plastic Age / Island

One-trick ponies and brief synth wunderkind, Buggles, are a strange bunch. How this single has smuggled its way into the box is a real mystery, especially considering it was hidden by a print of The Age of Plastic. This is just surplus to requirement. The Plastic Age is still a bang average song overshadowed by Video Killed the Radio Star. But it is this former track that stops Buggles from becoming one-hit wonders. They have escaped on a technicality, and this single will escape the box for good. At least Island sounds a bit weirder. It is the dark horse that keeps this 45RPM alive, despite it being slower and far more methodical than the audible car crash that comes from the other side. Too bad that the skipping occurred and, because of it being a New Wave synth track, there is no way of knowing if a song is progressing or jumping.

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