Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Take my tears and that's not nearly all

"What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time."*

Yes, folks, another timeslip moment beckons - and off we hurtle yet again through the mists of time four decades to the year I turned eighteen...

In September 1981 - apart from the strange sensation that for the first time I did not have to go back to school - the news was full of frothing headlines about the arrival of the "Women's Peace Camp" at Greenham Common (proposed site of a US Cruise Missile base) and about the "decimalisation" of petrol and diesel (now to be sold by the litre, not the gallon). Also in the headlines: the continued rise of the Social Democratic Party (with the defection from Labour of the sitting Islington MP) and its alliance with the Liberals (which prompted the notorious speech by their leader David Steel: "go back to your constituencies and prepare for government"; it never happened, as Maggie Thatcher's Tory party remained in place for the whole decade), the salvage of gold ingots worth £40 million from the wreck of HMS Edinburgh off Norway, and the massive free concert in New York's Central Park given by Simon and Garfunkel; in the ascendant were Cecil Parkinson (who became chairman of the Conservative Party), and Belize (which gained independence from the UK); the first Boeing 767 aeroplane was "born", but we bade a sad farewell to "Young Mr Grace" from Are You Being Served? Harold Bennett. In our cinemas: An American Werewolf in London; The French Lieutenant's Woman; Escape to Victory. On telly: the debuts of Only Fools and Horses, Danger Mouse, Bullseye and Postman Pat.

And in our charts this week four decades ago? Adam and the Ant's Prince Charming had just crashed in at #2, destined to dominate our consciousness for months to come, mainly thanks to its magnificently camp video [which I realise to my surprise I have never featured on this blog before; and, even more surprisingly, there's only a lo-res version on YouTube]:

All present and correct was some fab stuff from The Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Gary Numan, UB40 and the Rolling Stones, and also - ahem - Cliff Richard, ELO and Aneka's bloody Japanese Boy.

But holding onto the top slot for a second (and final) week was one of my all-time favourite songs - and the stirring of my foray into the world of hair-dye, eyeliner, diamanté, pegged trousers and pointy shoes had begun...

40 years on, and this choon is still a mainstay of all our parties [although the dancing to it is nowadays much creakier], and every time I hear it I still do that "wrists together" action Marc did on Top of the Pops.

Time flies when you're having fun...

[* The "back, back into time" quote and clip above - as used by Johnny Walker in the intro to his Sounds of the Seventies show on BBC Radio 2 - is an extract from Troglodyte (Cave Man) by The Jimmy Castor Bunch.]

20 comments:

  1. I had forgotten all about that Adam Ant song, not to mention the video.

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    1. It single-handedly resurrected the career of the lovely and much-missed Diana Dors ("The Fairy Godmother")! Jx

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  2. I saw "Cliff Richard" and am rushing for a LARGE glass of tonic to take away the taste. shudder....

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  3. Ah, Adam Ant - so pretty! Love Diana Dors' entrance with her Safety Gays!!

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    1. I love everything about that video - from Mr Ant's trouser area to the whole "drag queen and go-go boy" pageant! Jx

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  4. Just to cheer you...I knew Diana D. Not as bosom friends(obvs!), but we were chatty

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    1. Gosh - what a claim to fame! Jx

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    2. I am looking forward to Dinah's blog post about "Me and Miss Fluck"... Jx

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  5. Tainted Love is one of the few tunes where I know every single word of it! Love it - it'll always be a favourite, and I love the extended version too.
    Sx

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    1. Me too! I used to pointy-dance to the full fifteen minutes of it at "Lazers" nightclub in Newport. Nowadays, I need a sit down after three minutes "Dad-dancing"... :-)

      Jx

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    2. I can still do a bit of pointy-dancing, but I mix it with a lot of side-to-side stepping and arm movement, so that I can have a rest, but this may pass for being energetic to a casual observer. I kid myself a lot these days, plus I don't really trust my knees anymore.
      Sx

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    3. Been there. I know the feeling. Jx

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  6. Replies
    1. I adore his very being - 31 posts and counting... Jx

      PS I've seen him "in the flesh" (so to speak), whether on stage or at a signing, dozens of times, starting way back in 1984. I wanted to go and see him and Dave again on the upcoming "Soft Cell Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret 40th Anniversary Tour, but the tickets are a tad too expensive.

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  7. Such a classic... and Marc was always easy on the eyes. (I adore ELO) I DO! They are the ABBA of rock and roll. :) Kizzes.

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    1. I was never a fan of ELO, and "Hold On Tight" (their last Top Ten hit, in the September '81 chart as above) was just awful. Jx

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  8. I love ELO but I live in Birmingham where that's obligatory

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    1. There's probably a bye-law in force that Brummies must have at least one album by UB40, Judas Priest, Duran Duran, Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath and The Moody Blues as well. Jx

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