A recent story on the BBC News website invited readers to recall the first record they ever bought by asking: “What was your first CD?”
Good lord! No doubt to the young whippersnapper who wrote that, the dark days before CDs are so prehistoric that clearly no survivors could still be alive, save maybe simpering, dribbling wrecks.
Well, before someone says that sounds a lot like me, let’s move swiftly on – because for something so trivial and so personal, this is a perennially fascinating question.
Do you remember the first time? That you bought a record, I mean! Honestly, your mind! It’s still a favourite question asked by music magazines, usually accompanied by the trickier one of where you bought it.
As a lifelong music fan, that is someone nearly old enough to remember 78s (but not quite), I’d love to be able to say that the first record I bought was a classic – a legendary riff-tastic rock tune, or a peerless piece of pop history.
Something like Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones, or Keep On Running by the Spencer Davis Group. Tin Soldier by the Small Faces is pretty fantastic, and I’ve always loved Heroes And Villains by the Beach Boys ...
Strictly speaking (although this doesn’t really count) (so this isn’t the rubbish bit) (at all), the first record I ever remember badly wanting to buy was Nancy Sinatra’s You Only Live Twice (what that BBC whippersnapper probably thinks of as Robbie Williams’ Millennium).
I say wanting to buy, because I was only nine, and my parents didn’t even have a record player – so that was a non-starter, really. Yes, I know, it’s almost inconceivable to think of today, when even our granddaughter, who is only three, has her own little CD player (hmm ... wonder if she’ll admit to the Mickey Mouse March or the Peppa Pig theme as being her first record when she’s older?!).
Still, that’s as close as I ever got to having a deprived childhood, and happily the situation was rectified a few years later when I persuaded my parents to buy an old-fashioned gramophone (no, not one with a horn – don’t be cheeky).
So my first record? That’s where the rubbish bit comes in. Do you remember those early Top Of The Pops LPs? Nothing to do with the TV show.
Because the music was chart hits of the day ... but not even by the original artists.
Just some bunch of nameless studio musicians, having a go! I’ve been obsessed with getting original recordings of things ever since. (Still, those covers were nice ...).
The first single I ever bought was a bit more respectable – Resurrection Shuffle, by Ashton, Gardner And Dyke. One of the few hit singles to have a long drum intro. I was 13, and probably got it from Morling’s music shop in Lowestoft.
So what was your first record? Why don’t you drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to know, however old, modern, wonderful, or rubbish, it may be!