Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Moving to Manor Bottom prompted the purchase of the first record player, a Lenco, I had owned since I was a child. I arranged for it to be delivered straight to the Island and looked forward to it for weeks. Of course I, as yet, had no records. But then my wonderful Uncle Tom donated his Beatles collection, some Sinatra bunged in too. And I found that vinyl is quite easy to pick up on the Island. Perhaps the ageing population slowly ‘gives way’ to donations of old LPs to charity shops by clueless sons and daughters. Sift through the James Galway and you can pick up some amazing bargains – Joe Pass Virtuoso no 2 for £2! Ben Webster and Art Tatum for 50p. My kind of Island!
So, I started with The Beatles, and picked up LPs old and new along the way. These are the 10 (and a half – you’ll see!) that have coloured my time here at Manor Bottom:
The Beatles – Revolver
One of Uncle Tom’s. I used to get L to sleep with Here, There and Everywhere. Perfect song! So good that Frank Ocean nicked it for his beautiful White Ferrari – listen at 1m 27sec.
Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze
Wakin on a Pretty Day. So laid back. Just how I felt when I got here after quitting the job and the big smoke. Love the line ‘Phone ringing off the shelf (on vibrate, obviously!), guess it wants to kill itself!
J. Mascis – Tied to a Star
Wide Awake! More laid-back stuff. This one was picked out by my son, then 4. We were in the Ventnor Exchange looking through the LPs. He loved the cover of this one (you’ll see why if you click on the link - although, really...why?!!) – he couldn’t grasp the fact that it wasn’t a book, and that music would come out of this thing. He was so eager to have it. I had no idea who J Mascis was. But he picked out a good one – I love this album, and his next.
Sun Kil Moon – Jesu
Actually bought this one at Pie and Vinyl on a trip to see my parents who then still lived in Pompey. Listened to it on getting home that night, sitting in our window seat, looking out onto the garden. Track 9 made me horrifically sad, then Beautiful You came on and just elated me so much. The LP came with a free CD which I played in the car solidly for a month, mostly on the way to the beach. Still love the song and love the line about knowing that you can deal with the cold sea once you balls are in, then the rest of your body can handle the cold!
Eric Satie – Slow Music, played by Jeroen Van Veen
Gymnopedie No.1 Don’t need to say much about this one (except NO! it isn’t the Hamlet cigars one, that’s bloody Bach!). I just stood looking at the leaves fall off the trees. Wonderful! Though I do remember when my daughter was in one of her hyper moods. I put this on hoping to calm her down but she managed to find a completely manic way of dancing to it! Again, just stood and watched. Also, wonderful.
Queen – Greatest Hits
Never been a big Queen fan. Loved Freddy’s voice but thought them too over the top. Ag loves them so bought this for her at a record fair at the Crab and Lobster. Put it on. Listened. Not so Bad! Then this video really made it for me . I love Bohemian Rhapsody now!
Richard Dawson – Peasant
Ogre. Out here in the woods folk music lends itself very well. Except when it is very scary! Richard Dawson’s album is a (small) world and a (narrow) time in itself. And a very disturbing one. Beautiful, though. And the kids love singing ironic lyrics to this. Where does a 3 year old get ironic lyrics? Best of album of 2017 I thought!
Helena Hauff – Discreet Desires
L’homme Mort. . Absolutely does not suit Manor Bottom, but I have always loved anomaly! Spent a night listening to this and just staring into the roaring fire. Mesmerising!
Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp
The Woman That Loves You. A buy from Ventnor Exchange on owner Jack’s recommendation. I take the kids there and they play Lego (freely supplied) while I browse the records. Advice is always on hand and resulted in this purchase. Got home, put it on, sunny day (again!), the song just really went down well. Wife even started singing along!
Fatoumata Diawara – Fenfo
Ou Y’an Ye. Putting this on the car stereo and driving along the (inappropriately named) Military Road to our favourite, and secret, beach on the Back of the Wight, is as good as it gets (listen to that chorus!). Sneakily park in the corner of a farmer's field, through the long grass and scramble down the cliff to the beach, usually only us there, and the miles of sand!. Into the sea, kids play nicely, I read my book – well, sometimes anyway!
Andre Previn playing Rachmaninov’s No. 3 (this is the ½)
Well, I love Rachmaninov (this is how it should have been) but some fool (but I’ll be charitable as I bought it at a charity shop for £1) sold me this with Party, Party by Black Lace in the sleeve instead. Always did love Agadoo though! Kids bloody loved it too!!!!!, . Can’t believe I lived through that! And some members of the audience know the dance moves far too well. Misspent youths all around. Live that down! Never thought you’d be seen by 83,000 viewers on Youtube did you? And to think, before THAT, they did THIS in Rita, Sue and Bob too!
If you haven’t read the website, I will provide you a curated selection of records (and books – an ex bookseller!). You can answer the quiz to give me a hope in hell, otherwise I’ll just use your name and go by that. Might be a bit random but that’s what you get for being called what you are! No Agadoo, I promise 😉
*BYW - this is NON-JAZZ LPs. You really don't want to get me started with the jazz!