I’m just about halfway through this epic adventure, and maybe it’s a bit of fatigue that’s set in.

But its getting more and more difficult to put into words, in a different way, just why a particular 45 means so much to me.

I think I’ve also thrown myself by Buzzcocks appearing way down at #23. Can I really justify that it’s better than what you’re getting today? Looks like I’m going to have to…

My love for this song is very much down to two things.

Firstly, The Skids were the first Scottish band to really make a big impact on the punk/new wave scene. And by that, I mean they were probably the first to get themselves onto Top Of The Pops.

Given how little exposure bands got on TV back in the 70s, getting your face on TOTP was an incredibly important arena to be seen on. And the debut performance from Richard Jobson et al will stay etched firmly in the minds of everyone who saw it. As well as in the minds of their parents.

This truly was the first time I heard my dad say something completely negative about something on TOTP. He was 43 years of age when this came out…..his taste was a little bit of Johnny Cash, a little bit of Neil Diamond, a little bit of Supertramp and a little bit of Status Quo. He knew that music was important to me, and never did he slag off anything that I brought into the house or that I professed to loving when watching TOTP.

Then he saw and heard The Skids.

I don’t think he swore – at that time, he wouldn’t do so in front of any of his sons. But he laughed out loud at Richard’s efforts at dancing and singing, which truly were like nothing else on the planet. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was the generation gap finally showing through.

Of course I went out and bought the record a few days later with that week’s money from the paper round. Of course I played it louder than anything else I owned at the time. Of course I tried, behind the privacy of a closed bedroom door, to dance the way I had seen Richard dance (remember kids, no VHS tapes in those days, you saw something once and you had to commit it to memory).

There must have been thousands doing the same as me because the single continued to rise up the charts. TOTP had a policy of not having bands on two weeks in a row (unless they were at #1), so it was a fortnight before the band got back onto the show. This time my dad went into the kitchen and made a cup of tea as he was thoroughly sick to his back teeth with the song by now. I was a teenage rebel……at last.

Oh and the second reason why I love this song? One of the best b-sides ever. No arguments.

mp3 : The Skids – Into The Valley
mp3 : The Skids – TV Stars (live at The Marquee, London)

The TOTP performance is now widely available thanks to youtube. As is a hugely clever advert featuring the song, which I’m sure must have made my dad laugh many years later.

Happy days.

7 thoughts on “A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (22)

  1. I love this song too. I was about 9 when this came out but some of the older kids along the street that we hung about with were talking about bands one day and the coolest of these kids on the corner mentioned the Skids, Rezillos, Clash, bands which I had never heard of. I was into Darts and Elvis Presley who had I think died about that time. These names stuck in my mind though and when I finally heard them my ears pricked up. I love everything the Skids did……well, except possibly Joy.

  2. First song I ever heard by Skids and still my favorite. Couldn’t understand a word at first, but once I learned them I was knocked out by the lyric. Brilliant.

  3. Amazing true fact: In 2002 I had been unemployed for a year and it would be another six months before I was to finally land -a- job [and not a good one]. It would be the first such time that I ever worked out of my profession. As I was unemployed, my sum efforts each day were to seek employment by any means possible. Researching openings, writing resumes, editing portfolios. I am a graphic designer. It’s a lot more work for one of us to seek employment because our portfolio needs to be honed carefully to the tenor of the job applied for. It’s frankly exhausting!

    I was in a store and saw a compilation [Rhino’s D.I.Y. series – UK POP Vol. 1] for a few dollars that had “Into The Valley” on it, so I bought it. I had not heard anything from The Skids by 2002 with the exception of the song “Arena” on Virgin’s “Cash Cows” compilation from 1980. There was something about “Into The Valley” that really stuck with me. So much so, that during one week of job search coupled with bouts of housecleaning while my wife was at work, was accompanied by nothing BUT this song on repeat ALL DAY LONG. It was all I wanted to listen to and after five days of hearing it non stop from morning to night, I moved on and never had any need to hear it again. But I must have heard it at least 600 times if I do the math.

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