ORIGINALLY POSTED ON TUESDAY 29 APRIL 2008
I could look to re-write history and say that Sex Pistols were the band that opened up my eyes and ears and changed me forever.
But in all honesty, I was really too young at 13 to get a grip on what was happening in 1976 and 1977. And besides, I was still more interested in playing football in those years than I was in listening to music. You can also factor in that it wasn’t until 1978 when I got a paper-round that I was able to have enough money to properly indulge in buying records rather them home-taping them straight from the radio onto my portable cassette player. And I had no guilt that all the inner-sleeves of LPs at that time came with the warning ‘Home Taping Is Killing Music’, complete with its logo of a skull and crossbones superimposed over a cassette tape.
So, although I soon grew to love the Pistols, I wasn’t in the vanguard of punk, and I can’t legitimately put any of their singles into this chart on the rules I set out for myself in terms of buying the song as and when it first came out.
And PiL were an act that were close to being included but in the end could only come in somewhere in the 50s.
But you can’t keep a good man down for too long, and so John Lydon makes his appearance at #19 with what I think is among the greatest dance records ever made.
You will have gathered by now that I’m no expert on dance music – I leave that to friends like ctelblog who has the most incredible blog over at Acid Ted.
And I’m not going to kid on that the song made me go out and buy all sorts of similar stuff – dance music remains something that I will dip in and out of rather than spend lots of time on.
I didn’t know too much about Leftfield until this 1993 collaboration but my love for this single led me to buying their CD of the time and discovering to my great delight that it also contained a collaboration with the great and hugely underrated Toni Halliday of Curve.
The CD confirmed a number of my prejudices about the dance genre – while some of the stuff was among the personal highlights of 1993, there was just too much that I failed to get, and so it became a CD that was ideal for the skip function.
I don’t think Lydon has ever delivered a better vocal in his life. I know that when he was a young punk 17 years earlier he did insist his musical influences were hugely varied from prog-rock to reggae and all parts in-between, but I don’t think any of us could ever have imagined him doing something quite like this:-
mp3 : Leftfield/Lydon – Open Up (vocal edit)
Can anyone really listen to this and resist the urge to jump around like a mentalist?
Now this is the one time on the chart that I’m going to cheat a little. Instead of offering up the other tracks from the single (which are basically just remixes)*, I’m posting the track with Toni Halliday that I mentioned a few paras back. It’s a song that if it hadn’t been for Lydon would have been a contender for my chart:-
mp3 : Leftfield (featuring Toni Halliday) – Original
Oh well, back to the more predictable stuff for the remainder of the rundown.
*subsequently posted on the blog and available here.