Bjork – Human Behaviour
Looking back (and we're just past the halfway point now), it's remarkable how short a period of time my university days took up. I'm not the sort of person who continually pines for the 'good old days', but I do recognise how much influence the three years I had at Loughborough had on my life. Whilst it certainly wasn't enough to make a totally smoothed personality, it certainly started to take away some of the spikier edges that I had in my late teens.
My last calendar year at University (and into the big bad world) were something of an abrupt landing. In the spring of 1993 I stood for election as President of the Student Union. After an unremarkable campaign, I lost by (if memory serves me right) eight votes. Christ knows why anyone would go into a career involving popular election, because the experience completely deflated me.
The rest of the academic year went by in a blur, and by July I was celebrating graduation with a 2:1, a trivial amount of debt by today's terrifying standards, and found myself back, living with mum and dad.
For a few weeks in the late summer I found myself back behind the counter of the video shop where I had worked since sixth form, doling out VHS cassettes and second-hand recommendations to the Showtime Video customers in Croxley Green. The sense of nothing having changed was strong enough for me to pull my finger, get down to a local employment agency and eventually get a temp job doing photocopying and stapling in the IT department of a big six accountancy firm who fortuitously had their euphemistically named 'management service centre' (read: 'support staff gulag') located in Watford where, presumably, the rent was much cheaper than in the City of London. The rest of my career is, as they say, history (well, to date, anyway).
The Bjork song (and, indeed, album 'Debut') is one that I will forever associate with that first job and, more importantly, at last having the money to buy my first CD player. Her crazy vocal stylings ™ were familiar
from her work with the band The Sugarcubes. It all seemed to gel on Debut (before she became increasingly hard to listen to over the years.
Bjork also fuelled an interest in both Iceland (if you haven't been, you really should try to), and Scandinavia more generally. Which results in over seven percent of this entire count-up being of Scandinavian descent. And none of it is Abba.
Number one on my birthday in 1993: Meatloaf – I'd do anything for love As I mentioned. Undeniable bollocks.
Click here for the playlist so far