51 for 50 – 1989

The final of the late 1980s trilogy is The The’s Mindbomb, Matt Johnson’s fourth album and to my mind his best. Working with Johnny Marr, late of The Smiths, created a wonderful piece of work, sensual and political. Quiet and loud. Structured and abstract. At the end of my first attempt at A Levels, I … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1989

51 for 50 – 1986

There are a couple of proper full-on legends in music that I’ve seen live. One was Leonard Bernstein, who I saw conduct at a BBC Prom in the late 1980s at the Royal Albert Hall. The other, twice, was trumpeter Miles Davis. He was a brooding presence on stage, the centre of attention in sparkly … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1986

51 for 50 – 1985

In the summer of (I think) 1987 I went up to Yorkshire to spend a week on a thing called Musicamp. Organised by a music teacher and brass player called Mortimer Rhind-Tutt (I’m assuming some sort of relation of the actor Julian), a bunch of kids from the Watford and Maidenhead areas got together to … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1985

51 for 50 – 1983

I’m not sure if you could love Billy Bragg’s work without being somehow aligned to his politics. But his love songs are a triumph too, often overlooked. For me, Peak Billy is probably his wonderful Worker’s Playtime, but as we will see that came out in a time that was packed with music in my … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1983

51 for 50 – 1982

In my teens I got involved with a band. I can't quite remember how the initial contact was made, but somehow I was the saxophonist for Secret Fascination. There was a lead singer who was called John, but his real name was Chris (although it might have been the other way around). There was another … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1982

51 for 50 – 1980

Oh my goodness I got obsessed by The Cure in my late teens. Emerging from a world of electronic and hip hop, through the gateway of New Order, I ended up in Indie guitar world but then introduced to The Cure by friend and occasional Smooly Batrash co-conspirator Alex. The first Cure album I really … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1980