Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Talk is cheap - the danger of eclectic shock.

At first spell-checker wanted to change eclectic to electric, which truthfully also has its real dangers, but that is not what I had in mind. Electricity is, in its useful forms, almost invariably under domestic control and makes almost everything from the fridge and freezer to the CD player run in a totally normal way.
Eclectic, put quite simply, isn't in the same category but will probably still involve the former for its usability, these days very little doesn't, but when it comes to music it is still dangerous and last weekend I had some friends over, which made it seem especially so to me. They proved to be a fascinating research group for an, admittedly very non-statistical, social experiment. As all good animal experiments involving sociable animals do it is best to make sure the subjects start off well fed and are then allowed to drink ad libitum. The researcher is not really supposed to take part in this, but we were a bit short on participants...

I was feeling brave: it is, as I said to them, my music collection but for the weekend it is
at your choosing because when I am at home alone I can play anything I own at any time that I am able to listen; and that is simply not the same thing at all. We had a great evening on Saturday and listened to all sorts of utter nonsense that, in all probably, none of us would not otherwise have been brave enough to admit liking, let alone possessing, for some years.
A little of it turned out to be music two or three decades old but by far the most of it was not. We happily listened to such definitive pop albums as those by 'Las Ketchup', the first 'Sugababes' album and a sample of early solo works by former members of 'The Spice Girls'. (I didn't check with the other guinea pigs yesterday - so I can't say for sure that none of them tried to get tickets either or at least perhaps they just lied convincingly - but I promise that I didn't try to do so.) They did however remind me that we also listened to the whole of Billie Piper's second album, Walk Of Life (2002), and in all probability twice.
The odd thing was had I been hiding the rather more varied and eclectic nature of many of my more recent purchases in what seemed to be an apparently more secure way then I would have succeeded far worse than just by not even trying. They simply remained just where they already were, which was and still is, scattered amongst all the rest of them on the various shelves in different places and thus in the essentially random order that I favour!
The thing about those pop albums, however dubious they are, it that we all enjoyed listening to them and thus I also enjoyed owning them again.
Pop matters if for no other reason that it, or particular songs, provide anchor points in time between friends.
I actually don't care if it is total trash (although I think I ought to) , and I think we would all have agreed this is true. Then again I doubt that we enjoyed anything more than 'Walk of Life', Billie Piper's second album (2002), and my thanks go to whoever saw fit to choose playing it. It is a splendid example of its kind and nothing more can be said!

To quote
a pointed lyric (from another album entirely) that is as true now as it was then: "Talk is cheap when the story is good..."
Long may it remain it so because if it does then pop will surely remain as important in the next fifty years as it has been in the last half century - and who could ask for more than that?

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