Tuesday 1 June 2021

21-81 (No look behind me glances)

Susan Fassbender (1959-1991)

Like a tired diver finally emerging from the icy depths, I can't tell you how good it feels to be back in circulation once again; after nearly 15 months of privation - that feeling you get when you hug your Number One Son, or somebody serving you a meal you haven't cooked, or a beer you haven't poured, is still very much a novelty. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say never again will I take my freedom for granted. 

Many of my musings carry a piece or indeed several pieces of music. However, a lot of my recent scribblings haven't. Let me make up for that today. James - with his finger constantly on the pulse - sent me a collection of tunes last week under the banner "'21". And, as you might expect, it's a pot-poori of delights one can only assume were recorded (and maybe written) during lockdown. And what a life affirming selection it is. 

And if I had to rescue just one song from its waves? I think I'd have to go with this one:

Billy Nomates - Heels (2021)  

Whilst listening to to James' playlist for the tenth time on the bounce (it's been on in my office, in my kitchen, in my car),  I thought I'd volley the ball back over the net and hit James a with a bunch of songs that were made 40 years earlier; for no other reason other than I could call my collection "'81". (I've told you before: I'm a simple man.) 


When UFO recorded 'Profession of Violence' vocalist Phil Mogg was asked where his lyrics came from. He told the music press of the day that his inspiration had been (albeit very loosely) a paperback of the same name he'd recently read - the explosive (and rather grisly) tale of two of the most notorious criminals of the 1960s - East End twin brothers Reggie and Ronnie Kray. It is with some sadness that I listen to the song now - three* members of the band died within 12 months of each other in 2019/20.

And here they are with (their latest) guitarist Vinnie Moore playing the song in 2005.

UFO - Profession of Violence


Today's final selection was a late addition to '81. Susan Fassbender was something of an enigma and 'Twilight Café' is, for me, one of the defining songs of the 80s; the riff that runs thru it is as catchy as a catchy thing. Unfortunately it's also one of those records that pulls you up short whenever it's played on TOTP reruns; reminding you that Susan sadly took her own life in 1991. 

Susan Fassbender - Twilight Café (1981)

Sorry about today's death count; I'm a cheerful little soul aren't I?

* Paul Raymond (1945-2019) ... Paul Chapman (1954-2020) ... Pete Way (1951-2020)

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