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1988 – The Race

February 25th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Music · No Comments · Life, Music

The few years between 1988 and about 1993 are a bit of a blur for me both musically and personally. I can’t remember exactly when the wheels fell off, but by 1988 I wasn’t really married anymore. When trying to pin down music to a date one of my reference points is who I was with, but for a few years I had some periods when I wasn’t with anybody but there were a couple of long-term girlfriends. Unfortunately there was also quite a bit of overlap so life was complicated for a bit.

Not that I cared too much. I was spending quite a bit of time out of the country. In 1988 alone I know I went to Australia for four weeks in February, with a stop-off in Hong Kong, and another three weeks in Australia later in the year, with a few days in Singapore on the way home. Sweden, France and the Netherlands also got some visits and possibly some trips to Milan and Vienna. All of which contributes to this period being a bit of a blur. If only I had kept a diary!

The first visit to Sydney was special because its such a cool place to go, particularly if somebody else is paying. It was also special because I got to see Pink Floyd playing the Sydney Exhibition Centre a few days after I arrived. Later in the year I caught them at Wembley at the other end of the same tour.

By this time I was buying a lot of albums on cassette because I was getting a lot of them on my travels and it is easier to get a cassette home than a vinyl LP. Also I had a portable tape player (not a Sony Walkman, but the same sort of thing) and it meant I could listen to the new purchases on the plane home and in the hotel. Another reason is that places like Singapore did loads of very cheap cassette tapes but no vinyl – I guess cassette tapes are a lot easier to make dodgy copies of.

I know I collected the first two Pet Shop Boys albums on my travels, along with some back catalogue from Yello and Was (Not Was) and the Talking Heads album Naked.

Albums I was listening to in 1988 were Faith by George Michael, The Innocents by Erasure, New Jersey by Bon Jovi, and the Pink Floyd live album as a nice little memory of seeing the band twice on that tour. I was at the stage where, if I liked a single I was probably buying the album – the exception being 12″ dance singles. I still like Wee Rule by the Wee Papa Girl Rappers but no way would I want an album of theirs!

My track of the year was The Race by Yello. A brilliant track, especially the extended version on the album. I had got into them through the previous albums I had on cassette and when this single came out I was just so happy that they were getting some success in Britain at last. This one I actually bought as a 12″ single. With all the motorcar sound effects on the song it was like Autobahn for the 80’s.

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