Key periods in my life illustrated by the music I was listening to at the time

A Hard Days Night – The Beatles – 1964
I make no apologies for liking The Beatles. When the Beatles released their debut single Love Me Do in October 1962, I was an eight-year-old junior school pupil and by the time I had reached my sixteenth birthday and left school, The Beatles had officially split! I remember seeing the film, watching John, Paul, George & Ringo fooling around and I was hooked for life. I don’t understand why anyone doesn’t like The Beatles!

Deep Purple in Rock – Deep Purple – 1970
Having left school I allowed my hair to grow longer, spent the summer on Cornish beaches and became a bit of a seventies hippy. Purple were my band, forget local Brummies Sabbath, Gillan, Paice, Glover, Blackmore and Lord were the business.

Harvest – Neil Young – 1972
I knew all of the words to this album! It always reminds me of fun times in Cornwall with a group of cool friends, enjoying late night parties on the beach, drinking scrumpy cider, smoking far too much weed and eating nothing but Cornish pasties, for much of the summer.

Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd – 1973
Not exactly rock n roll but I wore the grooves off my copy of this masterpiece. As an impressionable and idealistic nineteen year old I spent a lot of time sitting about contemplating the words and music of the Floyd. Pathetic really!

Aladdin Sane – David Bowie – 1973
One of the first albums I actually pre-ordered. I loved Hunky Dory and Ziggy but its the songs here that bring back many happy memories of the time I lived in rural Buckinghamshire going out with the daughter of a local Bank Manager whilst working in an anodizing factory, strange times but my first real taste of independence.

Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan – 1975
In my humble opinion the best album Dylan has ever recorded. `Tangled up in Blue` is a masterpiece of storytelling. I remember going to see Dylan at Earls Court in the seventies and I could not believe that I was in the same space as the great man. I saw him perform at the Blackbushe Festival the same year along with Eric Clapton.

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac – 1977
When I started training to become a school teacher this was one of three albums in 1977 that distracted me from my studies. Almost every track on this album is superb. I still like to listen to this album, which can not be said for all the albums in this listing.

Never Mind the Bollocks – Sex Pistols – 1977
I got caught up in the wave of punk despite being almost twenty three and training to become a teacher. I actually travelled to see a Pistols gig in Wolverhampton but they didn’t turn up! All part of the Great Rock n Roll Swindle! Thanks Malcolm. I did get to see The Clash some years later, which more than made up for missing out on the Pistols.

Exodus – Bob Marley & The Wailers – 1977
I was going out with a young West Indian girl from Grenada and I got completely wrapped up in reggae for a few years and was fortunate to see Bob & the Wailers in concert at the New Bingley Hall, Stafford on Sunday 13th July 1980. There was a great atmosphere with everyone moving to the music, in a cloudy haze! Classic tunes. Unfortunately it was the last concert he got to perform in the UK, passing away the following year at the age of thirty six.

The River – Bruce Springsteen – 1980
As a trainee socialist I appreciated the positive working class sentiments of The Boss. The title track on this album is wonderful storytelling. I actually saw Bruce in concert twice, about twenty five years apart! The Boss always gives value for money, his live concerts are a marathon!

The Joshua Tree – U2 – 1987
I saw U2 at Nene College in Northampton, England when their first album Boy was released in 1980 but for me this album is the pinnacle of their creative talents. Too many great tracks to single out. This is music to play at full volume when driving at speed in the car!

Stars – Simply Red – 1991
Music for wine bars! Do you remember wine bars? I like Mick Hucknall because unlike many lead vocalists, as he gets older he still has his voice! Some really cool songs to listen to on a warm summers evening in the garden with a cold beer or even a glass of wine!

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