A few months ago I was musing upon a handful of tunes which, when I hear them, transport me to certain times and places. I’ve now thought of a few more:
‘The Blue Danube’ – Johann Strauss II. This extremely famous waltz is unfortunately associated with a toilet cleaner advert which I saw on TV some time in the early 90s. The camera view was from inside the toilet, as a woman with big earrings and short hair triumphantly flushed her sparkling clean loo. Don’t ask me why I remember it so well. Brilliant piece of music though.
‘Jamming’ – Bob Marley and the Wailers. When I studied music at GCSE level (the qualifications taken by 16-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland), there were a variety of musical genres included in the curriculum. If I hear this song now, it takes me back to sitting in a classroom which smelled of hormones and hairspray, decoding the features of reggae.
‘Cool for Cats’ – Squeeze. This song is not exactly about cats. However, the Cat Show 1998 held at London Olympia (which was recorded off the TV for me and for a while was a favourite video) used part of the song for its opening credits. Even now I remember exactly at what moment in the song they showed a cat licking its lips.
‘It’s My Life’ – Bon Jovi. Ah, the art of taping songs off the radio. You would spend your Sunday afternoon listening to the chart (when Radio 1 played every song in the Top 40), hovering your fingers over the cassette recorder so you could grab the songs you liked, ideally without the presenter’s voice over the beginning. I particularly remember recording Bon Jovi’s comeback song in 2000.
‘Life is a Rollercoaster’ – Ronan Keating. Reaching number 1 in the UK chart, this mildly annoying song was always being played on the radio. I didn’t mind it too much, until I went to the dentist to have some teeth removed. Guess what was on the dentist’s radio while he was yanking out my gnashers? To this day, if I ever hear the song then I can taste anaesthetic and mouthwash.