Fifty At Fifty

In case you had missed the teaser campaign on TV, the billboards and the hour long tributes across all BBC Radio stations, today (24th May 2019) is my fiftieth birthday. Admittedly it’s also Jacob Rees-Mogg’s 50th birthday too, so you’re more likely to read about his half century of achievements than mine, but let’s leave the ghost of a Victorian workhouse owner out of these celebrations.

So yeah, my fiftieth birthday. A time for reflection, a time for looking ahead (at last, I can sort out a Sun Life Over 50s Plan), and a time to… I dunno. There should be something there but my brain is turning to mush and I’m getting forgetful. I’m 50, yet I feel about 25 in my head. I’d like to thank everyone who got me here (friends, family, workmates, bands) and especially those who say I don’t look 50. Well I wasn’t until today anyway so…

Originally I planned to put together (because “curate’ is a stupid word) a Goldfish Radio show or two with a song from each year, but I didn’t really have to time for that. Instead I’ve made this 50 song Spotify playlist which does indeed have a song from each year. There were rules, of course. Each song has to be from the year, and must have been part of my life in that year… Let me explain… It would have been easy for me to pick a song from “Another green world” for 1975, but I wasn’t listening to “Another green world” in 1975, it was still ten years before I heard it. This invalidated a few choices along the way – I had “Tubular Bells” a year after it was released, ditto “Keep on Wombling” (I’m not joking, I would have happily included music from both these albums if possible). So now you’re looking at the playlist thinking “So how come “Get back’ is there then?” Well firstly it was number one when I was born and as my parents were both Beatles fans it was part of my life at that point, though technically it wasn’t part of the Morgan household until 1970 when they bought “Let it be” but rules are there to be broken… So yes the early songs on the playlist are more my parents taste than mine, but each song here had a specific memory attached to it, whether it be “Misty Roses” and staring at the cover of “One Year” in the front room in Leeds, or “School’s out” being my “Starman on TOTP” moment (it’s my first memory of watching the show)

So the 70s have me listening to my parents’ music and enjoying it, and towards the end of the 70s starting to develop my own taste, hence the synthesised sounds of “Magic Fly”, and “Are ‘friends’ electric?” (TOTP performance forty years ago today, fact fans!). By the early 80s I had my own radio / cassette player and was listening to Radio One constantly, and by 1983 I was buying my own records and well you can read the old Goldfish posts for that story. Some – if not all – of these songs have specific memories attached, happy times, sad times, drunken times, weird times, uncertain times, hopeful times. I could go through each of the 50 songs, but some memories aren’t for sharing. I wish there was a wider spread of genres but then I’m kinda limited in my tastes, and those tastes have become narrower over time. It’s a fair reflection, I suppose. Unsurprisingly two songs are 17 minutes long.

But hey, enough of my yakkin’. Whaddaya say, let’s boogie…

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