These are the FIVE BEST RECORDS that came out when I was a teenager. I wrote this for no good reason.
1. I was living in London when OK COMPUTER came out. The hype was ridiculous. IT was getting 10/10 ratings everywhere. There were posters up with that amazing typography that everyone spent the next 10 years ripping off. Paranoid Android was on MTV all the time. I felt like I would need to listen to that song a thousand times to get my head around it. I have listened to it something like 10,000 times and my head is still far from around it.
2. Late one Saturday night I saw Weezer play “Say it aint So” on Rage. My mind got proper blown. They played great but looked so awkward. They kicked hacky sack during the guitar solo. That’s the kinda stuff that blows my mind.
This was pre-google time so for a while I knew nothing about Weezer. I just had this one song. But then I came across an article saying that Weezer had a new record coming out in just a few days called PINKERTON. I was well excited to get it but then “Pinkerton” the detective agency announced that they owned that name and went to court to prevent the album coming out. So the stores had these new Weezer records but they couldn’t sell them until the matter was resolved.
But still I had hope. On release day I went to Parramatta mall which had like 5 record stores hoping one of them would sell me the forbidden CD. All of them said “nah were not allowed to sell it” except for one guy who had put it on the shelf with all the other records. Either he didn’t know it was banned or he didn’t care. So I bought it thinking it would be super rare and worth a billion dollars. But the Pinkerton detective agency lost in court and the album I had became the one everyone had.
3. MELON COLLIE AND THE INFINITE SADNESS by the Smashing Pumpkins is just the greatest thing ever. 28 songs. Cyber metal, lullabies, 80s pop, grunge type things, country ballads, stuff that cant be categorised. Amazing.
People say the lyrics are immature and would only make sense to a petulant teenager but the older I get the more I feel I knew what was what when I was 17.
“I fear that I am ordinary just like everyone” yep.
I bought it on cassette from HMV in the city and spent an entire family holiday playing it on my Sony walkman.
It’s immense. I love it.
4. BOYZ II MEN – II I think I love this record. It might just be nostalgia. It has loads of cheesy lyrics about smooth fellas seducing lovely ladies and the synths are cheesy and the drum machines are a kinda cheesy too. Heaps of cheese.
But the singing is so good. The harmonies work around each other in this insane way that I can’t explain any better now than when I was 16.
It does do this weird nostalgia thing to me though. So much so it hurts. I play the album and I’m taken back to high school and then the passing of time becomes tangible somehow and it overwhelms me and suddenly I’m thinking about life and how short it is and I have to calm myself down or turn the record off.
Boys II Men you are killing me.
5. When I was 17 my family moved to London. We stopped over in Japan and had hours to kill in an airport so I put HOURLY DAILY by You Am I on my walkman and fell asleep.
At the end of the record there is this recording of a Sydney train pulling into its station. I was a schoolboy and I knew that sound so well. So when it played I woke up thinking I had fallen asleep and my train had arrived. But then in an instant it hit me that there was no train and I was not a Sydney Schoolboy anymore. I was on my way to a faraway place and I would never be that person again.
No record is more about stuff that I know than Hourly Daily. I used to meet people at the town hall steps. I took the 470 bus to Circular Quay. Even the album cover had a picture of a house that looked just like my house.
Last Summer I was having a rough day. Feeling really down. I was driving through Enmore when Tim Rogers ran across the road in front of me. He was glorious. So tall, great hair, looking sharp in a suit even though it was a crazy hot day. He was a beautiful sight.
God bless You am I.
Lieutenant Paul Robert Farthing.
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