40 Records in 40 Years (12/40 – 1985)

What difference it makes to be in a relationship. In former times you could do whatever you want to do at every time. Now you have to take care of the sensitives of the one you’re with. Not that I want to complain – but you have to sort your life in another way. You have to tell at this day I want to go playing football and at the other day I want to hit the pub to act like a DJ. From these days I knew that agreements will be the part of the game. Me and Susanne had a lot of good days together this year. We spent our holidays in a longer vacation to Yugoslavia. We was there a few years after the dictator Josip Broz Tito died and the whole Yugoslavian federation was peaceful  and save. We  have perceived that the whole state is stuck in the communist ideologies and no one was able to make a little business of his own. If one has gone in the back country, one has got to know the true people. They served us roasted mutton and some rice and we talked about our life whilst we had some shots of local liquor. What happened to Yugoslavia a few years later makes me sad right now.
The main thing I remember this year was Live Aid, organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Since ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’, the first charity single I followed Bob Geldof’s intentions to create a live project on two continents but forget it till the day it take place. I remember very well this day, because I was asked by my girlfriends sister to built up some shelfs in her room. While I was working, I asked her to switch on the TV so I can watch and listen Live Aid alongside. The more and more the concert in London continued the more we were fascinated by the different appearances of the artist. Most of them played their well known songs but what is still in my head, is the appearance of Elvis Costello. He showed up the stage alone with his guitar and introduced an old northern English folk song: His version of ‘All you need is love’ was the final aggregation of the whole event. One more example why E.C. is one of the greatest artists on earth.
Here’s a small choice of songs that was released in 1985 – some of them I still like, some that was popular this year:

The Jesus and Mary Jane: Great debut – Noise, just like honey

Sting: His first record after Police’s split. His political statement to Reagan’s star wars plans.

Tom Petty: Back after a long time with a psychedelic sound

The Cure: Also back again – now not as somber as before

The Eurythmics: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart appears with a fantastic record

Prefab Sprout: Listened so often to this song

The Waterboys: Since then I know Brigadoon

Paul Hardcastle: This year’s song against the war

Kate Bush: She gave us a wonderful song and a superb video

And what most of my mates hated (and hate still):

Which records from 1985 are worth it that one remembers them:

The Mekons – Fear and Whiskey: The return of the giants with a perfect combination of punk style and country. Still a monument of a record.

Michael Franks – Skin Dive: One of his best records. Clear voice meets fusion jazz.

Roy Harper – Whatever Happened To Jugula: Roy Harper made one of his best records. 

Chris Isaak – Silvertone: His first record is still a perfect combination of Americana, Rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll

Sisters of Mercy – First and Last and Always: Post punk meets doom rock

Eurythmics – Be Yourself Tonight: A superb mixture of great songs with the awesome voice of Annie

Scritti Politti – Cupid & Psyche 85: Sophisticated pop – only possible to make at this time

Sting – The Dream of the Blue Turtle: Everybody’s favorite of the year

Prefab Sprout – Steve McQueen: One of the best records ever

The Waterboys – This is the Sea: Another album full of timeless songs

The Fall – This Nation’s Saving Grace: Mostly I grab this record out of my box when I want listen to MES

Tom Waits – Rain Dogs: Now he’s able to make songs with hooks

The Jesus and Mary Jane – Psychocandy: Noisy guitars with honey

Once there was a time, when it was impossible to get a movie on DVD. That’s what we saw in this year:

Out of Africa: Maybe one of the best love movies that has been made

Year of the Dragon: Mickey Rourke as a cop in Chinatown

Silverado: The return of a classic western movie

Runaway Train: Fantastic escape from an Alaskan prison with Jon Voigt

Pale Rider: Another good western movie with Clint Eastwood

My Beautiful Laundrette: Stephen Frears and Daniel Day Lewis in a melodrama about racism and friendship

Letter to Brezhnew: A touch love story between east and west. 

Kiss of the Spider Woman: William Hurt as it’s best. A political imprisoned and a gay man in Brazilian prison recapitulate their life and dreams

The Falcon and the Snowman: Great story and fantastic soundtrack

The Color Purple: Most of us saw this movie from Spielberg with Whoopie Goldberg

What has moved the world and me this year:

From now on you have to pay if you want to use Swiss highways; Mikhail Gorbachev is the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland harbour by French DGSE agents; Scientists of the British Antarctic Survey announce discovery of the ozone hole; Schengen-Agreement igned between certain member states of the European Economic Community, creating the Schengen Area, a bloc of (at this time) five states with no internal border controls; Live Aid pop concerts in London and Philadelphia raise over £50 million for famine relief in EthiopiaThe cruise ship Achille Lauro is hijacked in the Mediterranean Sea by 4 heavily armed Palestinian terrorists. One passenger, American Leon Klinghoffer, is killed; a lot of air plane disasters all over the year – and also hijacking, too much to name them all.


There are a bunch of records released in 1985 that would be in a lot of ‘Best-of-ever’-charts like the Prefab Sprout’s ‘Steve McQueen’ what’s one of my favorite records ever. Or Roy Harper, The Eurhythmics, The Mekons or Tom Waits. But the record from 1985 that grown deeply to my heart is from the Pogues. There second record is filled with a big basked full of great songs and followed me nearly 30 years in what kind of mood or relationship I was in. I think this record is the completest one they have ever made (ok ‘If I should fall from grace with god’ comes very close to it). The album’s title is taken from a quotation often missatributed to Winston Churchill: ‘Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash’. The artwork is based on the Raft of the Medusa, a painting by Théodore Géricault, with the band members’ faces replacing those of the men on the raft. 

On this record Philip Chevron joined the band on guitar and they turned away from covering song to their own material. Although they made some ultimate versions of some well known songs like ‘A pair of Brown Eyes’, ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda’. All in all this one of the few records I can listen from start to end without it becomes dull.

The Pogues – And The Band Played Waltzing Mathilda
The Pogues – Dirty Old Town
The Pogues – The Sick Bed Of Chuchulainn
The Pogues – The Old Main Drag
The Pogues – Sally Maclennane

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2 thoughts on “40 Records in 40 Years (12/40 – 1985)

  1. I am a huge fan of The Mekons and saw them live six or seven times over the last 20 years. The last time I saw them playing is 15 month ago in a small club in Southern Germany. They were as big as ever and I had the pleasure to have a drink and a small conversation with Sally Timms. I think someday I will post a longer story about the Mekons.
    Have a good weekend George.
    Walter

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