Monday, November 28, 2011

1982: Hush my darling

The whole concept of 'Guilty Pleasures' apalls me. I simply don't believe in them. All that ironic giggling over ELO - what have the Wild West Hero hitmakers go to be ashamed of? Just cos they're not and never were trendy. It's incredibly tiresome and has been hijacked now to mean any golden oldie, especially if it's British.

Perhaps it's an age thing. While I bow to no one in my love of everything from The Carpenters to The Dooleys to Five Star, there was a time when I would rather have died than let anyone know I was flouting the rules of my tribe and not just buying records by Southern Death Cult, Japan or anyone who was languishing in the indie charts.

But every now and then along came a record that you couldn't get out of your head and you just had to have, no matter how naff it was perceived to be. Tight Fit's thumpingly splendid and at times rather moving version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight was just one of those records. Everyone loved this record, and if you didn't you have no soul.

I slipped out a lunchtime on my own, went straight to Woolies and bought it. After lunch it was Human Biology with Mrs Savage. I never paid attention. Just wrote notes to Kate, the queen bee of the common room and an old family friend, whom I sat next to. She was a good musical sounding board and she admitted she too was a fan of the song. We laughed about it how they really were the world's naffest band after Buck's Fizz, and kept it to ourselves. Months later, her supercool boyfriend was sneaking I Don't Wanna Dance into his schoolbag. We've all done it.

I don't care what anyone thinks of my musical tastes anymore, and I revealed my true colours over the next few years. If I liked it, I bought it and to hell with the consequences. Guilty Pleasures? Just pleasures. Enjoy yourself; it's later than you think.


  1. And it still goes down a storm at an 80s night, trust me. I have it too, nagged my mum as a nine year old to buy me it. I did the same when Fantasy Island came out as a follow-up.

    Steve Grant lives in Stockport now. I think one of the two women - Denise Gyngell? - became a hostess on The Price Is Right, sitting on exercise bikes and getting crockery out of hostess trolleys.

  2. I heard Steve Grant drowned! Apparently he got caught in a current and he couldn't wim away.

    I'll get me coat....

  3. I'm already holding your coat for you.

  4. Denise Gyngell married Pete Waterman later on....

    I love so many singles from the early 80s, this and in a similar vein My Camera Never Lies by Bucks Fizz, which is a great great single.

    Here's a piece on guilty pleasures I wrote somewhere a few years back.