Friday, February 24, 2012

1982: Sit and listen

I thought this record was beyond amazing when it first came out in the chilly autumn of '82.

I can't remember where I first heard it, but it must have been on the Mike Read Radio 1 breakfast show. Then I saw the ludicrous video and I rushed to buy it at once. Back in my room, I gathered who ever was around the house and gave it an airing. Everyone stood around and agreed that it was a corker, especially that instrumental break.

It was a big hit in the common room too. This was a large space which had a couple of pool tables, a TV, a Pac Man machine that was impossible to get onto and best of all, you could smoke. I knew of no other school where smoking was allowed and of course most people took full advantage, including me.

The TV was drowned out by music more often than not, unless Razamatazz was on or The Tube, but if you wanted to watch TV where you could actually here it then you had to go to the upstairs common room which had comfier chairs, carpet and was smoke-free. I don't think I watched any TV for two years, apart from those shows, TOTP and The Young Ones, the latter I had to sneak out of 7-10pm prep for. I wasn't the only one and unbelievably we were never caught.

Mainly, I was music-mad. With the school's international flavour with a heavy Nigerian presence the music that dominated the smoking room was the soul hits of the moment: Kool & The Gang, Evelyn King's Love Come Down, Zoom by Fat Larry's Band, but occasionally there was a song we could all agree on and for some bizarre reason this was it.

I'll never forget New Romantic wannabe Simon unself-conciously acting out the daft hands-only dance routine from the video over by the window. I cringed. We all did. But it didn't diminish my love for this song, which still sends a shiver down my spine when the 'children waiting for the day they feel good' verse kicks in.

That video no longer seems to exist, but come on, let's do it together:


  1. Fear not, Jon, it's here...

    I'm surprised by how much I still like this. That whole TFF album, 'The Hurting', reminds me of starting University and all the angst that went with leaving my boyfriend from home. Ironically, by the second term it was all over and I was stepping out with the campus chap universally known as Curt Smith's doppelganger. I still feel mildly guilty about it all to this day.

  2. I've got a soft spot for this song, too.
    What the cover proves beyond all doubt, though, is that it is impossible to look cool when feeding the ducks.