I finished The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce just a few minutes ago, and now I have a stack of my vinyl next to me, playing them one at a time as I listen to the cracks and the pops and the silence in between the music. Because this book, above all else, is a love letter to music that will make you want to do just that.
This is such a lovely book. All throughout I thought about how it reminded me of a Fredrik Backman novel, perhaps the highest compliment I can give a book right now. It might not pack quite the punch as, say, a Beartown, but it has that same charm. The book is about a man who runs a vinyl record shop on a small street trying to stay alive while the city develops around them. It is about community and friendship and love and change, but more than anything, it really is about the music. The way that Joyce describes the songs the characters talk about is just beautiful. I challenge you to make it though her description of Moonlight Sonata without immediately putting that song on and FEELING the emotions she talks about. I highly recommend this one for anyone who is looking for a heartwarming story, fans of Backman, and music (especially vinyl) lovers alike. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome, ZTT, 1984
Frankie Goes to Hollywood were the biggest thing in the world in 1984, which makes their swift disappearance all that more remarkable. After topping the charts for 15 weeks in 84 (5 weeks for Relax, 9 for Two Tribes and 1 for The Power of Love), they released one final #2 single in early 1985 (the title track) and then promptly disappeared from the pop story, an attempted comeback in 1986 proving less than fruitful.
In this respect, Frankie were most definitely an event band. There one day to obliterate everything around them, and then gone the next. After shifting nearly three million singles in one year, they also managed to break pre-order sales records with the announcement of their debut album, which resulted in it crashing straight in at the top of the album charts upon release in October 1984.
We can go on for hours about the context and spectacle of its release, and I probably will in other posts, but is it actually worth all the bluster and controversy? Are there genuine songs on here, or is it all just a bunch of noise and production tricks?... Nah this album is great. It’s not particularly a genuine FGTH album, since Trevor Horn absolutely dominated the production of this record which resulted in only him and lead singers Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford actually appearing on the album at all. This does however result in a very fresh, slick, contemporary-sounding record that doesn’t manage to sound dated at all. You could still put Relax or Two Tribes on in a club today and people would lose their minds, these songs just sound great.
It’s not perfect, there are a few too many decent-but-inconsequential cover songs (aside from the blistering cover of Born to Run, one of the highlights of the entire record), but as a bizarre, loudmouthed and genuinely enjoyable 80s pop record, it’s hard to beat this one. (strong 8 out of 10)
Track picks: all three #1s, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, Born to Run
#frankiegoestohollywood#fgth#vinyl#record#records#80s#1980s #1984 #eighties#hinrg#indie#alternative#vintage#retro#classic#vinylgram#instavinyl#vinylblog#vinylrecord
We had a great time last night at @lennyboybrewingco meeting new people and spreading some good music! We were overwhelmed by the turn out! Each pop up brings new faces and new friends. Thank you to everyone who came out! If came by, send us a message so we can stay in touch!