Every radio in our house it seems is tuned to some kind of greatest hits radio station. It gets a bit grating at times, because the hits of yesteryear is a limited pool of music. This is evident particularly on the Classic Rock station Husband keeps tuning the kitchen radio to. In any hour of listening you will hear a certain selection of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith. I do try and change stations from time to time but they do keep changing back.
One thing I do like is a musical challenge, and the greatest hits station we listen to in the bedroom does a “Top 10 at 10” challenge every night. You know the kind of thing, they play ten songs; you have to guess the year. I’m usually pretty good at this. In fact if it’s an 80s year I would put myself down as 90% accurate in my guesses. The 90s is a bit more fuzzy. Last night was a 90s year.
I usually try and place a year by what I was doing when I was listening to that song on the radio. Where was I living, what memories do I associate with it? From the selection last night I struggled.
M People – Renaissance. I associate M People with 1996 and the time I was working a second job in a club in Glasgow. M People were big at that time.
Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This song was on the radio when I still lived in Australia. I remember it was hugely popular on the radio station I was listening to at the time. Definitely 1993.
Park Life – Blur. Park Life I remember from the big BritPop wave of 1995/1996 – Oasis vs Blur. I was living in Edinburgh and Oasis was winning from what I recall, judging by the number of shops playing “What’s The Story Morning Glory”.
The Sign – Ace of Base. Ah now this one I am sure I remember listening to this in the kitchen of the house where I lived in Australia in 1993. Was I listening to this after a break up? Or am I confusing it with “All that she wants”? I was listening to some Ace of Base song in that kitchen.
Linger – The Cranberries. For some reason I thought the Cranberries were big in 1997. But I remember being on a student boat cruise in Belgium in 1994 and everyone was singing along to Zombie. I remember the free magazine I used to read in 1997 – wasn’t their album in the charts reported in that magazine forever in 1997?
Baby I love your way – Big Mountain. I’m pretty sure I remember this song from Australia in 1993 or possibly early 1994. Hm.
There were four other songs that had no particular significance for me – Breathe Again, Toni Braxton; Everything Changes but you, Take That; All I wanna do, Sheryl Crow; and Ev’rybody’s Talkin’ at me – Beautiful South. They helped me pick it was a 90s year but no more than that.
What did help me pick the year was the news snipped they played in between songs, an announcement that Tony Blair had taken over as leader of the Labour party in the UK in this year. I arrived in the UK a day or two after the previous leader of the Labour party, John Smith, died unexpectedly from a heart attack. The person who met me at the airport explained this was shocking new, as John Smith was very popular and had been widely expected to become Prime Minister at the next election.
So that confirmed for me the year was 1994.
It’s always a little disappointing when I guess the year from the news, not the music. It also makes me query memories I have that are linked to certain songs.