Charts from past are real hit
Now you know how much I love living in the past. I’ve discovered the perfect soundtrack to my efforts to place myself in a time when things didn’t matter and the irritants of the 21st century weren’t even imagined.
I write this column on a Sunday, and today it’s 1980 here in the Mitchell house. Thanks to a website called Mixcloud, I have discovered whole Top 40 programmes from when we were kids.
It means that suddenly, Tony Blackburn, sounding exactly as youthful as he seems to now, can count ‘em up and count ‘em down once again to a more appreciative and indeed sensational Sunday evening audience.
The key to making this illusion work, is to actually imagine it’s August 3, 1980 (obviously without the last minute essay writing and fights over who’s going to do the washing up at 7pm).
The programme, I note, is exactly two hours long, and as I remember, started at 5pm on the dot. So I wait until the magic moment and set the tape going bang on time. Sensational Tony launches into his show and tells me there are 16 climbers, 14 go down and we’ve got a brand new number one. There’s some traffic news about a lorry that’s overturned on the London to Brighton Road and a snappy jingle urging the rest of us to “be a safe driver...beep beep yeah!”
There’s music from Grace Jones, and Sheena Easton (pictured) is introduced as a brand new entry at number 20 with ‘9 to 5’.
This is real escapism. To make it work, you have to also banish the trappings of 2018 for a couple of hours... mobile phone, wi-fi, 200 channels of appalling television etc and just soak up the moment.
Tony’s getting excited now, and I’m right with him as he plays Joy Division and I remember when I conned myself I was the coolest thing in sixth form. No-one else noticed.
Seven o’ clock comes around and Abba’s ‘Winner Takes It All’ is unveiled as the brand new number one. I celebrate with a curled-up ham butty, peaches and Carnation milk, and a row with myself over who will wash up.
Maybe 38 years later I should phone in to see how the lorry driver is on the Brighton Road?