I wish this was a picture of my copy of this issue of Smash Hits but I'm afraid the whole ring-bound lot of them got shoved in the Aged Ps recycling sometime last year. Yes! That recently! Until then they'd been preserved in the bedside table of my childhood room, the table on top of which the red digital Bush clock-radio sat, radio dial lit up tungsten yellow at night as I listened to the Radio Luxembourg chart rundown till eleven, then the news and the 'powerplay', with the volume down low so's not to wake them in the room next door.
I can't be objective about this record because every time I hear it, I hear it that first time - it felt like ours, a statement from the side of the school disco who'd take a Tamla Motown tune over any other and had started turning up at proper grown up night clubs wearing our Dads' discarded thin, navy, 60s ties and v-neck pullovers and pointy shoes and officially not giving a shit.
The Jam were our Beatles and Secret Affair looked for a glorious, brief moment like they might be our Small Faces - tight and soul-flecked and sharp and purple-hearted up - and Ian Page was young, so young and cool.
They weren't our Faces. We bought or taped and danced to their singles but we didn't invest in their albums. The Jam kept movin' on up and even they were gone in a few years. We hit the Upper Sixth and a few of us started bringing jazz records in. Noodly huh? End of an era.
Secret Affair - 'Time For Action' (1979)