Friday, February 08, 2008

'The Time For Action' (2nd October 1979)

Naughty Alan's strict Dad looked like the bloke in the Bisto ads, but there the similarity ended. He had no discernible sense of humour, an inflated sense of his own moral superiority and ran a Repressive Parental Regime (I actually think his kids called him 'sir'); and so naturally Alan, who was really just a bit cheeky to begin with, rebelled big time when he hit adolescence and turned to a life of crime.

It started with nicking singles from Woolworths (at which he proved highly adept) and went on to breaking and entering (the local off licence, if you must know). Later I think he did actually end up in prison. I remember him as a nice, strangely generous person who had the first home computer game I'd ever seen (Pong)...and, well yes, a lot of 45s....

....which meant the rest of us got to make some seriously good compilation tapes.....


This is the oldest cassette in my collection; hand-labelled by a 14 year old me it is, courtesy Naughty Alan's thievery, a little time capsule of the UK chart pop of the time.

And there's no musical snobbery here (that would come later) - plastic 'mod' and synthpop and disco and new wave and B.A bloody Robertson, I borrowed and taped it all. This is the authentic sound of Top Of The Pops, UK Top 40 radio and the Friday night school disco in the autumn of 1979.
Side 1

'The Time For Action' - Secret Affair
'Strut Your Funky Stuff' - Frantique
'Message In A Bottle' - The Police
'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough' - Michael Jackson
'Dreaming' - Blondie
'Ooh! What A Life' - The Gibson Brothers
'Back Of My Hand' - The Jags
'Street Life' - The Crusaders
'Cruel To Be Kind' - Nick Lowe
'Beat The Clock' - Sparks
'Is She Really Going Out With Him?' - Joe Jackson
'Contact' - Edwin Starr
'Angel Eyes' - Roxy Music

Side 2

'The Eton Rifles' - The Jam
'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' - Queen
'Video Killed The Radio Star' - The Buggles
'Cars' - Gary Numan
'I Want Your Love' - Chic
'Oliver's Army' - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
'Making Plans For Nigel' - XTC
'Diamond Smiles' - The Boomtown Rats
'Knocked It Off' - B.A Robertson
'Let Your Heart Dance' - Secret Affair
'Since You Been Gone' - Rainbow
'Angeleyes' - ABBA.
Will you let me off with a caution?


  1. First you record stolen records (home taping was killing music remember), then you cheat these poor people out of their royalties by posting them on the internet. You're lucky they don't lock you up and throw away the key!

    Nice compilation though. I've got 21 of those songs in one form or another (22 now that I've stolen the Frantique song).

  2. I went on to buy at least half of them. Sampling you see....

  3. Blimey - what a time jolt. This would have been when I used to listen to the New Wave charts on Thursday nights on Radio Luxembourg they played most of those tunes and had Barclays ads featuring the Goons too.

  4. Brilliant. Actually yes, this is a very Radio Luxembourg selection isn't it? I used to love the way they played both disco and new wave stuff because I liked both equally. Still do, in fact.

  5. Pretty damn good compilation - not a duff track in there.

    I still make compilation CDs for people, but putting together a playlist on the computer isn't quite the same as 'pause-record-pause'.

    Although I do wonder why I thought compilation tapes were an ideal gift for the girl you liked. Where did that come from?

  6. Forgot to mention: That Rainbow track is a humdinger (my word of the day). One of my guilty pleasures...

  7. Frantique! The Jags! LOL! Estupendo! Wonder if I've still got that Edwin Starr autograph secured at the Festival Hall?...

    Free the Churston One!


  8. Oh wow! I'm off down Virgines. You comin?

  9. Great post Mr Dave. O' would that I had your energy to fanny about so passionately and proficiently.
    Bless your cotton socks.
    This tape encapsulates so much.
    Nearly 30 years .. it can't be so.

    And to think that the Rats went from Rat Trap to Diamond Smiles in only a year.

  10. Fannying about passionately and proficiently be my aim Mr Dick. Ahar! We been waiting for you to join us at the bar.

    'Diamond Smiles' ? RUBBIDGE! And yet at the time - Dramatic, Dark, Dense (and yadda yadda yadda) x

  11. Mart, yes I will join you at Vergines, but only if they guarantee to play 'Billie Jean' and 'Sign Of The Times' by the Belle Stars xx

    Mick - YES! I feel a 'ROCK records you actually like' post coming on....

    Simon - I believe the logic is that the girl will be moved by your music, and will view you as a Sensitive And Thinking Guy, and therefore you will get to sleep with her sooner.

  12. OUCH! I'm going to have to respond to that in the next few days. I decided to base my blog on my old records, mainly concentrating on singles that haven't made it onto CD. Most of these singles came from that late 70s/early 80s era and alot of them are synth/electronica but I'm not that one dimensional. I love rock (new and old wave) but my posts have tended to shy away from readily available stuff. I feel a RAWK post comin' on.

    btw I bought the Hot Chip CD today because I heard one of their songs that reminded me of old synthpop, so maybe there's no hope for me...

  13. Au contraire mon brave, shurely this makes you now Cutting Edge...!

  14. I fear cutting edge people don't buy their CDs from Sainsburys :(

  15. Well knickers to them eh? You at least can pick up your Cheerios at the same time. I must explain that the "I feel a 'ROCK records you actually like' post coming on" comment was directed at myself, for I have a long-standing, sneaking fondness for half a dozen 'heavy' and 'rock' tracks it is perhaps time to fess up to...

  16. Mon dieu! That's obvious now. Guess I'm just too sensitive.

  17. flippin eck - i'm speechless. and that doesn't happen often (especially after a glass or two - oh i do go on )

  18. 13 i reckon would make a super fine cassette right now. it'd be more if i could bear that chap out of secret affair.
    i wish my sister hadn't pinched all of thee of mine now. i'm raiding her loft next time i'm there.

  19. Give or take the odd track, that could've been one of my mix-tapes.

    Did you make your tapes properly? Calculating the accumulated running time of the songs you were putting on cassette to ensure that the final track would not cut off halfway through?

  20. Nah, trial and error. I was 14!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.