Saturday, April 08, 2006

Forever Young...

Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

I rarely listen to the incessant ramblings of DJs on the radio at weekends although I do strangely enjoy "The Morning Crew" on ZM during the week as it lightens my drive to work but everything else just interrupts the music. Today I was driving along when a track I recognised as a classic from my early 80's collection began to play. The very second I heard "Let's dance in style, Let's dance for a while..." I was transported back over 10 years. The DJ raved what a great new track it was by a new group and what great song writers they were; I nearly went off the road.

Sadly, it has been covered by a band called Youth Group - the song, Forever Young, was a masterpiece by a little known German group, Alphaville, and was hot on the heals of their iconic ballad, Big in Japan. This was all back in 1984 when the world was a different place; damn do I feel old! Big in Japan and Forever Young (from their first album of the same name) were the major hits and although they continued to push out some great stuff, they never really made it in the UK after that.

A few years later, they released their second album, "Afternoons in Utopia" quickly followed in 1987 by "The Breathtaking Blue". I managed to stumble across the second album in the back streets of Amsterdam in the late 80's and grabbed the third from a store in London in 1990 and it too has some great tracks. It also was "the first compact disc to be encoded with CD+Graphics" (so says the label) but I have never been able to get this to work and have tried on every computer I have owned since 1990! Any ideas how to view these greatly received.

My music tastes changed shortly thereafter and I lost touch with the group but continued to listen to the various tracks over the years on Walkmans, Discmans and MiniDiscs. This cover version has got me to dust off the discs and wizz them over to WMA so that I can enjoy them once again. I have also just ordered my latest toy, a set of Motorola Bluetooth headphones so that I can wander around the house/office and enjoy my music with no wires. Strange to think that these tracks were released shortly after the very first Walkman and in the year that Sony launched the Discman.

I remember having coils of wires inside my old car from the cigarette lighter and into the Discman and then back across and into the tape deck. Running over a small pebble resulted in a skipped track and the batteries lasted nearly a whole album. And here I am, an entire CD collection on one music player with no moving parts and that broadcasts the music to a pair of headphones with a rechargeable battery that could put a man on the moon or power a small village in Darkest Peru.

The original of Forever Young is substantially better than the new cover. The best part of the new release is that it helped me step back in time and has given me back some long forgotten memories. It also stirred me to track down the band and I'll be damned if they ain't still going. Looks like I'll be going onto Amazon soon......


  1. Ahh, while reading this I got all excited about what a freaky psychic small world we live in, because I have just downloaded Suede's Forever Young. But then I checked, and it wasn't. It was So Young. Never mind.

    I love love love MP3 players. I think they're cleverer than any other invention ever, and anything wireless I can't even begin to get my head around. Especially my laptop. NO WIRES!

  2. I hadn't realised quite how popular they were until the other day. I knew that most people had one but it wasn't until I was standing on the street last week and took notice that I realised that EVERYONE has one.