POCKET LINT’S ‘Mark H’ selects his ‘DESERT ISLAND ALBUM.’
WOW, how do you condense a lifetime’s listening to one album? This is the question that runs around my head as I sit at my computer. There are so many sides to my music tastes. So many great albums and so many forgotten classics. Can I really ever hope to live without Magazine’s Second-hand Daylight? Would life carry on without the run from ‘Radioactivity to Computer World?
Music and Mood; they sit together. There are times where it seems like nothing else but 17 Seconds can give me what I need. Others that call for something completely different like Billy Nicholls. Then those times when I want to dance around the living room like an idiot to Madonna’s early hits. All of this is me and my life in music. One pick, one album for the rest of my life. Hmmmm.
If only I had the words to say to express how hard it is for me to select. I would need a whole new lexicon. So, that is what I will do. I am going to take ‘Lexicon of Love’ by ABC.
This is in my opinion one of the finest pop albums ever made. It is a synthesis of so much that went before, opening windows onto numerous genres and so would allow me to travel to them. An album that is a mix of Chic and Cole Porter shouldn’t be this good, but it really, really is. It is glamourous, but real. Touching in places, but also has its tongue firmly planted in someone else’s cheek. It belongs in the group of bands I lovingly refer to as Bowie’s children.
As the first song – Show Me – ends there is the briefest pause before Poison Arrow’s piano tumbles in. Perfect pop.
Many Happy Returns follows with more beautifully produced orchestral pop and knowing lyrics, “In the headlights, In the highlights of her hair…”. Tears Are Not Enough follows and for me, despite its funk, is the weakest song on the album. The production just doesn’t cut through with the richness of the rest. We are back on track with Valentine’s Day though, and then soaring higher and higher as the strings brilliantly arranged by Ann Dudley mesh with Trevor Horn’s incredible production.
I was lucky enough to see the whole album performed at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago for its twenty-fifth anniversary. I spent the whole evening grinning. I hope that is what I would do on my desert island. Shortly after being washed ashore or marooned, I would put serious work into learning how to distil a home-made alcohol; gin or vodka at first before branching into greater complexity, so that each evening I could sit on my palm tree sofa, lower the needle onto the record and sit back, sip my martini and sink into the plush sounds of Lexicon of Love.
“I gave you my heart, the story ends.”