Gone are the days in the 6th form common room, sleeves rolled up, spewing something vaguely philosophical that you’d learnt in bitesize chunks to any poor student that cared to listen. Ah yes, the illiterate smugness of an A-Level student – we sadly know it all too well. But if there’s something about that period in our lives that still flashes a glimmer of hope, that stops us burying those memories under the hatchet once and for all, it’s the music that soundtracked those times.
Mark Barrott – balearic buff and head-honcho of International Feel – cashed in his chips early and swapped the Sheffield 6th form common room for the golden sands of Ibiza, producing music and building up a label that is now globally recognised as the heart of the tropical island sound. Ahead of his forthcoming album Sketches From An Island 2 and feeling reminiscent of his younger self, Barrott decided to delve deep into his iTunes library for us and pick out those special tracks that really encapsulated that angsty time for him.
I was looking through my iTunes library and these kind of tracks kept popping up…those indie and slightly off-centre pop records from the 80s, when you’re in the sixth form at school getting a weeny bit grown up, studying one hour’s worth of cod philosophy once a week and thinking you know it all, but argh, you’re so fragile and the world definitely doesn’t understand your angst 😉
The Smiths – There is A Light That Never Goes out
Surely the anthem of disaffected youth everywhere. I remember breaking up from my first proper girlfriend and walking endlessly past her house with this on my walkman !
Simple Minds – I Travel
Back when Simple Minds made brilliant alternative music (i.e. pre stadium pomp) – it reminds me of waiting for the bus en route to school, listening to this on my aforementioned walkman wearing an oxfam coat, thinking my god… you’re so cool (I wasn’t !)
The Associates – Party Fears Two
Reminds me of every bad sixth form party I’ve ever been too. On a more nostalgic note – how amazing and adventurous was pop music back then, before the world got homogenised and hermetically sealed by Blair & Mandelson.
Black Man Ray – China Crisis
More fragile, sensitive 80s pop (which I still play out today) – wonderful melody, I remember taking two buses to buy the 7 inch, back when every bus journey in Sheffield only cost 2p!
Kate Bush – Jig Of Life
Of course ‘Hounds of Love’ was a massive massive album and we balearic bods still play it out today, but remember, we’re 17 and alternative, so we couldn’t play the singles (Hounds of Love etc), it has to be one of the obscure tracks and we think (at this stage in life) that Celtic is uber cool, and so……
New Order – Thieves Like Us
You think Sex Pistols are cool – they’re a fu**ing carry on film. New Order WERE Punk and they soundtracked our 80’s.
Vision – Lucifer’s Friend
Gotta be in there for a Sheffield vibe – I went to school with their manager’s son. As Parrot says….”Sheffield, the City where people aspire to underachieve” and thus…they never really made it !
Prefab Sprout – Bonny
The fragile youth’s anthem (well along with the Smith’s at the top) – the world’s greatest living songwriter. And one day I WILL get to work with him
Japan – Visions Of China
What an album….the loudest band I ever saw live and even to this day, I don’t think any album has better sound design – the sounds Sylvian and Barbieri programmed are like no others, before or after.
Graceland – The Bible
See, now I’m really cool (in my 6th form head) cos I’ve found a great album that no-one else has…it’s below the radar. Youth is wasted on the young !