Songs of innocence and experience, a love story.
Part one: Innocence
Pull the curtain back. Cue the strings.
Before 1982 my heart had not been broken. Before 1982 my heart hadn't been even bruised. The cellophane wrapper that surrounded it was still squeaky clean and pristine.
I was 19, had bad skin and was in love with pop music if nothing, no one, else.
And then that autumn I left home and met a girl. For a while she ignored me. And then she didn't. At which point the cellophane – already looking creased and wrinkled - came right off.
But how do you know what life is, what love is, at that age? Where do you look for models? I looked to the one thing I already knew how to love. I looked to pop songs.
We would go to her room and listen to records. Singles like Party Fears Two and Temptation ("ooh you've got blue eyes," I'd sing to the girl) and Love My way; albums like New Gold Dream, Imperial Bedroom, Songs to Remember, Sulk, Too-Rye-Ay, Living My Life. All the music that meant something (to us at least) at that moment in pop time.
And after we listened to all of those we'd then put on The Lexicon of Love. A record about desire and pain ("who broke my heart? You did. You did."). A record that shimmered, a record that swaggered, a collection of songs that remade pop anew and made it sound so thrilling, so poised, so potent, it made us giddy to listen to it. Jesus, I loved that record........