Compact Disc Format
I listen through some CDs; I mentally sort them, good, okay, very good, classic, an arbitrary movement through words of criticism, words of praise. I get out my copy of U2’s ‘October’ and after Morrissey’s ‘You Are The Quarry’, it is beautiful, plangent, urgent, hungry, and full of (rightly or wrongly, that’s for you to decide) its own importance. I listen to Unbelievable Truth (try the song ‘Name’), and then some of the tracks from The Smiths’ "Singles", and I remember the emotional energy I invested in these little plastic discs and it feels like a long time ago, but maybe it wasn’t so long again that I marvelled at the clear simplicity of the Friendly Fires disc (the disc itself, that is). Maybe it was. I look at the ‘Nice Price’ sticker on the copy of Generation Terrorists I have and I remember that I bought it in Woolworths, but that the ‘Nice Price’ was a Sony thing, you’d see them all, in their racks, browsing through them in their massed ranks and a ‘Nice Price’ on an album you wanted would mean a trip to the counter to see if they could actually find the damn thing in that drawer behind the cash registers. The interminable wait in Our Price for the man to come back and shrug and say, "hmm, no, I can’t find it, sorry." I remember how good the sound system was in East Ham Our Price — I once stood there listening to "Fat Of The Land" just to hear it as it should sound. Like a ‘Lemon’, even. The little ticking into to that song and the guiro right in the background. The Oakenfold remix I once listened to on loop for hours and hours on a night bus spinning round the outer reaches of London’s suburbs.
My copy of ‘Vanishing Point’ has a Priceless Creation promo sticker on it together with a Tower Records price tag on the top right, £10.99; it takes me back to that slightly odd feeling wandering that huge store in Piccadilly Circus with its metallic decking and now all there is GAP and that Boots and the awful Burger King and even Brioche Dorée is gone before I actually got a chance to go in.
It’s good to hear The Edge’s riffs before they span right off into parody, at their closest to the post-punk that he borrowed it from (wholesale, admittedly: maybe take a drag through some Comsat Angels) because post "Pop", that’s what they became, parody, cf. ‘Kite’. Parody perhaps, awaits us all and may already be here for some.