Eclectic light orchestra

I’m here to talk about music. While I’d like to think of myself as a child of the eighties, what this also entails is that I was a socially retarded young adult of the nineties. Between the age’s of 10 and 14 is the era in which I cobbled together what is for the most part still my opinion regarding what constitutes as great music.

The key factor that sets this era apart from all others was that I got my first record player, that’s right RECORD player, It’s from this era that my love of vinyl originates. After quickly getting bored with my own paltry collection of the time I quickly moved on to raiding my parents record collections. It was here I found some of what are still my favourite albums, Deep Purple’s Made in Japan, Led Zeppelin II and Houses of the Holy, Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy and, lest we forget 12 Gold Bars by Status Quo.

I’m not here today to give more praise to any of these albums, today I want to talk to you about the other Vinyl that had a profound influence on me, I’m here to talk about Now That’s What I Call Music 26.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Now series of compilation albums, started as a joint venture between publishers EMI and Universal in 1983 the series has gone on to sell over 100 million copies world wide and currently stands at volume 71.

God forbid, I’m in no way here to suggest that any of the Now series had the same effect on the music industry as Led Zeppelin II did, but to me Now 26 had a lasting effect that many other critically acclaimed albums haven’t.

Now 26 is responsible for a phenomenon which anyone who’s been with me in a pub with a jukebox will no doubt have witnessed first hand, the eclectic mix. The secret to any good eclectic mix of music is to make the changes as aggressive and constant as possible so that eventually the bumps start to resemble level road. By trying to shoe-horn four months of music into forty tracks the editors of Now 26 have created an album which lurches across tracks from artist as diverse as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Belinda Carlisle, Radiohead and Meatloaf, and that’s just one disc of a two disc album. The lunacy becomes so profound that it starts to resemble genius.

While the Now series is far from perfect (Robbie Williams is the most prolific contributor to the series with 29 entries.) I wish them well and hope they long continue allowing young listeners to hear a wide range of musical styles before finally settling on one to call their own.

Now 26 was released at the end of 1993 and marks what I now know to be my last few months in the musical wilderness, February of the following year Green Day released Dookie and the rest, as they say is history.

The Internets has you, Neil


What do you write to introduce yourself to a new blog? It’s harder than it looks! glancing over my shoulder I’m tempted to rip off one of the starting posts of one of the great bloggers but noticed one thing; most of them don’t have one.

The most concise and awesome introduction I can find is that of Jason Kottke, posted way back in 1998 when Quake II still ruled the world. So read that post then come back here and you’ve got the best of both of the worlds of blogging, see?

I figure I should explain a little about this bloggery expedition. I’ve been reading blogs, sites and other repositories of random information for donkey’s years and I’ve even tried my hand at maintaining a blog or twelve, the most recent being the inevitably doomed A sine 9. My compatriots have all suffered similarly accursed wide reading habits and we feel we should subject allow you to share in our vast and pointless repository of knowledge. Here me and my fellow adventurers in Internet writing have tried to create a vault of stuff we find interesting as well as having space for the inevitable Angry Rant™, allowing us to keep a posting schedule where we don’t have to be brilliant and entertaining every day. Not that we aren’t. It’s just nice to have some breathing space, you understand.

Our goal here is to share what we enjoy with you, anonymous mass. You may think we’re writing drivel and choose never to visit again; well STFU you’re wrong and some kind of deviant who does unpleasant things to dromedaries. Some of you might stick around and see what we can squeeze forth from our herd-mind, which is dandy. Others may become hopelessly obsessed with our glorious prose and begin a campaign of stalking, which is kind of OK too if you’re Zoetica Ebb.

So subscribe to the feed, bookmark the site or forget you ever came to this forsaken manor and carry on with your ungulate entertainment. Meanwhile, the cat requires attention and he can shred a grown man’s lap in seconds.

Hello World!

It seemed only apt to both the general theme and target audience of this, our newly founded Blogging locale, that we start with those words.

As all geeks (well those of the IT fraternity at least) will know, the first thing anyone should do in a new programming language is to make a script that displays these words, big and proud for all the world to see. So there they are… We are here… The Stupor has landed.

Thinking of an actual subject for a first post has been somewhat trickier than coming up with the title and introduction. Where to start?? My theories on time and space or the relativity there-of, politics from one side of the spectrum to the other, a review of an album or game recently purchased, a funny video or a photo of a cat that looks like Hitler… Where to begin??…

With all these things whirling around in my head just waiting to splurge forth. I think the trick to making this work will be like trying to harness the power of a nuclear reaction, without it exploding your face/ass/county off. An amount of discipline and control will be called for, but I’m confident that me and my fellow Stupefiers can direct our minds whilst also supplying many interesting insights and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

I assume that the only people reading this now (in the year of our Lord 2008) will be you three (Gazz, Neil and Ralph) and our collected family and friends. However, I predict great things here, so for all you completists that have skipped right back to catch the very first post those guys did before they moved to Hollywood and “sold out”… Hey future yous!!! How about that weather, pretty damn hot isn’t it? Remember that credit crunch thing? We never thought that would go on so long. What a shame about Obama, it was good while it lasted. Oh and good work on avoiding that flu pandemic too.

Ever the optimist,

Ado out….