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1994 was a big year for me. I went to university, and also got online for the first time. Access was a bit limited to begin with; they were still installing the equipment to properly get the place Netted up. But it was there. Instant communication with the entire world! Okay, okay - a little bit of it, mostly in other colleges. The internet was a lot smaller in those days! But communication, without that troublesome face-to-face nonsense. It was quite the revelation.

Lots happened before I got there though. My local area got turned on its head at the start of that year, when the Fred West saga was uncovered (literally). He'd been murdering young women for years, and burying them in his back garden. One of a number of jobs that I had that year was delivering newspapers, and I had strings of little old ladies sitting by their front doors every day, desperate for the latest bit of news! One of the victims, who had disappeared in 1973, was local, and they all remembered the search that went on for her at the time, in fields round about. That turned into quite the major story - and Gloucestershire was collectively most put out when Harold Shipman turned up a few years later, and Yorkshire stole the "home of the country's most prolific serial killer" title. Granted, it's generally held that West killed more people than was proven, but he's highly unlikely to have hit Shipman's total. Although, do we win on points for having a violent one, when Shipman did it all with a quiet voice and a syringe? A vital point of order, I think...

Happier news in South Africa! Nelson Mandela was elected President in this year, which was good to see. A long, long time coming. Good for two reasons. One, he was the best man for the job - and two, his amazing shirts instantly brightened up any gathering of international leaders. I loved those shirts.

Elsewhere though, it was one of those years. Pretty much anybody I'd ever watched on telly seemed to die in '94. George Peppard! Farewell, Hannibal Smith. Telly Savalas (so long Kojak). And whilst I'm on the subject of policemen - how'd I forget to mention Raymond Burr yesterday?! Cameron Mitchell, who had had a long film career, but who I remember best as good old Buck Cannon in The High Chaparral. And of course Roy Castle lost his cancer battle this year. Nick Cravat and Burt Lancaster both went in '94 as well - together until the end. And Kurt Cobain of course.

John Smith, the admittedly dull leader of the Labour Party, also died this year, very suddenly. I don't know if he would have stood much chance making Prime Minister come the next election (he really didn't seem to have a personality at all), but his death saddled us with Tony Blair. Heaven only knows what might have happened had he lived. Iraq? Afghanistan? It's hard to believe that he'd have gone down that route. But, inevitably, there's no way of knowing that now.

Good year for music. Britpop was well underway. Blur's third album and Oasis's first one both went stratospheric. Pulp's ninety-ninth (or whatever it was) finally made them stars. M People were gigantic for five minutes, and the Manics came out with the critically acclaimed The Holy Bible. Don't know that it was a big commercial success at that point, but it made their name as a band to watch out for.

Lots of big stuff from America as well. REM released Monster, with songs What's The Frequency, Kenneth? and Bang & Blame; Jeff Buckley released Grace, which featured the ubiquitous Hallelujah. Was there a TV show in the 90s that didn't feature that somewhere?! Arguably the big song of the year was Springsteen's Streets Of Philadelphia, from the previous year's film Philadelphia. It won just about everything going in '94 and '95 - and (far more importantly!) when he played it live at the Grammys, he did so with Max and Roy. The E Street Band was on its way back!

Choosing some songs for this year was really hard. I made a huge YouTube playlist of 1994ishness, and ran it through several times trying to decide. Even just choosing one Blur and one Oasis song was hard! I don't anticipate tomorrow being any easier.

Blur and End Of A Century:

Oasis, Cigarettes & Alcohol:

Kylie Minogue and the only song of hers I've ever liked! This is Confide In Me:

Beck with Loser:

Green Day and Basket Case:

Ones that nearly made the cut: Youssou N'Dour with Seven Seconds; the brilliant Return To Innocence by Enigma. Weezer with Buddy Holly nearly made the grade, but they lost out due to that daft middle bit about losing a shoe. Answers on a postcard as to what the frak that's all about. The Wannadies with You And Me Song; Elastica's Connection; Aswad and Shine... Choices, choices!

One last one to leave you with. If you want a smile, click here. No, I'm not telling you what it is, but it's a lot better than being Rickrolled! ...Psych!


( 25 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Dec. 11th, 2015 04:51 pm (UTC)
I read a rumour that REM couldn't actually remember their words to one of their own songs and had to go out and buy a copy of their vocals in a shop. I also remember TOTP having "mumbles incoherently" when they were playing, and whenever it played in the common room at school, there being soft humming and then occasional lines like "I didn't understand" "What's the frequency, Kenneth" (did it really say "the shopping's a dream" after that?)

I had a Tory friend (for a small while) at the time, so I remember having deep and angry discussions over John Smith's death. (Her comments about his 'common name' are a little bit too Tory to quite believe now!)

Goodness, apparently I remember rather a lot about this year!
Dec. 11th, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
There was a lovely moment in the recent E Street Band tour, when Springsteen forgot the lyrics to "Spirit In The Night" halfway through. He had to be prompted by the audience. :) Mind you, he always has tended to write novels, and set them to music.

'Common name'?! Oh boy...
Dec. 13th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
You don't know how tempted I am to comment on your posts just to have a little dalek by my name.

(Hello, I am drunk.)
Dec. 13th, 2015 04:50 pm (UTC)
Now I want to know what a drunk Dalek is like. :)
Dec. 16th, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
"Exxxxxsterrrminade... that sounds like a drink. Drink. Drink. Drink eggsterminaade and killll pea..pea...pea... stuffff. Oh yes. Exxxxxxxxstermin-whatsit."
Dec. 11th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
The other bad thing about Shipman, apart from all them deaths he done, is that it is harder to get intravenous pain relief now.
Dec. 12th, 2015 04:58 am (UTC)
Yes, I'd heard that: "The Shipman Effect". Bit knee-jerk really. I do understand the concern, but it's not like every doctor is a sociopathic weirdo.
Dec. 14th, 2015 04:29 pm (UTC)
I know, it was a totally wrong reason to make pain control harder :(

Sorry to be so morbid!
Dec. 14th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
You're not being morbid!
Dec. 12th, 2015 09:18 am (UTC)
I must've totally missed 1993 music-wise ... at least chart music-wise ... hmmmm ...
Dec. 12th, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
Happens to all of us, I'm sure! I've largely missed all chart music from about 2005 onward...
Dec. 12th, 2015 11:02 am (UTC)
I was still at college at this point and uni and the magic of the net was a year away from me - but, yeah, it was amazing when it happened! I was straight onto alt.drwho.creative. :-)

I remember John Smith dying, because some of the people in my history class were genuinely upset and I didn't know anybody my age was into politics that much. I didn't think that was something you did. I was still being all, "Who, sorry?"

And, hey, linking to terrible PJ and Duncan stuff without warning is probably illegal! ;-p

ETA: I think you get serial killer points because Fred West really sort of got everywhere, even if he didn't so much literally. I remember my French AS teacher listening to one of the tapes for the exams and it was all about this guy who kept digging and doing things on his house and being all, 0_o "Fred West?" (Though she was baffled when we all wrote a thing about a murder. Because apparently the French person was talking about a motel. Not mortelle. Which tells me that another thing I did this year was take a French AS level as a guinea pig and managed to get "really weird results" - I got an A in my writing/reading combined people (evil people for combing the none social-anxiety part so it weighted less)... and an F overall. But I was the one with the highest grade. (The AS thing still needed some work; we honestly weren't that stupid. They just made us sit a listening exam where people were talking about plankton in French and I think we all gave up at that point.)

Edited at 2015-12-12 02:08 pm (UTC)
Dec. 12th, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
I was largely unmoved by John Smith's death too, at the time. Politicians were largely gits, and why pretend otherwise?! It's only in the years since that I've become more interested, largely because of the ghastly shambles that Tony Blair made of things. It really is hard to imagine Smith leading us to war over 9/11.

*blinks* Speaking as an actual fan of plankton (yes, there are such things - I am not alone!) I am considering this with horrified fascination. A treatise on plankton in French?! For a school exam?! What evil mastermind was behind that?!
Dec. 12th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know, but truly they were an evil mastermind. The questions were in English and the radio broadcast in French (obv) and the questions said things like "Why is plankton in the North Sea under threat?" and I can still remember this because it was one of those exam-horror moments where you realise you actually can't do anything, because I couldn't follow enough French marine biology for that.
Dec. 12th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC)
Blimey! I didn't take any languages past GCSE level, and the questions for that always seemed to be about how many brothers and sisters you had, and what your pets' names were. That's one heck of a skill level jump!
Dec. 13th, 2015 05:54 am (UTC)
There was a skill level jump; it was a bit of an issue - but it generally worked itself out over a two-year A-Level course whereas one year of the AS, taking the same oral and listening exam as the A-Level proved to be too much, I think.
Dec. 16th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
I learned "what do you think of the motorways?" in French from my exam questions, but I've now been beaten by plankton. (Mind you, mine was GCSE, but STILL..)
Dec. 16th, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)
Plankton is lovely though, honest. Neither of you is going to believe me now, due to exam horrors, but it's wondrous stuff. It's (mostly) microscopic (and beautiful), and it produces most of the oxygen we breathe. And we're killing it with pollution, which is about as stupid as you can get.

I couldn't even begin to say that in French, though. At a pinch I can tell you that I'm eleven years old and have a cat.

Edited at 2015-12-16 09:32 pm (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2015 11:26 am (UTC)
I believe it went down in the Legends of Exam Horrors for several years after - we were just the unlucky ones!
Dec. 12th, 2015 12:24 pm (UTC)
I bought 'Parklife' on tape in WHSmith felt underground and dangerous!

PJ and Duncan got so many lyrics they don't know how to use them. Poetry. I was still netless and in those days had to wait months to find out what happened to PJ when he was paintballed in 'Byker Grove'. No spoliers, no nothing.
Dec. 12th, 2015 02:43 pm (UTC)
He went blind, didn't he? I didn't watch that show at all, except a bit of the very first series. I was terribly grown up in those days, attending college lectures, and not watching any children's telly at all, honest guv. Except The Genie From Down Under.
Dec. 13th, 2015 12:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, always follow H&S rules kidz. My grown up brother used to tape 'Byker Grove'! Obv you weren't old enough for it;p
Dec. 13th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC)
Probably not, no! :) I just never got into it. I wasn't around at that time of day to start off with, and then I discovered the internet. My younger sister loved it though.
Dec. 14th, 2015 11:03 am (UTC)
It is pretty weird, peeps who get their jollies vicariously from serial killers. The human psyche is limitlessly strange!

I was utterly in denial about poor Kurt. I remember when they found the body, just determinedly thinking, 'Well, obviously it's an intruder, some tramp who broke in. He'll turn up soon!' Reality is unfortunately real, though. You can only deny it for so long.

Oh, I adore 'Cigarettes And Alcohol'. Well, I don't adore cigarettes and alcohol, so much as... Well... I've had a drink, and I'm not entirely sure how to elucidate and clarify that. I certainly love how Liam enunciates half the words in the dictionary. Extra syllables FTW! That's the way to sort out poetical scansion problems!

I detest Beck, TBH. Not as much as Sonic Youth, but even so. Random ironical distance, stamp it out of existence! To each her own!
Dec. 14th, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
I was going to say that that's the only Beck song that I like, but actually I think it's the only Beck song that I know. I do that he's a Scientologist, which... yeah. It's a song that's part of the soundtrack of university though! I like it. :)
( 25 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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