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A weird sort of coincidence comes with today's post. Today in real time (12th December 2015) is Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. Happy birthday, Frankie! But today in 40 Years Of Nonsense time is 1995, which is the year that Dean Martin left the stage. On Christmas Day, no less - well, he always did hate parties! Naturally this requires marking in suitable fashion, but I shall leave that until later.

Otherwise, 1995 was basically fun. This was the year that I moved into cyberspace more or less full time. The Net was very much still growing, but there was already a lot going on, certainly in the world of fandom. Lovely early (very simple, largely text based) sites on cult movies and TV shows, many of the kind that the "real" (sadly non-geek-based) world had largely forgotten. Blake's 7 fandom! Actual, real fans, with little pictures lovingly kept from old editions of Radio Times. Fans of Jon-Erik Hexum. As much dinosaur information as I could want, kept up to date, and not written for six year olds, the way that so many of the available books are. And, in modern (for 1995!) Tellyland, lots of people to obsessively discuss Babylon 5 with, on the newly started Channel 4 internet forum. That place was my first internet home, and I loved it. It closed down in 2006, and I've never quite found another place to match it.

It was also the year of Made In Heaven of course: the final Queen studio album to feature Freddie. It made use of the last few songs that he had recorded, as well as some earlier ones that were 'Queenified' - some solo stuff, a song he'd recorded with Roger in the 80s, etc. I was a bit dubious as to how it would all turn out, but in the event it was excellent, and one of the songs on the album wound up being one of my all time favourite Queen tracks. That was a single in 1996 though, so will have to wait until tomorrow!

Lots else in the music world this year. Best of all, the E Street Band got back together! Oasis followed up last year's debut with a mega smash hit second album. The Human League came back after a hiatus of some years. Edwyn Collins was another vintage star with a major league hit this year, so maybe there was something in the water. Pulp had their biggest hit yet with the Different Class album, that really made their name. Supergrass were everywhere, if briefly. Ash made a huge debut with 1977, and Coolio was #1 forever with Gangsta's Paradise, the theme from the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds.

And James Bond came back! With the head I'd been wanting him to have for years. No disrespect meant to Timothy Dalton, who was great, but for me, James Bond is Pierce Brosnan. And GoldenEye was amazing. Fab theme song sung by Tina Turner as well, with some of the most brilliantly appropriate lyrics ever. "You'll never know how I've watched you from the shadows as a child/You'll never know how it feels to get so close and be denied." Still, as it turned out it was for the best that Brosnan did "get so close and be denied" back in 1987.

On the small screen meanwhile, the BBC premiered Due South, and that version of Pride & Prejudice. Darcy-fever, everywhere. A bad year for comedy though. We lost Peter Cook and Paul Eddington this year. Kenny Everett as well, more's the pity. And it was the year when Christopher Reeve had his fall whilst horse-riding. The news came in on the day of my final exam, iirc. A sad start to the summer.

How the bloody hell am I supposed to narrow this down?!

Supergrass and Alright:

My favourite Pulp song, Mis-Shapes:

McAlmont & Butler with the superb Yes:

Ash and Girl From Mars:

Oasis and Morning Glory:

And wrapping it up (nearly) Queen and I Was Born To Love You:

Near things: Cast with Fine Time; Inspiral Carpets with Joe; Sleeper's Inbetweener; a string of great songs from the Lightning Seeds; the afore-mentioned Gangsta's Paradise and GoldenEye; Edwyn Collins' A Girl Like You. Half the Made In Heaven album! I'd forgotten how very into music I was at this time, when the radio was still such a major part of my life.

And, to finish, Frankie & Dino. This clip is absolute gold, from Frankie's TV show sometime in the mid-to-late fifties. It certainly dates from after Dino's split with Jerry in '56. Possibly from when Frank and Dean would have been publicising Some Came Running, their first film together in 1958.

It's a cliché, I know, but they really don't make them like that anymore...


( 20 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Dec. 12th, 2015 05:46 pm (UTC)
1995! It was fun! I finished up my A-Levels with an assignment where I got to make my friends and relatives watch Doctor Who, answer questions on it and got an A for it. (Best assignment ever). There was some depressing stuff in the middle because of doing Totalitarian States for History and I had to memorise death tolls by the million for revision and it got me down. (I was 'saved' by Schindler's List, which I finally got to see, thanks to the history teacher showing it, because not everybody got hung up by piano wire in it. Some people lived! Amazing. I went and cried in the bike shed afterwards.) (I'm now wondering just how sadistic mid-90s A-Level examiners were, between plankton in French, Totalitarian States. Although I can't blame them for my demon English teacher. But, you know, at that point our small class were banded together in survival mode and it was like sitting through a Ben Steed episode; you can joke about it afterwards with your fellow sufferers.

There was an awful heatwave, though. With fleas and injections and my A-Levels results (and unbeknown to the young me, James Maxwell left us in the middle of that). But summer aside, it was a good year.

But then I went to Aberystwyth and uni and found the internet and made friends and was a real live person again. Aber is just the best place in the universe. (I haven't been to them all, but I don't see how they can compete.)

Sorry. I got excited. 1995! I went and watched P&P in the Cwrt Mawr common room, until my flatmate who had a telly got into it belatedly. And I discovered the X-Files (courtesy of same flatmate with a telly and crush on Mulder).

I'm sorry, I don't know any of these songs: on one side my housemate was playing non-stop Meatloaf, on the other it was Rocky Horror Show and Celine Dion, and then in between all my flatmates singing Paradise By the Dashboard Light. Tends to drown out everything else...

Dec. 12th, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC)
Hey, never apologise for "Paradise By The Dashboard Light". Max Weinberg played the drums on that! You only have to apologise for "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)". ;)

My sister went to Aber uni, and it did seem a nice place, certainly. She was in Penbryn. That was a million years before you though! She was there from 84-87. She used to send me postcards that all seemed to be about pub crawls. Oh what it is to get a student grant!

A-levels are awful, really. An entire series of Ben Steed would be preferable, never mind an episode! We should just go straight from GCSEs to university. It would save the country a lot of money.
Dec. 13th, 2015 05:57 am (UTC)
Oh, I enjoyed my A-Levels, but some of the exam choices were maybe a bit odd. Not to mention my demon English teacher - but as I said, we bonded over him!

If you'd heard my flat singing it, you would want an apology. It was very loud. But we had all the Meatloaf; all of it. All year! :lol:
Dec. 13th, 2015 02:02 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure wall-to-wall Meatloaf is against the Geneva Convention. You could probably sue. ;)
Dec. 13th, 2015 02:19 pm (UTC)
I couldn't sue Sid! I mean, for one thing, that wasn't even his real name... :loL:
Dec. 12th, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, Frank! <333 That video is fabulous.

And I loved Due South. <3

This was a fun year for me; I remember the Darcy fever but didn't understand it (still not much of a P&P fan), but I did get my first *real* bike and went on vacation to meet my huge extended family which was a bit overwhelming - although I ended up becoming good friends with my cousin Bridget who was the closest to my age.
Dec. 12th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm no P&P fan either. I frequently get glared at for saying that Jane Austen is dull! It was a good production, but I vastly preferred "Martin Chuzzlewit", which the Beeb made the following year. And "Ivanhoe", which they made the year after.

Extended family get-togethers are hell!
Dec. 12th, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, I thought I was the only one who felt that way. Yeah, I like a couple adaptations of her books but mostly they just gave me headaches reading them in school. :/ I loved that version of Martin Chuzzlewit! And I watched Ivanhoe not too long ago and thought it was cool.

For sure.
Dec. 13th, 2015 05:00 am (UTC)
Jane Austen badly needs a few explosions or sword fights. ;)

They changed the endings of both "Martin Chuzzlewit" and "Ivanhoe", which bugged me a little, but they were both still really good versions. MC is my favourite Dickens book. The sarcasm in it just pours off the pages! "Ivanhoe" is a bit of a slog to read, mind. I tend to find that with all of Scott's stuff, so a good adaptation is always appreciated. But they shouldn't have killed off De Bracy, damn it!
Dec. 13th, 2015 05:16 am (UTC)
That would definitely help.:P

Its been ages since I read it but I remembering liking it. I can't recall what was different about the ending, though?
And I loved the book Ivanhoe - I had a children's version of it - as a kid. I should read the real thing sometime.
Dec. 13th, 2015 05:29 am (UTC)
It's not a big change. The book ended with Tom Pinch, his sister and John Westlock, setting out on a happy ever after. The TV series ignored that completely, in order to have a finale that focused on the big name stars that were playing the older characters. I can see why they did it, but it bugged me.
Dec. 13th, 2015 05:35 am (UTC)
Ah, okay.
Dec. 13th, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)
I chose to ignore your remarks about Jane Austen - though I have to admit I prefer the films to the books which are a bit ... dry ... *lol*

It seems I completely missed out on the 90s music-wise!
Dec. 13th, 2015 02:04 pm (UTC)
I do appreciate Austen's importance to literature! But I'm really not into romance.
Dec. 13th, 2015 12:28 pm (UTC)
The 'net was still a strange thing that was mentioned on Radcliffe a lot as was Edwyn Collins chatting about how his song was big in Belgium and everywhere else, until the British record buying public gave in. 'Twas a good year for indie. I preferred 'Kung Fu' by Ash, with its Eric Cantona cover. Good to have the 'League back too.

BBC4 have a couple of Springsteen docs on over the festive period but you prob know that already.
Dec. 13th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC)
Yes, thanks! I've been impatiently waiting for them to show up on my EPG, so I can set them to record. The E Street Band live! Hurrah!

When did you first get online? Do you remember?
Dec. 14th, 2015 12:38 pm (UTC)
I first went online in 1998 at Uni for about a week. I searched for some stuff on lycos (Google what?) and that was it! In 2000 I worked out I could use the 'net for trivial reasons and printed off old Human League & H17 interviews. When I finally got home internet a couple of years later I still didn't 'talk' to anyone and spent way too much on ebay buying Radiophonic LPs. I am a tortoise of communication!
Dec. 14th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
Or alternatively, you had an actual social life. :D
Dec. 14th, 2015 10:43 am (UTC)
'A Girl Like You' was fantastic. Utterly, utterly sinister. Has it been used in any soundtracks? It would be great in a slasher flick. And I adore Supergrass. A huge impact, for a relatively short career.

'Misfits' is wonderful, but so much of Pulp is, that I'd have trouble narrowing it down to a favourite. I do adore Pulp for their class consciousness, making uncomfortably explicit all the things that so much mainstream media expends so much effort to pretend don't exist. Perhaps American media, still, more than British. God, how long is it since there's been a decent blue-collar American sitcom? Not awful de-politicised fakery like The King of Queens. It's all dire laugh-free dross like How I Met Your Mother. And this from the country that produced Roseanne!

That McAlmont and Butler track is so beautiful. It's like joy made audible.

Always going to be an Oasis bod! Oasis vs. Blur, my lovelife made manifest, soft southerners vs. stone-faced northern proles. (Girls and Boys was great, though. Who is there, who can seriously stand up and say Girls and Boys wasn't great?) That's one of their greatest, although I think Live Forever is my fave.

Anything about the Rat Pack makes me sad. It makes me think about how my Dad loved Frank so much. (And what a strange face he had.) And I've probably read too many biographies and essays, because I just start thinking about allegations of racist bullying of Sammy Davis Jr. within the Pack, and enforcing of dynamics of dominance and submission within the group. Meta really ruins popular culture. And makes me depressed.

That is a very fun homoromantic little moment for them, though!
Dec. 14th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
The Rat Pack adored each other, truly. There was no bullying there. Sinatra did have a few hangers-on who could be proper dicks though - Peter Lawford, for instance, who used to brag around town that he was Marilyn Monroe's pimp. They dropped him pretty quickly. Sammy's main problem was the culture in Las Vegas, which sounds like it was utterly ghastly in the 60s. One of those bullets you had to bite if you wanted to work in that industry. He knocked down a lot of barriers for the people who followed him, but it must have been a horrible experience way too much of the time.

Edwyn Collins' IMDb page says that "A Girl Like You" has been used on a lot of soundtracks, but by the look of it just as background music. Nothing terribly fitting.

Edited at 2015-12-14 08:51 pm (UTC)
( 20 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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