The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

The Right Things: David McAlmont's Favourite Albums
The Quietus , October 1st, 2015 13:22

As McAlmont And Butler mark the 20th anniversary of The Sound Of... with a deluxe reissue and a run of tour dates, David McAlmont pens us his own Baker's Dozen, moving through his 13 most formative albums


Various - Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track
In Guyana [where David lived from 1978 to 1987] music wasn't private. The record players were indoors, but the music escaped through the ventilation and the non-insulated walls. Those wooden houses occupied a cheap, enjoyable period in my musical education.

I didn't own a copy of Saturday Night Fever until I returned to the UK in 1987. I grew to love it quickly in Guyana. It was everywhere, blasting from people's houses. I didn't know that all of these amazing songs were on one record. I just assumed it to be a new style or something.

Heaven was missing an angel. Romantic obsession was bookended by the kind of music that the school orchestra in Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, had played at special assemblies. Voices in harmony - like The Drifters, but more eccentric - asked about the depth of love. Sometimes I couldn't understand what the voices were saying, but the music was so infectious I didn't care. I was informed enough to notice that a Beethoven-like air had been absorbed by the new style. One of the songs described a towering inferno, but the skyscraper wasn't on fire. The dancers were.

The music was uplifting and fun, yet there was something melancholy about it. A great musical romance began in that period: in the years to come, records by Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand would remind me of the dialectical strains; three strange looking brothers with big hair and tight trousers made them. They were called the Bee Gees.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.