Welcome to the series where I explore the music that I was listening to each year and that still has pride of place on my playlist today.
It is 1995 and our lives continued to rattle along with our jobs taking a priority but with some welcome breaks during the year, and of course our weekend cinema going tradition.
I was heading for a job change and moved from my role as director of customer services in the London franchise to director of operations for the two East Anglia franchises based in Norwich and Peterborough. I would drive between the two, living in hotels for the first few weeks, returning to London for the weekends.
A lot of mileage but I eventually rented a flat in Peterborough and a vicarage in Norwich so that the other managers who also commuted between the two operations could stay, saving a lot of money on hotel bills for all of us.
Both systems were growing rapidly and with the travel and being away from home my expanding waistline increased at a rapid rate. I was now almost 24 stone (330lbs) and my health was also becoming affected. Still we still managed to have some fun and games and the whole company at the Peterborough end, turned out for an evening’s entertainment at a local venue where a mechanical bull was installed.
There was a balcony overlooking the dance floor and it was lined with staff all waiting to see which muggins would ride the bull first. I felt it was important to motivate them all so headed off to tackle the beast. The owner of the bull looked a little wary as I approached, sneaking glances between me and the bull who also looked a little terrified. But undaunted I insisted on mounting the beast and gripping the rope handles firmly requested that the operator click the on switch.
I stayed in the saddle for over a minute but only because the poor animal was struggling to buck me off. There was also a rather disturbing grinding noise as the bull attempted to gyrate and kick and finally I took pity and fell off onto the inflated surrounds. With this sudden release from my weight the bull took off in an exuberant whirling and bucking performance that was applauded mightily from the balcony.
However, my efforts encouraged others to come forward and I have the photos which provide all the incentive to keep the weight off FOREVER. Mortification that will haunt me always and as will the look of relief on that bull’s face. It spurred me on in 1996 to lose over 150lbs in 18 months, so I have a lot to thank that bull for!
In the charts.
Anyway travelling hundreds of miles a week did mean that I listened to a great deal of music in 1995 and the charts were full of great tracks from artists, many of which are still going strong today. However, there are some that I do not remember from that year and have never heard of since and perhaps you can enlighten me if they ring a bell with you. At #3 and #4 were a group called Theouthere Brothers! Ini Kantoze at #18, further down the charts Perez ‘Prez’ Prado & his Orchestra and John Scatman who sounds more like an animal tracker than a popstar.
Anyway the more established artists of the day included my two favourites from the TV series Soldier, Soldier – Robson Green and Jerome Flynn who had two hits with Unchained Melody and I Believe, Michael Jackson with You Are Not Alone and Earth Song, Take That– Back For Good and Never Forget, Simply Red – Fairground, Pulp – Common People, Oasis – Some Might Say and Roll With It, Boyzone – Love Me For A Reason and Wet, Wet, Wet with Julia Says. I have chosen Annie Lennox with one of my all-time favourites – No More I Love You’s – Annie Lennox.
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the music… Thanks Sally.