Songs of Our Childhood

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Childhood defines our future lives in many ways: the friends we make, the things we like, the ideals we hold. However, one of the things I’m sure most of us would rather was quite different is the music we enjoy, or the interest we had. Many of our generation might have been exposed to poor 70s or 80s cassettes gracefully passed down from our parents, or might have been more directly influenced by the 90s pop of the day. We’ve asked writers for The Edge what tunes were filling their ears when they were younger, all to varying degrees of embarrassment.

Personally, I remember listening to a lot of my parents’ music when I was younger, and didn’t really develop my own music tastes until I was about 14. I remember listening to a lot of U2, specifically their 2001 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind, which to this day reminds me of summer evenings where I’d play football with friends in my road. The CD player was also embraced regularly by bands such as Travis, Toploader and Coldplay, so I’m happy to say things weren’t too bad when I look back about ten years on. Also, for long journeys in the car, I remember listening to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), a personal favourite of my parents (which became one of mine), which clearly evoked the 80s synthpop of their younger years. A lot of my time was also taken up by the 90s phenomenon that was Top of the Pops, and all the ‘revolutionary’ pop of the time. I also remember songs by The Thrills, such as ‘Big Sur’ and other very catchy and rock-orientated singles being the music I searched out for when I was younger.

Joe Hawkes, The Edge Editor

As much as I would like to pretend that I spent my early childhood listening to obscure German post-punk and hanging out with Alex James and Damien Hirst, the truth is unfortunately far more predictable. I was more than happy to allow the soulless boyband rubbish of the late nineties to permeate my brain, meaning that I now have S Club 7 lyrics stored in my head where I should have an intricate knowledge of Plato. Now that I’m older, I truly appreciate the long car journeys of my youth where my parents would play me what became two of my favourite records, Pulp’s Different Class and Blur’s Parklife. In spite of this musical education, I must admit that I owned albums by Britney SpearsShania Twain and, oddly, So Solid Crew. What a diverse child I was. Everybody had an embarrassing taste in music as a child, and anyone who disagrees with me is a filthy, filthy liar. This generation’s ‘Beliebers’ will deny ever having heard of the floppy-haired lass in ten years’ time.

André Pusey, The Edge Online Editor

The first album I ever technically ‘owned’ (I borrowed cassettes and CDs from my mum sometimes) was the 1999 pop-rap album Invincible by boy band Five. My mum bought this album for me when I was eleven years old as a reward for getting good SATs results in year six, and I will never forget how excited and grateful I was. I had heard the hits like ‘Keep on Movin’‘, ‘Don’t Wanna Let You Go‘ and ‘We Will Rock You‘ on the radio, recorded them on tape and listened to them religiously, but it was the moment I finished listening to that album that I fell in love with pop music.

As any eleven-year-old child would, I played my new album in my mum’s CD player all day every day, learning all the lyrics and making up silly dance routines in the process. I was mesmerised by the funky beats, the infectious rhythms, the ‘bad boy’ rapping, and the flawless vocal harmonies. I also found it amazing that there was some comedy present in the form of ‘Mr. Z’ and ‘Inspector Gadget’. For me, in 2001, Five’s Invincible was the greatest album in the world; it will always have a place in my heart, and it defined a large chunk of my childhood.

Melissa Clarke, The Edge Records Editor

I’m not afraid to admit that back in the day I was a huge Spice Girls fan. I had the videos, the sticker books, the pencil cases and even the dolls. As an eight-year-old, being in Spice Girls would have been the ultimate dream, which is why most girls that age were in their very own Spice Girls tribute band, complete with full on dance routines in the playground and arguments about who got to be Baby Spice. Although, looking back now, it’s pretty clear the band would put their name to anything, and getting girls to identify with Ginger, Posh, Scary, Sporty or Baby Spice was part of a huge marketing ploy; you can’t forget some of the great pop songs they released. ‘Wannabe’, ‘Spice Up Your Life’ and ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ are now pop classics and for millions of girls the Spice Girls really were a huge part of their childhood.

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