Catching up on forty years. 1988: Always on my Mind – Pet Shop Boys
It’s difficult to make anything sound great in a black Nissan Cherry but in 1988 that was my mission. Coming in at just under a wimpy 1.0 litres, and with a pretty substantial layering of rust treatments around both the rear wheel arches (regularly refreshed) my Cherry coupe was far from being a pride and joy but needs must. One strange memory I have of it particularly was that reverse gear was in the position usually reserved for first. Fortunately it would beep a heck of a lot as you slipped in to that position so you were suitably warned.
Fortunately also on the music front the Pet Shop Boys released Actually with such classics as It’s A Sin, Heart, What Have I Done To Deserve This and the impossibly brilliant Rent. It is as fairly close to perfect as an electronic album with the laconic Neil Tennant humming just above a throbbing or gliding backdrop. All these years, I’ve always believed that Always On My Mind was part of that collection of songs, but now I discover (cough) that it must have been part of a personal mix I made of the album as it came along a little later!
Always on My Mind is also as near perfect to a cover version that you can have. There are over 300 versions of AOMM out there, the first being Elvis Presley of course, but this is always a PS Boys song for me – it has a great opening and even in a Nissan Cherry cranked up to 11 and with the graphic equaliser settings (all three of them) turned up to max as well, you could feel like you’re almost flying.
1988 also marked an important cultural revolution for us UK citizens as well. Pubs could now stay open all day.