Clive's Album of the Year, 2016

Unnnnnngh. Whoo. Ummm… yeah. 2016. OK. Shit. *deep breath* Right. Let’s do this. *girds loins* 2016 was The International Year of Pulses, but despite that it started badly and then went downhill from there. And after that it got worse. We were still reeling from the (not wholly unexpected) passing of Lemmy in December 2015 when the (relatively unexpected) news of David Bowie’s demise reached us, and so began Super Grim Reaper Ultra Party Bonanza Deathfest. (Plenty) more on that shortly. I had spent my Christmas holiday (hah) looking for work, and ended up back at my old…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1987

In 1987 I was 13, so what do you want? I was at school with bad hair and short curly skin, choosing my subjects for GCSE, and in a deeply committed relationship with my ZX Spectrum. It is the year in which the movies American Psycho and The Wolf of Wall Street were both set, which just goes to show you… something. Aretha Franklin became the first woman to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Terry Waite was kidnapped, British Airways was privatised, cross-channel ferry the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized killing 193 at Zeebrugge, The Simpsons first…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1988

1988 was the year in the 20th century that had the most digits when written as Roman numerals: MCMLXXXVIII. So there's that. The Phantom of the Opera, the Lib Dems, Al-Qaeda, Fairtrade and the Tokyo Dome all became a thing, Celine Dion won Eurovision, Lester Piggott, Piper Alpha, Benazir Bhutto became the first female head of government in an Islam-dominated state (Pakistan), the Clapham Junction rail crash, the Lockerbie disaster and the first proper Internet connection was made between New Jersey and Stockholm. Going underground were Richard Feynman, John Holmes, Kenneth Williams, Enzo Ferrari, Roger Hargreaves, Roy Kinnear, Charles Hawtrey…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1989

In 1989 I was fifteen, and for my birthday I got my first guitar and a year's worth of guitar lessons. Thank you eternally, Mum and Dad, RIP. It was, it transpires, a historic turning point (yes I'm quoting Wikipedia) in politics, due to a wave of revolutions that started in Poland and swept across Europe eventually ending in the dissolution of the USSR at the end of 1991. It was the last year of the 80s, and the last year until 2040 that, when written in Roman numerals, contains an L. Make of that what you will. Bush Snr.…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1990

So, 1990. What happened in 1990? Um… I finished school, I suppose. Passed all my GCSEs and waved goodbye to Ratton. Errrr. Oh, I think I got my first decent guitar – a Fender HM Strat in Ice Blue. Nice. Mr. Bean came to our televisions, the US invaded Panama, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, the "Pale Blue Dot" image was sent back from Voyager 1, Gorbachev became the first President of the Soviet Union, Poll Tax, Strangeways riot, Hubble, the World Health Organization declassified homosexuality as…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1991

In 1991 I lost my virginity and got a 49cc moped. And the first Gulf War began. So, you know. A mixed bag there. Street Fighter II hit the arcades, the Birmingham Six were released, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, Boris Yeltsin, Sonic the Hedgehog, TBL announced the WWW, the Soviet Union fell to bits, Linus Torvalds announced he was working on an operating system and a really old dude was found. The fallen included Steve Clark, Leo Fender, Johnny Thunders, Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, Gene Roddenberry, Robert Maxwell and a man from Zanzibar originally named Farrokh…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 1992

Right. This is going to be a long one, so strap in. Get a coffee, or a beer, or a whiskey, or a cigar. Or all of them if you think it'll help. But first, our usual business… In 1992, I turned 18 and joined my second band, a heavy metal outfit called Ugly Seed. Excellent fun, that was. I finished college and failed the shit out of my A-levels (two Ns and a U), and so started working full-time in a soap factory in my home town of Eastbourne. The Atari 2600 was discontinued, Boutros-Boutros Ghali became UN Secretary…

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Clive's Album of the Year, 2015

In 2015 I left my two-year contract in Westminster to go work for a Jimmy Wales venture, and the nearly 2-year wait for my BlacKat DC7 finally came to an end. It was both the International Year of Light, and of Soils. Something for everyone there, then. The Charlie Hebdo shooting happened, an earthquake hit Nepal killing over 9000 people, Sepp Blatter, Greek money bother, NASA did a flyby of Pluto and found liquid water on Mars, Volkswagen were caught rigging emissions tests, a stampede at Mecca killed over 2200 people, Elon Musk's SpaceX launched and landed a reusable rocket,…

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Look Them In The Eye

Right, stop what you're doing and listen closely. If you go into a shop to buy something, or interact with someone behind a counter who is serving you in any way, STOP YOUR FUCKING PHONE CALL WHILE YOU DO IT. OK? Understand? Whether you're buying a packet of crisps from a corner shop or £300 of groceries from fucking Waitrose, STOP TALKING TO THE PERSON ON THE PHONE while you conduct the transaction. You can do this in one of a number of ways. You should be able to work some of these out, but in case you're one of…

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Seventeen

And so, the blog is back. I've moved house and though the boxes still fill most corners of the new place, there is at least internet and I finally got the Raspberry Pi that houses this thing a wi-fi adapter and got it back on the internet. Let joy be unbounded. So shortly we return to the Albums of the Years series. I'll bet you can't wait. We shall probably skip forward again to 2015 before returning to the thorny issue of the 1992 shortlist. And as for 2016, well I'm not looking forward to writing the intro to that…

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