One More Time
The other night this came on the radio whilst I was at work, and all of a sudden I found myself remembering the first time I ever heard it. I’ve always strongly associated music with my memories; being a teenager is doing my homework whilst listening to Kraftwerk and Vangelis on headphones, Led Zeppelin and The Clash were as much a part of my first time living on my own as sleeping ’til noon, and Daft Punk’s second album takes me right back to my semester at Ball State University every time.
This was different though, it was the memory of a specific event rather than the vague sense of a period of time, erupting out of nowhere in a sudden Proustian rush. I was in the living room at home on a Saturday afternoon, everyone else had gone out and I was listening to Paul Gamabaccini’s America’s Greatest Hits show on Radio 2 when he played this. It had only recently been released and hadn’t yet reached No. 1, so this would probably have been sometime in November or December 1998. I really could remember hearing it play whilst I was standing in that room, looking out the window, the clarity was uncanny.
Of course I’ve no way of knowing if it’s really an accurate recall of events, though the basics seem to check out; I used to listen to that show most weeks back then, and of course it was a hugely successful song, so it would make sense for me to have heard it first that way. The other details, like being the only person in the house and listening to it in the living room, are perfectly plausible but could equally be something my subconscious invented.
What really makes it seem weird, is why that song? I mean obviously it was an enormously successful song, and it was probably a major influence on the way pop music turned out in the early 2000’s, but I can’t say it ever had any real impact on me personally. I thought it was a good pop song, and that’s about it. Why it suddenly awoke that particular memory all these years later is beyond me; it’s one of those songs that is often used as shorthand for a particular time, so if I’d just felt nostalgic for being a teenager or whatever it would make sense, but that one, specific occasion? Strange.