Three more links from the past – two of them never before reprinted! (possibly with good reason) If you want just the content and none of my reminiscing, go here.

March 1999: That’s What I Call Sweet Music – this is the best of the original batch of articles I put up on Freaky Trigger: a review of Robert Crumb’s compilation of 20s dance orchestra pop (which is still an excellent album). Some themes here that crop up again in my Popular project – an interest in the history of pop in the context of what was popular (rather than a focus on what turned out to be ‘important’) and a concern with the use-value of older pop.

April 1999: Velvet Goldmine – this review reads quite oddly to me, since I can’t remember the film at all, and since I’m trying to sound breezily informed on things I actually had very little idea about (like, well, films). To be honest, it reads like I’m trying to impress blogs that hadn’t even been started at this point. Beyond the awkwardness, some good points – at this time I was keen on the ritualistic aspects of music consumption: buying and playing records – so no wonder I responded to key scenes in Velvet Goldmine so strongly. MP3 culture got rid of all that!

May 1999: The Singles Bar: I was very keen from the start that FT should have a singles review component, of which this is a selection. I’m a little astonished that I bought all these singles – though of course how else would I have heard them back then? Like most of the early FT content this was all written for an imaginary music press (and, at this point, a largely imaginary audience). Note my naive belief that the early 80s were somehow unrevivable!