Album I couldn't live without: Songs from the Front Lawn
The album I can't live without
This album came out in 1989. I was still living in Wellington at the time. In fact I'd only just moved out of home for the first time, into a rather small (some would say cosy) flat with a mate on the hillside near Oriental Terrace.
It was just above the bay, down from the monastery. Huge deck out the front, about the size of the flat itself. Had some great parties. I digress. Back to the point.
I really bought this album based on the song I'll Never Have Anything More, which sort of struck me at the time, though certainly not in a despondent way.
If anything it seemed to me, at the age (barely 20), a great philosophy to have. I didn't need anything else, I was happy with what I had. A great life, a decent amount of income, and not really a care in the world.
I was always immensely proud that everything I owned could fit into the back seat and boot of my average-sized four-door Toyota Corona.
I didn't need anything more. I had everything I needed. Of course life gradually teaches you otherwise.
Why has the album stuck with me? It's just full of great songs. Claude Rains has to be the best song about Casablanca ever written. The poignant pleading of a man to a lost best friend/brother in Andy. The utter quirkiness of How You Doing?, which for some reason takes me back to summer holiday caravan parks in the Bay of Plenty and the way my Dad would greet the new (temporary) neighbours.
In next to no time he would be boozing/bbq-ing with them while the kids became new BFF's (temporary).
I have lived in many places around the world but each track represents an aural touchstone with home.
None more so representative by "flying over Wellington harbour, Oriental bay is standing there in the sunlight" from Tomorrow Night. After all, I'll always be a Wellington boy.
I take this album with me wherever I go and when I listen to it, for 38 perfect minutes, I'm back home in NZ quite content with what I have, sitting above the bay in the warm Wellington sunlight.
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