Singles – Do You Remember The First Time?

It’s with a crushing inevitability that Mercury records are putting the brakes on the production of physical singles.

Despite being responsible for such single gems as Arcade Fire’s ‘Power Out’, Yuck’s ‘Georgia’ and, um, this loathsome charity shop staple the label is apparently losing too much money on producing physical singles, and from now on will only do so if “it is guaranteed to make a profit”.

We’re not sure what singles would be “guaranteed to make a profit” but we’ll surely be disappointed if they mean a cover of Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ sung by Lady Gaga, lyrically altered to included at least three references to the Royal Wedding and a backwards message about Paul The Octopus (RIP).

Anyway, as tales about first singles bought usually involve a large Proustian-rush and a funny tale, we thought we’d ask our writers what their premiere single purchases were. Below are some cautionary tales as to why parents should think twice before giving their kids pocket money…

Let’s begin with Laura Snapes who bought Tatyana Ali’s ‘Boy You Knock Me Out’ (via Mr Blobby).

“Errm, I was nine, a huge Fresh Prince fan and thought she was the coolest thing ever (plus Will Smith did a rap on it). I reckon it’s still a pretty good song.

“That’s the first one I remember buying – apparently I was one of the stupid children responsible for Mr Blobby getting the Christmas number one slot in 1993 (I would have been four). The cassette eventually ‘broke’, aka dad pulled out the tape. Such cruelty! Ha.”

Ah the Cassingle, such fond memories….

Next it’s Paul Stokes, who remembers ‘Star Trekkin’’ with The Firm.

“Aged nine and it was a novelty single on seven-inch which mind-numblingly kept repeating the whole song each time an extra line was added. Worryingly even though I’ve not heard it in about 20 years I think I can still remember all lyrics (“there’s Klingons on the starboard bow, scrape ‘em off Jim!”). Weirdly though at the time I don’t think I’d even seen an episode of Star Trek, so it must have been the Plasticine characters in the song’s video wot won it.”

We remember that one too, it was like the ’80s ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’.

Next up is Hamish MacBain whose first purchase was Jive Bunny’s ‘Swing The Mood’

“I was nine when this came out, I think, and remained embarrassed for many of my adolescent years that I had popped my cherry in such a ridiculously uncool fashion. Now though, it’s easy to see the appeal to a kid with zero attention span: it contains the best few seconds of some of the best tunes ever made, all stitched together. Little Richard into The Everly Brothers into Eddie Cochran into three Elvis singles? Takes the “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” mantra to the next level: “don’t bore us, start with a chorus, and keep ’em coming”. Rife for revisiting by the skip-button-happy, post-iPod generation? Maybe.”

Matt Wilkinson’s is Boyz II Men’s’ I Swear’.

“I thought it was something else. Really, the cover should have told me it wasn’t exactly going to be the song for me. In my defence, I was nine at the time.”

Do you remember the first singles you bought? Unburden your retro shame, leave a comment below and tell us.