Although some may say it all started when I was four…but that’s another issue completely!
Recently, the postman delivered a nice little parcel to my PO Box…the all re-done, re-vamped, bonus-tracked re-release of Boy Krazy’s Stock/Aitken/Waterman album from 1993.
There are some amazing SAW albums being re-released with B-Sides, 12″ versions, unreleased tracks and more. I want just about all of them but finances dictate that I have to be selective at the moment. Yoda already has the Jason Donovan albums while Sonia’s will be next for me. But up first it was Boy Krazy for me.
Ironically, I already have this album on CD. I bought the orginal version during a trip to Brisbane some 17 years ago. I already had the single for “That’s What Love Can Do” but nothing else. There was no internet back then – I couldn’t find anything much about them except the song had the classic SAW sound.
At Central Station Records in Brisbane, I came across the CD and had a “What the Fuck!” moment. I immediately stumped up the $30 or $35 or whatever it was. It was the dying days of SAW, in fact it was just SW at that point…and I was desperate for anything they put out.
But there was no chance of me being able to track down 12″ singles or any further releases from Boy Krazy back then. I was in little old Australia and their stuff was coming out around the other side of the world.
I fell in love with three of the tracks very quickly, “That”s What Love Can Do”…
On A Wing and A Prayer…
And finally….how could I NOT fall in love with a title like this…Good Times With Bad Boys!
I loaded up the new CD the other day and, again quite unexpectedly, the album has taken over my brain completely!
There’s a couple of tracks I’d never heard of before and some 12″ mixes that I also did not know existed. Plus a gorgeous colour booklet is included. It’s like hog heaven for me!
I wondered why I was so completely taken over by this album in the last few days…and it isn’t just about the music. It’s the past darlings…my past… I can’t listen to these songs as just “music” to enjoy. From the first spin on my computer this week, my head was awash with images of 1993. What I was doing in 1993, who I was in 1993 and the whole decline of the SAW empire around that time.
Stock Aitken Waterman had been such a huge influence on me during the late 80s/early 90s it was quite overwhelming. I bought as much of the material they produced as I possibly could (as someone living on the other side of the world in a time when there was no internet and no Amazon.co.uk) So much of their work was not released in Australia, it was very frustrating at the time.
It was also frustrating being on the other side of the world and watching the whole SAW thing fall apart. The fights, Mike Stock leaving, then Matt Aitken…the fact that they were being derided and written-off completely by the music press and the industry generally. I took it all personally (as is my way) and it really was sad for me.
So my Boy Krazy Special Edition CD has linked me emotionally right back to 1993, to the time I bought it. 1993 was also the year I did my first overseas trip. I visited London for the first time and fell in love with the city. Yoda and I spent hours walking along Cheapside into the city stopping at every 2nd hand record shop along the way. I bought so much SAW stuff during the two weeks I was in the UK. Much of it from 2nd hand shops and markets. Trying to catch up on the CD singles and videos I never had the chance to buy in Australia. I came back weighed down with this stuff.
A year later, when I visited the UK again, it was all gone. Cheapside had been demolished and none of the shops had any SAW stuff at all. It was as if that whole era in British pop had never existed. So had I not gone in 1993…well, I’m just glad I did.
1993 was the year that Yoda and I, on Day 1 of our overseas trip, walked around the corner from where we were staying and saw PWL Studios. There was a man standing outside – an engineer called Dean – he invited us in and took us for a tour of the studio. He let me touch the Calrec Soundfield microphone (you’d have to be a tragic SAW fan to understand this) and I just about jumped out of my skin. Dean also took us to a basement vault room where the master tapes for every SAW record ever produced were stored. I just about passed out. Had I died right then, it would have been okay.
1993 was also the year we stopped doing ABBA nights at the Flinders Hotel after 6 years. And that turned out to be a very good thing. 1993 was also a time when an ex-boyfriend came over to borrow money and I said no. I didn’t, in fact, have it at that exact point (it was $1,500). But that was a good thing too – the wash up from that incident really clarified to me what a destructive and disastrous relationship I’d had with this person and what a user he was. We’d broken up years earlier but I still felt as if he had a hold on me and I’d never really been able to move on. The result of that visit gave me a bit of closure in a way.
1993 was also the year I won my first manager’s job – for a computer system helpdesk at the organisation I was working for. It involved travelling around Australia for meetings every couple of months. And it was the year I joined the Ansett Golden Wing Club (anyone remember that?) and the Qantas Club (I dumped that membership years ago – it became a waste of money.)
The end of 1993 was when I was diagonised with having sarcoidosis, a bizarre lung disease that can kill. I was put on massive doses of steroids and my weight blew up enormously, it changed my whole body shape and it has never really recovered. Sarcoidosis hasn’t killed me yet but I haven’t had it checked out in years and years…very slack!
And yes, 1993 was the year I came across the Boy Krazy album in an import record shop in Brisbane, Queensland.
So it is pretty clear why listening to the Special Edition re-release of the CD has blown me away this week: 1993 was a pretty monumental year for me and Boy Krazy is bringing it all back.
In the words of Boy Krazy themselves…”Who could ask for anything more?