Two reviews of Real To Real Cacophony by Red Starr in Smash Hits magazine, late 1979. The first one (on blue page) give a somewhat disparaging but ultimately positive review and a rating of 8/10. The second review betrays the dismissive tone of the first and is utterly glowing and is rate 9.5/10!!
I don’t think I’ve seen an album be reviewed TWICE – by the same reviewer. It reveals that also it was back in a time where people invested TIME in music. And money! Music wasn’t cheap. It wasn’t a world of instant gratification. “Ooh, I like this song! I’ll download it for 59 pence.” Nope! Singles weren’t worth their money. They were a poor investment – almost half the price of buying a full album. So people bought albums. It was an investment. A COMMITMENT! And a lot of the time a gamble. It’s what made it exciting! That’s why vinyl is STILL exciting.
You might not have been that familiar with the artist – or might not had heard of them at all before – but the cover looked nice/interesting/exciting/intriguing and you liked the sound of the song titles, so you put your hand in your pocket.
You took it home. You listened to it. If you were lucky, you absolutely LOVED IT, first time. From the get go. But more likely it caught something in you, but you weren’t sure what. Give it another listen. OK, yep. It’s growing on me. Another listen. Yep, I can hear what’s going on here. Yep. Another listen. Oh, my God. This is ssooo good. Yep. Like it. Another listen. THIS IS THE BEST ALBUM I HAVE HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!
Sometimes the first listen (rarely for me). Sometimes the second (more likely) and sometimes five (yep! On occasion). But rarely never at all. On the odd occasion that happened, you sold it on or swapped it. Chances were someone else would like it after all.
These two reviews give a great example of how the vinyl experience was. And how my own experience of evolving into a Simple Minds mega fan transpired.