Saturday, 30 May 2009

Coronation Street - The Songs That Remind Me...

Jean Alexander as Hilda in '76. Altogether now: "If you leave me now..."

Way back in 1976, Stan left Hilda and I was deeply moved by the tragedy of it all.

A song constantly haunting our radios back then was If You Leave Me Now by Chicago, and, somehow, the words and the occasional squawkiness of the singer (rather Hilda-like, I always thought), seemed to fit the Ogdens' heart-rending estrangement scenario perfectly.

Of course, Stan returned after a brief sojourn at Hilda's brother's chip shop but, to this day, I only have to hear a couple of chords of If You Leave Me Now, and I'm right back there, gazing mournfully out at a star filled sky (OK, this is England, so it was probably a cloud-filled sky), willing Stan to return to No 13, and kiss the tears from Hilda's eyes.

Mavis (Thelma Barlow) enjoys a night out with Emily (Eileen Derbyshire) in 1987. Altogether now: "Absolute on power drive..."

My other (and rather odder) Corrie pop link concerns the mid-1980s Scritti Politti song Absolute - a banging piece of 1980s dance-pop, highly distinctive, very much of its era, but somehow the gloriously fey tones of singer Green Gartside instantly reminded me of Mavis Riley - who wasn't terribly much of her era at all. Ever.

There is one point in the middle of the song where Mr G apparently goes into a bit of a dither, and I thought "this is exactly what would happen if Mavis made a pop record" and, somehow, the track and Mavis have been synonymous in my mind ever since. Funnily enough, I've mentioned it to my wife (or "better half", as she likes to call herself) and, on reflection, she agrees with me.

No offence to to Scritti Politti - I sincerely love '80s dance-pop stuff (so there!), and I think both the group and Absolute were great - innovative to the max.

But still rather Mavis.