Yet although I wish I could say that it only causes me great pleasure when I hear it, that would not be totally honest. Each time I hear the song the one thing I truly remember is pain – a whole lot of pain.
Before you run away, no, this was not the song that I had my heart broken to (that’s another story altogether). The single had been on my record player since its release – non-stop – to such an extent that my mother had already threatened filicide. It wasn’t just the monotony of hearing the song over and over (no taste), it was the volume at which it was played too. If any song was made for sheer volume, then this is it.
One afternoon I wasn’t feeling very well at school and was sent home. I had been sick – spectacularly and also had a stomach ache and fever. The school canteen’s food was renowned for doing this so it wasn’t considered anything unusual – I was just packed off home. Both my parents were working so I had the place to myself so it was off to the bedroom, open up the Dansette and put Bohemian Rhapsody on repeat while I recuperated on the bed.
I don’t remember much about what happened next. I woke up delirious with the pain. I knew mum was in the room with me as were some strange men in uniform, as well as Freddy Mercury and the boys still harmonizing in the backgroud about Scaramouche, Galileo and Beelzebub. They put me on to a stretcher and I got my first ride in an ambulance. It turns out I had appendicitis and had to have my appendix removed in an emergency operation.
When I got home from the hospital I still needed time to fully recover before I went back to school. You might think that appendicitis and Queen might have merged seamlessly in to some sort of rock and roll aversion therapy. You would be wrong. No prizes for guessing what the first song was that I played on my return from the sick house.
Mind, I still, to this day, sometimes flinch when it’s on.
Written by Tom Middleton
Tom is a lifelong fan of the late Freddie Mercury and Queen. He works for a National Health Trust in Manchester, UK.
I went out and bought the album (first released in 1977). This contained containing an even better version, apparently recorded during a first run through of the song when he was teaching it to the band (according to his recent autobiography).
This was the song I most associate with my late teens...punk was great, I even discovered jazz, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane but this was my touchstone. I've never got bored with it and it's cropped up at all kinds of unexpected times in my life since then..
I met up with an old friend from those days, years later and what comes on the radio? ..... As a regularly gigging guitar player and singer it's a reminder that an instrumental solo should capture the essence of the song....and definitely not be an excuse for showing that you can play more notes than the next guy; that way leads to poodle-haired rock madness.
There's a certain feeling when a band is just playing at their best...the music just flows. I've been playing with the same bunch of musicians for twenty odd years...we get to that certain place sometimes.and that's why I keep playing.
Old Neil is still selling out every tour and the last time I saw him in concert with Crazy Horse he was still truly magnificent and played some very long and at times startlingly avant garde guitar racket and kept the audience with him every step of the way.
Written by David Hopewell, Bethesda, North Wales
David sings and plays guitar for The Cane Toads. He also can be found 'wandering around in fields, making beeping noises'.
The happiest of these are the eclectic music choices of my parents during family holiday car journeys stretching anywhere from Tina Turner, through the Everly Brothers to The Who. There is a paradox about long childhood car journeys. They seemed to torment and bore and distress you in equal measure at the time, but later in life you realise you were in fact happier than you might ever be. And you were totally unaware that the tunes drifting by in the background would end up being some of your favourite sounds for the rest of your life.
It's probably why one of my favourite albums, although not a choice by my parents, comes from a similar callback to that travelling theme. The album is Moseley Shoals by Ocean Colour Scene.
Released at a very important time in my own life, this album was to be the soundtrack to an entire summer. Having just left school, passed my driving test and landed a job at the local publishing firm as a potential Graphic Designer, my adult life was kickstarting in just the way I had hoped. And this album was to be the score.
My driving friends and I spent that entire summer running the others lifelong compadres backwards and forwards between houses, pubs, clubs, cinemas and the seaside (okay, Skegness, but growing up in Lincolnshire, you take what you can get…).
The album itself, although I must admit this statement comes heavily loaded with precious memories of those times, I would suggest is a perfect album – all killer, no filler!
There are very few albums in my collection, even of my favourites artists, that I can make such a bold statement. Moseley Shoals by Ocean Colour Scene is such an album.
The reason for this is of course the well-crafted tunes of nostalgic alternative rock and britpop vibes so prevalent at the time (1996) but never bettered in my humble opinion. But one of the main reasons for this album making my ultimate cut is down to the first 10 seconds, the opening guitar riffs of the very first track 'The Riverboat Song'. The kind of opener that makes a 17 year old want to drive, destination unknown, blissfully unaware that the sounds drifting by would become some of his favourite sounds for the rest of his life.
Written By Lee Daniels, London
Lee is an independent illustrator, animator and graphic design professional. Take a look at some of his awesome work at the Lee Daniels Art website.
It might not capture the clarity and freshness of the light, or the dazzlingly high mountains as they soar from the deep blue fjords dwarfing anchored liners. The soundtrack doesn’t provide an insight into the warmth and generosity of the locals or the beauty of the flam railway as it dodges waterfalls on its journey along the Aurlandfjord.
But to a small boy zipping along the precarious roads in the back of his dad’s Toyota Celica the only soundtrack that captures Norway is Tina Turner’s album Private Dancer. The only tape we had with us we played it constantly much to mum’s annoyance. But to me my brother and dad we couldn’t get enough as Tina growled out each song to a visual backdrop of outstanding beauty. I Can’t Stand the Rain being a particularly favorite firmly imprinting on my mind the view from my window as the road tore along the edge of the fjord heading for another tight curve.
I’m sure Norway would prefer an association with a more majestic soundtrack but for me Steel Claw is where it’s at.
Like many people in their early twenties, I'd had several fledgling relationships. Some good, some bad and one or two 'What the HELL was I thinking!'. I'd been dumped, been the one to break it off and even dated on the rebound, but now I had met someone, someone I thought was special and in time might just possibly be "the one".
After a good first date in the form of a meal to get to know each other, our second date was clubbing in a venue we both knew and each had a number of friends. It was the standard unspoken "if it goes badly neither of us will be on our own feeling awkward but let’s see how it goes in a social environment" type of second date. It started well, our different friends were getting on and there was a good vibe.
Part way through the evening I was guided away from the loud, crowded dance floor to a chill out room for a drink and chat. At this point near disaster loomed. I looked into that beaming, hope filled, and guileless face to be asked "Does this mean we are now in a relationship?" I was taken aback, gabbled that this was only our 2nd date (no 3rd) no 2nd... the smile had vanished, fear and panic taking its place whilst real distress grew... "It's too soon. I've ruined it, haven't I? I've completely ruined it!"... Real tears were starting to well.
Now I knew that this wasn't some neurotic bunny boiler but someone very much like me; just eager for hope to triumph over recent experience, a little too eager perhaps but still... Frantically, I searched for the right words as anguish was obviously building, but every word that came to mind seemed wrong and then I heard it, the opening bars of Maybe For Sure.
Crooking one finger tenderly under trembling chin, I made eye contact and just said "this" pointing to the speaker. We stood frozen for the duration of the song, then there was a thoughful pause before the most beautiful laugh rang out and that dazzling smile returned. "I can do that, I can CERTAINLY do that!" I was assured before being pulled in close for a kiss on the cheek and then setting off arm in arm to find the rest of the group. Disaster averted.
25 years on, I can't honestly say exactly how many months we were together, only that when we did break up it was a mutual decision and completely amicable. To this day whenever I hear Maybe For Sure I remember that laugh and that smile; and silently offer up a big heartfelt Thanks to Debbie Harry!
Written by Ian, London
My abiding (first) memory of this song is miming to it with a hairbrush, using my bed as a trampoline with my best friend Julie gleefully joining in. It sums up that whole time for me, one of simple, unadulterated joie de vivre when independent life was something that was just around the corner – and boy, was I going to enjoy it. Talking of boys, they were still something of a mystery and in my more cynical moments I wish that they had stayed that way!
The bed-bouncing teenager rapidly (some might argue about the true speed) became something more sophisticated and worldly wise. Yet, for many, many years after this song would get me and my girlfriends on to the dance floor faster than a speeding bullet.
Although the message of the song remains very clear to me, the nature of the fun involved has evolved as I have got older. The line ‘I wanna be the one to walk in the sun’ is I think the most powerful of the whole song. For me, it became a lyrical signal that I didn’t necessarily need a man to be happy (even though it helps) but definitely not one who would, whether by his nature or the sheer force of gender role traditions, put me in a box designated ‘wife, mother, homemaker’. The song doesn’t preclude that but told me I could do it on my own terms – in partnership rather than in subjugation.
It was only recently that I read that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was originally written by a man and that Cyndi Lauper (who always reminded me of a 1920s silent movie star for some reason) adapted the lyrics for her version. Life’s little ironies…
By Claire Highsmith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Claire works as an administrator at a Doctor's surgery and is married with three grown children
I was watching Armageddon and I didn’t want to miss a thing. Then, this came on. I instantly asked my mum “who sings this song?” She told me that it was sung by Aerosmith. It turned out they were an American rock band with more than a bit of history.
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by the band Aerosmith was the single most important song of my life. If it was not for this song being one of the soundtracks to the movie Armageddon, I would hate to think what type of music I would be listening to today. I say this because this song kicked off my new found love for rock music – and I haven’t looked back since.
After I listened to this song, I went and found an old Aerosmith CD and listened to it. Revelation! Even to this day, I still listen to this song. It helped me to realize that rap music (which I had almost exclusively listened to up to this point) wasn't my cup of tea so I put that down and picked up rock music. I now love rock music and listen to it every single day. Thank you Aerosmith :)
I live in South London and will starting my final year at college soon :) Wish me luck!
By Michael Ward
Michael is student at LeSoCo in Lewisham, South London.
For those of you who have read the guide, or rather listened to one of many contradictory versions of the story, aside from being 1000% more awesome than the average person you might recognise that this if the theme from “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show”.
Currently I am a student, living quite far away from the rest of my family which means I am often on long trains/coaches/car rides with little but music and other audio forms to entertain me. I think the Hitchhikers Guide in its many forms is a fantastic travel companion, and to this day insist it is the most important book one can read prior to going to university, but that is a topic for another time and place.
I enjoy the journey of the sorcerer when traveling as it makes me think about wonder that surrounds us when we are going from one place to another. One can observe some quite wonderful things from a window when traveling.
Traveling also often provokes a lot of different and sometimes confliction emotions. Often people are traveling to educate themselves, to see a friends and family or simply just for the adventure. I love traveling for many of my own reasons. If I had to pick one definitive piece of music as my ultimate travel theme the Journey of the Sorcerer would certainly be it.
Anyway that’s enough of my rambling I think I need to go and stop an interstellar by-pass from being built.
By Bill Yuksel, Dundee
Bill is currently an undergraduate student at University of Abertay, Dundee
There was a huge jukebox in one corner, lots of big low circular tables with huge ashtrays covered in cigarette butts and crisp packets. We would buy 15p sausage rolls and endless cups of hot chocolate; the wonderful woman behind the counter was always trying to make sure we all ate properly but that was before, 5 a day and sausage rolls were the cheapest thing on the menu...!
Wednesday lunchtimes were the best. Most of 'our group' were in and free at the same time. On those days we had to pull 3 of the big tables together so we could all fit. Nick would be talking about calling the operator to ask if Busby can come out and play. Usually there would be an agreement to meet at the pub for lager and black later on.
Chris, Kenton, Glenn, the two Phils, Rachael, Louise, Rob, Sally, Becky and so many more - studying together, passing polos around the class, laughing joking and waiting for the next break to climb those wet stairs and stand in line to get the next hot chocolate fix -
By Helen Lord
Helen lives in Northwest Kent and runs a private practice for hypnotherapy, The Power of U and NLP, Give Away Your.
I have chosen to write about the main theme of the metal gear solid series; there are a few versions of it including a version by Harry Gregson-Williams, the movie composer and a version by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and of course the original by Konami. To me this game is one of the most important forbearers of modern console storytelling. The game had everything one might expect from a modern game; a 3D environment, a musical score, multiple endings (well two anyway) and cut scenes with full voice acting.
Metal Gear Solid was a game that showed me that video games can be a medium for learning about a whole number of things, including ethics, philosophy and differing points of view. The game had a very rich story and also was interesting in that it promoted non-violent behaviour when dealing with the in game enemies.
I think that the series has always made me consider the story and the potential impacts of my actions, rather than just a brainless play though experience that many other games provide. Many people feel that they educate themselves via reading books, watching TV, documentary’s and films.
Plus, I would certainly say that Metal Gear was an educational experience for me and the music is such an important factor of being drawn into an immersive experience. In film there are a number of themes that can instantly transport fans into the mind-set of the film; an example would be the main James Bond theme or the Star Wars theme.
When I hear the Metal Gear theme I think about the game right away, about how many times I have played it, and how my perspective and understanding of the story has changed with each time I play though one of the games.
I should also note that the general qualities of the soundtracks to all the games in the series are fantastic, the amount of emotion in one particular track, “Old Snake” from Metal Gear Solid 4, is unbelievable.
By Bill Yuksel, Dundee
Bill is currently an undergraduate student at University of Abertay, Dundee
My first contact with this song was on the credits to Pro Evolution Soccer 5. In many ways this song might not be the most moving lyrically and it’s generally not the type of music I would normally listen to anymore, but I feel like I have a connection with it.
Here is how Pro Evolution Soccer 5 started with this song...
I’m an avid football fan and to this date it is still the last song that will play before turning off my music when on the way to football games - either viewing or playing. Even when I am watching from home this is still the last song I listen to before the match…
When one considers it’s nearly 10 years since first hearing the song, this is an impressive feat for a song to make such a lasting impression, or rather connection. I suppose many sports fans may have a pre match ritual e.g. a lucky shirt, or in this instance perhaps a particular sequence of events that must happen prior to sport playing and viewing and this is mine.
To me this song signifies football is about to happen, and I struggle to think of anything that could make me more happy then that notion.
By Bill Yuksel, Dundee
Bill is currently an undergraduate student at University of Abertay, Dundee
My friends had tried to help, get me out and about again but (without sounding too pathetic, I hope) the only thing I could think about was Peter, my ex. I never knew I could be so angry and horribly sad at the same time. Although I did venture out once or twice, a bottle and a half of chardonnay only seemed to amplify those emotions for some peculiar reason. I always imagined myself as more Grace Jones than Bridget Jones but there you are, sometimes you just aren’t in control anymore.
Anyway – there came a point when I realized that if I didn’t at least try and go out with my friends then there would come a point when they would stop asking. So, one Saturday evening I went on the London underground in to the West End with my fifteen best friends. OK, it was a hen party but I knew at least half of them.
Modern hen parties aren’t quite as sophisticated or genteel as the home-bound tupperware extravaganzas of yesteryear and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves fairly inebriated and in a night club. By that time I was tired of trailing around after 15 other screaming women and decided to attempt to prop up the bar, despite the fact that my elbows didn’t seem to want to collaborate with the rest of my body.
Then Eddie popped his face directly in to mine. What could I say? To start off with nothing much as he had the gift of conversation (couldn’t really hear much over the music to be honest but he did convincing hand movements). Anyway, he and I did start a proper night club conversation (signing and shouting, truth be told) and eventually he asked me to dance by pointing at the dance-floor and gyrating his hips wildly.
How could a girl refuse? Easily, but I didn’t. Eddie was tall, tanned and Australian – a fatal three way combination for me (and a new one, too). This is the song we danced to – and I will remember it forever. They played it to death that night.
I wish I could tell you that Goldfrapp’s Ooh La La brought Eddie and myself together, that now we have a small cottage in the Cotswolds, two and a half perfect children and a labrador named Sally but that wasn’t to be. In fact, Eddie was returning to Australia the very next evening.
Nevertheless he treated me like a real lady (OK, he gave me the time of my life), restored my faith in the species known as man and taught me that a twenty four hour love affair can sometimes be better than those that last years.
I had been stumbling around for months, blinded and blinkered. Goldfrapp (and Eddie) restored my vision.
By Caroline Cloony
Caroline lives in a cottage in the Cotswolds with a labrador named Sally.