Back at the beginning of 1990, during my last few weeks at secondary school, I'd pretty much have done anything to go and hold hands with this one girl in my class. She liked cool music like Soup Dragons, Bachelor Pad, The Charlottes and... ermm... Mega City 4. I pretended to like cool music, and brought in John Peel's Festive 50 to play in the common room during break and dinner.
That year, Can't be Sure by The Sundays topped the chart, and this girl (we'll call her Sally, because that was her name) really liked the song. The Sundays had just released their debut album, Reading, Writing & Arithmetic - this collection of stripped-back yet somehow lush - semi-acoustic, almost craft-y pop music, and it was getting all the right reviews.
Me and Sally got talking after listening to the tape over and over again at school, and she asked me if I'd bought the Sundays album one Friday afternoon, and could she borrow it. Of course I lied and said that I had and that I'd bring it in for her to borrow on Monday.
Saturday morning I rushed out and bought Reading, Writing and Arithmetic from Andy's Records in Grimsby, and spent the rest of the weekend listening to it, over and over so that I could comment on any track at the drop of a hat.
Thing is, even if I wasn't being a stupid 16 year old trying to impress this girl in my class, I'd have listened to that album over and over, because it's so innocent and charming and almost pure. And it was so different to what was around at the time, as most of the rest of my mates were going apeshit over the deadly dull Stone Roses.
Joy remains my most favourite track off the album - a record that I always associate with growing up, starting to go out, and, yes, holding hands with Sally.
These days, I put it on when I'm doing the dusting of course. The passing of time, and all it's hideous crimes, and all that.