Performer: The Fixx
Songwriters: Charlie Barrett, Cy Curnin, Rupert Greenall, Jamie West-Oram
Original Release: Shuttered Room
Definitive Version: None
The Fixx was always one of those in-between bands that was on MTV: I liked their stuff when it came on but not enough to actually spend my hard-earned money on one of their records.
But in 2010, I found this song again thanks to a confluence of events. The first was Laurie’s annual Solstice party right before Christmas. This is one of the biggest events of her annual social calendar. She makes enough food to feed a battalion, and she makes wassail, which as you might know is a spiced beer but might not is the subject of one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs—Sommerset Gloucestershire Wassail by the Kingston Trio. I was overjoyed when I finally had my first taste of the drink I knew from my youth—or maybe it was just the brandy. Either way, it’s a highlight of the Solstice party.
Laurie is, shall we say, particular in how things are done in the kitchen when she’s in charge, so I help best by getting the heck out of the way. My responsibility then is the music. In the front of the apartment, where we have the Christmas tree, we play Christmas music. In the back, where the food and drink—and inevitably most of the people—congregate, we play party music.
Of course, party music is a loose definition. To me, rock is party music, so that’s most of what I play. We had done CDs and tapes before, but last year, I grabbed a 2-gig thumb drive that I had received from some media event and loaded it up with enough music to handle a party that lasted all night.
I have a few DVDs of music backed up from Scott’s voluminous collection—for storage purposes, of course—and I went through those too. Scott has a far bigger assortment of what I like to call ’80s synth pop crap—in other words, all the music that I loved from the early days of MTV. This song was on there, and it was an instant addition to the party drive.
The party was a huge success. It went till 3 a.m., and I never had to change the music once. We must have had close to 50 people in our apartment that night, and I got a lot of compliments on my party mix. Who else would go from Cream to The Gypsy Kings to The Fixx to Vince Guaraldi to Metallica? Exactly, no one.
This year’s party didn’t quite measure up, but what could? Standards exist for a reason.