My dad used to volunteer at the local St John's Ambulance book sales and for a while in the late 70s and early 80s you'd always find a pile of records at these sales that had clearly been donated by some local, music industry insider. Stacks of unplayed promos and, being a St John's Ambulance sale, I was probably the only person under 50 and therefore got the opportunity to plough through and fill my boots without any competition. A flick through my record collection even now would reveal a fair few with "Promo only - not for resale" stickers.
One such record was a 7" single of She's A Windup/Baby Jane by Dr Feelgood and, like a fair few of the records I got from the sales, it went a good many weeks unplayed. A school friend was a huge Feelgood fan and so I offered it to him because he would obviously appreciate it more. He said he would gladly take it off my hands but insisted that before I even thought about giving it away that I really ought to listen to it so I went home that afternoon and had another one of those life-changing moments - the awesome opening guitar riff just blew me away...I still have the single and treasure it.
Suddenly I was a Feelgood fan and ploughed backwards through their catalogue, went to gigs (well into the 80s) and discovered Wilko Johnson (who had left the band before I discovered them) and saw him even more and even longer. Even now I occasionally dip my feet into that river and get a buzz that is more than just nostalgia.
Be Seeing You probably isn't my favourite Feelgood album, the lyrical obsession with sex gets tiresome and borderline misogynistic (moreso than on any of the other albums) most notably I guess in the song that got me into them. Some of the songs are pedestrian or formulaic ("That's It, I Quit", "Sixty Minutes of Your Love", "As Long as the Price is Right") but in Windup, "Looking Back" and "Baby Jane" there is so much energy and thrill that I understand what happened to me when I put on that single all those years ago.
A few years later my life was changed again by a record I found at the St John's Ambulance sales...REM's Reckoning.