Soundtrack: Edwyn Collins

The Ivor Novello award winning Scottish musician on the record that left a resounding impression on his 17-year-old self

The Modern Lovers, self-titled LP

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“I bought record, The Modern Lovers in 1977, when I was 17 years old. I found out it was all recorded in ’71 and ’72, which seemed incredible to me. This was proto-punk and it cast a long shadow over punk’s ideas. Jonathan Richman is a total original. He’s completely sincere and at that tender age, I was mesmerised by his lyrics, I’d never heard anything like it before. Hospital is the perfect Jonathan Richman track for me. “I can’t stand what you do, I’m in love with your eyes.” “I go to bakeries all day long.” “I’m in love with this power that resides in your eyes.” I’m intrigued by this. What happened to him? What’s the story behind this? I believe him, completely. She Cracked – good grief, what a track, kinda Iggy-ish, just brilliant. On the re-issue you can hear I’m Straight, which was a magnificent single. “I’m not stoned like Hippy Johnny……” totally inspired lyrics. And of course, Roadrunner. Everybody loves it. Because it’s a great pop record. I pretty much knew all the Jonathan Richman/Modern Lovers stuff after this. In 1984, he was a guest on three dates of an Orange Juice tour, which was crazy. It was fantastic to meet him. He was warm and funny. We talked about Findhorn, a hippy place in Scotland he’d heard of and wanted to know more about. He was modest, you see, didn’t care about billing or anything. He’s still like that. But he inspires dedication and love. My brother and sister in law (they are brother and sister) came from miles away to see him London a few years ago. So that’s it, young people. Learn your Jonathan, that’s my advice to you. Edwyn, over and out.”