366 Songs 043: Valentine’s Day

Ruth is one of those bands that you remember, but don’t remember anything about; as far as I do remember, this was the closest thing they ever had to a hit, but even then this was really a near-miss that graced a lot of radio and TV play but was pretty much ignored by the Great British Public, who hadn’t really come around to the idea of overly-produced pop that’s pretty much saved from the disaster of mediocrity by the Brian May-esque guitar solo that comes in at 1:50 from out of nowhere. But for me, this song isn’t about Valentine’s Day or the limitations of power pop but instead, a trip to London in the final year of my bachelor’s degree at art school, sleeping on a friend’s floor and thinking way too much about pop music, leafing through the CDs that he’d been given for free and discovering all these bands that I never would’ve heard of otherwise. Ruth was one of those, but a lesser one; I remember finding things on that trip that would stay with me for years afterwards, dubbed onto blank tapes until I could finally manage to track down and buy them for myself. Weird memories of the world opening up and wandering home along streets that I one day thought I might live in, listening to songs on headphones that were falling apart, trying to stitch new sounds and ideas together with every step.

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