Observations of a Middle-Aged Dragon with a Tattoo:
Songs that deserve to be listened to more often.
Set them free.
I started thinking about old songs this week; songs from my childhood and adolescence: my becoming far too distant younger days. It was all because I read a Facebook post regarding songs that no-one would know if they were under 40.
I began to think how it sold music and avid devotees a little short. It didn’t take into account the eclectic tastes of those that enjoy not only a specific taste of contemporary music but others the enjoy the FULL smorgasbord of refined delicacies of the unusual and not-so-general kind; the rare old, older and oldest. No Eagles, Abba, or U2 to be found here.
Now the following may not be so unknown to some of you. Some may recognise them instantly, some may not. Either way, they aren’t played a lot these days. They are eclectic, and they range from downright silly to the thoughtful to exceedingly reflective on society and of a time when music could be popular even if it spoke about one side’s social agenda. Now the majority of music is driven by music executives who are as stiff as accountants and pump out manufactured assembly-line populist drivel, worked out from focus group data.
No uniqueness or real talent rewarded. Except maybe….
I’m constantly amazed how everyone fawns over Ed Sheeran, yes the guy is seriously good and unbelievably talented. But he’s doing what James Taylor and his peers did a while ago; before the music industry lost its way and its heart. You’ve got to reward Ed’s success in a time like this. And yes he’s a guy who looks normal, quirky, and a ‘ranga’ to top it off. What he isn’t is some plastic, cut-out copy or an airbrushed all-American version of beautiful or handsome (a very unrealistic ideal btw). Welcome to the sanitised and auto-tuned music world of today.
So Ed’s different by today’s standards. He’s playing original music with a guitar and dares tour as a said solo act. Stop the press!! Guess what…. those of us who are a little older know he’s not so original, although his music is. Many have gone before him. Whatever happened to Shawn Mullins???? Remember such gems like Shimmer and Lullaby.
That was FUN So.. Let’s reminisce some more lets go WAY WAY BACK:
Too good to be one hit wonders:
Without Google, can you name the acts who sang these?
Baby it’s You: The band is a trio
NOT TO be confused with John Waite’s, The Baby’s. Now here’s a blast from the past but, isn’t it time.
Now that’s a shirt, suit and a great shade of eye-shadow! Hint: In this film clip from the shoulders up John looks a lot like the female singer of Baby It’s You… And the answer is Promises… have a listen. The boobs give her away. Watch after a very short time you can’t take your eyes off them. But what a set of lungs great vocals and all before auto-tune.
Too good to be forgotten:
Give me one reason: Tracy Chapman
Fade into you: Mazzy Star
Funky Cold Medina: Tone Loc. I love the drum beat sampling of Can’t get no Satisfaction… you picked it right.
You gotta be: Des’ree
Sex and Candy: Marcy’s Playground
Melt with You: Modern English. Recently it had a resurrection as a cover in the movie Table 19. It first came to prominence in the teenage cult movie of 1983, Valley Girl, which broke a young Nicholas Cage and also spawned the Psychedelic Furs Love My Way. See the original movie before the new 2018 version.
Twist in my Sobriety: Tanita Tikaram, no she’s not a Kiwi. But she taught Australia a new word (and yes it wasn’t twist)
Devil went down to Georgia: The Charlie Daniels Band. Did Johnny really win?
Out of Mind Out of Sight: Models. Alas James Freud gone too soon.
Sweet Jane: Lou Reed/Velvet Underground
Driver’s Seat: Sniff ‘n’ the Tears, go figure it’s a great driving song.
Yesterday’s Hero: John Paul Young, he’s in the Aria Hall of Fame, that’s even with the fact he released an album on K-tel (now if you’re really good you’ll know all about what K-tel represents).
Mamma Told Me (not to come): Who’d a thought it was written by Randy Newman for Eric Burdon but covered by Three-day Night and then among others the Howling Diablo’s. Their version was featured in the sound track to a fantastic coming of ‘old-age’ movie; Bonneville: with Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen
Horror Movie: From Skyhooks’ brilliant album Living in the 70’s. A ground-breaking album indeed. Forget the failed attempt to reclaim said former-glory when they desperately released, Living in the 80’s… It’s a Horror: not even in the same stratosphere as a B-grade Horror Movie. Please let’s remember the guys for songs like Ego’s Not a Dirty Word and Women in Uniform not Jukebox in Siberia…. WHAT and importantly WHY????
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Which band member’s son wrote the song that won World Idol for Norway’s singing Hobbit, Kurt Nilsen?
Your Mama Won’t Like Me: Suzi Quatro was ahead of her time, even if in a later incarnation she appeared on an episode of Midsomer Murders. You guessed it as an ageing rocker. She was killed off pretty early in the episode. This song resonates with me… you guessed it my Mamma (-in-law) don’t like me… Go figure probably not a surprise to you.
Fox on the Run: The Sweet. One of the band members was rumoured to be related to Mark McManus who starred as the main character,in Scottish BBC detective show – Taggart… You remember.. there’s been a murrrderrr.
Rock on: Before David Essex went too commercial: David Essex’s still looking good by the way.
Hollywood Seven: Jon English, a very talented man, try not too judge him too harshly for All Together Now: Rebecca Gibney and Steve Jacobs are there as well. Oh wait! Steve Jacobs may not be a good example right now.
Every night: Phoebe Snow: Which Beatles member wrote and recorded this before Ms Snow made it more popular?
Gold: John Stewart. Can you name back-up vocalist?
Hot Child in the City: Nick Gilder and the Time Machine
From the Crypt, seriously they are that old:
Can you name the original singers of the first two… Try not to despair at recent artists and their cover-versions.
Rockin’ Good Way:
King of the Road: Unfortunately these guys sang a cover-version. But the orginal is worth very much a listen…
A Boy Named Sue: Johnny Cash
Sky High: British Jigsaw
Blame it on the Bosonova: Eydie Gorme
Downtown: Petula Clark
The Streak: Ray Stevens
Disco Duck: Rick Dees. This guy performed the film clip with a puppet.
Magic: Pilot. Still can’t work out if these guys were serious or not. Then there was January. How could we forget it? The song was so long at number one on the Countdown top 10 we got sick of it. They must have been serious with a lead guitarist with a double guitar ala Jimmy Page…. Still the song has you reminiscing. Love it.
Go on… Go back and find your music with a heart… the songs that remind you of younger you. Dare you to..