As its never-ending enthusiast, I believe music is the ultimate art that moves the world. A talent for making beautiful music could only be the works of blended cosmic events above. A wonder that somehow exists beyond my reach, artists of this kind are the most gifted and the luckiest beings to have graced our planet.
I’d venture that what I am today has a lot to do with my love for this highest form of expression. A genuine BFF of mine during solitude, it has played a huge role in my life and mental felicity. It can also mirror the depth of my sentiments, a reflection of emotional sincerity and verisimilitude that flows from inside of me. Hearing a favorite song from my past can hurl me back to my younger years with nostalgic wistfulness that never fails to provide pure rapture.
The 70s and 80s were the golden era of music. Not that crazy about country and jazz though, my musical taste varied in different genres.
As a young girl in the latter part of the 70s, I’d hole myself up with either a hi-fi stereo cassette player or the radio listening to my favorite sounds of music, while my popular sister whom I shared the bedroom with hugged the telephone lines in our living room. Paul McCartney would croon me with his ballad “My Love”, or I’d listen to Keith Carradine strum the guitar and render his unforgettable “I’m Easy”..
It’s not my way to love you just when no one is looking
It’s not my way to take your hand when I’m not sure
I can’t put bars on my insides
My love is something I can’t hide
It still hurts when I recall the times I’ve tried..
– “I’m Easy” by Keith Carradine, 1976
One of the best mellow rock love song I’ve ever listened to begins with “ Love em and leave em / Give them the air/ Hurt and deceive them/ Say you don’t care.” As a young girl who couldn’t easily assimilate the vocalizations of most English songs, I had scrambled to all the magazine stands searching for the songbook that contained its whole lyrics. Penned and sang by a band from Vancouver, the song didn’t get as big as it should have been in the US because it was released during the disco era. Stonebolt’s “I Will Still Love You” which manifests of inexplicable pure, unconditional romantic love also professes of undying devotion beyond logic and reasons from here to eternity. Beautiful.
Funny how reality often can’t match the splendor of love portrayed in some songs.
And there was this time when I tuned in to 99.5 RT, the only station here then that played American and British pop songs, the whole day for several weeks waiting for the DJ to play Benny Mardones’ cult hit “Into The Night”. It graced the Billboards in the early 80s only to come back to the charts a decade later to the delight of its fans once more (including myself of course).
In the 60s, my taste could only go as far as The Beatles and a few memorable classics. I believe the inclusion of synthesizers, harmonizers and other groundbreaking electronic sound enhancers at the start of the 1970s made a whole lot of difference to the sound of pop music.
My father introduced me to some musical great artists when one night he brought home long playing albums of The Carpenters, Santana, and Dionne Warwick, who originally sang most of the compositions of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David tandem. From that time on, I got hooked. “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?”,“ I Say A Little Prayer”, and “April Fools” were just some of my all-time faves that got me singing and humming before going to my class every morning in highschool.
By the way, I don’t sing very well. That’s a given. But I had my share of entertaining in another form in my younger years. Together with my siblings, I, in all my painful shyness, and sometimes in near tears yet armed with unspeakable bravado, provided entertainment per my mother’s nudge at every clan parties and gatherings by performing dance numbers. Preceded by numerous practice, my brother, sister and I would synchronize our moves to the grooving beat of Kool and The Gang’s “Get Down On It”, “Back In Love Again” by TLD, Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen” and many others.
These days all three of us would laugh whenever we reminisce on what we call our Burn Baby Burn (Disco Inferno) era.
In hindsight, those times gave me a wonderful appreciation for disco music and the art of dancing, which I still carry up to these days. Growing up, my son has gotten used to seeing his mom dance whenever she hears a favorite dance tune.
As Casey Kasem’s baby during the late 1970s up to the late 1980s, Sunday afternoons had me glued to the radio anticipating the position of my favorite songs within the Top 40. Musical greats I had delighted in during those eras included The Eagles, David Gates & Bread, Elton John, Hall & Oates, Wham with George Michael, Ray Parker & Radio, etc. and yes, I was a fan of Madonna earlier in her career. Blondie with Deborah Harry, aside from their trip to the light fantastic rock tunes, had me desiring to copy her foxy fashion sense as well.
My favorites had also included one hit wonders like My Sharona by The Knack, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Baby Come Back by Players, Keep On Lovin You by REO Speedwagon, etc. All deliriously worth listening to.
I felt kind of smug and cool for being up-to-date at that time when my country wasn’t as exposed to American and British music as it is now.
Surrounded by a profusion of these delightful rhythms and haunting melodies, I continue to bask on this no-fail panacea that certainly transcends time spans. Wasn’t it only yesterday when Andy Gibb slowly rocked his way into my heart singing “I Just Want To Be Your Everything? ”
Enrapturing my heart and soul combined, some songs I had imagined were written and meant just for me. To serenade me with their endearing melodies and the timeless beauty of their words. Indeed the finest luxury for my sentient spirit.
Music and me, no doubt, will stay together, till infinity do us part..
So the weary traveler
Tired of passing through
Stops to gain his bearings
And stays on to wait for you
When the moon disappears forever
And the sun shines electric blue
And the mountains and trees tumble into the sea
To rest there for eternity
No matter what you do
I will still love you..
– “I Will Still Love You” by Stonebolt, 1978