Once in a while, I rehash some of my selected blog pieces here for diversion, wanting to know, as a bonus, whether there has been an improvement in my, ahem, writing prowess. Music continues to be the major force that has been jazzing up my run-of-the-mill existence for decades. The post about my kind of music to boot remains to be my most favorite of them all [original post – 2012 version] and updating it recently has been a gratifying undertaking for me.
Genuine talent in music, in my opinion, is the best gift the gods of heavens could bestow upon someone. Competence in painting, acting, writing, and all the other arts can be cultivated and refined, through diligence and determination; but being a natural in the field of music? It’s either you have it or you don’t. Beautiful melody blending with the right words; what can beat that?
My taste in music is obviously mainstream. The songs I came to like were the products of an epoch that saw me glued to the radio in the 80s and 90s. Eclectic genres I have enjoyed: ballad, mellow, rock, disco, soul,…except for country and jazz (Haven’t developed a total liking for jazz yet, though I’d love to). I believe the sonic of pop music was in its heights in the 70s and 80s. A few songs from the 60s have been unforgettable, too, such as those from The Beatles ”Ticket To Ride“, “In My Life” and Burt Bacharach ”Do You Know The Way To San Jose“, “I Say A Little Prayer“. But the emergence of synthesizers, harmonizers at the beginning of the 1970s was the turnaround that dramatically heralded the new sound of music and paved the way for the optimization of our listening pleasure.
You can say I was pretty hipped on contemporary music. In the 80s, British bands lorded over my list of preferred musical artists and performers: Spandau Ballet “Only When You Leave“, Duran Duran “Wild Boys“, Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World“, Wham “Everything She Wants“, B52s “Private Idaho“, etc., followed by American groups: Blondie “Rapture“, Kool & The Gang,”Too Hot“, Eagles “One of these Nights“, etc.
“Watch out here I come!” (clap clap clap) Remember that spoken line commencing Dead Or Alive’s best-known hit You Spin Me Round? Its lead singer was also a spin-off from Boy George’s flamboyant community, in case you don’t know.
You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round.
Stay with me and don’t feel dizzy, ok? 🙂
Then there’s the mid-part of Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears I remember chanting with a couple of friends while hanging out in my early 20s:
Something happens that I’m head over heels. I never found out, till I’m head over heels. Oh don’t take my heart, don’t break my heart, don’t…don’t throw it away.
Its MTV proved quixotic for me because it showed Roland Orzabal, leader of TFF, in romantic pursuit of a… (surprise!) librarian who sported wide spectacles while at work inside a library. FYI, to become a librarian was one of my secret dreams in my early teens.
The era had also seen me tripping the light fantastic to several dance beats; everybody in my family loved dancing. One track I loved in particular was The Look of Love by ABC which I initially thought had been belted out by a black artist. Yet ABC was actually a British band who performed in their MTVs and concerts wearing (to my delight) snazzy colorful tuxedos.
When the world is full of strange arrangements
And gravity won’t pull you through
You know you’re missing out on something
Well that something depends on you.
When your girl has left you out on the pavement (Goodbye)
Then your dreams fall apart at the seams
Your reason for living’s your reason for leaving
Don’t ask me, what it means.
Years much earlier in my childhood; my brother, sister and I had become the designated purveyors of entertainment during family gatherings and parties thrown by our relatives. I was, however, an extremely bashful kid. Take as an example: Whenever our Jackson 5 dance number reached the middle portion, my brother would take the lead and start executing The Robot – to be subsequently followed by my elder sis and (supposedly) me. But I…I would freeze for two frightful seconds, as the nearest empty chair would begin activating its magnetic pull on my butt. In the blink of an eye, the audience would find me already sitting down. They’d coax me into rejoining the performance by saying, “C’mon, you can do those moves, too.” But I’d smile and just shake my head from side to side. Didn’t they know not even Darth Vader’s Darkest Force could have lifted me off my seat and made me do The Robot?
Anyway, we always have a good laugh these days whenever the three of us reminisce on our Burn Baby Burn Disco Inferno phase.
Many songs from the 1970s & 80s are still being played here they’ve become hailed as pop classics. I haven’t grown tired yet listening to REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You.
And I meant every word I said
When I said that I love you
I meant that I’ll love you forever…
And there’s this personal anthem of mine: Here I Go Again by Whitesnake. (The MTV featured the lead singer’s sizzling model girlfriend at the time – who also appeared in the band’s steamy video Is This Love.)
Well I don’t know where I’m going
But I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises in the songs of yesterday
And I’ve made up my mind
I am wasting no more time
And yeah, I guess I should not be ashamed to admit I like many a songs from The Carpenters, Bread, Madonna, and Tom Jones. 🙂
Rupert Holmes was a big name in my country for ages because his melodies and lyrics appealed to our taste, e.g. Terminal. His favourite theme had been infidelity; a subject that’s hardly my cup of tea – although I get tickled pink by his hit Him.
I don’t want to own her
But I can’t let her have it both ways
Three is one too many of us
She lives with me or stays with him…
What’s she gonna do about him
Time for me to make the girl see
It’s me or it’s him
I’ll leave you with the opening verse to one of my all-time favourite songs: A slow love ballad from my most favourite male vocalist – Paul Davis. I won’t reveal its title by reason of its sentimental value to me in my younger years, but the song reportedly crawled and lingered in the Billboard charts for an incredible 40 weeks. Cool.
Hello Girl, it’s been a while
Guess you’ll be glad to know
That I’ve learned how to laugh and smile…
More fave songs:
- Urgent – Foreigner
- Rock The Casbah – The Clash
- Magic – Olivia Newton John
- Love Is A Battlefield – Pat Benatar
- Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
- Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
- Who’s Crying Now – Journey
- Promises Promises – Naked Eyes
- Back On Track – Breakfast Club
- Tender Love – Force MD
- Sukiyaki – A Taste of Honey
- Sunrise – Simply Red
- Wild Wild West – The Escape Club
“She’s so mean but I don’t care
I love her eyes and her wild wild hair
Dance to the beat that we love best
Heading for the nineties
Living in the wild wild west“
- Heartbreak Hotel – Dan Fogelberg
“There are too many windows in this old hotel, and rooms filled with reckless pride
And the walls have grown sturdy and the halls have worn well
But there is nobody living inside…”
P.S. As promised, this post is dearly dedicated to PTFT, the youngest blog buddy I’ve ever had. He’s been through so much these past few months and I didn’t even know. I had conjectured a guy in his 20s had been simply living his life to the max. Pardon me for my mistaken assumption, my friend. Do hold on.