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‘80s Flashback- I’ve Got A Rock & Roll Heart, Rock You Like A Hurricane, Rock Me, Rhythm of the Night

Forty Years. Yes, 40 Years. Let that sink in. 40 Years ago today, though it seems like only yesterday. A bit unbelievable. On this day in music, June 4, 1984, Bruce Springsteen released his 7th studio album Born In The USA, which became the best-selling album of 1985, and the Boss’ best-selling album of all time. The album spawned 7 top 10 singles, tied with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. Twice as much time has passed since its release compared to the Beatles arrival in the US to its release. Just crazy.

Some not so current events from 1984.

Apple’s Macintosh computer goes on sale at a price of $2,500. My Dartmouth freshman class in 1984 became the first in the country to have computers offered to every student – the Mac discount to $1,250 or so, with every dorm room wired to the “mainframe.”

Michael Jackson was treated for burns from pyrotechnics during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.

The XIV Olympic Winter Games were held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovinia. American Scott Hamilton won figure skating gold, and Bill Johnson became the first ever American to win a downhill skiing gold medal.

This Is Spinal Tap,” a rock mocumentary, is released.

Marvin Gaye, one day before his 45th birthday, is killed by his father during an altercation between his parents.

The game Tetris is released by a USSR computer programmer.

The drinking age increases to 21 nationwide, though there are some states, including Vermont, a 5 minute ride across the Connecticut River from my alma mater Dartmouth, with “grandfather” clauses allowing some of us to legally drink between 18 and 21.

Mary Lou Retton became America’s darling in the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming the first non-Eastern European woman to win a gold medal in gymnastics, finishing first in the all-around. She also won silver in team and vault, and bronze on floor and uneven bars.

Princess Diana gives birth to Prince Harry.

After an 11 season run as one of America’s beloved family sitcoms, “Happy Days” airs its last show.

The Detroit Tigers, managed by Sparky Anderson, with stellar performances by Alan Trammell, Kirk Gibson, and Jack Morris win The World Series, defeating Tony Gwynn’s San Diego Padres.

Bob Geldoff of the Boomtown Rats and “I Don’t Like Mondays” fame forms Band Aid for Ethiopian famine relief. Fundraisers would include the single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which reaches No. 1 on the UK charts just 1 week after its release, and in 1985 the concert of all concerts in the ‘80s, Live Aid.

Incumbent President Ronald Reagan defeats Walter Mondale in the Presidential election.

In addition to the Boss, music in 1984 was dominated by Prince, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Duran Duran, The Cars, Wham, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams, Huey Lewis, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, and Van Halen. And beyond 1984, George Orwell’s novel notwithstanding, music continued with classic, progressive, punk, and hard rock, though also evolved beyond disco to new wave, techno pop, rap, glam or hair metal, and as we bid a sad farewell to the end of the decade, on the cusp of the new decade, grunge.

The ‘80s, sometimes pejoratively termed a decade of excess and greed, for those of us who grew up in it instead thought it was the best decade to grow up, following the unrest and countercultural ‘70s and preceding the dissatisfaction of the grunge-laden youth of the ‘90s – we all saw it as Nirvana, though just not Kurt Cobain’s version. We saw everything from Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, Teddy Ruxpin, Stretch Armstrong, GI Joe with the kung-fu grip, Barbies galore, Polly Pockets, Smurfs, Chia Pets, Chuck E. Cheese, shopping malls, the advent of home computers (glorified word processors), Pac Man, Atari and Nintendo, Swatch watches, slap bracelets, Rubik’s Cube, Koosh Balls, Trapper Keepers, walkmans, boom boxes, VHS tapes, Blockbuster movie rentals, preppies, valley girls, big hair, mullets, parachute pants, jelly shoes, shoulder pads, leg warmers, spandex, jazzersize, thigh master, roller skating, riding bikes everywhere, break dancing, moon walking, MTV, new wave music, techno pop, rap music, glam metal, Saturday Night Live, John Hughes movies, slasher films, even who shot J.R. and where’s the beef?

Watch Netflix Stranger Things and you’ll get a good sense of ‘80s fashion and fads…

not to mention a homage to ‘80s movies, especially ET, Close Encounters, Goonies, Stand By Me, Alien, and Nightmare On Elm Street:

Kenny Loggins monopolized movie soundtracks with:

Caddyshack – “I’m Alright”:

Top Gun – “Danger Zone” (Though Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” were also memorable in the movie):

Footloose – “Footloose”:

And more dancing with Flashdance “What A Feeling” by Irene Cara:

Not to mention the memorable “Maniac” by Michael Sambello:

Remember no one puts Baby in a corner – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with “(I’ve Had) The Time of my Life” from Dirty Dancing:

Perhaps the pinnacle of John Hughes movies, Pretty in Pink with “If You Leave” by OMD:

And then there was perhaps the most iconic score of all ‘80s movie soundtracks, Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club:

Peter Gabriel with “In Your Eyes” from Say Anything (even featuring an ‘80s boom box!):

Bob Seger got in on the act in Risky Business with “Old Time Rock & Roll”:

And Survivor, with “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky 3:

And as a wrestler, I just loved Red Rider’s “Lunatic Fringe” placement in Vision Quest:

Then there was Breakdancing:

There were some things we didn’t have in the ’80s though:

Stuff we really didn’t need. And we were happy that way…

For those of us who grew up on the ‘80s, our formative teen years shaped by the decade of music and movies, most of us feel there will never be another as great as that time. As my college reunion approaches, charged with making chllin’ vibe playlist for a silent disco night, which will be the subject of my next blog, I decided to create some more ‘80s playlists of varying themes to supplement some I had already made. They include:

“I’ve Got A Rock & Roll Heart” – ‘80s Rock & Pop Hits, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” – ‘80s Hard Rock Hits, “Rock Me “– ‘80s Metal Favorites, “Rhythm of the Night” – ‘80s Dance Hits, and two also released in a previous blog, though tweaked for this blog, “Just Can’t Get Enough” – Techno Pop, and “This Is The Day” – ‘80s New Wave College Faves. All in all, a wopping 6 playlists totalling approximately 48 hours (no, not the Eddy Murphy – Nick Nolte movie) of glorious ‘80s tunes. Enough to keep even the most particular of ‘80s listeners happy for quite some time.

There are some cusp songs – released in the 70s but so prominent in the 80s that I included them, and a few released in ’90, my artistic license for the lists. Alas I didn’t include any Led Zep. Also, the line between Hard Rock and Metal is a bit muddy, so some acts, like AC/DC, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and Guns N’ Roses straddle both genres, pretty hard rock, but soft metal. They just seemed to fit both lists.

And on to some amazing music. Enjoy your flashback to the ’80s. Though as for me, I never left it…

I’VE GOT A ROCK & ROLL HEART – ROCK & POP HITS OF THE ’80s
ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE – 80’s HARD ROCK HITS
ROCK ME – ’80s METAL FAVES
RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT – ’80s DANCE TUNES
JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH – TECHNO POP
THIS IS THE DAY – ’80s NEW WAVE COLLEGE FAVES

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the ’80s MUSIC!

Somebody Get Me A DOCTOR – “Doctor” Songs in Honor of National Doctors Day

National Doctor’s day was established to recognize and honor the contributions of physicians to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The first observance of Doctor’s Day in the US was held on March 30, 1933 in Winder, GA. Dr. Charles B. Almond’s wife, Eudora Brown Almond, wanted to set aside a day to honor doctors. The day included mailing cards to physicians and their wives, flowers placed on the graves of deceased doctors, and a formal dinner in the home of Dr. and Mrs. William T. Randolph.

March 30th was chosen in tribute to the first ether anesthetic for surgery being administered by Crawford W. Long, M.D. on March 30, 1942. President George H. W. Bush signed a resolution in 1990 formally establishing Doctor’s Day as a national holiday to be celebrated on March 30. Thus I prefer to think it was established in honor of me 😭, as my birthday is March 30th, and having received my MD in 1992, my birthday has always been the national holiday of Doctor’s Day since I became a doctor. 😉

In honor of doctors everywhere, I thought I’d use the day as the theme for my blog, songs with the word Doctor in their title. Such greats include Jackson Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes,” Van Halen’s “Somebody Get Me A Doctor,” The Radiators and Thompson Twins each with their “Doctor Doctor,” Doobie Brothers “The Doctor,” Steely Dan’s “Doctor Wu,” Men At Work’s “Dr. Hekyll & Mr. Jive.” Some harder rocking doctor songs include Ted Nugent’s “Just What The Doctor Ordered,” Black Sabbath’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor,” and Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood.” And even though not in the title, figuring very prominently in the lyrics Robert Palmers “Bad Case of Loving You” – “Doctor, Doctor give me the news, I’ve got a bad case of loving you.”


“Doctor My Eyes” – Jackson Browne/Song Around The World – check out Leland Sklar on bass, Rajhesh Vaidhya on the veena (an Indian stringed instrument similar to a zither or lute), Ali Diarra on the balafon (a gourde resonating xylophone), Char on guitar looking like Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, and Chavonne Stewart with spectacular vocals:

“Bad Case of Loving You” by Robert Palmer, with his iconic dancing musician models:

“Doctor Doctor” & “Like Dreamers Do” – The Radiators at House of the Blues in New Orleans – I love this band, similar in sound to Little Feat, and wondered why their popularity wasn’t maintained:

And for a very different “Doctor Doctor” from The Thompson Twins, quintessential 80’s fare:

And talk about 80’s outrage, while the video is a bit grainy and dark at times, check out David Lee Roth’s antics and Eddy’s amazing guitar in Van Halen’s “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”:

And for a very cool reimagination of Steely Dan’s “Dr. Wu”, here’s Grace Aberhart on bass and vocals from the courtesy of her home:

Others born on Doctor’s day (in addition to me ☺️), musicians:
1942 – Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues drummer)
1945 – Eric Clapton
1962 – MC Hammer
1964 – Tracy Chapman
1968 – Celine Dion
1979 – Norah Jones
1984 – Justin Moore
1990 – Thomas Rhett

Also a few prominent artists were born on this day:
1746 – Francisco de Goya
1853 – Vincent Van Gogh

Not to mention some prominent actors:
1930 – Jon Astin , Gomez Addams in the Addams Family
1937 – Warren Beatty, actor in “Bugsy,” “Dick Tracy,” and “Reds
1950 – Robbie Coltrane, Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies
1957 – Paul Reiser, of “Mad About You” fame
1964 – Ian Zeiring, of “Beverly Hills 90210” fame

I encourage you to use this day to reach out to and thank the doctors who have made a difference in your life, to whom you entrust your life.

Now on to the music, for “music is the doctor”

Music is the doctor
Makes you feel like you want to
Listen to the doctor
Just like you ought to
I said music is the doctor
Of my soul

The Doobie brothers – music is the doctor

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

WAIT For It & The WAITING – WAIT & WAITING Songs

For Marvel fans far and wide, one of your Avengers, Hawkeye, has recently released an album that is making waves from Asgard to Wakanda and is worthy of a listen.

Jeremy Renner, back from the dead, has crafted a set of songs inspired by the biggest fight of his superhero career, the fight to recover from life-threatening injuries sustained just over a year ago when his body was crushed when his snowcat rolled on top of him, fracturing over 30 bones in his chest and legs.

In Renner’s own words:

There was a lot for me to fight for, and recovery was just a one-way road in my mind. My recovery became relief for me, because I knew I could give relief to my family, my daughter and to all those that I really affected…

I never thought about my own physical ailments, my own pain, or my own anguish. I had so many things to fight for, so the one-way road of recovery was my mental attitude, and that attitude was always to get better. There’s no option other than that. And I still work at every part, every day, and thank God that I have a lot to fight for…

I have been exploring EVERY type of therapy since Jan 14th … every day, countless hours of physical therapy, peptide injections, iv drips and pushes, stem cell and exosomes, red light / IR therapy, hyperbaric chamber 2.0 atmospheres, cold plunge, and the list goes on and on…. 

But my greatest therapy has been my mind and the will to be here and push to recover and be better…. Be exceptional… I feel it’s my duty to do so. Not to squander my life being spared, but to give back to my family, friends, and all of you whom have empowered me to endure. I thank you all.

A veteran of numerous hit films in addition to his Avengers role, including S.W.A.T, The Hurt Locker, The Town, American Hustle, Glass Onion, as well as starring in Mission Impossible and Bourne movies, Renner’s first love was music. He joins many of his fellow superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe equally adept at singing, including Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Tom Hiddleston, Zendaya, Tessa Thompson, and Scarlett Johansson.

Your Avengers showing their vocal superpowers:

Iron Man – Robert Downey Jr. singing “Driven To Tears” with Sting:

Black Widow – Scarlett Johannson singing “Relator” with Pete Yorn:

Valykyrie – Tessa Thompson singing in Creed:

MJ – Zendaya singing “Rewrite The Stars” from The Greatest Showman:

Loki – Tom Hiddleston singing “Hey Good Lookin’” from I Saw The Light:

In my humble opinion, as with Jeremy Renner’s acting, his music does not disappoint. Skilled at guitar, keyboards, and drums as well as vocally, he crafted a set of songs detailing his experiences, fears, inspiration, and motivation during his arduous recovery to wholeness. I love his voice, gravely and tinged with vulnerability and raw emotion at times. While reviews of his release span from accolades and praise to denigration and deprecation, I think his music is listenable with lyrics and melodies that linger and inspire yet another listen. Judge for yourself.

His song “Wait” was written for his daughter who was scared when he was recovering from his injuries, asking her to “wait for me” as he continued to progress through his recovery.

The song provides the theme for today’s music blog, songs with the word Wait or Waiting in their title. Some other Wait song greats include White Lion’s “Wait,” Van Halen’s “I’ll Wait,” J. Geils “Just Can’t Wait,” Nu Shooz “I Can’t Wait,” Meat Loaf’s “Heaven Can Wait,” Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile.” And Waiting hits include Tom Petty’s “The Waiting,” Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain,” Eric Clapton’s “She’s Waiting,” The Rolling Stones “Waiting On A Friend,” Foreigner’s “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” among many others. Check out the playlists to hear them all.

One song appears in each playlist, “Waiting In Vain” by Bob Marley, with a fantastic adaptation by Annie Lennox. While the song title is “WAITING In Vain,” the lyrics feature “WAIT in vain” much more prominently throughout the song. Of note, a new movie  chronicling the life of the reggae great is just out in theaters, Bob Marley: One Love:

And the only dong on the list that doesn’t feature Wait or Waiting in its title but features it prominently in its lyrics is Billy Joel’s Vienna:

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Vienna – billy joel

Here one of my AI fave’s Elise Testone performing Billy Joel’s “Vienna” on American Idol in 2012:

On to the music. Here are the playlists, and a link to Jeremy Renner’s album. I think you’ll enjoy them.

WAIT For It playlist:

The WAITING playlist:

And Jeremy Renner’s album Love And Titanium:

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

Burn This Disco Out – Disco Hits

On January 21, 1978 Saturday Night Fever, the defining soundtrack of the disco 🪩 era, began a 24-week run at the top of the US album chart. The double LP was released 2 months earlier, a few weeks prior to the opening of the movie featuring John Travolta. The Grammy Award winning double album included several No.1 hits, including “Night Fever,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “If I Can’t Have You.” With additional Bee Gee contributions “How Deep Is Your Love,” “More Than A Woman,” “Jive Talkin”, and “You Should Be Dancing.”  Prior to the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, it was the best selling album of all-time, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide, and was the best-selling soundtrack album of all-time until supplanted by The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1992. Interestingly, the Bee Gees weren’t involved in the film until post-production, with Travolta dancing to Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs during filming.

The soundtrack and music provide the theme for this week’s music blog – Disco. A genre of dance music as well as subculture that emerged in the 1970s from the US urban nightlife scene, the music was hallmarked by danceable beats with syncopated baselines, string sections, brass and horns, electric piano, synthesizers, and electric rhythm guitars. It spawned several dance styles, including the Bump and the Hustle. It was the rise of discotheques and clubs, disco fashion, and a drugs and sex subculture.

Disco sensations included the forementioned Bee Gees, as well as ABBA, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Alicia Bridges, Thelma Houston, Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Chan, Chic, KC and the Sunshine Band, Thelma Houston, Sister Sledge, The Trammps, Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang, and the Village People, among many others.

Disco saw its decline following the infamous Disco Demolition Night on July 12, 1979 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The lackluster White Sox promotion held between games of a double-header saw instead of their usual 5,000 or so fans, a packed house of over 50,000 attendees who rioted during the festivities, causing damage to the ballfield and forfeiting of the second game. Fueled by a concern that disco was taking over rock, a dislike of disco’s flamboyant dress, as well as racism and homophobia, disco records as well as even R&B and soul albums were blown up and burned. It spawned the Disco Sucks campaign with a general contempt for anything disco throughout the nation, signaling the beginning of the end of disco music, as well as seriously derailing the careers of many disco artists, the Bee Gees in particular, in the wake of the anti-disco backlash.

The decline in popularity of disco was rapid. At the time of the demolition night, the top six songs on the music charts were disco songs. By September 22nd there were no disco songs in the top 10 on the US charts. The late 70’s saw a revival of interest in oldies, in part related to the 1978 film Grease. And the early 80’s saw a surge in country music slowly rising in the pop charts, with the 1980 film Urban Cowboy contributing to the popularity of country music. Interestingly, both movies, Grease and Urban Cowboy, as well as Saturday Night Fever all starred John Travolta, who somehow found himself with lead roles in three movies that shaped three major genre shifts in pop music.

One of my fondest recollection of disco is roller skating at area roller rinks, a 70’s to 80’s thing, to many of the hits contained in this playlist. I also enjoyed hearing stories from my oldest cousin of her nights clubbing at discotheques with her girlfriends. I used to think of her as one of the stars in Saturday Night Fever, dancing the night away opposite the spinning and strutting of her own Tony Manero.

The first songs of the playlist are usually cited as the origins of disco, with perhaps the earliest precursor Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa” released in 1972. It includes the lyrics “Mama ko, mama sa, maka makossa”, which Michael Jackson appropriated with a similar “Mama se, mama sa, ma makosa” in “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” later settled with compensation out of court. Other frontrunners including the Four Seasons’ “The Night,” Barry White directed “Love’s Theme,” BT Express’s “Do It,” even Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting.” Then early songs more easily identified with mainstream pop disco were “Rock Your Baby,” “Rock The Boat,” “Love Train,” and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There.”

The bulk of the playlist highlights a variety of hits by the artists mentioned above: the Bee Gees, ABBA, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Alicia Bridges, Thelma Houston, Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Chan, Chic, KC and the Sunshine Band, Thelma Houston, Sister Sledge, The Trammps, Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang, and the Village People.

The end of the playlist includes some strange and perhaps less than strange bedfellows who hopped on to the disco craze, including some Motown R&B greats such as the Miracles with “Love Machine” and The Temptations with “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” and the Commodores with “Lady.” Michael Jackson’s music is obviously dance-centric, but a few songs were notable for a more disco vibe, including “Dancing Machine,” and much of Off The Wall, my favorite Jacko album, including “Rock With You,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and the title song, whose sound foreshadowed Thriller. Give “Off The Wall” a listen and you’ll swear the song was on Thriller. And of course a song off the same album lends the title to the playlist “Burn This Disco Out.”

Blondie crossed over with “Heart Of Glass,” Sarah Brightman with “I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper,” Barbra Streisand (with Donna Summer) with “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” Cher with “Take Me Home” and “Believe.” Then Rod Stewart had “Do Ya’ Think I’m Sexy,” ELO with “Shine A Little Love,” Stevie Wonder with “Sir Duke,” Elton John with “Mama Can’t Buy You Love”, “Victim Of Love,” and more recently “Cold Heart,” Queen with “Another One Bites The Dust,” The Rolling Stones with “Miss You,” and even Kiss with “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.”

Years to follow, acts like Rick Astley with “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Daft Punk with “Get Lucky” and “One More Time,” Justin Timberlake with “Rock Your Body” and “Can’t Stop The Felling” Miley Cyrus with “Midnight Sky,” Kylie Minogue with “Magic,” Due Lipa with “Don’t Start Now,” and Doja Cat with “Say So” got on the disco vibe.

If you could only watch one video to summarize disco, it should be this footage from “Stayin’ Alive”:

Then there is “Stayin’ Alive” Airplane style!:

And “Stayin’ Alive” Spiderman 3 style!:

Even the Peanuts got in on the action:

Then there’s Rick Deez with his disco parody, “Disco Duck”:

And disco inspired several movie themes, here with Rose Royce’s title song for the movie Car Wash:

Thank God It’s Friday, here with Donna Summer singing her disco classic “Last Dance”:

And Fame with Irene Cara’s title song:

And Flashdance with Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling”:

And more recently Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, with Abba’s “Dancing Queen”:

And you can’t forget the impact Soul Train had on disco and dance, here featuring KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Shake Your Booty”:

The band that may have foreshadowed the beginning of the end of disco, with they’re outward portrayal of gay fantasy masculine personas, perhaps being too much for a less than accepting 1970s America, the Village People, their name even a reference to Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, with its reputation as a gay neighborhood, here with their mega-hit, which is still played at many a wedding, party, bar, and sporting event, inspiring dancing and active participation, spelling the song with arm motion, the iconic “YMCA”:

And there is a movie The Last Days of Disco which I have yet to watch but its on the list now:

And for a closing video, a montage of dancing in TV and movies from the 70s set to the Trammps “Disco Inferno”:

So be ready to get your disco 🪩 on, as these songs just might inspire you to shake, shake, shake 🕺 … shake, shake, shake 💃🏻 … shake your booty! ☺️

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

Golden YEARS – Happy New Year! – YEAR/S Songs

What better theme for a New Year’s Eve music blog than the word year. As we usher out the old year, and in the new, may listening to great music perhaps be one of your resolutions, and compared to many we make, an easy one to achieve.

Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches, and attending raucous parties.

So hopefully no sacrifices, apart from resolutions on becoming better versions of ourselves. And while perhaps not so raucous, attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, and watching fireworks displays may be part of our celebration.

While I thought seeing the fireworks for the 4th of July celebration in Washington D.C. was impressive, they couldn’t hold a candle to the displays put on by the citizens of Oahu for New Years Eve. Households all around the island put on displays for all to enjoy, starting between 6 and 7 pm and typically lasting until 1 or 2 in the morning, with finales lasting upwards of an hour. This is just a hint of what the New Years celebration in Oahu are like:

Some year/s greats include “The Year of the Cat,” “100 Years,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Golden Years” which provides the title for the blog, “Reelin’ In The Years,” “New Years Day,” “All Those Years Ago,” among many others. The word also plays well into songs about Christmas and the New Year. I did include 2 songs that don’t include year in the title, with Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” which includes the iconic line “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl year after year,” as well as Ten Years After’s “I’d Love To Change The World,” with credit for year in the band’s name. They both seemed worth of inclusion.

Simon & Garfunkel’s concert in Central Park in 1981, with an audience of ½ million people, saw the duo at their best despite a separation of a little over a decade – they still offered heavenly harmonies. Here Paul sings his solo hit “Still Crazy After All These Years”:

For an amazing glimpse of the early 70s, here’s Steely Dan performing “Reelin’ In The Years.” While Walter Becker on guitar looks like a typical hippie of his time, by the time I saw him at a concert at Meadowbrook in Guilford, NH a decade or so ago, he looked like a cross between an older Jerry Garcia and Steve Wozniak of Apple fame…

U2’s “New Year’s Day” became perhaps one of their most famous anthems along with “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” here performed at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado as the band started to peak in its worldwide exposure and prominence:

Mike + The Mechanics, with guitarist Michael Rutherford of Genesis, and Paul Carrack on vocals, most known for his songs “How Long” with Ace and “Tempted” with the Squeeze.  I cite “The Living Years” in the tribute blog to my father, with the lyrics poignant to my father’s unexpected death

I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I’m sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Living Years – Mike + The Mechanics

This clip of Elton playing “60 Years On” with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1986 demonstrated how well suited his music is for full orchestral adaptation.

The following video highlights the sultry voice of jazz songstress Nora Jones. The daughter of Ravi Shankar, the Indian musician who influenced George Harrison and the Beatles, Nora and I share a birthday along with several other notable musicians, including Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, Tracy Chapman, all 3 of whom along with Nora appear on this playlist, as well as M.C. Hammer, country singers Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, and non-music birthday buddies Jon Astin (Gomez Addams), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy), Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210), John Lucas (NBA), Richard Sherman (NFL), and painters Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco Goya. What a day to be born!

And another beautiful voice delivering such a beautiful song, Christina Perri with “A Thousand Years”:

For some reason I can’t get enough of this song. With 4 versions on the playlist, all different and worth a listen in their own respect, including Ella Fitzgerald, The Carpenters, Harry Connick Jr., and Norah Jones (again), here is yet another version of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” by Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:

This video is so well done, I had to include it in the blog – The Foo Fighters with “Next Year”:

Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with memorable moments, music, and fun. Enjoy “Golden YEARS”:

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

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