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Reunion & Notalgia – Dartmouth Class of ’88 35th (36th) Reunion Playlists

REUNION

Oxford Dictionary definition:

noun. /ˌriːˈjuːniən/ /ˌriːˈjuːniən – a social occasion or party attended by a group of people who have not seen each other for a long time

From NonProfitPRO.com

An institution’s alumni are a reflection of its past, a representation of its present and a link to its future. An alumni reunion is a memorable event where attendees can relive the past by getting nostalgic and reminiscing about the good old days with former classmates

A reunion allows conversations about life stories and choices made throughout life. 

The link with alma mater is important, from graduation to the end of life. Institutions need alumni to provide time, talent, and treasure. Schools want alumni to consider returning to their alma mater to learn more, recommend future students, give resources, employ graduates and a host of positive engagement factors. Meanwhile alumni want their alma mater to stay in touch to learn about future events, stay connected with faculty, learn about institutional progress, ensure continual communication with classmates and more. 

At a certain stage of life, it is all about having the chance to celebrate life. At my last high school reunion, I thanked my best friend for his role, so many years ago, in making my high school years extra special.     

At first you wonder who all these old people are, until you realize you are one of them.

NOSTALGIA

Cambridge Dictionary definition:

noun. /nəˈstældʒə/ , /nɑˈstældʒə – a feeling of sadness mixed with pleasure and affection when you think of happy times in the past 

Oxford Dictionary definition:

a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

Bill, Jim, Kelly, and Di – Dartmouth ’88 friends for life…

Then and now – Laura, Phil, Val, and Bill, Dartmouth College football cheer pals, Memorial Field 1986 or 1987, and the Bema 2024… Nostalgia…

The memories we make in our childhood are the ones we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.

The mud and dirt will wash off, but the childhood memories will last a lifetime.

In childhood, we press our noses to the pane, looking out. In childhood memories, we press our noses to the pane, looking in.

robert brault

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Robert brault

Nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

oxford dictionary

Perhaps no one can invoke a greater sense of nostalgia for Dartmouth than good old Daniel Webster:

It is, sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it.

Daniel webster

Or perhaps Eddie and the Cruisers can help reminisce:

Hey man, you got some fine college here, All the advantages, You got Ivory walls, lecture halls, full dressed balls…

Eddie

Our reunion was steeped in nostalgia. We had such a variety of structured activities to reconnect and recollect in so many ways, including hiking, biking, kayaking, meditation, yoga, a variety of talks, including from our esteemed president of the college, Sian Leah Bellock, comedian extraordinaire Rachel Dratch, Moth Talks, college updates, meeting with and hearing from faculty, including our own Tim Ambrose, service events, a memorial service, Baker Bell Tower tours, evening  ‘tails and socials, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, bands, music and dancing, including our famed silent disco. There was something for everyone. And with such a great turnout many of us were able to catch up with and just enjoy spending time in the presence of old friends, as well as making new friends.

Remember the NonProfitPRO.com description of the purpose of reunions:

The link with alma mater is important, from graduation to the end of life. Institutions need alumni to provide time, talent, and treasure. Schools want alumni to consider returning to their alma mater to learn more, recommend future students, give resources, employ graduates and a host of positive engagement factors. Meanwhile alumni want their alma mater to stay in touch to learn about future events, stay connected with faculty, learn about institutional progress, ensure continual communication with classmates and more. 

And that is exactly what we did. And did it with zeal and joy! Such an amazing, energizing, therapeutic weekend, recalling stories and memories of the past, updates of our journeys to the present, and hopes for the future, so comforting to the soul.

At Dartmouth, how lucky were we to have such a beautiful campus, great outdoors, with personal, intimate attention and inspiration from professors, in addition to the ability to develop strong bonds of friendship, with memories of events to last a lifetime. We have much to be nostalgic of and reminisce about. And a reunion is the perfect place to do so, spending time with those with whom we shared such intense relationships.

In my personal life, the warm glow of nostalgia amplifies good memories and minimizes bad ones about experiences and relationships, encouraging us to revisit and renew our ties with friends and family.

stephanie coontz

When I think back on my senior year of college, I remember not a day passing without having absolute fun with my friends, whether it was cheerleading practice or games, with road-tripping to the other Ivies; working out at the gym; sharing a meal, including wings at Hoveys, chicken sandwiches or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at Topside, frozen yogurt with mix-ins at the Hop, EBA’s chicken sandwich or all-you-can-eat pasta, C&A’s pizza, margarita night at Bentleys; playing cards on the Green or late at night in Wheeler; listening to music or late night talks and debates with friends; late-night bowling, usually when the next day there were papers due or exams to study for; rambling along frat row for Friday and Saturday parties; just daily all-around goodness and fun. Though such nostalgia fails to acknowledge the long hours of studying, time spend in classes, interpersonal drama – those things get pushed from our memory for the most part, recalling all that was pure and good and fun. And so should it be. Life is too short to dwell on the tough times, apart from learning from them, and to not recall, cherish and celebrate the good.

Music evokes many feelings, memories, nostalgia, and things connected to our past. – Olga Kurylenko.

olga kurylenko

Again, music definitely evokes feelings, memories, and notalgia, and things connected to our past – such wonderful shared music – so many songs can bring me and my friends right back to special moments in time, to other people, places, and events, sharing a park bench quietly, such feelings of nostalgia, exuding feelings of warmth, comfort, and goodness – so therapeutic. Many of us had such moments at the reunion, and left elated, recharched, energized to continue to wage the good fight, to pursue work of meaning and purpose, to make a difference, to take on the world, and to just rock on!

Old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends…

…Can you imaging us years from today.
Sharing a park bench quietly?…

…Old friends…

simon & garfunkel

Softly now the early twilight
Thro’ the trees is stealing down,​
And the evening blush is falling
O’er the college and the town.​
Come and gather on the campus,​
Make the gray old maples ring
With the songs of Alma Mater,​
With the songs we love to sing.​

For the dear old college home, boys,​
For the happy, happy days;​
For our glorious Alma Mater,​
Shake the campus with her praise.​

Brothers; while the shadows deepen,​
While we stand here heart to heart,​
Let us promise one another
In the silence ere we part.​
We will make our lives successful,​
We will keep our hands from shame
For the sake of dear old Dartmouth,​
And the honor of her name.​

twilight song

And while the disco may have been silent, we certainly weren’t, dancing on late into the night and early morning, some of us not getting to bed until well after 3 am!

My contribution was the mellow, a.k.a. lame, 35th Reunion Dartmouth Class of 88 Chillin’ Vibe Playlist. Its intent was to offer a little more mellow fare for those who wanted to wind down and relax. Silly idea, lol! People wanted to dance and rock.

In creating my playlist, I wanted music released or hitting the charts during our college years, 1984-1988, somewhat the pulse of those 4 years. I didn’t want it to be love songs or music to put you to sleep, so there was a fine line on song selection. Many songs had great meaning during our 4 years, evoking feelings, memories, and notalgia, and things connected to <my> past, and though the song has ended, the melody lingers on:

“Under the Milky Way” – The Church – a new wave staple on cheerleading road trips along with:

“This Is The Day” – The The, and “Love My Way” – The Psychedelic Furs.

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House – released our senior year… and it was over…

“Purple Rain” – Prince – perhaps the biggest anthem of our college years.

“Drive” – The Cars – a song connecting me to my first love then end of high school.

“Forever Young” – Alphaville – this band and Erasure (though not on this list, give “A Little Respect,” “Chains of Love,” and “River Deep, Mountain High” a listen) were introduced to me by one of my besties, Phil.

“Red Red Wine” – UB40 – a moment in time at a Wellesley formal with my pal Clayton and cousin Jen.

“Romeo & Juliet” – Dire Straits – Leann drunkenly requesting Romiet & Julio on a cheerleading roadtrip, another LOVED staple of our travels, along with:

“Swamp” – Talking Heads – frosh year cheerleading road trips, Stop Making Sense movie on campus, such a fun song to sing along, we even had a cheerleader named Swamp…

“Darling Nikki” – Prince – invokes images of Jenna (RIP 😢) and Stephanie from my Wheeler UGA group belting out the lyrics to the song in their dorm room down the hall prior to going out to party: “I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend…”

“You Can Leave Your Hat On” – Joe Cocker – there is a legend about 2 guys stripping at a D Phi E formal…

And music conjures connections to movies as well:

“Take My Breath Away” – Berlin – Top Gun ring a bell?

“Crazy For You” – Madonna – Desperately Seeking Susan

“Who Wants To Live Forever” – Queen – Highlander

“We Don’t Need Another Hero” – Tina Turner – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – Simple Minds – the biggest movie anthem ever – The Breakfast Club

And closing with “We Are The World,” the greatest assembly of rock and pop musicians in the history of music to record one song to save millions of lives from starvation in Africa. Be sure to watch the Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop. It’s fantastic.

The silent disco was an amazing study in individual, couples, and group behavior. As I watched from the sideline making sure the music played on, I so enjoyed watching people find their song and rock on, even if different than their friends or partner’s selection. Most were rocking and bopping to the Blue or Green Playlists, where most of the action was happening. Though couples would occasionally spin off to the Red Chillin’ Vibe playlist to dance cheek to cheek to a slower song, such as “Careless Whisper,” “Bring On The Dancing Horses,” “Purple Rain,” “Drive,” or “Faithfully.” And then a few in the crowd would start a sing-along, and people would pull their headphones forward to match their color with the others in the crowd with a sea of Blue or Green singing and dancing to songs such as “Rock The Casbah,” “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “Always Something There To Remind Me,” “Modern Love,” “Karma Chameleon,” “Burning Down The House,” and “Take On Me,” among others.

Then I received requests to stray from the playlists and take requests, namely Prince’s “Kiss” and AC/DC’s “Back In Black” and other harder rock songs instead of the new wave and pop fare of the premade lists. So I ran an audible and started DJing at midnight, transforming the Red playlist to a DJ of hard rock and then dance hits, lighting the room red until 2 in the morning. It was beyond fun DJing, and watching the crowd, at times on their backs, legs in the air to the likes of “Rock Lobster” and “Shout,” and in general just grooving to and singing along with the music. What a blast – reveling in the ’80s today, our older and wiser selves still able to rock it, finding comfort and joy in the past, excitement and fun in the present, and hopes and dreams for the future. Nostalgia can truly warm the soul, lighten the spirit, and invigorate our very being.

Dartmouth, there is no music for our singing,​
No words to bear the burden of our praise,​
Yet how can we be silent and remember
The splendor and fullness of her days?​
Who can forget her soft September sunsets,​
Who can forget those hours that passed like dreams?​
The long cool shadows floating on the campus,​
The drifting beauty where the twilight streams?​


Who can forget her sharp and misty mornings,​
The clanging bells, the crunch of feet on snow,​
Her sparkling noons, the crowding into Commons,​
The long white afternoons, the twilight glow?​
See! By the light of many thousand sunsets,​
Dartmouth Undying, like a vision starts.​
Dartmouth, the gleaming, dreaming walls of Dartmouth,​
Miraculously builded in our hearts.​

dartmouth undying

So with that feeling of nostalgia permeating our being, on to some music to evoke feelings, memories, and notalgia, and things connected to our past, not to mention to enjoy, dance to, and feel good about life.

Silent Disco Red Headphones DJ Playlist:

Red Headphones DJ Playlist (midnight to 2 am)

Derek’s just killin’ it Blue and Green Headphones Playlists:

Blue Headphones Playlist
Green Headphones Playlist

35th Reunion Dartmouth Class of ’88 Chillin’ Vibe Red Headphone (beginning of night) Playlist:

Red Headphones Playlist

Derek’s Dinner Social Playlist:

And see my last blog ‘80s Flashback from June 4, 2024, with Playlists:

            I’ve Got A Rock & Roll Heart – ‘80s Rock

            Rock You Like A Hurricane – ‘80s Hard Rock

            Rock Me – ‘80s Hair Metal

            Rhythm Of The Night – ‘80s Dance

As well as my tribute blog Forever Man from July 14, 2022, in memory of a fallen college classmate, though the sentiments expressed are universal.

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, with a little nostalgia for past moments…

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

‘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!

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