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 spiritLiving Years – Mike + The Mechanics
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
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!