March 27, 1987, U2 performed from the roof of a store in downtown LA to make the video for ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, attracting thousands of spectators and bringing traffic to a standstill. The police eventually stopped the shoot. The song title lends the theme for this week’s playlist, songs with “Street” or “Streets” in the title.
Some classic “Street/s” songs include “52nd Street,” “Baker Street,” “Mean Street,” “Mercy Street,” “Sentimental Street,” “Shakedown Street,”
“Street Fighting Man,” “Dancing In The Streets,” and “Takin’ It To The Streets.”
A few songs on the list have “Street” in their title but not in the song lyrics, such as “Positively 4th Street” and “The 59th Street Bridge Song.” And a few songs don’t have “Street” in the title but it figures prominently in the song lyrics, so they were included, such as “Peace Frog” and “Here I Go Again.”
Re-watching the U2 video of “Where The Streets Have No Name,” I’m struck with the thought that it has to be among the best impromptu free public performances ever recorded. And how young they all were!
Some other great live video performances of songs on the list follow:
Bruce Springsteen performing “Backstreets” in 1975, a young bearded Bruce still not yet the rock superstar he was to become, with a very R&B vibe from the band.
And then a performance sometime in the 80s, a very polished Bruce and the E Street Band, more what we think of as classic Springsteen, among the best live rock performers:
Simon & Garfunkel’s song “59th Street Bridge Song” here from the Concert in Central Park, which I prefer to the original recording:
Billy Joel here tickling the ivories with some masterful jazz piano on “Big Man On Mulberry Street”
Interetingly when I first listened to my addition of Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” on this playlist, I was dumbfounded as I sang along and got the lyrics wrong. I was signing “Like a drifter I was born to walk alone” but the song lyrics were “Like a hobo I was born to walk alone.” Had I been singing the song wrong for 35 years? The answer is no. I was listening to the original version off the album “Saints & Sinners” released in 1982. The version most of us are familiar with was released in 1987 and became their first big hit on the radio and MTV, featuring American actress and model Tawny Kitaen cartwheeling across the hoods of two Jaguars. A star of TV and film, including “Malibu,” “California Girls,” and “Bachelor Party,” she performed in two other Whitesnake videos “Still Of The Night” and “Is This Love” as well at Ratt’s video “Back For More.” In the more widely known version, the lyrics were changed from “hobo” to “drifter” as the band felt “hobo” sounded too much like “homo.” Here Tawny graces those Jags in “Here I Go Again”:
The Rolling Stones live performance of “Street Fighting Man” in 1969, with Mick Jagger and company performing with a little attitude:
And then performing at Madison Square Garden in 2003, Mick appears much more animated, really strutting his stuff:
Here Van Halen demonstrate why they were among the kings of hard rock in the late 70s and early 80s, with a young Eddie’s wailing guitar and David Lee’s onstage antics in “Mean Street”
And Sting sounding almost Harry Connick-ish or lounge singer-eque with “Moon Over Bourbon Street”:
And now for the playlist. I hope these songs have you dancing in the streets!
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!