Monday, January 16, 2017

The Music of My Youth

There's been a meme floating around social media lately about the best albums of your teen years/favorite songs/favorite bands. There's a few variations that I've seen.

I thought this week I'd chime in with some of the most influential videos/songs of my teen years. I read once that the music we like as teens has the deepest impression on us because we're really maturing at that age. I don't know how valid that is, but I do know there's still something about hearing a song from all those years ago and turning up the radio. It does connect you to places, times and people in a way that nothing else seems to.

I think Brian thinks I'm not as big of a music fan as I am. The problem is that it's like crack for me. Once I start I can't stop. I love my music. I grew up around a lot of live music. I've been to the Grand Ole Opry and seen Loretta Lynn and Ricky Skaggs. Best concern of my teen years? Ronnie Milsap in Panama City, Florida. Nothing gets you as high as live music in a great show. If we were talking concerts I could work in some Rawlins Cross... But I'll stick to some memorable 80s songs, and try to work in some of the ones you haven't heard of. We all know Eric Clapton and Elton John, but do you know Platinum Blonde?

You may not know that I was raised strictly on country music. Everything else was just noise. As I stepped into the teen years I explored music, and that caused more than one argument with my dad. I had a big argument with him about the fact that rock music was about nothing. I pulled out Dream of the Blue Turtles and read lyrics from one of Sting's songs and got a grudging admission that that song was about something. So we start with Sting. I heard this song for the first time watching 21 Jump Street... You know, the original. It stayed with me.
 U2's Joshua Tree really took off in the early 80s, but I listened to them right from Sunday Bloody Sunday and A Sort of Homecoming. I pick this one, because it's MLK Jr Day.
 Could there have been the 80s without Cyndi Lauper? In a word, no.

 The name of the song says it all.

 That voice. It's one of a kind.

 I still have a major thing for INXS. What You Need, Listen Like Thieves, Suicide Blonde, Need You Tonight... So many great songs. Love their albums too. Remember listening to an album and finding those songs that never hit radio that you just loved? That's INXS.

 Rockers with a cause. It's always been important to me to stand up for others, and I might not ever listen to this single these days, but it was an impressive gesture at the time, and it told me rich people paid attention to others too.

 There were a lot of Canadian bands that were a big part of the 80s music seen. Ah, Platinum Blonde...

 And speaking of Canadian bands, Glass Tiger. Gotta love a video that says "Canadian version".

We could be here all day. I could pop in Bowie's Modern Love, dig up Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, insert Gowan's Criminal Mind. I could put in some Duran Duran, who I was addicted to for a spell, and Corey Hart. REM. Depeche Mode. So very many. But at some point you have to wrap things up, and I'll do that with a song that isn't from the 80s, but is from Sting. I saw him in concert some years ago, just after this song came out, and he had Annie Lennox opening for him. They performed together. Oh my god. That's all I'll say. I'd love to see them perform again.

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