Showing posts with label steve perry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label steve perry. Show all posts

Friday, July 8, 2016

More 1984!

I'm old enough to remember a time when we just listened to music. That method had its downside, though. For several years I thought the best Beatles songs were sung by Paul McCartney, because he was the cute Beatle. I was woefully wrong.

Thus, when MTV came along in the eighties, it was manna from heaven. Who needed a radio? And we actually knew what the guys and girls singing the songs looked like! This was a concept, like personal computers, that we didn't even know we needed -- until we discovered we did. Maybe I like eighties music so much because of MTV or maybe the music was just that good. I'm going with "that good".

There are one-hit wonders whose song we like; there are fads that now seem cheesy and what-the-hell-was-I-thinking; and then there is Hall and Oates:

Before the nineteen eighties, Tina Turner, to me, was Ike and Tina Turner -- you know, "rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river" and a gaggle of gals in sequined, tasseled dresses doing the frug...or some other sixties dance.

Surprisingly, Tina popped up again just when MTV came along. "What's Love Got To Do With It" put Tina back in the spotlight. Luckily. Because I heard her follow-up single on the radio a few days ago, and damn! It's bad! Here's how it goes (in its entirety):

I'm your private dancer, a dancer for money
I'll do what you want me to do
I'm your private dancer, a dancer for money
And any old music will do

And that's it! As a songwriter, I think that's cheating. You can't just repeat the same four lines over and over!  Yet it worked for Tina, so there's that.

That doesn't take away from her seminal hit. Let's listen (and watch):

I like this one better. I think it must be from a movie, and I'm going to Google that and find out right now. In the meantime, watch John Waite:

Well, according to my research, the song was featured in the movie "Selena" and also in Miami Vice, which I never watched, so I guess I only imagined that it was included in a John Hughes flick. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it should have been.

Whatever happened to Deniece Williams? She had a hit single from one of those movies I never actually saw, Footloose. Which doesn't explain why I know the song so well, except for endless plays on MTV. I saw the non-existent fore-mentioned John Hughes movie featuring John Waite's song more times than I saw Footloose. That doesn't take away from the giddy poppishness that was "Let's Hear It For The Boy":

You know you remember this next track. You probably didn't get it -- it is in German (?) after all -- but that didn't stop you and everyone else from turning it into a hit. Number twenty-eight of the year is the incomprehensible hit by Nena -- I don't know whether that's the girl's name of the name of the band, but what does it matter, really?

Apparently in the eighties there was this band called "Journey" (which is a really cheesy name, when you think about it).  I'm guessing they hit it big right before MTV came into existence, because I had absolutely no knowledge of them. Of course I know about Journey now. But I'm not (too) ashamed to admit that I had no clue who they were in 1984. All I knew was there was this great track by a guy named Steve Perry. I figured he was just a single act; a one-hit wonder. Hell of a singer, though. If someone handed me a list of pop songs and said, pick the best ones, I would pick this. I love this song:

Contrary to what Jack Black's character utters in High Fidelity, this is not the worst song ever recorded. Let's cut Stevie some slack, okay? I like it. I'll admit, though, that line in the movie made me feel supremely uncool. However, I'm okay with uncool. Uncool is the new cool. Number twenty-five!

Remember that list of pop songs someone gave me? Well, here's another one I'd pluck from it. My oldies station cued up this song as I was pulling into the Target parking lot, and I refused to kill the motor until I sat and listened to it all the way through. Elton John is a treasure and this song proves why:

Okay, I know I never saw the movie, Streets of Fire. I had to Google it to even know what it was. Nope, never ever saw it. Rick Moranis? Seriously? He was great on SCTV, and I loved him in Parenthood, clue. Nevertheless, I know this song, which again proves the power of music videos. This is Dan Hartman...who resides somewhere near Deniece Williams, I'm guessing; and they're both living off the royalties of their singular hit songs. I still like this one, though:

Confession:  For years I hated, detested! Billy Joel. I think it was subliminal. I remember as a pre-teen listening to a radio show on KFYR on Sunday nights called Padre's Platters. It was hosted by a real-life priest. Seriously. Well, Padre (I don't remember his actual name) went on a tear one night about how sacrilegious Billy Joel's song, Only The Good Die Young, was. I guess because it blasphemed Catholic girls.  Good Catholic girl that I was, in my subconscious I determined that listening to Billy Joel was akin to committing a mortal sin. That, plus I never liked how he yelled so much in his songs. I've come around a bit since then. I actually like some of Billy's tracks now and I'm ready to confess that I do. This one I really liked, mostly because I really liked the Four Seasons and this is a tribute to them:

Purists will say that Chicago ceased being Chicago when Peter Cetera joined the group. Poppists will say, there was a Chicago before Peter Cetera joined the group? Sorry, but hop off that high horse, guys. There wouldn't even be a nineteen eighties movie industry if it wasn't for Peter Cetera. Peter Cetera will easily duel with Kenny Loggins for the most tracks featured in hit eighties movies. Maybe he's an acquired taste -- I never had that problem. I always liked Peter's voice. Trust me, if it was just Saturday In The Park, I never would have purchased the "Best of Chicago". What screams the eighties more than Peter Cetera and Chicago? I bet the other Chicago guys, much as they disdain Peter, are living pretty high off their royalties.

This might be a good spot to bid adieu to 1984.

All in all, it was an excellent year for music.

I truly miss good years in music.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Golden Voices

NPR (one of my faves?) has an online article, titled, "50 Great Voices".

Lists such as these are always interesting, but are generally consensual ~ a group of individuals gets together and hashes out their mutual top 50; weeding and eliminating and ranking artists as they go.

Music, however, is personal, emotional, and, I believe, mostly biographical.  Perhaps most of us can agree that certain voices are technically superior.  That does not account, however, for each of our life stories, and the way certain singers have influenced our own lives.  It's not necessarily the vocal prowess; often it's the way they have laid their hand upon our shoulder.     

And who, really, can even think of their own top singers, without first hearing them and realizing, hey!  This is one of my top singers!  Truly, one cannot even narrow the list to 50.  Somebody else is inevitably going to pop up; someone we hadn't even thought about.

I do know who my ultimate favorite singer is, but, in fairness, I have had almost 60 years to ponder the question (although I don't think I actually ever pondered it.  Maybe I did, when I was around 13, but what did I know then?)

But, for fun tonight, I thought I would search out some video performances of singers I really like.  All of them may not be the world's greatest singers, but don't forget the emotional and biographical aspect of this exercise.

There is no order to this, so I'm not ranking anybody.  I will, however, save the best for last (at least my best).

Steve Perry

Burton Cummings (and the Guess Who)

Art Garfunkel

Sam Cooke

Gordon Lightfoot

Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates)

Al Green (yea, the real one)

John Lennon (and the Beatles)

Eddie Brigati (and the Rascals)

Brian Wilson (and the Beach Boys)

Bill Medley (and the Righteous Brothers)

Connie Smith

Gene Watson

Tammy Wynette

Patsy Cline

Merle Haggard

George Strait

Dwight Yoakam

Roy Orbison

I know I have left out a bunch.  Inevitably.  I'm one of those people who is all about the songs, more so than the singers, usually.  I mean, if I was just going to list songs, I'd include Sheena Easton here.  Seriously. And ABBA.

I did try, however, to include the singers whose bodies of work are, to me, indisputable.

And yes, Alex, ultimately, I will go with Roy Orbison for the win.  I've heard a bunch in my 57 years, but I have never, and will never, hear one better.

But the question remains....Who are your golden voices?  Let me know, please.   I would love to discover artists I've missed, or don't even know about.

What's better than sharing music?  Nothin'.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Eighties Rock!

I did a previous post about eighties rock, and I promised more to come. Well, I kind of got sidetracked with other stuff (did I mention I have a short attention span?)

But tonight, as I'm sitting here, with basically nothing to do, I thought I would delve further into the wonderful world of rock and roll in the eighties.

There were so many memorable songs during that period that it's really difficult to narrow it down. I think I started off quite well on my first post, but then I got tired and had to go to bed.

But I'm back! And I always like to get the party started right, so here we go!


Ahh, the 80's. When people still knew how to have fun. Wouldn't we all like to spend Saturday night at the "Love Shack"?

I must say, too, that I'm impressed with Fred Schneider's way with the "spoken word". Notice that he doesn't actually "sing".

I've got me a Chrysler that seats about TWENTY
So hurry up and bring your juke box MONEY

I remember there was a debate way back when about what exactly Kate Pierson was saying toward the end of the song. Because it's not real clear. But I think it was determined that she was saying, "Tin Roof. RUSTED" (in case you were wondering).

While we're all just dancing around, I thought I would add this one, from 1984.


I have to admit, I never actually saw this movie. But the video looks nice. I guess it was about some hick town where Kevin Bacon wasn't allowed to dance. And I guess he REALLY wanted to dance. So, this tells me that the movie is pure fiction. Because did you ever know a guy who actually WANTED to dance? Somehow, I can't picture my husband "busting a move", you know? The last time we actually danced together was about 10 years ago, and it was sort of just shuffling around the floor. But in theory, I guess you could call it "dancing".

While we're on the subject of "Footloose", I found this fun video on YouTube of the cast of "The Office" (my favorite show, by the way), dancing and just basically being uncomfortable as usual, backed by Kenny Loggins' song.


I gotta say, kudos to nikki8907, whoever you are, for a GREAT editing job on this!

I can't let this opportunity go by without including this video from the 1987 movie, "Dirty Dancing".

This is one of my favorite movies (I guess it's a "chick thing" - I find that men don't have the same fondness for this movie that women do - for some strange reason).


"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

I guess we'll close out the "dancing" portion of our show with this final video, by Lionel Richie:


Lionel had quite the career going in the eighties. Sadly, he's now only known as the father of one of those rich, spoiled kids. Ahh, how times change.

Now, on to some "non-dancing" videos.

Speaking of careers, here's another guy who did quite well for himself back then. I hear all these Chicago "purists" talk about how he basically ruined the band, blah, blah, blah. Hogwash. He's a great singer. And really, if it wasn't for Peter Cetera, Chicago would have dried up after "Saturday In The Park". No offense to Chicago.


Speaking of great singers, to me, this is one of the greatest voices of all time in rock:


While we're on the topic of great solo singers, here's one that I love:


If you've never seen the movie, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", please rent it or get it from your local library. Steve Martin, John Candy. It's a comic classic. A John Hughes movie. And this song is from that movie.

Another particular favorite of mine:


Again, like Peter Cetera, denigrate this singer all you want, but I bet you'd like his money, wouldn't you? Did he do every soundtrack from the eighties?


I think we'll close this out with a song that I really like. Duran Duran was a band that I didn't get into too much, but I think this is a really good song. I started to write about the connection this song has to a certain true crime book that I read many years ago, but then I thought, why spoil the vibe?

So, here's: