Here we go with the Top 5, some heavy hitters from a range of genres that take me back to some good times I remember and feed my fix for quirky terms, categorical titles and classic lines. Fun to get lost in Part II of the Trip Tunes.
5. Black Friday – Steely Dan (1975) – No such thing as a bad Steely Dan song. Clever, fun and interesting lyrics mixed with impeccable, layered musicianship it’s all right on the money. And while it’s fun to speculate on the meaning of their tunes, in the end I just find myself sonically enjoying those few minutes of escape when it can mean whatever you want or nothing at all. Another part of my fun is mentally categorizing unique words. For example “kangaroo”. “Archbishop” and “Muswellbrook”, seriously, in the same song? And I also like to play the “name another song with a color in the title” or the “songs with a day of the week” game. Ain’t music fun?
4. One Way or Another – Blondie (1979) – I believe this would hold the top spot on my list of “stalker” songs, edging out “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. Both cuts do a nice job of disguising something more than a little scary as a catchy little ditty, even bordering on a love song in the case of my stalker runner-up. Blondie rides that fine lyrical line of redundant repetition and winds up with a winner instead of something tiring. Catchy riff, driving backbeat and well, what can you say about that lead singer? Not all bad if Debbie Harry was to “get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya”, huh?
3. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses (1988) – I turned 25 in Indianapolis, IN at the Hoosier Dome as the clock struck midnight and July 22, 1992 passed into July 23, 1992 while jamming to these guys in concert with my youngest brother and his buddy (my original concert tee pictured above, still got it). Flat out awesome performance including this cut, of course, which rocks with an anthemic quality custom made for a crowd. These guys had it dialed in from the get go and I wore out my Appetite for Destruction cassette on a boombox, quite memorably with my buddies and some beer around the weekend campfires (often like bonfires) at a spot called “Green Oaks”, the Knox College biological field station. Those were the days, fond memories but content to have toned it down these days.
2. Old Days – Chicago (1975) – The definition of a good “oldie” here as it kicks that old nostalgia gene into full gear, an important aspect of my fondness for music. This 70s cut hits on a number of items that made up my childhood as it references “baseball cards”, “drive-in movies”, “summer nights” and “birthdays.” One in a nearly endless list of tunes that “Take me back to a world gone away, boyhood memories seem like yesterday.” Does what music is supposed to do, with a horn section to boot. Great stuff.
1. Stomp! – The Brothers Johnson (1980) – I got no rhythm and ain’t remotely hip but this is my jam, gets me moving and singing along. So “Fill it up, let’s blast the jams and ride” and “slap me five” because “The heat is on and the funk just won’t leave us alone.” Heck, yeah!
And with that last jam, I leave you as I head back to 1979-1981 on the internet with my ears set on “Give Me the Night” by George Benson, “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder, “Take Your Time” by the SOS Band, “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “Don’t Let Go” by Isaac Hayes, maybe some Kool & The Gang, Commodores…Talk to you later. Troy