Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Song #199: "Modern Love"--David Bowie (1983)

Today, it's the second of two contributions from an artist who helped revolutionize several areas of popular music with a talent and personality that sometimes was completely misunderstood.

I'm most impressed by the fact that he did not let his recent terminal illness keep him from completing and releasing his final work literally just before his death.

This song was everywhere on radio in 1983, which was a very, very good year for music, and much more than just Michael Jackson tunes and "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. Bowie's contribution here is a great example.

So, time to put your trust in God, your fellow man, look at relationships, not religion, and question assumptions, challenge your faith, and take a second look at modern love.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Song #200: "New York Minute"--Don Henley (1990)

We begin our Top 200 with the fourth of five solo efforts from this member, then former member, then member of the Eagles.

If you've ever watched the "History of the Eagles" documentary, you know that, even though Henley grew up in rural Texas, he was able to be exposed to numerous forms of music during his childhood, which, in turn, allowed him to show so much variety musically throughout his career, solo or otherwise.

He's just as comfortable doing a country/bluegrass tune like "Midnight Flyer", back at #499 than he is crooning and wailing this lament about how life changes in an instant, sometimes out of our control, and sometimes by the choice of someone, or something, else.

I find myself, at times, being back in what I like to call the "mundane groove" of life, where I get worried about the stupidest things. And I have to go back and remind myself of my old rule: if this won't matter in 20 years, it shouldn't matter now.

After my heart attack, it only highlighted the need to remember this rule daily and not get stuck in worrying about what truly doesn't matter. Time is your greatest currency. Spend it very, very wisely.

Henley will return one more time in our countdown, and, a spoiler alert, it won't be until sometime in June.  :)

Monday, December 05, 2016

Song #201: "Roam"--The B-52's (1989)

We reach the 300 songs revealed milestone today with the second of three entries from the new wave group that never went away even after the new wave movement did.

In fact, some of their biggest work came, not at the beginning of the 1980's, but at the end, such as today's song. Though not as commercially popular as the smash single "Love Shack", I definitely prefer "Roam" instead.

This became a VERY popular song in the minivan with the kids and myself back in the day, with Robbie in elementary, then middle school, and Rachel starting elementary. I can still hear, oh, about five year old Rachel trying to sing this song with every bit of her lungs.  :)

So, with "Private Idaho" already having appeared, and with "Roam" today, what could possibly be my favorite B-52's song?  :)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Song #202: "The Battle of New Orleans"--Johnny Horton (1959)

I must say, I was exposed to a variety of music when I was young. Not nearly as much as others, I know, but my day could consist of anything from Southern Gospel and quartet gospel, to country, to folk, to pop and to rock or rhythm and blues. It all depended on which AM radio station was on or which album was playing, either on the big stereo in the dining room or on our little record player in our bedroom.

One album that got lots of play in our room was from Johnny Horton, a man who tragically passed in 1960, years before my arrival, due to an automobile accident. He took a song written by Jimmy Driftwood and made it into the biggest song of 1959, a comical look at the historic battle. Brits didn't care for it very much, however.

Horton had other great songs like "Sink The Bismarck", "Johnny Reb" and, of course, "North To Alaska". But my favorite is below, and it transports me immediately back to my bottom bunk bed circa 1974 or 1975, enjoying tunes because I was in first and second grade, and, generally, homework wasn't much of a thing back then.  :)

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Song #203: "I Wish It Would Rain Down"--Phil Collins (1989)

Today, it's the fifth of six solo contributions from Phil Collins in our countdown, and one of two not to appear on 1985's "No Jacket Required". This song was on his late 1989 project, "...But Seriously".

It, however, would be years later before this song really became a big Collins favorite of mine, as I had a compilation CD in my van which I wore down pretty well in the wake of my Mom's passing and my subsequent beginnings of the battle with depression. Add to it tough times at work, struggles pastoring, struggles mentally, and other issues, and some days this became my theme song.

I know, however, that what I experienced through the mid-2000's was neither an identity crisis nor a mid-life crisis. It was a combination of crises, and, praise God, I made it through them. The battle is more of a skirmish today, but, once in a while, the rainy days still come.

On a completely different note, it's a shame it took this long (to late 1989) to get Eric Clapton to play lead guitar on a Phil Collins tune.

Deciding which Collins tunes would, and would not, make the cut for this countdown was excruciating. I can hear my eighteen-year old self yelling, "What?? Don't Lose My Number DIDN'T MAKE IT?!?!?!?"

Only one more Phil tune did, which will come.....after the thaw.......

Friday, December 02, 2016

Song #204: "Theme From 'Split Second'"--Stan Worth (1972)

I'm a game show fanatic. I would absolutely love to play "The $100,000 Pyramid" one day, it's my favorite game show from a "contestant" standpoint.

But, my all-time favorite game show, to this day, was, is, and forever will be, "Split Second".

I used to make quite the fuss on Thursdays, which was grocery shopping day with Mama, heading into Richmond to such supermarket classics of an era gone by like Food Fair, Colonial Stores, and Giant Open Air Market, wanting to be back home by 12:30 so I could turn on ABC and watch "Split Second."

I loved the rapid-fire questioning during the game, dug the part where the winner got a key and tried to start one of five cars in the bonus round, and, if it started, they won it!

But just as much as the format of the show, I absolutely loved the theme song. So, I was completely geeked out when I finally found it on YouTube several years back, in fact, almost as much as when I discovered another theme.....oh, that's another story for another day.  :)

If you don't remember "Split Second", it's highly doubtful you'll remember the theme. It's below, in its complete version, which you never heard on TV. You'll be able to pick up which part was used to open and close the show and go in and out of commercials.  :)  If you can't, there's an episode posted below, too.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Song #205: "Kodachrome"--Paul Simon (1973)

As I was going into my final summer at home before having to enter school in the Fall of 1973 in first grade (Beaverdam Elementary didn't have kindergarten when I was five), this Paul Simon classic debuted on radio, becoming a daily staple on WRVA. It was an edited version, though, as they would never allow the word "crap" on the air back in those days.

I've kinda prided myself over the last 49 plus years from staying away from curse words. Some of them irk me more than others. But, for some reason, I've never had a problem using "crap". I guess it's my one crutch.

But back to the song. What a fun tune, especially the piano and the sing-along leading to that great instrumentation as the song fades. And the chorus, wow, the chorus is just SO good.

Let's go back to a time where telephones were glued to walls and only were useful for, well, telephone calls, while pictures were taken by professionals and vacationers.  :)