Apparently I can blog about anything I want – within reason. I can even blog about my “crap taste in music”.
Why thank’ya ~ challenge accepted!
Okay, so a bit of a debrief – I have EXCELLENT taste in music! Mitch, however, is genuinely offended by my music choices. Don’t blame him, folks – he’s only young (he’ll hate me for saying that).
1. Peter Gabriel ft. Kate Bush: ‘Don’t give up’ (1986)
Bit of a long-running joke here – Mitch likes to take the piss out of the fact I appreciate Peter Gabriel (co-founder of Genesis). He’s made some good tunes, no?!
This is a particular favourite of mine, not only because it features the eccentrically awesome Kate Bush (although Gabriel originally approached Country legend Dolly Parton to duet with him).
The six-minute piece draws primary inspiration from the mass unemployment and economic suffering of the Thatcherite era, as well as the American depression. But in the words of Gabriel himself, “the basic idea is that handling failure is one of the hardest things we have to learn to do” – true that!
If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to this enduringly resonant song in it’s entirety, please do, (despite what Mitch says).
2. Queen: ‘Who wants to live forever’ (1986)
Written by the guitar legend that is Brian May, this masterpiece features on the soundtrack to the 80s fantasy film, Highlander.
The movie stars a Frenchman playing a Scot, a Scot playing a Spaniard and the American ‘bad guy’ from Shawshank! Yeah okay, on reflection it’s a pretty terrible film. Nevertheless, it remains a cult classic, owing greatly to the stirring soundtrack provided by the incomparable Queen.
Who wants to live forever? Not me!
3. Bruce Hornsby & The Range: ‘The way it is’ (1986)
The easy-listening piano melody lightly veils an attack on persecution and the right-wing politics of the Reagan administration’s oppression of civil rights gains. American singer-songwriter Hornsby says, “I wrote the song based on having grown up in a small Southern town where certain narrow-minded attitudes were fairly common and impactful on local events”.
This is my song selection, which, to put it politely, Mitch is not a fan of.
2Pac: ‘Changes’ (1998) – however, this song by the late, great Tupac Shakur is totally acceptable, (even though, as I like to remind Mitch, it samples Hornsby’s former hit)….I’m saying nothing!
4. Peter Gabriel: ‘Sledgehammer’ (1986)
Yes, another contribution from Petey G (mainly to irritate Mitch). Sledgehammer, like my #1 listing, features on the brilliant ‘So’ album – go check it out! The song is an eclectic mix of dance-rock, funk and 1960s soul with a distinctive brass horn track – what’s not to like?
The iconic music video deservedly remains MTV’s most played of all time (apparently). The catchy tune and uplifting beat slightly distract from the less than subtle lyrics that somehow evaded 1980s censorship – just have another listen!
5. Steve Winwood: ‘Higher Love’ (1986)
How can anyone not love this timeless, feel-good floor-filler?!
A fellow Midlander, Brit rocker Steve Winwood was in fact born in Birmingham (completely irrelevant but I couldn’t not mention it).
His #1 commercial hit song of “spiritual yearning” features vocals by Chaka kahn. While Pop-oriented and very much representative of the synthesized sounds of the 80s, it mixes traditional Caribbean styles, rhythms and instruments with influences from funk and blue-eyed soul. It’s just a bloody good song!
So, it seems 1986 was a good year for music (in my opinion, anyway). Yes, I’m a big fan of 80s tunes – minus the throwaway sugary Pop à la Stock Aitken and Waterman!
Thanks, Mitch for entrusting me with your blog while on holiday! Currently changing the password to…