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The List of the Moment, Volume No. 25

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Dare to be an atavist. Dare to delve into the past and dig-up the crap you listened to when you were younger, or perhaps still listen to if you're like me. I listen because it's all part of "memory music" that gets the brain sparking and spewing in different ways.

There is something about reliving a time in your life that is pleasant. Revisiting a certain era or moment can be either fulfilling or not. I chose songs to list below that I pray are satisfying in that either you have resolved the issues presented within the songs or you laugh at how pissed off you were at the time you heard them and are glad you have moved on now. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy these songs as much as i enjoyed digging a few of them up for this list.

"I Wanna Know What Love Is" by Foreigner: The sentimental rock ballad likely has more to do with getting laid than it does with the lyrics. Hey, that does not discount it from being a song that is perhaps good to sing along to when you’re on a really long roadtrip and all you can tune in is a station that plays such music. I also don’t think it is a song about “just getting laid.”  I actually take the lyrics more seriously than that.

Call me me crazy; I actually like rock ballads. I admit, I owned this album and I liked “Double Vision” and I also liked “Urgent.” On a personal note, the song reminds me of going sleigh-riding with my younger brother down a very steep hill because I had this song playing on the Walkman at the time (no iPods then) and it was a crystalline palace outside with the trees frozen and the branches like ice crystals with the sun refracting off of them.  Perhaps this is why the song appeals to me. Like so many things, it has more to do with memory than the thing itself and it comes to represent more.

"Knowing Me, Knowing You" by Abba:  Most people write Abba off and I can see why.  Most of their stuff really isn't that great.  But this song in particular is a good break up song and the lyrics fit “…we just have to face it this time we’re through.”  It sounds reasonable and friendly enough but there is a bit of a bite to the song that strikes me and that frankly, I like, the same way I like "Marianne Faithful."

I like bitchy break-up songs because breaking up, and all of the emotions that go along with it, leave one feeling pissy. It’s the sort of song you’d put on a CD for an ex-lover as a sort of guise – “Yes, this is just a song about us” when you know damn well that it’s just not playing nice at all. But then, who said anything about playing nice?

"We’re All Alone" by Boz Scaggs – I actually really dig Boz Scaggs. He’s almost so damn uncool that he’s cool. Who else sounds like Boz Scaggs? No one. We would listen to him on long road trips to Ocean City, Maryland – songs like “Georgia” and the “Lido Shuffle” and “It’s Over” and “Harbor Lights” but “We’re All Alone” is the stickiest, sickly sweet, saccarine song.

I like the lyrics, but here again, one can’t help but think of a guy that has but one thing on his mind. This may or may not be true, but most men I know assure me this is a “Let’s get laid” song.  As a woman, I do not see it – but then, I’ve never seen things like this. According to my ex-boyfriend and husband, this make me incredibly gullible. Ah well. Better this than jaded.

"The Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell
:  This is a yearning and lovely song and I listen to it frequently regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. I like the little sound effects in it and I like that this song tells a story. It is a short story contained in a song, complete with character development and a love-story but one that seems quite sad and also seems fated never to work out. He may be listening, but he’s not there;

"I am a lineman for the county.
And I drive the main road.
Lookin' in the sun for another overload.

I hear you singing in the wire. Chorus 1
I can hear you thru the whine.
And the Wichita Lineman,
is still on the line"

"Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon:  Oh come now! This was the theme to The Spy Who Loved Me and you have to love that awful film with Roger Moore. Of all of the Bond films, it was my favorite when I was about 16 mostly because it had Roger Moore who I thought was just terrific in my teenage softness. Gawd, how embarassing to even admit that, but there you have it.

Still, you have to like the sentiment of this song. I think it’s a guilty pleasure, like so many of the songs on this list. We aren’t supposed to like them because they’re not “cool” and everyone wants to be cool, or what they think of as cool.  Just admit that. That’s fine but maybe it’s cool to like stuff like this and admit it. Maybe that has a certain panache to it as well.

"Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran – If you’ve seen the video to this then you know just how bloody queermo this song is (queermo in the old sense, as in “uncool” for those who didn’t get that). A bunch of guys with floppy hair and facepaint crab-crawling through the jungle in their loin cloths is pretty damn funny. So you have to admire the song and Duran Duran for the humor factor alone, even if not intended.

I mean, c’mon, they started a whole trend of people with greasy, floppy hair that fell over one-eye and that they constantly brushed back. Okay, maybe Bryan Ferry had come first, but if you ask me, Duran Duran popularized the look for an entire generation. But a song about persual with these lyrics? (in part, the rest are too long and have too many “do do do do do’s”

    "Dark in the city, night is a wire
    Steam in the subway, earth is a fire
    Do-do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do
    Woman you want me, give me a sign
    And catch my breathing even closer behind
    Do-do do do, do do do, do do do, do do do, do do

    In touch with the ground
    I'm on the hunt I'm after you
    Smell like I sound, I'm lost in a crowd
    And I'm hungry like the wolf
    Straddle the line, in discord and rhyme
    I'm on the hunt I'm after you
    Mouth is alive with juices like wine
    And I'm hungry like the wolf"

Dare to delve into the recesses of your mind, right? Embrace your inner geek and rediscover some old music – whatever old means to you – and hook-up with some old memories. I promise they'll come back.

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About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti

  • http://www.themidnightcafe.org Mat Brewster

    Queermo or not, I’ve always loved ‘Hungry like a wolf’ and the video too.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    hey Mat,

    don’t get me wrong. I actually have the song on my iPod, so i’m a fan, i just still find it funny, albeit a pleasant trip down memory lane. I don’t think it’s every going to be anything beyond pop, but who said it had to be…. it’s a great memory song and if it’s memorable this long after the fact, that says a lot right there….

    ; )

    sade

  • Steve

    Hey, Sadi,

    I know all of the songs except for Boz Scaggs, though I know he was a fave of my sister’s back in the 70’s.

    ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ is an old fave of mine too, reminds me of the beginnings of the music video era, I used to watch a TV show called ‘Friday Night Videos’ as a kid, they used to play that video alot. I have most of their albums including ‘Rio’, and their most recent ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ (2007).

    Re. Glen Campbell, my mother used to own his ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ record when I was a kid, probably about the only country album I ever listened to from beginning to end lol. Your song of his is still played on BBC Radio 2 every week on one the radio shows there apparently.

    I’ve always liked ABBA, even when it wasn’t cool to like them in the late 80’s but though some of their songs are corny to be sure, the one you chose, is one of my faves of theirs.

    I’ve always loved that Foreigner song, overplayed though it was at the time.

    So funny you should mention Carly Simon, I just downloaded that song on New Year’s Eve as one of 30 that I got for Christmas, along with 3 other James Bond themes (‘The World Is Not Enough’ by Garbage, ‘Die Another Day’ by Madonna & ‘For Your Eyes Only’ by Sheena Easton). I’ve actually liked most of the James Bond themes with a few exceptions, and I think I have all my faves from the franchise now.

  • Steve

    Hey Sadi,
    I just discovered that Paul Weller’s 1993 album ‘Wild Wood’ is now out in a deluxe edition with about 28 extra tracks on it!!! You can check it out at the allmusic.com website.

    Hope you had a nice January,
    Steve.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    whoa! Steve, thanks for the info…i must have that… that rocketh.

    btw, a new list is up

    new new new new

    visit if you feel like it. Not sure if it’s up yet, but it should be soon. I just did it this morning, so look for it if you feel like it…. you’ll prob know some stuff on it and if not, i’ve uploaded to

    Tant Mieux List of the Moment

    so you can read and comment if the spirit moves you and listen as well… ; )

  • Steve

    Great, Sadi,
    I will definitely check out the new List.

    Steve.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com/ sadi ranson-polizzotti

    cool – we’ll jump over there and i’ll see you. If you don’t know the stuff, take a listen at tant mieux first under The List of the Moment and then you can comment better probably… i’ve uploaded most of the songs and will upload more by request, of course….