In honor of our recently formed group Inspired by Song!, I wanted to talk about a few songs that will literally transport me in time whenever I hear them. A couple of these could also be considered guilty pleasures, but they really are a part of my personal history.
When I was a kid, I used to spend hours in my room listening to music. I had stacks of 45's that I enjoyed. Has it been 30 years already? I was an only child, so I had a lot of "alone time" and my mom would usually indulge me when it came to music. I also used to literally memorize entire comedy albums by Steve Martin, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, and others. The songs below all came out when I was in the second grade or thereabouts.
Some of the songs that I cannot hear today without feeling like a small child again are:
"Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon (please forgive the weird video, but this is the only place I could find the version that I like, meaning not "live") – I noticed today that this seemed to contain some cowbell, which makes me like it even more.
The Theme from Rocky – Even though it is disco at its core, this is probably among the most inspirational pieces of music ever composed, simply because of the movie. The horns blasting never cease to make me feel like working out and beating Apollo Creed to a pulp.
"Short People" by Randy Newman I listened to this one until I got every nuance of it just right. I don't even know what I liked so much about this song, but I guess Randy Newman has excelled at writing catchy tunes, which is why he is in heavy demand for TV and movie themes ("Monk", "Toy Story", etc.)
"You're in My Heart" by Rod Stewart – This one was a bit mature for me to be listening to as a seven-year old, but there you have it. The video is terrible, but we didn't have MTV in 1977, or I might have reconsidered my enjoyment of this tune.
"We Will Rock You" by Queen – I don't think this one really needs any introduction. It was played at every sporting event that I can remember attending in the 70's (still sometimes today), coupled with "We are the Champions".
"Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione – I am still a bit amazed that this instrumental song was so ridiculously popular, but it makes me feel like I'm seven years old hearing it even tonight. They also used to play this one on the Dallas Cowboys weekly local interview show in Dallas.
"You Light Up My Life" by Debbie Boone – Pat Boone's daughter only had one hit that I know of, and this was it. I am not ashamed to admit that I listened to this one until it was just about worn out. Gimme a break – I was only 7 or 8 years old!
"I Go Crazy" by Paul Davis – This one sounds really cheesy to me now (as if the others don't), but I absolutely adored this song, and I distinctly remember hearing it a number of times on the radio after soccer practice. Again, the theme is a bit mature for a kid. Watching it on YouTube, I think this may be the first time I have ever even seen Paul Davis. He looks like he should have been playing Skynard-type music rather than love songs.
"Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel – This one has stood the test of time more than most of the others above. Mr. Joel simply knows how to write a good song.
Thanks for taking a journey back with me to my room in that house on Ashbrook in Dallas in the late 70's. I hadn't thought of many of these songs for quite awhile.
Copyright 2007 Jason Crouch All rights reserved