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17 October 2009

The ABC's of Love Songs

I am such a music geek. I was sitting here perusing everyone's blogs in a random fashion and suddenly, while I was skimming Jay's blog, an idea popped, fully formed into my mind and wouldn't go away. Think it was the blog where all the items started with the letter L that triggered it ...

So now I feel bound to complete this. It's my own meme, one that I will hoard selfishly for myself because I'm sure NOBODY else is crazy enough to do it. It's mine, allllllllll mine! Bwahahahaha!

Presenting Coco's ABC's of Music. Each time I do this (IF I ever get crazy enough to do it again), I'll choose a slightly different theme. They'll all be about ... well, that's pretty obvious from the title, I guess. Please note that the opinions stated in this blog post are all mine and I'm entitled to them, so disagree if you wish. Don't make no nevermind to me.

This week's blog: LOVE SONGS

Not too original for a first, but ohhhhhhhhh, so many songs to choose from. Too easy! These are songs that have the capability to make the listener cringe with their syrupy sappy lyrics and maudlin string-laden back tracks, or to uplift and laud the glories of romantic love. I was going to add a playlist here, but I think too much would be too much. Maybe a couple, though. Just for fun ...

A - "At This Moment", from Billy Vera and the Beaters. I know you ALL remember this one ... it was on everyone's wedding playlist for about 20 years. My grandmother was a big "Alex Keaton" fan and she always loved this song because of the tv show that brought it to commercial success. For you, Gram. Love you always.

B - "Baby I'm A-Want You" by Bread. Memorable, for me, was the line that I mistakenly heard as "Your loving and affection gave me an erection" which was, for me, the most honest line EVER in a love song. You can't imagine how disappointed I was to learn the truth.

C - "Candida" by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Whoa! Flashback time. If I close my eyes, I can still see my rhythmically-challenged junior high school friend Carol trying to dance and clap to this song. We called her "Go-go". Which has nothing to do with the topic, but it is and besides - LMAO!

D - "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" by The Culture Club. To answer in a word: yes. This is one of those bland, insipid tunes with no personality of its own. Makeup, bizarre hair and freaky clothes can't disguise a lack of musical talent.

E - "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" by Bryan Adams. Yeesh. I'm usually so proud of our homegrown Canadian boy, but even nationalist pride has it's limits. The extreme in irrationally emotional claims.

F - "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain. Number one wedding song in most countrified regions of this nation for the better part of ten years. With lines like "I live only for your happiness", it sets the contemporary standard for sappy lyrics, but regresses the women's movement by decades.

G - "Game of Love" by Michelle Branch. Perfect example of "to heck with grammar or sense, let's make it rhyme". Notable quotes: " You guide me, divide me into one" and "You'll live for what I'm good for, it's knockin' down the door of your lovin' store". *blink blink* What the ...?? However, if you can ignore the nonsensical lyrics, the music is something else! A little bit of Santana makes all the difference in this song and turns it from pure schlock into listenable music.

H - "Hey Mickey" by Toni Basil. Oh Mickey, you're so ... aaaahhhhhhh, now it's in my head!!!! Make it stoppppppppp!!!!!!!

I - "I Miss You" by Klymaxx. I don't like breathily earnest little-girly voices. There was an entire sub-culture in music during the 80's which attempted, unsuccessfully, to follow in the footsteps of Blondie. The difference? Debbie Harry had the pipes to carry it off.

J - "Just Friends (Sunny)" by Musiq. Nearly passed this one over because I'm not a great connaisseur of hiphop music but I listened through and, although the music is repetitive as characterized in the genre, it was a great example of the sweetness and innocence of new love in the 21st century. Surprisingly to me, I really enjoyed it.

K - "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal. Whoever thought that romantic music had to be cheesy hasn't heard this song - it's amazing. From a poetic, musical and aesthetic standpoint, it takes me to my happy place. Always has, always will.

L - "Lady" by Styx, Little River Band and Kenny Rogers. I couldn't choose just one. Each one represents the late 70's to perfection. What a wonderful time it was to be a teenager in love.

M - "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega. Okay, I love this song and was looking for an excuse to include it. While not technically about "love", it really is a lovesong - just not about ONE woman ... this guy likes to share the wealth. My band plays this one every year by request, so it's not just me, is it?

N - "Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin. No contest. If you find a guy who makes you feel like this, you're there, sister. 'Nuff said.

O - "Open Arms" by Journey. A classic band with a great big squooshy kissy-face heart. I like the band a lot - not entirely sold on the song though. It's a little too karaoke for my taste.

P - "Piece Of My Heart" by Big Brother and The Holding Company. Nobody does it like Janis. This is not just a song - it's a raw, unabashed rending of her soul. That's what made Janis more than just another blues singer. You got a piece of her everytime she sang.

Q - "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" by Andy Williams. Okay, so I had to reach back quite a way to find a "Q" song that qualified as romantic, but I think you'll agree that Andy Williams did romance with class.

R - "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx. There was a time when I couldn't listen to this song without cringing. As a music teacher, I have lost track of the number of beginner piano students who took lessons solely for the purpose of learning the intro to this song. Gahhhh! How many of you know how to play it, I wonder ...

S - "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison. For those of you who know me, you knew it was coming, right? *kowtows to the Great Van* Cheese, maybe, but of the finest, brandy-infused, palate-pleasing sort.

T - "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" by the Righteous Brothers. My favourite version of this was performed by Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson in an absolutely wonderful British movie called "Truly, Madly, Deeply", and they captured the essence of joyous abandon with their rendition.

U - "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. Oh come on. The list wouldn't be complete without this classic. The master of romantic declarations.

V - "Venus in Blue Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton. Ah, the innocence of early rock n roll music. Romance and cheese combined with a liberal hand in such pithy metaphoric phrases as "Mona Lisa with a ponytail". Yup.

W - "Where Are You Now?" by Jimmy Harnen. Gahhhhhh! Okay, I have to cite this comment from, because it's damned funny and spot-on about this song. "There's a reason you've probably never heard of Jimmy Harnen. It's probably because he never sang again because some angry music fan tracked him down and tightly superglued a pacifier to his mouth, to industrial specs."

X - "Xanadu" by Olivia Newton John and ELO. My salute to the disco era. It wasn't all about dancing. There was also ... rollerskating. (note: Wasn't Andy Gibb a doll? *squee!*)

Y - "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers. I'm not picking on them. Honest ... they just did so many noteworthy lovesongs.

Z - "Zip Code" by the Five Americans. 60's pop is fun. Reminds me a little of the Monkees. The B-man likes this enough to dance to it. Repeatedly ...


Travis said...

The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore was actually recorded by the Walker Brothers. It was originally released by Frankie Valli.

The video for it is a bit creepy, but I've always liked this song. And it's easy to get the Walkers mixed up with Bill and Bobby. I think the sound is similar, but much less impactful.

I like this feature! Can't wait to see what else you come up with.

Bond said...

OK, this is one that takes a ton of research... well done

Dianne said...

this was an ambitious undertaking!! great selections

I love At this moment and from this moment on

maybe a moment kind of girl? ;)

jennifer said...

You are so right - this list wouldn't have been complete without Unchained Melody.