TRYING TO RESTORe THE VALUE OF SOCIETY’S FAVORITE ART FORM
1972 and 1973
It's been a really long time since I've written anything here, but it seems like social distancing and isolation have gotten the better of me, and I thought I might share the results of a listening project we have been doing at home to while away the hours.
Hubby and I began working our way through the music of our lives, systematically going through songs, year by year, and choosing examples to share.
Our selection criteria:
It should be something we enjoy but don't hear often
It should not be something so closely associated with a time that one might hear it on the soundtrack for a period movie
(For me) The goofier the better!
I pull up the Billboard Top 100 of the year in question and pick and choose.
I have no idea what Jason is doing because he's already grabbed a few songs from outside the given years
So, as I am a little (more like tiny, really) bit older, we started with the year of my birth, 1972
"Brand New Key" - Melanie (it never fails to make me smile!)
"My Ding a Ling" (Live) - Chuck Berry (like I said, the goofier the better)
"Mother and Child Reunion" - Paul Simon
"Freddie's Dead" - Curtis Mayfield
"Vincent" - Don McLean (which Jason also chose and was then compared to a recent cover by James Blake)
"Brandy" - The Looking Glass
"Doctor My Eyes" - Jackson Browne
"Listen to the Music" - Doobie Brothers
"Saturday in the Park" - Chicago
Then we moved onto the year of Jason's birth, 1973
"Frankenstein" - Edgar Winter Group (complete with recounting the story of my mom talking about listening to this song through headphones)
"Little Willy" - The Sweet (or is it just Sweet? Debate away!)
"Rocky Mountain High" - John Denver (accompanied by our mutual exclamation of love for all things John Denver)
"Monster Mash" - Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers (which led to hearing "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp, as they are essentially the same song, which itself led to "Please Mister Postman" by the Marvelettes for the same reason)
"Hocus Pocus" - Focus (wherein Jason proclaimed the Gary Hoey cover superior, which I simply cannot support, due to the utter lack of yodeling, epic flute solos, and accordion)
"Kodachrome" - Paul Simon
"Free Bird" - Lynyrd Skynyrd (I vehemently argued that this was entirely too cliche for a list such as this, but, he was holding the remote, so I was denied my veto rights)
"Money" - Pink Floyd (great song, but, same response...)
So, what did we miss? What did we include that we shouldn't have?
I already have my lists for 1974 and 1975 ready, and we'll probably have our next listening session tonight. Until then, stay safe and have fun!
Molly M. Breckling holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her areas of research interest are the songs of Gustav Mahler, popular music, and music history pedagogy. Her goal is to help others listen to music more actively and to develop a greater appreciation for the music that surrounds us every day.