Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The loverly Barbara of Bad Tempered Zombie fame tagged me with the below meme. I think it's a good one.

1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings
2. Pick the year you turned 18
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of the year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more friends

*whiner alert* Holy crap, looking at Billboard, I, just, ew, uh, Well, I turned 18 in 1983 in October, but I was 18 for 10 months of 1984. Really want to do 1984 instead, not that it's THAT much better, but... well, I was mostly listening to things not on the radio - Killing Joke, Bauhaus, Psychedelic Furs, Ultravox, Japan & the like, so, the list I'm seeing for 1983 is making me squirm a bit. Yuck - I'm still trying to banish from memory Michael Jackson's domination of the charts and all the zippers and vinyl and white socks, oh my! Oh, wait, it says write something about how they affected me, not that I had to like them, right? Oh, no problem. I'm so there.

1. Sweet Dreams - the Eurythmics Loved this song because it was such a departure for pop radio. Annie Lennox' dark husky voice was a marvelous foil for the play on gender she made in the video. This song actually holds up and I'm not embarrassed to have appreciated it at the time. From the same cd, This City Never Sleeps is a far superior track, but in a pinch, Sweet Dreams will do. If I hear it, I may even sing along.

2. Maneater - Hall & Oates I was never a big fan of Hall & Oates, though I do think they had a few spectacular songs. This song is perhaps my favorite, but in a guilty pleasure sort of way. It's actually yucky and makes my skin crawl, so I lapse into a goose-pimply "what were they thinking?" grossed-out kind of dissociative fugue when I hear it. And near the end when he says "the woman is wild, ooooooooh!" I generally do a free-form sort of dancey expression of what I'm hearing - woe betide the other shoppers at Kroger. Don't ask me to explain.

3. Flashdance - Irene Cara - Wasn't Irene just fabulous in The Color Purple as Squeak? Oh, shit, that was Rae Dawn Chong-- now I don't have anything nice to say!!! Good googly moogly. In a very, very bad way, this song IS immortal. Vile. Flashdance will always be with us. Hot chick wears loose clothing to her day job as welder (Hello? Safety hazard!) & strips at night for money, dumps water on self by toilet-style pull-chain, is embarrassing to remember. Eek. OK, wait, the song? Not the movie? Starts slow & builds, telling the tale of a girl around whom love was all, and who was gonna make it after all. What a feeling. Someone bleach my brain and never make me think of this one again, please?

4. Every Breath You Take - The Police Now this, THIS is a personal favorite, in a way. EBYT is another song which holds up well, but I think most people never really listen to the text -- this is about a guy on whom the hapless damsel he's singing to has filed a restraining order. Can you say stalker, boys and girls? Every move you make, every breath you take, I'll be watching you. Really? Creepy. Still, it's a good song. I just wish people wouldn't play it at wedding receptions - the irony sends me 'round the bend.

5. Africa - Toto - about 5 weeks before this song peaked on the charts,I remember a particular moment and hearing this song. Me, Mom, Dad, Sis & maternal Grandparents were on a trip from Texas to Arkansas to California. We were in this monster souped-up LTD of Dad's. (Let's admit it - there's no more glorious ride in the world than a 50s to 70s Big American Automobile™, particularly those with a powerful engine and good suspension - the way you felt like you were buffered on a giant biscuit of air.) Anyway, the middle of the night, we were driving up from California to visit relatives in Washington, and it was probably 2 in the morning. Everyone was sacked out, and I always stayed awake with Dad, leaning up from the middle of the back seat onto the front seat armrests. Dad would change the radio dial to whatever I wanted to hear, and this song came on. Dad would tell me stories, it was just one of hundreds of hours I cherish of talking to Dad at night on road trips. I'm not one to sleep in a car, generally - can't sleep on planes without benefit of Bloody Marys, but I always thought it was weak-minded of all the family to conk out and leave Dad to do all the work. Dad taught me a lot of what I know about driving at those times, too. It was sweet, and Africa always makes me think of that particular night, that exact moment, some 23 years ago.

I don't usually tag anyone, but this is a fun meme and I'm curious to hear what the following folk come up with: Hollyb, Fathairybastard, Ambulance Driver, Tam, and how about a joint entry from Dick/Ordinary Girl? Actually - everybody in - if you're on my blogroll, consider yourself tagged(if you want to be). Was that namby-pamby enough for you?


FHB said...

Ug, please don't make me. I just went and had a look see, and there's not a single one that I liked that I'm willing to publicly own. This is gonna be ugly. check out 1978 and you'll see what I mean. It's all Andy Gibb and Anne Murray. Lord above. The good shit was on the album rock stations, not the top 40. I'm shivering. Mine will be a testamenty to how bad the music was in 78.

phlegmfatale said...

well, as I mentioned, you don't have to like the songs, but they obviously damaged you, so I don't blame you. I would have expected 78 to yield better stuff than 83, but then again, it was disco prime too, weren't it? ew.

Dick said...

I'll have Kelly handle it.
I know absolutely dick about music.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are such a good sport for playing, Phlegmmy. I have come to the realization that Billboard #1's were abysmal each and every year. Holy dinah, a lot of people must have bad taste in music, in order for that to happen so consistently.

I am envious of your ability to actually listen to cool stuff back then. You must have had a secret music source somewhere.

That said, Sweet Dreams is still a great song, and I love the story of driving with your dad. (I always stay awake to keep the driver company as well.)

Becky said...

I don't know if this is good or bad, but I knew what year it was as soon as I saw the list of songs.

Tickersoid said...

Spooky! I heard someone on the radio say the very same thing about 'Every step you take' and weddings as you today.

Anonymous said...

Oh jeebus that's so depressing.

Can I just reboot my brain so I don't have to go back to 1976? Please?

Now I know why I was meant to discover jazz for myself.


Mr. Fixit said...

Just curious, what made you search for "foolish Beat" in the song meme? I know Debbie was hot, what significance is the song?

You have peaked my curiousity.

Mr Fixit

NotClauswitz said...

At least you got a couple good ones, Sweet Dreams anyhow!

IMO it has nothing to do with people having taste of any kind, per-se.
I have a friend who worked in Radio - well, he had money and invested to produce an album for a guy - a guy who later went on to become pretty famous with a "Can't Touch This" song... The first (unknown) album though was Gospel oriented. He had to go around and pay a lotof money to get it played, and provide Bolivian nose-candy for DJs and do a lot more to get it played. He said it was the most corrupt industry he'd ever seen - and he owns a couple apartment buildings...