Living in the mid-south area as a child in the 70s, I heard a pretty great variety of music on the radio stations from Memphis, particularly WMPS and WHBQ and there was very little I didn't like. There was also an album rock station I'd listen to, but mostly I listened to the stations which played a broad mix from funk to pop to rock. Music was this huge a la carte thing to me, and I could pick and choose what I preferred without slavishly throwing in with one genre or another.[I can't say often enough this is one thing I find vastly superior about a lot of radio stations in England-- you'll hear the latest from the current supreme pop-tart, and then you'll hear a 60s Mowtown classic, and then an obscure track by Big Country-- good music is good music and lasting, and not pushed permanently aside just because something new has been written. No wonder English musicians tend to be so much more soulful than Americans.] One particular favorite song from that era is one I've discovered I can kind of sing the shit out of at karaoke, so I'm loving it. Particularly because the first line is "looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy." Good stuff, any way you slice it.
Listen to that ostinato setup of guitar and bass establishing a driving line that presses the whole piece forward, and in the most organic sense, I thrill to the sound of the guitarists' fingers on the strings. This is earthy music. Visceral. This music has teeth and though it be cultured, it is a paen to the reminiscence of the time when the only culture they knew was the stuff growing between their toes. Here we have brilliantly orchestrated support for a sublime vocals. Okay, I take that back about singing the shit out of this--I'm humbled if I can convey a teeny shred of the original brilliant energy of the song. I just love to sing it. It feels good to me, and people are asking me to sing it again, and that feels good, too.
I Wish by Stevie Wonder
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