Thursday, January 19, 2006

From Dud to Stud

Just mentioned on this post that before my ears became in tuned with what was good music, one of my favorite songs had been "You Light Up My Life," a bad seventies song if ever there was one. After listening to my dad's collection of Paul Anka, Vicki Carr, The Brothers Four, and Tom Jones, maybe I can gather a bit of grace for my off-road wanderings into liking Debbie Boone for a brief period.

BUT!!! I wanted to tell you the song that changed it all for me. The one where I never wanted to go back to dad's Barbara Streisand (although I can still listen to his Neil Diamond stuff) or Anne Murray or anything else dad listened to. This was THE SONG:

Don't Do Me Like That, from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes album

And I should give TP a big shout out and a forever-thank-you for bringing me out of the abyss. I was 11.

Anyone else have a "the song" for some time in their life? [Just please don't say it was "You Light Up My Life" - thanks]


Brett said...

I'm sure everyone has those songs. I can list a bunch of them that, other than perhaps possessing some kitsch value, are utterly disposable and/or just plain awful:

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart (Elton John and the greta Kiki Dee)

Shake Your Booty (KC & the Sunshine Band)

Saturday Night (Bay City Rollers)

A significant number of Village People songs. And some Air Supply.

The entire Grease soundtrack.

I was young. I didn't know better.

I don't know if there was a single song that broke me out of my bad taste trip. Probably the first really good, really significant, really worthy song that I dug was Joe Jackson's classic "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" which remains a killer track to this day. But I'm sure I liked some terrible songs after I was digging Joe Jackson's new wave classic. Nick Lowe's "Cruel to be Kind" was another moment of early musical lucidity for me.

I know there were significant albums that I came across over the years that changed the way I thought about music (and I think way, way too much about music). The first huge milestone album was U2's War, which changed everything about what I thought was cool and worthwhile in rock and roll. The Cure's Disintegration, which came out when I was in college, opened me up to post-punk stylings, and I'm still on a journey through a lot of that great old stuff. Later still, Son Volt's Trace lp wired me into the burgeoning alt-country movement, which led me to Wilco (the best band in the world right now) and the Jayhawks, which led me on a search for more progressive Americana, as well as quiter, folkier stuff. Listen to the three albums listed above (everyone should own them - the cool kids already do). They're a fair distillation of what I like to listen to, and what I like to listen to is likely an unhealthily large part of who I am as a person - an obsessive music geek.

DugALug said...

It is hard to quantify what makes these songs special to me, but each one of them changed my outlooks and attitudes. These are by no means my favorite songs, but they touched my life in many ways.

Don't Look Back - Boston

I loved the entire debut album, but this song clicked with me in ways I can't explain. It was one of rebound songs for breakups. It included one of the best interludes of any rock song with the fitting 'Oh the sun is shining and I want to go!'

Starship Trooper - Yes

All time classic for me, the cleverly built song had everything including homage to traiditional bluegrass picking... simply brilliant. At the time, I was an avid sci-fi reader and the song seemed fitting to my life.

Jungle Love - The Steve Miller Band

Was there ever a song that said 'cool' more than this balad (yes balad)? I submit to you that there is not!

Magic Power (I Think that is the title) - Triumph

This song came out when I wasn't listening to secular music at all, but when you were in high school, I think that we all realized how much power music had in our lives... spooky.

Slip Slidin' Away - Paul Simon

'I know a father who had a son. Wanted to explain to him the reason for the things he'd done.' Speeks volumes doesn't it?

Beat The System - Petra

Wow, this song was my mantra when I start my Senior year in High Scool

Lamu - Michael W Smith

It's a lame song, but it really struck a chord with me. Chris Rodriguez was the guitarists... he was amazing.

Twilight Zone - Golden Earing

A 15 minute song that every minute rocked... not to mention a cool video... Oh yes.

Church On Time - David Bowie

I couldn't get this song out of my head for months.

Let's Go - The Cars

I wanted my vanity tag to say this... instead I had to settle for WOO NO1 (rich/brett I know you appreciate this)

Don't Fear The Reaper - B.O.C.

I need more cowbell. Any questions?


DugALug said...


I almost forgot Cashmere from Led Zepplin.