Friday, May 15, 2009

Musical memories and must own tunes

Music is a very powerful tool. It can set a mood, make us laugh or cry, or transport us back in time. I hear "Purple Rain" and I think of AlaskaSam back when we were in college. I hear BNL"Long Way Home" and I remember AIISam singing to me. "Josephine" by the Wallflowers make me think of the first night I spent with CowboySam. My list goes on and on. Music can intensify a mood. I have music I want to hear when I am sad or lonely; I have tunes I choose when I want to go for a walk or exercise. There are dance tunes that make me boogie or that make me want to just drive my car with the windows down- road trip music. There are certain artists I love and will always go back to even when times suck. For example, I always throw Billy Joel in when nothing else appeals to me, or when I need something.

I think every genre is worthwhile though I may not always like it or choose it. I don't like country and rap isn't always my favorite. I hate death metal. There are certain artists that I hate and will always change the channel, but hey, that's my right.

Couples almost always have "their song." I don't mean that song you hear that simply just reminds you of someone- I have that with my kid, my friends, my parents- but that special song that you pick together. It represents you as a couple somewhere and somehow at a point in time. Some couples have some cutesy story of how the song came about. It's that special song where you can play it to make each other smile. Or you request it at the club, school dance, or play it on the juke box so you can dance to it. Or call in to your favorite Friday night request and dedication DJ? Or you hear it randomly played on the radio and you have to call your partner and gush, "I just heard our song and thought of you!" You know, the song you play 317 times in a row after you get dumped and cry your eyes out?

Hey, I know I sound a bit tongue and cheek but I have had "our songs" with old Sams: "She’s gotta way" with my ex-husband; "Your kiss is on my list" with PoetSam; "Suddenly" with the boyfriend in high school that my parents HATED; "Heaven" with the guy I should have lost my virginity to; "Have I told you lately" with CanadianSam; "Can’t fight this feeling" with a boy in junior high who had a huge crush on me but I was really too shy to do anything about him but every time this song was played at a school dance from 7th grade through senior year we both abandoned out respective dates and danced to it together (I wonder what ever happened to him????). These were "our songs!" Now I can't remember how most of them got picked to be our couple song, but I still, for the most part, fondly remember the Sams (except for the Spermdonor and CanadianSam- no fondness there at all) attached with the song.

Music is powerful like this. We hear a song and it can just shoot us to a time or place or an event. The song can help make a time, person or event be burned into our brains forever. Music is a powerful catalyst in life. Music has helped defined generations- look at girl groups of the '50s, hippies in the 60s, 70s disco, and one hit wonders of the 80s along with the inception of rap tossed in to really create a musical nightmare, or emergence. Oh yeah, and hip hop of the 90s.

I love music that makes me just be-pop up and down. I love "1234" by the Plain White Tees, "Single Ladies" by Beyone, "Gotta be Somebody" by Nickelback, "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, and "I Kissed a girl" by Katy Perry- these songs make me dance and smile and laugh. They may not make my forever album list but they are songs that put a smile on my face and I can't help but turn the volume up and sing along, however off key I sound.

Often I wish we had a soundtrack for life- you know, just like in the movies. Wouldn't it be great if music would just play and swell to accommodate daily events? It sure would make life more interesting, and half the time I have an internal soundtrack going in my head all the time anyway. And Mac told me he wished some Pink Floyd song (I can't remember which one) would play as he walked into English class in slow motion, of course. (I have no idea.... he's 16 years old...) Though I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because if I'm feelin' hawt and sexy and have to walk from point A to B and I know people (ie MEN) are watching me, my soundtrack stride song is "Smooth" by Rob Thomas/ Santana... go figure!

Hell, when most people don't know what to say so they say it with music. How many of us have given someone- a friend, a lover, a family member- a compilation album for a present? Maybe we've wanted to say we're sorry and can't so we play a song? Look at Hallmark cards! They've officially run out of limericks, poems and funnies because there is now a glut of musical cards on the market!

What would films be without music? The infamous "da dum da dum" right before the shark attack? Or the music to Halloween that just about stops the heart? The "I'm flying" scene from Titanic? These scenes wouldn't be nearly as powerful without music, if shown in utter silence. Movies need music- soundtracks... duh!

As I put together my music list that I think everyone should own to have a complete collection, I have been reminiscing about where it sends me- people, the past, the present, even smells are conjured up with some music. I certainly don't live in the past, but it has been a nice stroll down amnesia lane as I put this list together. This list, remember, is what I think EVERYONE should have in their collections to be complete- not just what I own. (I like Teddy Geiger's Underage Thinking album but he has a long way to go to hit my Hall of Fame. And I love The Killers, for some reason, but again, not feeling enough love to give them a place for forever perfection.) These are the albums, not just a song, but an entire album that I would love to fill an iPod with. Ohhhhhhhh, an aside, wouldn’t it be a great to get an iPod as a present and it was already filled with these albums???? OMG- that would be better than shoes, Cosmos, sex and office supplies!!!!! Okay, maybe not better than shoes...

Anyway, here's my list!

  1. Joshua Tree by U2
  2. Elvis
  3. Sting
  4. The Beatles: Abbey Road, The White Album and Sgt. Pepper's lonely Heartclub Band
  5. Billy Joel's Great Hits Vol. I and II
  6. Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
  7. Pink Floyd The Wall
  8. AC/DC Back in Black
  9. Led Zeppelin
  10. Lynyrd Skynyrd Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
  11. Bob Dylan The Essential Bob Dylan
  12. Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA
  13. The Eagles The Very Best of
  14. Jimi Hendrix Are you experienced?
  15. Janis Joplin Pearl
  16. The Who
  17. Nirvna Nevermind
  18. Dave Matthews Band
  19. Eric Clapton Unplugged
  20. The Grateful Dead Anthem of the Sun
  21. Michael Jackson- Thriller
  22. Aretha Franklin Gold and Aretha’s Best
  23. Soundtrack from Footloose
  24. Soundtrack from Top Gun
  25. Carol King Tapestry
  26. Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
  27. Vivaldi The Four Seasons
  28. Green Day American Idiot (This has gotta be the BEST rock anthem album since Tommy)
  29. Puccini La Boheme, Tosca, and Madame Butterfly
  30. Van Morrison The Best of Van Morrison
  31. The Doors The Very Best of the Doors
  32. Soundtrack from the film PS I Love You
  33. Joni Mitchell Hits
  34. Frank Sinatra Sinatra Reprise The Very Good Years
  35. Styx Greatest Hits
  36. Journey Greatest Hits
  37. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
  38. Carly Simon Reflections
  39. Soundtrack from the film Grease
  40. Rod Stewart If We Fall in Love Tonight, Unplugged…and Seated, and The Great American Song Book Box Set
So, what are you favorite albums? What music can you just NOT live without? What would your ideal play list be? What gets your toes a'tappin'?

Sing along,

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music" ~ A. Huxley

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