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Posts Tagged ‘1980s’

Last Friday, I blogged about Paul Simon in Rolling Stone Magazine’s  list of the 100 greatest songwriters. They place him at number 8. Before I move on to number 7 next week, I have decided to share one of the songs I mentioned in that blog – “Late in the Evening”. This song was released in July 1980 and is from his album One Trick Pony. It got to number 6 in the US singles charts, and number 11 in the Netherlands. In the Disunited Kingdom it only got to number 58.

Late_in_the_Evening

Paul Simon’s song “Late in the Evening” was released as a single in July 1980. It is from his album One Trick Pony.

I adore this song. It has such an infectious latin rhythm, and there are also some great lyrics in it too. I bought One Trick Pony when it came out, and this was my favourite song on the album.

 

The first thing I remember
I was lying In my bed
I couldn’t of been no more
Than one or two
I remember there’s a radio
Comin’ from the room next door
And my mother laughed
The way some ladies do
When it’s late in the evening
And the music s seeping through

The next thing I remember
I am walking down the street
I’m feeling all right
I’m with my boys
I’m with my troops, yeah
And down along the avenue
Some guys were shootin pool
And I heard the sound
Of a cappella groups, yeah
Singing late in the evening
And all the girls out on the stoops, yeah

Then I learned to play some lead guitar
I was underage In this funky bar
And I stepped outside to smoke
myself a “J”
And when I came back to the room
Everybody just seemed to move
And I turned my amp up loud and I began
to play
And it was late in the evening
And I blew that room away
The first thing I remember
When you came into my life
I said I’m gonna get that girl
No matter what I do
Well I guess I’d been in love before
And once or twice I been on the floor
But I never loved no one
The way that I loved you
And it was late in the evening
And all the music seeping through

Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!

 

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At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is Bob Marley. Although Marley didn’t invent reggae music, he essentially took it from its Jamaican roots to become known worldwide. With songs about redemption, alienation, civil and human rights, as well as love songs, Marley’s work spanned a broad range of topics, and has touched the lives of millions on every continent.

Born Robert Nesta Marley in rural Jamaica to a black mother and a white father, his upbringing was one of poverty. He rarely saw his father, and when he was ten years old his father died. When he was twelve Marley and his mother moved from her parents’ farm to  Trenchtown, a poor suburb of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city. With barely any money to eat, Marley and his mother struggled to survive. As a teenager, Marley become increasingly interested in music and in 1962, when he was only 17, he recorded his first songs. He rose to fame in the early 1970s; but in 1979 he was diagnosed with cancer of his toe. He died in 1981 at the tragically young age of only 36.

At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Bob Marley.

At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Bob Marley.

The song which I have decided to share today is ‘Redemption Song’, written by Marley in about 1979 and  on his ninth studio album Uprising. It was also released as a single, and is rated by Rolling Stone Magazine as the 66th greatest song ever. Unlike most of his music, this is just Marley with his acoustic guitar, no band behind him, no reggae.

Old pirates, yes, they rob I,
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.

But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it’s just a part of it,
We’ve got to fulfill the book.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Some say it’s just a part of it,
We’ve got to fulfill the book.

Won’t you help to sing,
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever had,
Redemption songs.
All I ever had,
Redemption songs
These songs of freedom
Songs of freedom

These are profound lyrics. Sad, plaintive, powerful, empowering – “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery”. Wow! U2’s Bono said of this song

I carried Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to every meeting I had with a politician, prime minister, or president. It was for me a prophetic utterance or as Bob would say ‘the small axe that could fell the big tree.’ The song reminded me that freedom always comes with a cost, but for those who would prepare to pay it, maybe “emancipation from mental slavery” would be our reward.

Here is a video of this amazing song. Enjoy!

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At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen is one of my favourite songwriters, I would rank him in my personal top 10. I first came across Springsteen in the late 1970s, when I became aware of his 1975 song “Born to Run”, and bought the album Born to Run on the strength of liking this song.

Springsteen was born in 1949 and grew up in a working class home in New Jersey. His father was mainly unemployed, and this poor upbringing coloured much of his music throughout his career; many of his songs deal with despair and desperation. Springsteen’s first album was the 1973 Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. (Asbury Park is a city in New Jersey and located on the Jersey shore. It is part of the New York City metropolitan area).

The first track on this debut album, “Blinded by the Light”, was released as a single, but failed to make any impact on the charts. It was later covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, who had a number 1 hit with  it in 1977. I remember this song in 1977, but at the time I had no idea that it was written by Bruce Springsteen; I had no idea who Springsteen was until about 1979.

 

At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Bruce Springsteen.

At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen’s breakthrough album was his third, Born to Run, which was released in 1975. This album opens with the incredibly energetic song “Born to Run”, one of the great rock anthems of all-time. This song was released as a single in August 1975 and was Springsteen’s first single to be released worldwide. Its chart success was modest, but it has since gone on to be considered one of the greatest songs of all time, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it at 21 in their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, I blogged about it here.

After Born to Run, Springsteen went on to have a string of hit albums and singles, including “Hungry Heart”, “The River” (which I blogged about here), “Dancing in the Dark” (one of his biggest hits), “Born in the U.S.A” (one of his best known songs) and “Streets of Philadelphia”.

The song which I have decided to share today is his 1994 hit “Streets of Philadelphia”. This poignant song was written for the movie Philadelphia, a movie starring Tom Hanks, who won an Oscar for his performance of a lawyer who contracts HIV and is fired from his job. It illustrates beautifully Springsteen’s songwriting skills, both with its wonderful lyrics but also its haunting melody.

I was bruised and battered, I couldn’t tell what I felt.
I was unrecognizable to myself.
Saw my reflection in a window and didn’t know my own face.
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin’ away
On the streets of Philadelphia.

I walked the avenue, ’til my legs felt like stone,
I heard the voices of friends, vanished and gone,
At night I could hear the blood in my veins,
It was just as black and whispering as the rain,
On the streets of Philadelphia.

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me.
It’s just you and I my friend.
And my clothes don’t fit me no more,
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip this skin.

Night has fallen, I’m lyin’ awake,
I can feel myself fading away,
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss,
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia.

Here is the official vide of this wonderful song. Enjoy!

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At number 65 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is “Need You Tonight” by INXS. It has an infectious guitar riff and driving rhythm, and was the break-through song from this Australian band, catapulting them and their lead singer Michael Hutchence to super-stardom. Hutchence, who became the partner of Bob Geldof’s estranged wife Paula Yates, died in 1997 under tragic circumstances having apparently hung himself. There is some controversy whether this was suicide, or an “autoerotic asphyxiation” event gone wrong (as later claimed by Yates).



At number 65 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 best guitar riffs is "Need You Tonight" by INXS.

At number 65 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs is “Need You Tonight” by INXS.



“Need You Tonight” was released as a single in September 1987 and got to number 2 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, to number 1 in the US, and to number 3 in their native Australia.


All you got is this moment
Twenty-first century’s yesterday
You can care all you want
Everybody does yeah that’s okay

So slide over here
And give me a moment
Your moves are so raw
I’ve got to let you know
I’ve got to let you know
You’re one of my kind

I need you tonight
‘Cause I’m not sleeping
There’s something about you girl
That makes me sweat

How do you feel
I’m lonely
What do you think
Can’t think at all
Whatcha gonna do
Gonna live my life

So slide over here
And give me a moment
Your moves are so raw
I’ve got to let you know
I’ve got to let you know
You’re one of my kind

I need you tonight
‘Cause I’m not sleeping
There’s something about you girl
That makes me sweat

So how do you feel
I’m lonely
What do you think
Can’t think at all
Whatcha gonna do
Gonna live my life

So how do you feel
I’m lonely
What do you think
Can’t think at all
Whatcha gonna do
Gonna live my life

So slide over here
And give me a moment
Your moves are so raw
I’ve got to let you know
I’ve got to let you know

So slide over here
And give me a moment
I’ve got to let you know
I’ve got to let you know

You’re one of my kind


Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!





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Today I thought I would share “Woman in Chains” by Tears for Fears. I blogged here about their album Seeds of Love when I shared its title track Sowing the Seeds of Love. For me, along with that song, “Woman in Chains”  is the  other great song on a pretty good album. 



  

Woman in Chains” features Phil Collins (of Genesis) on drums, and was released in 1989 and got to number 26 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts and to 36 in the U.S. It is particularly noteworthy for the singing of Oleta Adams, whom the band had discovered in 1985 singing in a hotel bar in Kansas City. 


You better love loving and you better behave
You better love loving and you better behave
Woman in Chains
Woman in Chains

Calls her man the Great White Hope
Says she’s fine, she’ll always cope
Woman in Chains
Woman in Chains

Well I feel lying and waiting is a poor man’s deal
And I feel hopelessly weighed down by your eyes of steel
It’s a world gone crazy
Keeps Woman in Chains

Trades her soul as skin and bones
Sells the only thing she owns
Woman in Chains
Woman in Chains

Men of Stone
Men of Stone

Well I feel deep in your heart there are wounds Time can’t heals
And I feel somebody somewhere is trying to breathe
Well you know what I mean
It’s a world gone crazy
Keeps Woman in Chains
It’s under my skin but out of my hands
I’ll tear it apart but I won’t understand

I will not accept the Greatness of Man
It’s a world gone crazy
Keeps Woman in Chains
So Free Her
So Free Her



Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!





Which is your favourite track on the Seeds of Love album?

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At number 51 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” by The Clash. This song was originally released in June of 1982 and got to number 17 in the Disunited Kingdom and to number 45 in the US singles charts. When it was re-released in 1991 it got to number 1 in the DUK, and remains the band’s only number one single.



At number 51 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 best guitar riffs is "Should I Stay Or Should I Go? by The Clash.

At number 51 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs is “Should I Stay Or Should I Go? by The Clash.



The song’s Spanish backing vocals were a spur of the moment decision by Joe Strummer, and are sung by him and Joe Ely. In order to translate the lyrics, Strummer got the studio’s tape operator Eddie Garcia to call his mother who was from Ecuador; so in fact the lyrics are Ecuadorian Spanish! Mick Jones takes the lead vocals.


Darlin’ you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here ’til the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

It’s always tease tease tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine and next is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on an’ let me know
Should I Stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

This indecision’s buggin’ me (Indecisión me molesta)
If you don’t want me, set me free (Si no me quieres, librame)
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be (Dime! ¿Qué tengo ser?)
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me? (¿Sabes que ropa me quedar?)
Come on and let me know (Pero tienes que decir)
Should I cool it or should I blow? (¿Me debo ir o quedarme?)

Split

(Doble! ¿Me frío o lo soplo?)
(Esperda)
(Rrattarrattarrattaa…)

Should I stay or should I go now? (Yo! ¿Me frío o lo soplo?)
Should I stay or should I go now? (Yo! ¿Me frío o lo soplo?)
If I go there will be trouble (Si me voy, va a haber peligro)
And if I stay it will be double (Si me quedo, es doble)
So you gotta let me know (Pero que tienes que decir)
Should I cool it or should I blow? (¿Me frío o lo soplo?)
Should I stay or should I go now? (¿Me frío o lo soplo?)
If I go there will be trouble (Si me voy, va a haber peligro)
And if I stay there will be double (Si me quedo, es doble)
So you gotta let me know (Pero que tienes que decir)
Should I stay or should I go


Here is the official video of this great song. Enjoy!





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At number 80 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. This song was released in 1982, but the song was actually written and released in 1975 by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of Arrows, but Jett’s version is much better known. It reached number 4 in the Disunited Kingdom, and number 1 in the US and many other countries.



At number 80 in BBC Radio 2's 100 best guitar riffs is "I Love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

At number 80 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts



The song is taken from the Jett and the Blackhearts’ second studio album, also called “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. As far as I’m aware, this was Jett’s only hit single in the DUK.


I saw him dancing there by the record machine
I knew he must have been about seventeen
The beat was going strong
Playing my favorite song
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was with me, yeah me
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was with me, yeah me

Singing, I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me
Ow!

He smiled, so I got up and asked for his name
But that don’t matter, he said, ’cause it’s all the same
He said, “Can I take you home
Where we can be alone?”
And next we were moving on, he was with me, yeah me
Next we were moving on, he was with me, yeah me

Singing, I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me
Ow!

He said, “Can I take you home
Where we can be alone?”
Next we’re moving on, he was with me, yeah me
And we’ll be moving on and singing that same old song, yeah with me

Singing I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me


Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!





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