Posts Tagged ‘The Youngbloods’

There are few things that offer up such primal joy as good music, and sharing that music with others is a wonderful bonding experience between acquaintances, friends, family, lovers.  One thing that’s been lacking in my life of late is someone with whom I can soak in music, just bask in the rolling guitars, driving rhythms, angelic voices, romantic lyrics, someone who might even join me in singing along …with the right amount of inhibition-lifting booze if need be!

I can remember in the “good ol’ days” with nights spent spinning vinyl albums, tapes, and CDs.  Of course, times are much different now in the era of the iPod and mp3 players… and man, I just love my iPod!  It is stuffed to the gills with great music, so many favorites.  Looking through the list of songs I can divide my life by certain songs and artists that moved me, becoming markers in the soundtrack of my life.  I often fantasize about finding a woman who would find my iPod and fall in love with my music– finding that we shared a lot of the same tastes, discovering new favorites, talking about my experiences around the songs …and hopefully providing me with new tracks I can add to the mix and wrap new memories around.

I thought it might be fun to sample the eras here, music that made deep enough marks as to find a home on my iPod…


When I was a kid most of my musical exposure came from my parents music collection.  They had albums from the 60s and 70s– rock n roll, r&b, easy listening, disco.  They would hold parties sometimes, and I’d love laying in bed upstairs and listening to the records spinning music amongst the talking and the laughter.  As I got older, I started listening to Top 40 radio, which didn’t exactly broaden my horizons but it was fun to listen to.  Here are a few songs from that era that I still keep around.

Three Dog Night, Out in the Country

When I hear this song, I find myself filled with nostalgia so strong it brings me to tears.  I don’t have any specific memory tied to it– just being young and innocent I suppose.

Get Together, The Youngbloods

This song resonates quite deep with me… the ideals and hope expressed in the lyrics call for us to strive for a better world.  I know the young adults who crafted this song would have been pretty shocked at life in 2011 and how far short we’ve fallen from coming anywhere close to the ideal they sang about.

Rolling Stones, Emotional Rescue

While I like the Rolling Stones (and even went to see them in D.C. during their Steel Wheels tour — with the awesome Living Color opening for them), I wouldn’t say I was a die-hard fan… but something about this song just really pushes all my happy-buttons.  Mick’s falsetto voice, the funky groove, the “knight in shining armor…” soliloquy… that really subtle sound that I would swear is someone hitting a bong in the background… the whole is so much more than the sum of its awesome parts.  Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-o-o-o!

Fleetwood Mac, Say That You Love Me

When I first started partying with my friends, one of the bands I brought to the mix was Fleetwood Mac, which most of my buds had never really listened to.  My parents had all their early albums and I inherited them and happily spun the tunes when the party was winding down.  Christine McVie has an angelic voice and a love-struck perspective that totally appeals to my romantic nature.

Antmusic, Adam and the Ants

I was around when MTV first arrived on the scene, and like most teenagers of my age I wanted to spend as much time as possible watching the videos and listening to the music.  You would think that the new-age posh Adam and the Ants wouldn’t weather the passing of the years like most of his peers, but there’s something about this and a couple other songs from that era that still makes me happy when I hear it.  I think it might be the awesome percussion section, the drumming gives it a nice hook that I can’t get enough of.

Van Halen, Unchained

In high school Van Halen was god, cutting across all the social cliques and appealing to everyone.  I pretty much overdosed on their 1984 album and don’t have any urge to put any of those songs on my iPod, but some of their older classics still rock my world, like this one.

REO Speedwagon, Riding the Storm Out

When I was 16 I started going to go see concerts, and was able to catch a lot of the biggest acts of the day.  One thing that was surprising was just how awful a lot of the big names were when giving a live performance.  For instance, I went to see The Cars with Wang Chung opening for them.  Wang Chung’s “Dance Hall Days” was all over the radio and MTV, a slick and polished pop piece… but their live show was raw, rough, and didn’t sound anything like the song we’d hear on the airwaves.  And they rocked!  The Cars however… they hit the stage and performed their music just like they sounded on the radio and MTV… but they had horrible stage presence, with very minimal interaction with the audience, not much more than just playing their records over the PA. 

I was a little concerned about REO Speedwagon when I went to see them, but I shouldn’t have worried.  Despite their slick radio-friendly ballads, their performance proved them a road-tested rock and roll band, and the encore performance of Riding the Storm Out blew me away.  Having that song on my iPod carries me back every time.

Since this is getting pretty long I’m going to break it up into a couple of parts.  Coming up next, a musical “Awakening” during my college years…

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