I hope you like them.
1960’s – Ike and Tina Turner – River Deep, Mountain High
I love a strong female voice and, let’s face it, they don’t come much stronger than Tina Turner. When River Deep, Mountain High was released, I was four years old and it had such an impact that I actually remembered loving it at that tender age. Tina Turner’s voice never seemed to lose its impact and she was still working until around the year 2000.
She has a great voice and this is one of my favourite songs from the 1960’s.
1970’s – The Stranglers – Five Minutes
It’s time for a bit of punk rock, folks. While punk rock wasn’t (and isn’t) my favourite musical genre, I cannot deny that there were some outstanding songs from that great period in the late 1970’s. The Stranglers, in my opinion, were more than just a punk band and changed their style to match the changing fashions in music. I have to say that I really love their early songs and Five Minutes was the pinnacle for me.
The song is hard, with slightly controversial lyrics for a chart friendly 1970’s audience. If you watch the video, it makes you think that the song is really five minutes long but in reality it only lasts about three and a half minutes. Maybe they were being rebellious, but I think that I would have made the effort to draw it out to the correct length of time.
But that’s just the perfectionist in me.
1980’s – Talk Talk – It’s My Life
Talk Talk are one of the most underrated bands of the 1980’s. When this song was first released in 1984, it barely made the top 40 in England. However, it was re-released in the early 1990s and reached the top 10.
I remember it from the first time around and I loved it. And so did most of the rest of Europe where it fared a little better on the continental mainland.
I love the first line of the song:
“Funny how I find myself in love with you”.
It’s My Life isn’t the only song I like by Talk Talk and I may expose you to a couple more in future posts. However, I have to say that this song epitomises the kind of pop music I love.
1990’s – Depeche Mode – I Feel You
I remember back in the early 1980’s when the charts were full of nice electronic pop songs, produced by squeaky clean pop groups, sometimes with weird haircuts and even weirder clothes. Depeche Mode were one of those bands; inoffensive and singing radio friendly and very catchy little tunes.
I started taking notice of the band in the late 1980’s when they created my second favourite pop album of that decade.
Why did I take notice? Because they evolved into something much darker and far more in tune with my tastes.
They reached the peak with I Feel You, which is arguably my favourite song by the band. I can’t fault it and it as close to hard rock as the band have been.
2000’s – Kasabian – Shoot the Runner
Perhaps at my age, the pop music of the 2000’s seemed to be taking a distinct turn into tediousness and monotony, with the charts being dominated by rap and computerised dance music.
Fighting the corner for more accessible pop music were (and are) bands like Kasabian, who wrote and continue to write pop songs that have some appeal to me.
In particular, Shoot the Runner has a bit of a glam rock feel to it, which is evident in the colourful and slightly psychedelic video. With bands like this around, there is hope for us yet.
2010’s – Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know
When pop music started to be driven by the accompanying video in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, a part of me began to despair. It seemed that the video itself would become more important than the song - and in a lot of cases this was definitely true.
I have always preferred to listen to music, not to picture the accompanying video in my mind’s eye as I listen to the words.
Nevertheless, occasionally a video has acted as a great introduction to a song as in this case.
I hate adverts and when there is a commercial break, I inevitably flick to music channels in the desperate hope that there is something new out there that is new and exciting and not being forced into our minds by those arses that are killing music.
On this rare occasion, the video intrigued me enough during that advertising break to actually listen to the song. I missed the resumption of the programme I was watching because of it – and I’m glad.
This is a well-crafted quirky little song with an odd but well-crafted quirky video.
And I may be a hypocrite – but I like it – and this is a rare occurrence with pop music these days.