Two songs on my list are related in a way. The first is the title track of an album which redefined the career path of a veteran performer. It was influenced largely by the music of Africa and employed many musicians from South Africa, which was still under the rule of Apartheid during its final days. The album was Graceland and the artist is Paul Simon. He took some flack for that, but if you have the opportunity to see the fascinating PBS documentary about the making of Graceland, most of it is explained. Graceland is still on my regular playlist. I could have chosen several songs off the album, but for its place in history, I'll pick the title song.
In South Africa in 1985, there was an entertainment area within a city called Sun City. While it proclaimed itself to be an interracial resort, it was a sham where the wealthy gambled, while the poor outside the walls lived in squalor. Steve Van Zandt of the E Street Band created a group formed by well known artists, where they would spread the word about this stronghold of Apartheid and create a boycott for performers to play there. The video for the song was a virtual who's who of the music industry.
Let's lighten the mood just a bit. There was this song about a girl and a phone number. It was everywhere, it's still everywhere. C'mon let's sing along.
With some very recognizable opening notes, this song gets new life every spring. Catchy and perfectly evoking the feeling all of us baseball freaks get every opening day. Mr. Fogerty, if you please.
It was the 80's, London was calling, but the Clash song which always made my day went like this:
"As soon as the sharif was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed"
"Rock the Casbah"
Extra song #1. While it wasn't one of my favorites, there was no denying the importance of the song or the album from which it came. The album was Thriller, the song was...
Because I like to push the envelope, I'm going with seven songs this week. And I might do it next week too. So shut up. In 1980, John Lennon came back to the music scene, along with Yoko and created Double Fantasy. Nowhere could you find a more self-defining song than the one Lennon wrote for what sadly would be his last album.
"Watching the Wheels"
So that's Part 1. Jen, I apologize for being a rude guest and highlighting seven songs, but as Eric Burdon sang, "It's my life and I'll do what I want." Hope you invite me back next week.