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Archive for the tag “Elton John”

Quirky T Examines Representative Love Songs

Starship T-shirt

 

Quirky T has some post Valentine’s Day musical observations. Where I work love songs are played constantly since a high percentage of pop songs from the 80’s to today are love songs. My workplace playlist regularly plays Billy Joel, Richard Marx, Peter Cetera, and Elton John so love songs are highly represented on a daily basis. The plus side of the daily repetition is I enjoy these artists. On an almost daily basis, I can also hear two (love) songs from one of my faves, Huey Lewis (“Do You Believe in Love?” and “Happy to be Stuck with You”). I can also hear a favorite (love) song from my favorite movie – The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” from “Benny and Joon”. So the only way I realized that the music selection had changed to a Valentine theme a few days before the holiday was when I heard Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall in Love”. It definitely stuck out among the more modern music. It’s interesting that even though mostly every song being played was a love song, the music programmers thought they had to dig deep decades before the 80’s to find true love songs. It got me excited that maybe next I would hear some Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. I didn’t. Nat King Cole was the anomaly. The other “Valentine’s songs” were from the 80’s to today and included Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Cloud 9 CD cover

I found it interesting when all the possible love songs in the world are narrowed down to just three songs to represent this incredibly large and diverse genre. A store sold musical balloons for Valentine’s Day with only a choice of three songs – “Got My Mind Set on You” the George Harrison version,   “You’re the One that I Want” from the movie “Grease”, and “Hooked on a Feeling”. Of course I prefer the George Harrison song but I don’t think it’s his most romantic song. “Something” and “Old Brown Shoe” come to mind before that cover song. The song from “Grease” is fun but problematic when you consider the scene from the movie where the song appears. Danny makes positive changes to his life to impress Sandy such as giving up smoking and exercising. While Sandy takes up smoking and dressing slutty to attract Danny. So who really is the one that they want? The one who they really are or the one that they become to impress each other? “Hooked on a Feeling” is not the most romantic song as it is more about lust than romantic, lasting love. Plus, whenever I hear that song, I think of the dancing baby on the TV show “Ally McBeal”.

Hallmark, the greeting card company, actually sold vinyl 45 records with their Valentine greeting cards. The three records chosen were Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”/”Marry You”,  Aretha Frankin’s “Respect”/”Think”, and INXS’ “Need You Tonight”/”Never Tear Us Apart”. Again, I am not sure these are the best love songs to represent all love songs. Even being limited to just Atlantic Records recording artists would yield a huge amount of love songs. (For example, my favorite Phil Collins who released a compilation actually called “Love Songs”). The Bruno Mars songs are appropriate, romantic, and current. The Aretha Franklin songs are more warnings to men than love songs. “Need You Tonight” like “Hooked on a Feeling” is more about lust than love. While “Never Tear Us Apart” seems romantically appropriate. I’m surprised that INXS was included with the amazing Bruno Mars and the legendary Aretha Franklin. If not for the quirky fact that my workplace actually plays those two INXS songs on an almost daily basis, I probably wouldn’t have heard those songs since they came out thirty years ago.

 

Songs do send messages so the musical balloons or records with the greeting cards given to a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day could be a way of sending a message that may not be as romantic as the occasion calls for. Of course it’s hard to narrow down a huge genre to less than 10 representative songs. I just found it interesting which songs were chosen to represent that love.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what three songs would you choose to represent Valentine’s Day?

 

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Quirky T’s Top Four Fave Steve Winwood Songs

This month’s list of favorite songs of musicians other than Quirky T’s absolute favorite musicians is another artist I has seen in concert – Steve Winwood. I saw him as a solo act in 2010 in a small theater. He was the least personable of all the musicians I have ever seen in concert but maybe that was because he really seemed to be into the music. Unfortunately, he didn’t play all my favorite songs of his. Here they are

 

Gimme Some Lovin’

 

While You See a Chance 

 

Back in the High Life Again 

 

Roll With It

Again, as with the other Guitar Train stops about Billy Joel, Elton John, and Richard Marx, I only listened to the hit songs of Steve Winwood. Most of those hits were from the 80’s so I have decades of songs to listen to if I want to explore more of Steve Winwood’s solo work and in various bands.

 

Guitar Tran passengers, what are your favorite Steve Winwood songs?

Quirky T’s Top 4 Fave Elton John Songs

Elton John Greatest Hits CD

Last month, Quirky T conducted the Guitar Train to stop and list her top 5 fave Billy Joel songs. This month, I’m listing my faves from the other musician I saw in the 1994 Face to Face Tour, Elton John. That concert was perfect for me because it involved two musicians whose music I enjoyed listening to on the radio but was not interested in enough to seek out more than their hit songs. As with Billy Joel, my favorite Elton John songs are from his Greatest Hits CDs.

 

So here are my top four fave Elton John songs:

“Your Song” <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/mBCVEcjScTQ&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

“I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”  <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/h6KYAVn8ons&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

“Sad Songs (Say So Much)” 

“I’m Still Standing” 

 

Maybe it’s time to expand my listening of Elton John beyond just his Greatest Hits CDs.

Elton John Greatest Hits Vol. 3 CD

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite Elton John songs?

Quirky T’s Top Five Fave Billy Joel Songs

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Lately, Quirky T has been listening to Billy Joel songs from his three Greatest Hits CDs. In 1994, I was lucky enough to see him in concert with Elton John. Just to clarify, Elton John co-headlined the concert with Billy Joel; Elton John did not attend the concert with me as my seatmate. (Although that scenario would have been amazing). Anyway, it was a great concert so I would love to hear more Billy Joel at one of his monthly gigs at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Until that dream comes true, here, in chronological order, are my top five favorite Billy Joel songs.

 

    “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”
    “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”
    “Don’t Ask Me Why”
    “The Longest Time”
    “This Is The Time”

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I noticed most of my fave Billy Joel songs are from the 80’s. I guess that is because this was the time when I first started listening to his songs. So they may not be his classics from the 70’s people really admire but 30 years later, I guess they are also considered classics. I really think Billy Joel is a clever songwriter. I love his unusual phrasing and emphasis on certain words, especially in “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”. His songs represent a range of emotions and musical genres. He also creates distinctive characters and interesting stories in his songs.

To tie this Guitar Train stop in with one of my favorite musical groups, I cannot hear “We Didn’t Start the Fire” without listening for the line referencing The Beatles. I know not everyone likes this song but I think Billy Joel was genius in the way he put all those historical references into a song. Plus, he realizes that a list of significant historical events and people must contain The Beatles.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite Billy Joel songs?

Quick Station Stop – Life Songs of My Faves

The words “life” and “living” have been used in numerous song titles including songs by my favorite musicians. Here is Quirky T’s list of songs by her favorite musicians with “life” or “living” in the title.

 

The Beatles – “A Day In the Life”, “Got to Get You Into My Life”, “In My Life”, and “Run for Your Life”

Phil Collins – “All of My Life” and “Separate Lives”

Gloria Estefan – “Live for Loving You”

Huey Lewis and the News – “Workin’ for a Livin’”

Jon Secada – “I Live for You”

 

Bonus Songs

Steve Winwood – “Back in the High Life Again”

Elton John – “Simple Life”

Billy Joel – “My Life”

 

Guitar Train passengers, what songs by your favorite musicians with “life” or “living” in the titles can you name?

Concerts Quirky T Has Attended

Welcome to Concert Month on the Guitar Train. This month Quirky T looks at concerts she’s attended, concerts she wishes she had attended, Ticketmaster, and her favorite concert moments.

concert ticket stubs
I’m so fortunate to have seen all my favorites except The Beatles in concert. I have seen Paul McCartney three times, Genesis twice, Phil Collins (solo) three times, Gloria Estefan four times, Huey Lewis and The News twice, Jon Secada once, and Barry Manilow twice. I enjoyed all of these performances. There is nothing that can compare to hearing your favorite songs performed live. Since listening to music can be a solo activity, it always amazes me to be at a concert surrounded by thousands of fans who like the same music I do.

otherconcert tickets
 I have also been to concerts by musicians I like but not as much as my favorites. They were Elton John and Billy Joel together, Simon and Garfunkel, Steve Winwood, and Richard Marx and Matt Scannell together.

Lite FM ticket stub
I also went to a concert sponsored by radio station 106.7 Lite FM in 1999 that included separate performances by Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Edwin McCain, and I think 98 Degrees. (It was one of those boy bands that was popular at the time. I never paid any attention to them so I could never differentiate among them). So I guess that adds about 1/6 more of a concert to my totals for Gloria Estefan and Phil Collins.

Looking over all the artists I have seen in concert, I am grateful that I was able to see so many legends. The musicians I saw have been popular and touring for decades. In fact, over 10 years separated many of the concerts I saw by the same musicians. I first saw Paul McCartney in 1990 and last saw him in 2005. I first saw Gloria Estefan in 1990 and then last saw her in 2004. Fifteen years separated the first and last Genesis concerts I saw. It was fourteen years between the first Phil Collins concert I attended in 1990 and the last in 2004. Ten years separated the first and last Barry Manilow concerts I attended. Looking back, 1990 was the best year for me attending concerts as I was able to see my three all time favorites – Gloria Estefan, Paul McCartney, and Phil Collins all in the span of five months.

Starship T-shirt
The first concert I attended was Starship. It is the only concert I don’t have a ticket stub for but I think it was in 1986. (I couldn’t find the exact date, even with the help of the excellent website http://www.setlist.fm). The concert was at the then named Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey and the opening act was The Outfield. I remember being impressed with the lighting. I also enjoyed the music even though I didn’t know all the songs. I remember The Outfield playing their hit single “Your Love” from their album “Play Deep”. The Starship songs I liked were “We Built This City” and “Sara” from their 1985 album, “Knee Deep in the Hoopla”.

As I noted in my April 11, 2013 post, “The End of Live Concerts by My Favorites” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-end-of-live-concerts-by-my-favorites/ my time for attending concerts by my favorites may be over. Or is it? Stay aboard the Guitar Train all this month to see if it really is the end.

Guitar Train passengers, have you been lucky enough to see your favorite musicians in concert? Who are they, when, and where did you see them?

Other Loves

On this Valentine’s Day, the Guitar Train will make a stop to look at another side of this very commercialized holiday.   Quirky T believes that as The Beatles sang, “All You Need is Love” should apply every day, to everyone, not just one day a year in the form of romantic gifts.

Some people lose sight of the fact that there are other loves besides romantic love and become depressed on Valentine’s Day. So Guitar Train passengers, on this Valentine’s Day, let’s not forget about love of family, friends, country, and most importantly, love of and from God.  Songs about those other loves include:

  1. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge  http://youtu.be/PDSSGyPurmE
  2. “That’s What Friends Are For”  – cover by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder  http://youtu.be/xGbnua2kSa8
  3. “God Bless the USA” – Lee Greenwood  http://youtu.be/Q65KZIqay4E
  4. “Only a Shadow”    http://youtu.be/XUirGgSa_EY

Guitar Train passengers, please don’t be depressed this Valentine’s Day if you’re not in a romantic relationship.  It is just one overly commercialized day.  It doesn’t mean that you haven’t had romantic  love in the past or won’t in the future; it just means you don’t today, this one day.  Remember the other loves and especially that God loves you every day.

To the Guitar Train passengers currently in romantic relationships, think about acting like every day is Valentine’s Day.  I don’t mean the flowers and the gifts.  I mean the caring, love, and kisses.  Like Quirky T always says, if you haven’t been brushing your teeth every day, it’s too late to start the day you have a dentist appointment.

Guitar Train passengers, how do you feel about Valentine’s Day?  What are your favorite songs about love other than romantic love?

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