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Archive for the tag “The Power of Love”

The Guitar Train Goes “Back to the Future”

 

The second stop as The Guitar Train goes “Back in Time” to 1985 looks at the great movie that gave us that song – “Back to the Future”. Released on July 3, 1985 this is a classic, must see movie starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. I remember being on line to go into the movie theater thirty years ago and reading the movie poster. The film’s title confused me so I asked my mom, “How can anyone go “back” to the future since the future hasn’t happened yet?” My mom couldn’t answer that question until she saw the movie and understood the very clever premise of the movie.  Almost everything that happens or is talked about in 1985 pays off in 1955 and then back again in 1985.

 

Since this is a music blog, I want to focus on the musical aspects of the movie and Huey Lewis. The music of Huey Lewis and the News is a huge part of this movie as they wrote two songs for the movie, “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time”, which are played repeatedly throughout the movie.   Huey himself appears in an uncredited role in the beginning of the film as a dorky teacher who tells Marty McFly and his band that they are “too darn loud” when they audition by playing an electrified version of “The Power of Love”. The Behind the Scenes feature on “Looking Back to the Future” shows extended footage of Huey’s scene including some of his lines which were cut from the film. Huey is also shown telling Michael J. Fox that his guitar playing is “perfect”. Michael J. Fox had actually been a guitar player since he was a teenager. He was very proud of the fact that he played every note seen on screen in the “Johnny B. Goode” scene.  That leads me to the one aspect of the film that isn’t followed up when Marty returns to 1985. He did get to play guitar for an audience in 1955 but there’s no musical triumph when he returns to 1985. I only saw “Back to the Future Part II” once so I don’t remember if this comes up in that film. I’ll have to watch that one again (as well as Part 3).

 

I have to write more about Michael J. Fox. He was a huge star in 1985 because of his star-making performance in the TV show, “Family Ties”. I loved that show and I bought teen magazines like “Teen Beat” which were filled with photos of him. Because he could not get out of shooting “Family Ties”, “Back to the Future” was actually shot with Eric Stolz playing Marty. Six weeks into filming, production stopped and a deal was made for Michael J. Fox to shoot “Family Ties” during the day and “Back to the Future” at night. So the movie was reshot with Michael J. Fox and he kept up that crazy schedule to complete the movie. He is a great actor and is still acting today. It’s nice that he wasn’t a one hit (or two hit) wonder in 1985 and has had a long, successful acting career.

 

How cool was the DeLorean? I think it would be cool to have just as a car even without it being a time machine. But on second thought, as Michael J. Fox said in the Behind the Scenes feature, it was “not a practical car”. As he pointed out, if you parked next to another car, you wouldn’t be able to open the door to get out. So there’s that and the fact that people would probably expect it to be a time machine and want you to drive 88 mph.

Please Please Me CD cover

 

Let It Be album cover

 

 

 

Writing of time machines, in the Behind the Scenes feature, Huey Lewis was asked where he would go if he could go to another time. He answered the 1950’s which makes sense for him and the style of music he loves. I would go back to 1963 and stay around until 1970 so I could hear Beatles songs as they were first released and everything the band did would be as it happened, not seen in retrospect decades later.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what time period would you go to and why?

The Guitar Train Travels “Back in Time” to 1985

For the glorious month of May, Quirky T is conducting The Guitar Train to travel “Back in Time” to the year 1985. It’s hard (and a little depressing) to believe it’s been 30 years since that great year for music and pop culture. This Guitar Train stop looks at my favorite musicians from 1985. I remember 1985 as being a year when any time I turned on the radio, I would recognize the song being played as well as know whose song it was.

 

Favorite Musicians from 1985:

  1. Huey Lewis and the News
  2. Phil Collins
  3. Tears for Fears
  4. Dire Straits
  5. Whitney Houston

 

Huey Lewis and the News did not release an album in 1985 (their great album, “Sports” was released in 1983) but they did contribute two songs to the soundtrack of the classic movie “Back to the Future”. “The Power of Love” is one of my favorite Huey Lewis and the News songs and stands alone as a great song apart from the movie. The other song from the movie, “Back in Time”, is the opposite as it is basically a summary of the movie. It is still a good song and better than many typical soundtrack songs.

 

Phil Collins - No Jacket Required

Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Phil Collins released his third solo album, “No Jacket Required” in 1985. As I have written before, this is the first Phil Collins CD I bought and still my favorite of his. I bought a CD player just so I could play this album in CD format since only the CD contained the song “We Said Hello Goodbye” which is still my all time favorite song. Two songs from this album (“One More Night” and “Sussudio”)   as well as a duet Phil Collins sang with Marilyn Martin, “Separate Lives”,   were all #1 hits in 1985.

Tears For Fears tape cover

To continue on the English side, Tears for Fears released “Songs from the Big Chair” in 1985.   It contains three of my favorite of their songs – the #1 hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout” as well as “Head Over Heels”. Those songs are still played on the music system piped into my workplace and I still like them.

 

Another English group, Dire Straits, also released a classic album in 1985. “Brothers in Arms” contains two of my favorite of their songs – “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”. “Money for Nothing” of course came along with a great video which was very MTV friendly. Tragically, I did not have cable TV in 1985 so I could only see the video on a local channel’s “Friday Night Videos” TV show and obviously that was only on a Friday night. I hesitate to call the video innovative since MTV was so new that every video was innovative in some way. Creative and eye-catching are better adjectives to use to describe this video.

Whitney Houston tape cover

The only female on my list is Whitney Houston who released her self-titled debut album in 1985. What a debut it was! My favorite songs from that album are “All at Once”, “How Will I Know”, and “Greatest Love of All”. My school chorus sang “Greatest Love of All” in one of our school concerts that year. Of course we were nowhere as good as Ms. Houston was; nobody is. She had such an amazing voice and it’s a shame that more great music did not come from her.

 

Other songs I enjoyed from 1985:

 

  1. “Into the Groove” by Madonna from the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan” starring Aidan Quinn (and Madonna)
  2. “We Built This City” by Starship
  3. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds from the movie “The Breakfast Club”

 

I really enjoyed the music from 1985 and in most cases, still do. What a great time it was to put the radio on and there be a huge chance that I would enjoy whatever song was playing. I miss that time.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite song, album, musician, or band from 1985?

 

Hop back aboard The Guitar Train for the next stop as Quirky T continues to travel back to 1985 to look at the great (Huey Lewis related) movie “Back to the Future”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Movie Soundtracks By My Favorites

This month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T stops to celebrate movie soundtracks. My favorite musicians have all had their songs included in movies. Here are my favorite movie soundtracks by my favorites:

 

  1. “Help!”(the album) – The Beatles
  2. “The Power of Love” – Huey Lewis and the News
  3. “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)” – Phil Collins
  4. “Music of My Heart” – Gloria Estefan
  5. “Mental Picture” – Jon Secada

Help!

In Guitar Train stops scheduled for next year, I will spend a whole month discussing the Beatles movies. So for this stop, I’ll just mention that since “Help!” is one my favorite Beatles albums, it goes without saying that it would be my favorite Beatles soundtrack album.

Huey Lewis and the News Greatest Hits

Huey Lewis and the News Greatest Hits

 

Huey Lewis and the News had two songs in the excellent 1985 film, “Back to the Future”. I prefer “The Power of Love” over “Back in Time” because it stands on its own separate from the film. “Back in Time” is more of a synopsis of the movie. “The Power of Love” was always an elusive song for me since it didn’t appear on any of the Huey Lewis and the News cassette tapes I had at the time. The only way I could hear it was randomly on the radio. I think that made it more special for me.

Before Phil Collins’ songs were in soundtracks of Disney movies such as “Tarzan”, he wrote and performed “Against All Odds” for the 1984 film of the same name. The film starring Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward is okay but the Phil Collins song is great – heartbreak at his best.

Gloria Estefan’s song “Music of My Heart” with boy band ‘N Synch from the 1999 movie, “Music of the Heart”, is not one of her best songs. I only saw the movie because Gloria Estefan had a part in it as well as my favorite actor, Aidan Quinn, and the very amazing Meryl Streep.

 

Jon Secada

Jon Secada – Heart, Soul, & A Voice

Jon Secada’s song “Mental Picture” from his 1994 album, “Heart, Soul, & a Voice” appeared in the 1994 movie, “The Specialist”. Although I have not seen the movie which stars Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone, the Jon Secada song is good.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have your favorite musicians done movie soundtracks? If yes, which ones and did you like them?

 

At the next stop of The Guitar Train’s Movie Soundtrack Month, Quirky T lists her favorite movie soundtracks from musicians other than her favorites. So hop back aboard for that.

The Guitar Train Stops at a Huey Lewis and the News Concert!!!

Quirky T was so excited to travel on the Guitar Train to Atlantic City, New Jersey last Friday to see Huey Lewis and the News in concert at Harrah’s Resort Casino.  So to answer the question pondered in my April 11, 2013 post, (https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-end-of-live-concerts-by-my-favorites/) it is not the end of seeing live concerts by my favorite performers.  And I’m so glad it isn’t.  The concert was AMAZING!!!

Huey Lewis concert ticket 2013

I was so happy and lucky to be there.  My seat was in the 7th row!  I’ve never been that close to the stage.  I was so close that I could that Huey Lewis didn’t button the bottom button on his shirt.  Later on, I could see the sweat spots on the front of his and guitarist James Harrah’s shirts.

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

The concert started with the song “The Heart of Rock & Roll” http://youtu.be/M7JVlpm0eRs as the band played their 1983 album, “Sports”, in its entirety to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release.  This is the first concert I’ve ever attended where an entire album was played from beginning to end.  I know Bruce Springsteen fans are used to this but, as I wrote in my August 15, 2013 post, “The Guitar Train Stops at Ticketmaster”, (https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/the-guitar-train-stops-at-ticketmaster/) I’ve never been to a Bruce Springsteen concert.  At this concert, I was especially excited to hear the songs “Bad is Bad”, http://youtu.be/7CscPTI8fwA “Walking on a Thin Line”, and “Finally Found a Home” played live for the first time.  Those songs as well as the other non-hit singles played live did not disappoint.

The first standing ovation came after the fourth song, “I Want a New Drug”.  http://youtu.be/N6uEMOeDZsA This song ended the first side of “Sports” and Huey said it was time to flip the record over so to speak and play the second side of the album.  He called the first side “the video side” and the second side “the rocking side.”  Side two started with “Walking on a Thin Line” which the band wrote for Vietnam Vets and now dedicates to all Vets.

Throughout the concert, Huey was the essence of cool.  He moved around to all sides of the stage along with his microphone stand.  He played his harmonica attached to a string.  I love his harmonica playing since he plays a happy harmonica, not a sad, depressing, twangy harmonica.  It goes perfectly with his rocking, mostly upbeat, non ballad songs.  This was definitely a rocking concert with barely any lulls.  Listening to “Sports” repeatedly in preparation for this concert, has made me change my favorite Huey Lewis and the News album from “Fore” to “Sports”.  I definitely did not change back after hearing the entire album performed live for the first time.

After he finished playing all of “Sports”, Huey paused to clean his cool blue tinted glasses.  People shouted out requests for what the band should play next.  If I was a shouter, I would have shouted out “Couple Days Off”.  I would have loved to hear that song live; it’s quite a rocker.  Huey listened to the requests but said he wanted to play what he wanted which was a new song called “While We’re Young”.  While he was introducing the song, he asked if the audience could pretend they liked it whether they did or not.  I liked it and I hope the band does release a whole new album of original songs like Huey has mentioned in interviews as a possibility.

Sports poster in hotel

After the new song came the first song the band ever wrote together, 1978’s “Trouble in Paradise”.  Throughout the concert, Huey asked the audience to clap.  I always dread that since I can’t clap to the beat.  That might explain some of my guitar playing problems – not being able to keep time.  On the subject of guitar playing, Huey seemed to really enjoy listening to all the musicians’ solos.  I was blown away by the fact that Johnny Colla played both the saxophone and the guitar during the concert.  Very talented.  The next two songs the band played were cover songs – “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “But It’s Alright”.  They then played “We’re Not Here for a Long Time (We’re Here for a Good Time)” before leaving the stage for a very quick break.

Huey Lewis and the News came back in force to finish up the concert with “The Power of Love”, “Do You Believe in Love”, http://youtu.be/BzIbyDbmsyg and “Workin’ For a Livin’”.  The audience was on their feet from before the break until the very end.  Huey was fist pumping with the fans in the first row during most of the last three songs.  He really seemed to be enjoying himself.    He jokingly said that as a Friday special for everyone who buys the newly remastered CD of “Sports” that night at the venue, he will come to their houses and mow their lawns.

One of the great things about going to concerts is hearing different lyrics or arrangements of songs.  For “Bad is Bad”, Huey had to change the lyrics to reflect price increases.  So the price at the all you can eat restaurant increased from 1983’s $1.99 to $5.99.  The arrangement of “Do You Believe In Love” changed as Huey sang all the lines without back-up singers.  (Just like I do when I sing along to the song at home).  He also had the audience sing the chorus.  (I don’t do that when I sing at home, probably because I don’t have an audience).

Huey Lewis t-shirt 2013

In conclusion, Huey Lewis and the News put on an absolutely amazing concert.  The only compliant I have is the same complaint I made after the other two times I’ve been to their concerts – the concerts are too short.  The band only played for 1 ½ hours.  They have so many more songs that they could have played to make the concert at least 30 minutes longer.  I wonder why their concerts are so short.

One more note, closer is definitely better.  Since it was such a small venue, only seating 1,205, there weren’t any video screens showing close-ups of the band.    Since Huey really interacted with the fans right in front of him, some of his facial expressions and gestures probably could not be seen by the fans in the upper levels.  Quirky T, in my lucky seventh row seat, could see everything.  That great seat has definitely spoiled me for other concerts but it’s not like there’s anyone left for me to see in concert anyway.  I loved, loved, loved this concert.  I’m so lucky and happy I was able to attend it.    I am so greedy that I’m already hoping I can see Huey Lewis and the News again next summer.

sunset in Atlantic City, NJ

sunset in Atlantic City, NJ

Guitar Train passengers, what’s the closest seat to the stage you have ever had at a concert?  How did it add to your enjoyment of the concert?

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