Archive for the ‘Facebook Stuff’ Category

The Tale Of Years (Again)

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Wasting time on Facebook yesterday, I came across one of those memes with a question, essentially asking which portion of one’s life had the best music. The choices were split between school segments – junior high school, high school, college and so on – and then ages in adulthood.

Not being one to follow instructions well, I answered with a span of years – 1969-73 – noting that those years held my last two years of high school and my first two years of college. Nothing remarkable there. I’ve written many times before of my sweet spot, which is generally those same years and sometimes extends another couple of years further to 1975.

And those are the same years to which I pay the most attention here, as shown by the number of posts tagged with those years. Here are the current numbers starting in 1966 and going through 1977, a span of twelve years that took me from the age of twelve on January 1, 1966, to the age of twenty-four on December 31, 1977:

1966: 92
1967: 102
1968: 131
1969: 195
1970: 239
1971: 193
1972: 165
1973: 127
1974: 97
1975: 101
1976: 62
1977: 53

That’s about what I expected, and it’s a pattern that’s been holding true for the fourteen-plus years I’ve been offering stuff here. The only deviation from the classic bell curve is that I seem to like stuff from 1975 a little more than I do stuff from 1974. It’s a slight variation, and if it means anything at all, it might have to do with the fact that along with some of the best moments of my life, the year of 1974 also brought me some of the worst, whereas 1975 was – with only a few days set aside – one of the best years of my life.

I thought that at the time, but I was also aware that I had few adult years for comparison. I recall wondering as 1975 moved to its end how I would feel about it forty years hence; would it still be one of the best years of my life? Well, it’s been forty-five years, and yes, 1975 still stands out of one of the four or five best years of my life, with the others ranging from 1970 to 2018.

Anyway, we’ll end this somewhat pointless assessment by turning to iTunes and running randomly until we hit a track from 1975. (I could go to 1970, as that is the year about which I’ve written the most, but maybe we’ll do that later in the week.) It took a while, about thirty clicks, before we at last fall onto a 1975 record. It’s one we’ve featured here before, but that’s okay. It’s a good one. Here’s what I said about it eleven years ago when I included it in my Ultimate Jukebox:

I was sitting at The Table at St. Cloud State’s Atwood Center in early 1976 when the 4 Seasons’ “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” came on the jukebox. My friend Stu shook his head. “Man,” he said, “what a great bass line. One of the best ever.” I took that judgment under advisement, and over the years, I’ve polished it to the point where I credit the 4 Seasons’ hit – it was No. 1 for three weeks – with having the best pop music bass line ever. And it is the bass line that moves the song along as it tells its tale of a one-night stand.

Here it is:

‘Battle Come Down . . .’

Friday, June 25th, 2021

It was one of those Facebook things, posted by a member of a Seventies group I follow: List five records that sum up the Seventies.

I opened Word and started a list, taking my time over it. I posted my five and then wandered through the twenty or so responses that had accrued by that time. I saw a lot of predictables: “Stairway To Heaven,” “Paranoid,” “Maggie May,” “Free Bird,” “Rhiannon,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Imagine,” and so on.

I also saw a few surprises: “Close To You,” “I Think I Love You,” “Carefree Highway,” “Summer Breeze,” “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),” and a few more.

I was surprised there were very few offerings that missed the decade. (Not everyone checks the year, which sometimes annoys me; this time, it didn’t.) There was one entry for “Suspicious Minds” and one for The Band’s version of “The Weight.”

And then there was my entry. Four of the five were echoed in other posts:

“Layla” by Derek & The Dominos (1970)
“Fire & Rain” by James Taylor (1970)
“Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen (1975)
“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees (1977)
“London Calling” by the Clash (1979)

The only one of my five not echoed in the twenty or so responses at the time was the record by the Clash. I don’t particularly enjoy the record. (I don’t detest it, either.) But the assignment, as it were, was to sum up the Seventies. And I think the anger of “London Calling” ends the decade well.

By this morning, the post had grown to more than eighty responses, and I’m not going to wade through the new stuff. And I think my five are a decent effort at the impossible task of summing up a sprawling decade. If I had to do it over again, I’d probably drop “Fire & Rain” and put Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me” (1974) in the list.

As to “London Calling,” it (or the album of the same title) has been mentioned here five times over the course of more than fourteen years and nearly 3,000 posts, but it’s never been shared. It’s time.