Let’s Take A Moment Day 183

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

September 8 marked the 73rd birth anniversary of The Car’s co-founder, singer & bassist, Benjamin Orr. And while I do not normally like to acknowledge the date we lose an artist as I prefer to focus on their life & music, because today marks one year since fellow co-founder, lead singer & rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek died, I decided a tribute to both was in order.

They met while each was playing music in different bands in the 1960’s in Cleveland after Ocasek dropped out of college. Orr eventually joined his band and soon the two men became a duo. They spent the next several years playing wherever they could until Ocasek moved to Massachusetts with his second wife around 1971. The next year he joined a folk duo, convinced Orr to join them to form the band, Milk Wood (after the Dylan Thomas play, “Under The Milkwood”). They released one record together in 1973 on Paramount Records, “How’s The Weather?” The album did not sell and the trio broke up. But Ocasek and Orr worked together on several projects, meeting the other three members of The Cars along the way: Greg Hawkes on keyboards, David Robinson on drums and Elliot Easton on lead guitar. Together they burst on to the music scene with their debut eponymous album in 1978

I enjoyed their sound enough to pay attention when their songs came on the radio, even though I was not a fan of new wave or synth-rock, as they became known for. The one song in particular that I could not get enough of was “Good Times Roll”. It had such a seductive opening guitar riff aided by a fabulous drum beat.and a funky synthesiser line. It remained my favorite song of the group’s until today’s song came out six years later.

Written by Ocasek but sung by Orr, I have swooned over this tune since my first listen to it. His vocal is subtle yet strong, direct yet in a private language only the person he is singing to would understand. And since 1984 was prime MTV territory, a very unique and somewhat heartbreaking video came out to accompany the song. It was directed by actor Timothy Hutton, featured a somber looking Orr, an 18 year old model named Paulina Porizkova and introduced her to her future husband, Ocasek.

The band broke up by the end of the 1980’s. Orr died of cancer in 2000. Ocasek’s song “Silver” from his 2005 album, “Nexterday”, is in honor of Orr. In 2018 the remaining band members reunited to perform at their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Ocasek died a year later. The Cars made many memorable songs and videos together, but this one will be my favorite forever.

You can’t go on
Thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home
Tonight

The_Cars

The Cars in 1984. L–R: Benjamin Orr, Greg Hawkes, David Robinson, Ric Ocasek, and Elliot Easton. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Cars: “Drive” ( 1984, written by Ric Ocasek).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2019: Day 16

Welcome back to the countdown!!!

I just swooned over this gorgeous Christmas tree.  Looks like pink was popular as an alternative Christmas decorating color long before it became known as shabby chic.  Whatever the style was called, I just love it.

day 16

Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

Occasionally two different songs have the same title.  Some examples include the Beatles and the Doors with “The End”, Ringo Starr and Def Leppard share “Photograph”, Queen and Jefferson Airplane share “Somebody To Love”,  R.E.M. and the Cars share “Drive” to name a few.  Today’s song was released first but when a more popular and successful singer released her song with the same title in 1994, it all but sent today’s version into  non-existence.  But over the years the first one found its way back to regular air play thanks in part to all the 24 hour a day Christmas music stations across the nation.  That also helped to land this song on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart seven times between 1994 and 2002.

The original version is sung by a country/pop/novelty group with lead vocals by Lisa Layne who was known as Lisa Burgess Stewart at the time of the recording.  It is considered a country song, yet when a country artist recorded her own version of it, she did it with a jazzy, bluesy big band feel.  That sound combined with her powerful voice makes her version my current favorite of the two.

As for the other song with the same title, it is a holiday staple.  I love the way it is featured in the movie “Love Actually“.  And last month it cemented its place in history by garnering three Guinness World Records for 2020.  The honors include highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the U.S. Hot 100 chart by a solo artist, most weeks in the U.K. singles top 10 chart for a Christmas song and most-streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours (female).  That must qualify the singer as the Christmas Queen.

vince vance

Vince Vance & The Valiants:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1989, written by Troy Powers and Andy Stone in 1989).

leann rimes

LeAnn Rimes:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (2004, written by Troy Powers and Andy Stone in 1989).

mariah carey

Mariah Carey:  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (1994, written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff f/k/a Baby Love in 1994).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, happy listening!!!