Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Dawn of Spring Oldies Playlist

As I have indicated many, many times here, my emotions and consumption of music are highly molded by changes in the seasons. Some times of year certain music gets broken out to match the weather. The two most fecund moments are the start of autumn and, of course, spring. After a long, dark winter that never seemed to end spring has finally come to New Jersey. Nature is euphoric in its bursting, my barren backyard transformed itself into a blooming garden in a matter of days.

When it comes to spring I find myself listening to a lot of cheery oldies hits of the 70s AM radio gold variety. Their mellow tones and attitudes fit the excitement in my soul.  Here are a few of my favorites for this time of year.

Johnny Nash, "I Can See Clearly Now"

This is just a stunningly beautiful song, like the sun shining off the early morning dew on the grass. I've also always taken it as a metaphor for emerging from a period of depression. Their is a slight tone of relief as the clouds are being parted and the singer can finally "see clearly now." As someone whose mental state is dependent on sunshine, it certainly makes sense to me.

Glen Campbell, "Southern Nights"

The original Allen Toussaint is far trippier, this song is perfect for sipping a glass of wine on the back porch while the sun goes down. Both Toussaint and Campbell are gone, geniuses in their own fields who deserve to be remembered.

"It's A Sunshine Day," The Brady Bunch

Okay folks, let's amp up the cheese factor by several factors. Is this a dumb song? Yes. Are the Brady Bunch kids great singers. No. Is this song still a delight on a sunny May Sunday? You bet.

"Shake Your Body To The Ground," The Jacksons

This song encapsulates the exuberant blooming of spring, just as it represented Michael Jackson's flowering as a musical star in his own right. It is irresistible and I find myself playing it in my car with the windows rolled down this time of year.

"Let Your Love Flow," Bellamy Brothers

Has a funkier country song ever existed? It's got a groove reminiscent of "Southern Nights," but lyrics more specific about spring as a time for the blooming of love.

"Rock Me Gently," Andy Kim

This is the Platonic form of 70s AM radio gold. Just a little bit of funk and flash, earnest singing, spacey keyboards and lots of "baby baby" in the lyrics. It's also the best rip-off of Neil Diamond ever recorded.

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