Day 42. Your favorite song from the 70s
“All Mixed Up” – The Cars
As we continue the “Your favorite song of the XXs” series, you should know I’m technically breaking the rules with my dates. For an explanation, go here.
As I go through these exercises I’m finding that on the one hand the less I think about my choice, the better off I am. That is, go with one of the first things that comes to mind, because looking deeper just complicates things and after the initial analysis paralysis I don’t end up picking any of the additional songs as the favorite anyway. On the other hand, I tend to find some good runners-up that way, so it’s not a total loss.
I still have to give is some thought, though. For example, you might not know this, but Genesis is my favorite band. (That’s a joke, son. Not that they’re my favorite, but that you wouldn’t know.) Genesis released an album every year of the 70s except for 1979. So you might think that there had to be something they released in that decade that would top my list. And I had to think about that before I ruled it out.
To be sure, they’re in the top ten, and if you’d have asked this question a few years ago, “Dance On A Volcano” probably would have been my choice. (DOAV was my gateway drug to Genesis’ back catalog, by the way, but that’s a story for another day.) Things change over time, though. Heck, for all I know, “Dance On A Volcano” might be my choice if you asked me next week. But not today.
The Cars’ “My Best Friend’s Girl” is actually what came to mind first. I love the song, and again, it’s definitely top ten. It’ll probably show up as a selection for one of these challenges somewhere down the line. (The Cars has so many good songs, I probably could have picked any number of them for this challenge.)
But in some ways, “My Best Friend’s Girl” is too easy. It was a single. It’s very accessible.
I had to work for “All Mixed Up.” You see, when I started getting to The Cars (the album), I actually didn’t care too much for the song. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I was wrong. Maybe it was the minor key. Maybe it was the structure. I don’t know. But I do know it took a long time to grow on me. (But then kept growing on me.)
It has another thing going for it that helps give it the edge. I mentioned in the “Crazy On You” post that when a song really gets me, my face flushes and I can feel it in my cheeks. (Am I the only one this happens to?)
No matter how many times I’ve heard “All Mixed Up” that continues to occur. It happens around 1:40, when the song comes out of the first chorus, the drums change, and there’s a short guitar solo. (It’s the guitar that makes them flush, especially if the room is dark or dim for some reason.) Then the vocals come in: “She’s always out making pictures/She’s always out making scenes.” It’s one of those perfect musical moments for me when everything seems to come together.
Finally, the stats are there to back up the selection. “All Mixed Up” is the most-played song on my iTunes with 96 plays (and counting). That means, since 2006 when I converted to iTunes, I’ve spent nearly 7 hours listening to that song. Just that song. (Yes, I have a life, why do you ask?) “My Best Friend’s Girl” is second with 85 plays, or just over 5 hours 15 minutes of listening time. (It’s also 30 seconds shorter.)
So that’s what I’m going with.
By the way, today’s runners-up (in addition to the aforementioned songs) minus Genesis and The Cars:
- “Second Hand News”—Fleetwood Mac. This song jumped onto my favorites list the first time I heard Rumours.
- “Werewolves Of London”—Warren Zevon. You haven’t heard the last of this song. We’ll leave it at that.
- “Peg”—Steely Dan. A song that I liked but didn’t think much about until I was driving to work one day about 8 years ago. I can still picture what section of road I was on when I thought, “Holy Crap, I really like this song. How have I never realized that before?”
- “Love Is The Drug”—Roxy Music. I still remember (and can picture) the 45 my brother had. I always loved the intro.
- “Shattered”—The Rolling Stones. I love Keith Richards’ guitar sound on this one. That drives the whole song for me.
For a decade touted for its crappy music, I found it pretty easy to put a list of favorites together. Although some songs were never candidates.
But then, I don’t remember much of the disco craze, so maybe it’s just that I don’t have the PTSD that those who really experienced it do.