Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Changes come along real soon, make us women and men

One of our local "oldies" radio stations is doing a "20 Years in 20 Days" thing this month--each day they play the top 100 songs from a year. Started with 1965, will finish up with 1985 this week. I've caught a few songs here and there, and was subjected to a couple hours of 1976 at my hairdresser's last week (think Peter Frampton), but that's about it.

Well, today was 1982, and I was in the car for a large part of the day, and my oh my, talk about your trips into the past. I was switching back and forth between my presets and hit the oldies station and they were playing "Trouble," by Lindsey Buckingham, a song I haven't heard since...oh...1982? So I kept listening.

I turned 12 in 1982, and I had developed a mania for pop music the year before...right about the time puberty hit. I had a little notebook I used to keep track of songs I heard on my clunky garage sale radio, which had a plastic "wood" finish and extremely sharp corners. The station of choice was Hot-FM 101, WHOT in Youngstown, Ohio.

Lots of the songs I heard today were listed in that notebook, I just know it. "Private Eyes" and "Physical." "Eye of the Tiger" and "Shake It Up." There were some I had totally forgotten about, and yet could somehow sing along with, like this Olivia Newton-John song called "Make a Move on Me." Lovely.

And UGH--"You Were Always on My Mind"--UGH. I hated that song then and it hasn't gotten any better with time. Even at the age of eleven, I knew it was total BS: "Hey honey, I know I ran around on you and ignored you, but I was really thinking about you the whole time. And hey, let's get back together, okay?" Bite me, Willie.

You know whose music has aged the best, though? The Go-Gos. 1982 was their big year, and I'm telling you, "We Got the Beat" still sounds fresh, especially when you've been listening to some of the other crap that passed as music that year. Neil Diamond's "Saying I Love You," for instance. Barf.

Oh, and Air Supply. Oh, oh, oh. When I came out of Kroger today and turned the radio back on, "Even the Nights are Better" was playing, and I just had to laugh. They were so...bad...and yet so fun to listen to. "Sweet Dreams" came on a little later in the countdown--I guess '82 was a big year for Air Supply as well. I had an "Air Supply's Greatest Hits" LP that I would listen to and belt out the power ballads. (That's it on the left...dreamy, huh?) I think those guys created the power ballad, don't you? All those hair bands that came along a little later owe a debt of gratitude to Air Supply, in my opinion.

Well, it was fun to think back to what a little geek I was then and still am to this day. But I was a geek with taste, darn it--I hated Barbra Streisand then and I still do. And I knew there was something not right about Michael Jackson even way back then.

In other news, I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tonight. It was quite good. The ending didn't shake me up nearly as badly as the ending of the last nook...killing off Sirius was just plain mean, I thought. What I loved about this installment was seeing Harry really stepping into adulthood. The little boy is growing up, sniff sniff!


Mimi said...

My radio station is doing "nine at nine" which is nine songs from a year at nine am.

I learned that my birth year the music was really crud (1972) which I've always suspected.

But, it is interesting as yours are! Great memories, like you I thought similarly about most of the artists you've mentioned (especially Michael Jackson - I've always been proud that I didn't like him even back in the day)

HP6 was very good, wasn't it?

Bay in TN said...

Oh! I was fifteen in the summer of '82 and working as an aide and dishwasher at camp. My fondest memories of that summer include the music. You didn't even *mention* "Tainted Love"!!!! I'm shocked. ;) But I love the walk down memory lane. Thank you!!!!!! I'm always telling my kids that "Jack & Diane" is a *classic*. Whenever it comes on the radio, I crank it up *really* loudly. They appreciate that more than the music from '84. "Panama" by Van Halen gets very loud very quickly. ;)