Life of Tunes

Posts Tagged ‘80’s music

  1. Last night I watched a movie that shall remain nameless for the time being so that I don’t spoil it for anyone. In this movie there was a plane crash. I had a song pop into my head for like a millisecond and then “poof” – gone. It was driving me crazy but I could not think of the name or tune of it no matter how hard I tried.
  2. The movie ended with a scene that reminded me of another movie I saw in the 90’s called Fire In The Sky. This is a pretty good movie which had the desired effect as I recall. My friend and I who saw it were both feeling quite “anxious” as I recall on the drive home.
  3. This reminded me of my family’s 1987 GMC Safari that I was driving that night and how much I loved cranking tunes in that van when I was a teen. I clearly remember blasting 13 Engines, a fun Canadian 90’s band in that van. There is no reason for me thinking of this in particular, it was just a flash.
  4. This first vehicle of my youth reminded me of when I bought my own first car, a 1983 Volvo GLT. Man I loved that car. This morphed into a memory of my friend and I driving at night with the moon roof open in the mountains and singing Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd at the top of our lungs.
  5. Pink Floyd made me think of when I travelled to Toronto in the late 90’s to see them live with a few friends and what an amazing show that was.
  6. Pondering this trip made me recall a good friend of mine at the time and how I haven’t talked to him in many years now. He had a Renault Alliance, burnt orange or reddish or something if I remember correctly. For some reason this car made me think of Credence Clearwater Revival. I am not even sure if he liked CCR but this was my memory nonetheless.
  7. CCR made me think of another movie that I really enjoyed (for the soundtrack and the scenery) called Indian Summer. This made me start to sing “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” by Allan Sherman for some reason. I am pretty sure that this track was in the movie but I am not absolutely certain.
  8. “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” made me think of camping when I was a kid.
  9. Camping made me think of the brand of trailer that we had when I was growing up. It was a Travelaire I am pretty sure.
  10. Memories of camping with my family in my childhood made me think of all the great trips we did growing up. This was the first thing that I thought of when I woke up this morning and the train of memories continued from there.
  11. A specific memory of my Dad backing down a narrow mountain road while towing our trailer then popped into my head along with the recollection that this took place somewhere on the east coast.
  12. East coast travel made me think of travel there with my own family in recent years.
  13. This brought about a recollection of a trip where the Lenny Kravitz 5 CD was played over and over again. Great CD!
  14. Traveling, music, east coast, family, driving, singing at the top of your lungs, overplaying great CD’s and a realization that music really is the most prominent part of my memory reminds me of a specific holiday I took with my girls. The soundtrack of this journey included Mr. A-Z by Jason Mraz at great length.
  15. Thinking of this CD made my favorite song from it pop immediately into my head. The title of this song is “Plane”. Great song.
  16. Plane by Jason Mraz is also the song I was trying to remember the name of while I was watching that movie last night. I have been stewing on that for over 8 hours and finally I have my answer. Man my brain is messed up! The good news is that 8 hours later I am no longer obsessed and using 80% brain capacity to try and remember the name of the friggin song that was on my mind during that plane crash scene.


Today’s Life of Tunes keeper is Plane by Jason Mraz. As I mentioned this is my favorite track of the Mr. A-Z CD. I have included the video of a pretty good live version that I stumbled upon. Of course as always I have posted the original studio version of the track as well and you can listen to that below.


Artist: Jason Mraz
Album: Mr. A-Z (2005) 
Track: Plane



I realized a long time ago that I am a sucker for a great pop/rock chorus. A real sucker.  When I listen to Warm Me Up by The Audition I catch myself laughing a bit, remembering my head-banging days of the 80’s. As soon as they launch into the guitar solo it’s really etched in stone. It just sounds so…predictable or something. That said I catch myself singing along every time. Warm Me Up off of Champion by The Audition in particular has a few of those key elements that I love in many songs. It’s got some good high energy guitar riffs, some catchy harmonizing vocals, and a lot of layers of music culminating in a little bit of a crescendo. Is a little crescendo even possible?? Throw in those humdrum lyrics a somewhat commonplace vocals and a lack of overall variety to the music of the entire CD and you might wonder why I am even blogging about The Audition.


For some reason I love cranking this song in the car. This one song always leads to another and then another and every time I found I have listened to the entire CD and enjoyed it. With every listen I pick out one or two little unique things that I hadn’t noticed before and for some reason I keep coming back for more. Listen to the original studio track here and watch the video below.


Warm Me Up by The Audition is a Life of Tunes keeper of the unexplainable variety.


Artist: The Audition
Album: Champion (2008) 
Track: Warm Me Up

There aren’t too many folks who sit on the fence with Rush. Like many hugely successful bands, people either love them or hate them. I have always been on the side that loves them though I have gone through stretches where I have not listened to them much if at all. Today I was moving some books on my shelf to dust (yes I do that occasionally!) and saw one of my yearbooks from high school. In taking a quick leaf through the tapered pants and big hair I saw a note from one of my friends about how obsessed I was with Neil Peart, the drummer of Rush. While I am biased to drummers often I always thought he was the biggest reason for their success. Neil Peart is an anchor behind the two front men, an amazing lyricist and one of the most talented drummers of all time. In order to avoid hate mail from all of the challengers I am going to move on quickly here, but of course that subject can be debated until the end of time, it’s a personal choice.

Rush - Grace Under Pressure (1984)This friend was referring to a particular day where a bunch of us were gathered around my encyclopedia sized bright yellow Sony Walkman trying to mimic the high hat beat of Red Sector A. Of course I was the ring leader and challenger. It went without saying that I had been listening to this “tape” to the point of exhaustion. It brought back memories of my feeling a little different from others around music and that frustrating feeling of trying to MAKE others love something as much as you do. “They just don’t understand how awesome this is” is along the lines of what I would have been thinking. A few friends were impressed by the seemingly random pattern of beats that I was referring to but they still kind of looked at me like I was the other glove that Michael Jackson never wore.

So I fully expect that many of you will hear this as just another song, others will relate and enjoy. Many of you I am sure will not even listen to Red Sector A because you think Rush is overrated or you can’t stand Geddy Lee’s hair or voice, or glasses or whatever.

I have included the studio track on Grooveshark as well as a live video. As is often the case the video quality isn’t great so to get the real experience I insist you listen to the original track. Don’t forget to follow along with Mr. Peart on the high hat!


The bottom line is that Red Sector A by Rush is a Life of Tunes keeper. C’mon…don’t you get it???

Artist: Rush
Album: Grace Under Pressure (1984)
Track: Red Sector A

eyeofI am still laughing from a musical moment earlier this evening. It was soccer night for my 10 year old and I was just settling in with my Venti lactose free decaf latte with sugar free vanilla from Starbucks. The girls were warming up and getting pumped up for the game when Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor popped into my head. I think I laughed out pretty loud actually and got a few strange looks but I couldn’t help myself. Cue the black and white and hazy video… I was immediately in my hockey gear about 27 or 28 years ago circling the goalie and taking shots in my own warm-up. The arena I used to play in when I lived in Virginia Beach always played Eye Of The Tiger while we were warming up for a game. I recall how awesome that song made me feel as an 11 year old; wearing the jersey of my team and getting ready to do battle with my teammates. These are the really cool nostalgic memories of a time when life was so much less hectic.

While sitting on the sidelines of tonight’s game screaming “GO SOUR LEMONS!” I had a real sense of contentment. The delight of an 11 year old being on top of the world. It feels good to remember those times so fondly. I can only hope that as my daughter wraps up her game with the Sour Lemon Cheer that she is feeling the same. By the way it was a 4-4 tie and a nail biter.

Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor is a Life of Tunes keeper and some good memories.

Artist: Survivior
Album: Eye Of The Tiger (1982)
Track: Eye Of The Tiger

Fools Gold as per is defined as “iron or copper pyrites, sometimes mistaken for gold.” I’m not sure that’s what The Stone Roses were referring to in this 1989 classic Madchester tune. For me Fools Gold the song is more about our futile pursuit of the things in life that they think are going to make them happy. When I say they, I really mean me.  Once and a while I catch myself wishing I had some thing that would make me happy. Today it was my car. It’s about on its last legs and sounds like a cross between a tank and a metronome driving down the street right now. I actually heard myself think, I will be so happy when I get a new car. I didn’t even just mean, it will make me happy for the moment, I meant my life will be better. How pathetic really. Anyway the good news I was aware of how ridiculous this was in reality and moved on with my day.

stoneFool’s Gold popped into my head as I was engaging in this internal banter with myself. It is a kind of warning for me, a reminder that happiness comes from being content with what I have right now, not living in the future. How profound eh? I know, I know it’s irritatingly soapboxish (yes that’s a real word in the Life of Tunes dictionary – look it up!) of me to pontificate about such things but this is what I was thinking. It’s how I came to want to crank this tune today and I kind of like that a great song can teach me something about living my life and the life lived can remind me of the song again. It’s the circle of Life of Tunes!

Fools Gold by The Stone Roses ranks very high on my all time favourite tuners list. I love so much about this track. Great funky rhythms, percussion and some really cool guitar riffs. This is a song that screams highway to me and it ends of on many of my road trip mixed CD’s or playlists. Listen to this track now wherever you are. Get the CD if you don’t already have it. Hear the message. The video quality below isn’t great so if you would prefer better quality and audio only you can listen to it hereFools Gold is a Life of Tunes keeper of the supreme variety.

Artist: The Stone Roses
Album: The Stone Roses (1989)
Track: Fools Gold

It’s another rainy day and it got me to thinking about my love-hate relationship with rain. There are days that I absolutely love the rain. Bring it on when I don’t have plans, or when the farmers are in desperate need. Let it pour when I don’t feel like dragging my ass out of bed. It just helps me think I am not missing anything. There is nothing better though, than sitting outside just under the porch roof and watching an awe inspiring rain storm approach complete with a sound and light show. Nature’s version of heavy metal. Being at the cottage and seeing the calm water become quickly disturbed is equally amazing.

So what about the rain inspired songs I love and hate? Do a Google search and you will come up with thousands of songs with rain in the title but there are a couple that come to mind today in particular. One, that if memory serves me correctly can’t even be considered a song! When Milli Vanilli recorded, or rather “air-bandedBlame It On The Rain in 1989 I remember truly hating this song. I don’t hate many things, but I just watched the video and it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up! I thought I would share it with you if for no other reason than the comic relief. Real music lovers are strongly cautioned about the images you will see here so please click responsibly. When Milli Vanilli was exposed in 1990 for not actually singing on their album, I couldn’t help but snicker.

In keeping with the music of the late 80’s and early 90’s one of my favorite rain songs “No Rain” by Blind Melon, released in 1992 helps to relieve some of my Milli Vanilli nausea. It’s a simple and fun sounding song that was quite possibly over rated at the time but for me is still timeless. Like many other music lovers I was keen on following this up and coming band and was disturbed when lead singer Richard Shannon died on October 21, 1995.  You can see the official “No Rain” video here. What actually caught my ear when I first heard this song was the opening lyrics rather than the tune itself. The writer Brad Smith’s words resonated with me when he said:

blind melonAll I can say is that my life is pretty plain, I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain. All I can do is just pour some tea for two, and speak my point of view – but it’s not sane. It’s not sane.

True in 1992 and still true today.

Blind Melon’s No Rain is a Life of Tunes Keeper.

Artist: Blind Melon
Album: Blind Melon (1992)
Track: No Rain

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