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Some say life is the dream and the afterlife is the awakening

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Reelin’ in the Years – 2006

It’s 2006 and I’m 44 years old. 44 is an unlucky number for the Chinese. At least, for those who believe in the I Ching. Hexagram 44 is a time where temptation and darkness can cause real danger.

I Ching hexagrams 0 to 64

I Ching hexagrams 0 to 64 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to consult the I Ching pretty much daily when I was a lot younger. By 2006 I don’t take it too seriously. Basically, I got bored of it never really coming true.

It dawned on me that I was just projecting my own desires onto the hexagrams. And I also believe the Holy Spirit is of a different order than the order talked about in the I Ching. However, I admit, I still notice when I see the #44.

Stormy Daniels

Stormy Daniels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’ve been watching the news you’ll know that 2006 is the year Stormy Daniels claims to have had unprotected sex with President Trump.

I guess someone had a bad day…

I recall hearing this song and not thinking too much of it until the extremely catchy chorus. It’s by a Canadian artist who did better in other countries than in his own native land.

That happens sometimes.

Stone Path, The I Ching Trail, Autumn Is Not

Reelin’ in ALL the Years


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Reelin’ in the Years – 2000

It’s 2000 and I’m 38 years old. I remember sitting in the basement playing around with some fonts on our Windows 98 PC, trying to make a catchy banner for Earthpages for the year 2000.

Everything felt pretty new and 2001 was just around the corner—a special year for me because my favorite movie was 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I saw as a kid.

Chuck Berry releases an Anthology in 2000 and since he’s one of the originators of Rock and Roll, I think it appropriate to list one of his best tunes (there are many) for the year 2000.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Fats Domino: The quiet rock ‘n’ roll rebel who defied US segregation (scroll.in)


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1973

In 1973 Skylab paved the way for the International Space Station – via Wikipedia

It’s 1973, I’m eleven years old, and mankind has been to the moon so many times it’s like “Oh did they do that again?”

People being the fickle creatures that they are soon lost interest in the moon shots. And the manned (peopled?) lunar program was all washed up by ’73.

Skylab quietly ushered in a whole new era in space research while we on Earth watched more sci-fi on TV and in theaters. Also, blockbuster disaster movies were being hatched like spray painted golden eggs. The Towering Inferno, Earthquake

Afros, blow-dried hair, flares and bell bottoms, big collars, wide ties, floppy hats and peace signs. Long Caddys. This was the style. Punk and New Wave were brewing with bands like Roxy Music but the revolution hadn’t really hit the scene in ’73. This was pure 70s time.

Image via Pinterest – A popular Gillette hairspray TV ad declared, “The wethead is dead.”

My favorite pop tunes for this year once again happen to be two Canadian songs. Honestly, I’m not tipping the scales in some hokey attempt to promote Canadian culture. It’s just that I, having been born and raised on Canadian soil, happen to like these tunes best.

And yup, I said “tunes” not tune. This year I’m breaking the rules again and, like with 1962, declaring a tie.

The first tune relates to my exploratory, sci-fi side. I remember driving around downtown Toronto (being driven, that is) among the tall buildings and having a “moment” when this song came on the AM radio.

This uncut version is longer than what I’m used to. I grew up with the heavily edited rendition on K-Tel’s Fantastic – 22 Original Hits, 22 Original Stars, which I almost like better.

The second song speaks to the mystique of women. It’s psychological and spiritual, using nature and the garden as metaphors for personal growth, self-actualization, call it what you want.

I also like the apocalyptic guitar riff in this tune. Pretty tame for today but in ’73 it captured the balance between destruction and hope that we all felt on some level.

Geez, it looks like my personality was almost fully formed by 1973!

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1967

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clu...

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “probably the most famous album cover in popular musical history”Ashplant Smyth 2001, p. 185. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 1967 and I’m five years old.

I definitely remember hearing Sgt. Pepper’s on vinyl. The song that first caught my imagination was “Lucy in the Sky.” That guitar riff at the beginning has been copied and morphed by so many other bands.

They probably changed it just enough to avoid a lawsuit. I learned how to play that riff as a boy. Not so hard. But getting something simple that unique, well, that’s the challenge of pop, isn’t it?

I don’t mean to pass over The Beatles. It’s the Summer of Love in ’67 and their groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s blew away most other bands. Actually all other bands. And most everyone admitted it (maybe not Quincy Jones).

A rose is a rose is a rose. And genius is genius is genius. And at that moment, The Beatles with George Martin were genius. No doubt about it.

English: Quincy Jones attending an after-party...

Quincy Jones attending an after-party of a tribute to his work at Life Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA on October 1, 2008 – Photo by Glenn Francis of http://www.PacificProDigital.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To think they did all that on a four-track recorder! Anyone who knows studio tech will understand how amazing that is.

I really should list “A Day in the Life” as my favorite song. But that was me in the basement, looking over and trying to play some sheet music on our old piano. Right now I want to focus more on stuff that really made AM radio what it was.

From 1966 you can see that AM radios were all rage back then. Most cars, except for the odd luxury vehicle, were standard equipped with a thin, overly compressed sounding AM radio. Basically music in a tin can.

That was it. So pop songs had to sound good on AM radios. And they had to go a full cycle (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.) in about 2 and a half minutes to fit the AM radio format.

If they went much over two minutes, the DJ would just start talking and fade into the next song or go to a commercial. So really, no long sagas like “A Day in the Life” would work on AM. That was for FM, which would find its full voice in the 70s. (get out the tape deck!)

Image – Wikipedia

One tune that did sound good on AM was the Rolling Stone’s “Ruby Tuesday.” I remember hearing this on vinyl – we had lots of vinyl kicking around – and sensing it was somehow different.

“Ruby Tuesday” proved that the Stones could do mature work. I think it’s a great song with fabulous instrumentation. That recorder, or whatever it is, adds an almost medieval, courtly flair that only the Brits could pull off.

Fantastic lyrics. Fantastic song. Enjoy.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1966

The Monkees, 1966 via Wikipedia

Boy oh boy. There are so many good tunes for the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1966 that I really had to scratch my head over choosing just one. I am now four years old and remembering more songs as I grow older.

We had the Monkees 33.3 record with “Last Train to Clarksville.” My last name is Clark so as a kid that got my attention.

Even as a child, though, I sensed that the Monkees weren’t really the best of bands. A made-for-TV copy of the Beatles. We had oodles of Beatles 33s and 45s kicking around. So I had a good basis for comparison.

The Monkees were catchy. But they weren’t the Beatles.

Most cars in the mid-60s only had an AM radio. 8-track, FM, and cassette were soon to follow. In Canada, the speedometer still used MPH. We took a turn to KM (and Celcius) in the 70s. I remember reading in the paper that metric was more “international.” – Image via Wikipedia

Later in life, I came to appreciate and really adore Frank Sinatra. But in ’66 he was more of a middle-aged act than a young person’s thing. Frank was going out of style. “Strangers in the Night” did chart and won a Grammy for Record of the Year. But it didn’t fly with the teeny-bop crowd. Rock and Roll was “here to stay” as Neil Young would sing.

Mind you, that swanky era wasn’t totally gone. My parents’ generation still bought records like that. Funnily enough, I don’t remember seeing any Sinatra records in my parents’ collection. My love for Frank just came naturally later in life as I enjoy most types of music, especially the greats.

Sinatra, pictured here with Eleanor Roosevelt ...

Sinatra, pictured here with Eleanor Roosevelt in 1960, was an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party until 1968. – Image via Wikipedia

For the 1966 best song, however, I chose The Mamas & The Papas’ “Monday Monday” because, like “Downtown” (1965), it was one of those songs that stayed with you, even when you weren’t near the radio.

Notice the pre-hippy fashion in this video. Elvish colors and collars. Pinstripe pants. Hair getting a bit longer and shaggier. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, The Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed, Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy and Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow were just around the corner. And that, my friends, was a whole new ballgame.

To me, the opening vocals in this tune are like a tulip coming out in April. Something so new, so fresh, so positive. Even though the song is about a sad Monday, it’s still upbeat, uplifting.

That’s flower power, man!

You can just see Sinatra and his fellow crooners burying their heads in their hands, heading for Vegas where they can still squeeze out a few bucks for booze, cigarettes and who knows what else.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Rita Ora, Grace Jones, and English National Opera to headline Henley Festival 2018 (telegraph.co.uk)

 An Interview With Quincy Jones Is Like A Box Of Chocolates. You Never Know Who He Met … And What He Did (allaccess.com)

 Jay-Z opens up about why he boycotted the Grammys in 1999 (bostonherald.com)

 Music icon Quincy Jones says Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen can play guitar ‘just like’ Jimi Hendrix (businessinsider.com)

 Why the UK Just Appointed a Minister of Loneliness (livescience.com)

 Prince Honored By Justin Timberlake In NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show [Social Media Reactions] (business2community.com)


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Reelin’ in the Years – 1962

Billboard Tenth Anniversary Issue, 1904

Billboard Tenth Anniversary Issue, 1904 – Wikipedia

Okay, it’s mid-winter in Canada and, frankly, I need a little diversion that’s just sheer fun. So I thought it would be a great idea to do a top song for each year I’ve been alive, starting at 1962, the year I was born.

After a quick look at Billboard for 1962, I decided I’d begin with two songs instead of just one. I may do that again, I may not. But since ’62 is the year I came into this world, I think it’s okay to start with a bang!

Both of these songs are familiar to me. I had older bros and sis’s. And I can still see their 45s (those are vinyl singles, for those who don’t know) in my mind’s eye. Also, they’re just good songs that have enjoyed a lot of airtime and cover versions through the years.

So here’s my beginnings… 1962. And two songs I know and like from that year.

Stay tuned for next time… 1963!

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Now Charlie Puth Has Candles (stereogum.com)

 Lil Uzi Vert says he’s finished a new project (thefader.com)