Friends and I were talking about favorite albums. I immediately said Hard Promises by Tom Petty. But then I remembered how much I love Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Which should be first? Idk… tie! I also love 12 Songs by Neil Diamond and If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot, not necessarily in that order. To qualify as one of my faves, every song on the album has to be enjoyable (sorry Eagles). But what about Moondance? I remembered this fabulous album by Van Morrison yesterday and began playing it on Spotify. Maybe it should be my number one. But wait! There’s more!
When choosing a song for Jim’s Thursday Inspiration, I remembered Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas. Well, damn. I love every song on that album too ~ thanks to Dusty for the rec way back when. Maybe I simply can’t have a favorite? I guess it’s OK to keep more than one album in my number one spot. It’s not as though I’m going to marry any of them, and even if… No need to be faithful!
Show me the place Help me roll away the stone Show me the place I can’t move this thing alone Show me the place Where the Word became a man Show me the place Where the suffering began
Leonard Cohen cowrote SMTP with Patrick Leonard, a Canadian singer-poet who helped out on Old Ideas. This 2012 album was LC’s 12th studio album ~ a big hit in multiple countries ~ and he’d record two more (Popular Problems and You Want It Darker) before his death in 2016. What a horrible year in so many ways. This album is very dark thematically, yet somehow uplifting too. There is always the possibility to be redeemed by love, even at the end of days.
LC began touring again in the 2000’s when he was in his 70s after his manager stole all his money. Sad story, but his fans certainly benefited by having three more albums of LC songs to cherish. I prefer Old Ideas to Darker, and Darker to Popular, though there are excellent tracks on each. Here’s “Show Me the Place.” Is it about love? Death? God? Yes.
These dreams go on when I close my eyes Every second of the night I live another life These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away
For this week’s edition of Song Lyric Sunday, we are to choose a song that was turned down by a recording artist that went on to become a big hit for another artist. “These Dreams,” a song written by Martin Page, was offered to Stevie Nicks in 1985. She had no interest in it, which is weird because I can totally imagine her doing a great job with it. The lyrics are full of longing and wistfulness, so I can just see her floating around in her lacy layers singing…
Spare a little candle Save some light for me Figures up ahead Moving in the trees White skin in linen Perfume on my wrist And the full moon that hangs over These dreams in the mist
It’s so Stevie! But nope. Heart took it, even though they generally write most of their own material. Nancy Wilson sang lead, which was a first, because her sister Ann was sick with a cold. Ann did record some vocals though, and producers reportedly liked the raspy Ann so much they wanted her to get sick again for future work. Welp, if you want raspy, you gotta have Stevie. Or Bonnie Tyler for ultimate rasp. Anyway, “These Dreams” appeared on Heart’s eighth studio album, cleverly titled Heart, and it was released as the third single. It hit No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 in March 1986 and also became their first and only No. 1 on US Adult Contemporary. So there you go.
Is it cloak ‘n’ dagger Could it be spring or fall I walk without a cut Through a stained glass wall Weaker in my eyesight The candle in my grip And words that have no form Are falling from my lips
Thanks once again to Jim Adams for hosting Song Lyric Sunday. Today’s theme is hidden gems: great songs that missed the top of the charts ~ and can you believe that “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac is one of them?
I took my love, I took it down I climbed a mountain and I turned around And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills ‘Til the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky What is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Yes, this iconic song by one of the best-selling bands of the 1970s was a dud on the charts. The song was written by Stevie Nicks and appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 album Fleetwood Mac (aka the white album); it also appears on their best-of releases in 1992 and 2002 along with some of their live albums. But, oddly, “Landslide” only went to No. 51 on Billboard Hot 100, though it did hit the 10-spot on Adult Contemporary.
Oh-oh, take my love, take it down Oh-oh, climb a mountain and you turn around And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills Well, the landslide bring it down And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills Well, the landslide bring it down Oh-ohh, the landslide bring it down
The heck with the charts though ~ “Landslide” was certified Gold in 2009 and continues to be in frequent rotation on oldies rock stations. Nicks sings it on every Fleetwood Mac tour (except one) and also on her solo tours. As of 2017, it’s sold over 2,000,000 copies, so someone out there likes it besides me! (Info from Wikipedia.)
Dr. Tanya continues her #5Things series by asking about the stuff we no longer buy due to the pandemic. Welp, in the last several years my purchasing habits have indeed changed, but not because of Covid-19. Read on…
1. Hair coloring. The last time I got my hair colored at the salon was in 2018, before my eldest daughter’s wedding. It’s slowly turned pretty grey since then ~ I estimate about 25% grey. I used to think it was very important to cover the grey because of dating, but now I don’t date, so I save all the money I would have spent on color or highlights at the salon. I get only basic haircuts now.
2. Sexy clothes and shoes. Same deal. I used to think it was necessary to have cute skirts, tight tops, and high heels in my closet in case I met Mr. Right, but I don’t have to worry about that anymore, and the sexy stuff is long gone. My clothes these days are comfy-frumpy, and my shoes are old-lady style to minimize back pain.
3. Costumes. I used to enjoy wearing funny and/or sexy costumes whenever there was a themed event, but I’ve thrown all that stuff in the trash. It was mostly uncomfortable in any case, and these days I’m more inclined to wear a fun sweater to celebrate a theme rather than a costume and makeup.
4. Makeup! Yep, nowadays I may wear lip gloss or lipstick, but that’s about it. No more fussing with my eyes to impress some dumb guy. Actually, I don’t know if any men really care about eye makeup ~ you always hear them say they like the “natural look,” though some women work hard to look natural. My eyes have become too sensitive for makeup lately anyway, so it’s a win-win.
5. Dating site memberships, gah. Due to the erroneous belief that “you get what you pay for,” I subscribed to sites several times, as opposed to hanging out on the free ones, in hopes of meeting men who weren’t lying, cheating, unemployed, illiterate, cat-hating psychos. Wrong! The same scumbags lurk on the pay sites too.
Giving up dating has been a blessing for my wallet. Men complain about having to pay for dinner, but they have no clue how much we spend to look good for them, while they show up for every date in jeans and a slobbo tee shirt. Bleh!
Please refrain from giving me any advice. I haven’t dated in over 5 years and am much happier without all that drama. As the song says…
You could be my silver spring Blue-green colors flashin’ I would be your only dream Your shinin’ autumn ocean crashin’ Don’t say that she’s pretty And did you say that she loved you? Baby, I don’t want to know
Thanks go out to Jim Adams, our tuneful host of Song Lyric Sunday. For this week’s theme, I chose “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks wrote the song for the band’s 1977 smash hit album Rumors, and provides lead vocals, but instead it became the B-side for the single “Go Your Own Way.” Twenty years later, a live version of “Silver Springs” was released from their 1997 album The Dance. This version was nominated for a Grammy. (Info is from Wikipedia.)
Time cast a spell on you, But you won’t forget me I know I could’ve loved you But you would not let me I’ll follow you down Till the sound of my voice Will haunt you
Drama has always surrounded this song. Nicks’ inspiration for the lyrics arose from her breakup with fellow bandmate Lindsay Buckingham, and that alone may have caused the song to be tossed from Rumors, which upset her. Ironically, it was then paired with Buckingham’s side of their breakup story: “Go Your Own Way.” Next, Nicks got into a dispute with another bandmate Mick Fleetwood over including the song on her own 1991 album because he wanted to release it on a Fleetwood Album boxed set, which he did in 1992. However, a slightly longer ”Silver Springs” appeared on the 2004 remastered Rumors album and on Nicks’ 2007 album Crystal Visions, as well as the previously mentioned live version on The Dance.
The most important thing is that we, the public, get to enjoy this lovely song!
I’m glad that Maggie waited until after April A2Z to ask her musical Throwback Thursday questions, as I was posting an Eagles song daily throughout April (except Sundays) and was a bit burnt out on dealing with more posts on any music-related topic. OK, then… let’s get to it. (If anyone cares, which no one does, I have been experimenting with eliminating apostrophes after words ending in “s,” if the meaning is clear otherwise. I began doing this during my Eagles marathon and I’m happier with how my writing looks. I simply view those “dangling” apostrophes as ugly. Do I care if it is technically incorrect? Hah. Don’t worry, I still know the rules for professional writing.)
1. What music were you exposed to in your family home – genre, artist, or style.
My parents loved music. My mom loved country music and Johnny Cash especially. My dad loved the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and the Beatles. They also loved musicals and played the soundtracks from Zorba the Greek, Hair, Swan Lake, etc.
2. Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?
I loved all that and still do. I wasn’t rebellious in this sense at all. I never went through an alternate music phase that my parents hated. When I played my Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, or Supremes records, they also enjoyed my choices.
3. How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?
All of the above. We watched Lawrence Welk and variety shows that included music. We played records and listened to music on the radio. I don’t recall that my parents danced around while music was playing, but I did. I never learned to dance properly though, but that’s OK, as it gave my daughters another reason to laugh at my dorkiness.
4. Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?
Yes. LOL. Well, maybe not 8-tracks, as I’m not sure what those are, but definitely the other three formats!
5. What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?
I loved the same music I love now: Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, etc. And disco! Then in my later teens and 20s I discovered Fleetwood Mac, Journey (the original with Steve Perry), Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Led Zep, Def Leppard, the Go-Go’s, etc. I didn’t realize I loved the Eagles until I was in my early 20s!
6. Who did you go to see for your first concert? Who did you go with?
Journey. My college boyfriend took me, and it was a horrible outdoor experience ~ we were too close to the speaker and the music was so loud I couldn’t actually hear it. It was just blasting noise the entire time and I got a giant headache. The next one I went to, a few years later (also with a boyfriend), featured Pat Benatar, indoors, at a normal, nice volume.
7. What concert has been your favorite concert to date?
I don’t know. I haven’t been to that many because they’re way too expensive. Even cover band concerts are out of my budget, mostly. Probably Cash Out (Johnny Cash cover band) was the best one.
8. When do you listen to music? In the car? At work? While studying or doing projects?
Mostly in the car. Sometimes I listen to Spotify at work if I’m doing something routine. But I also rewatch musicals pretty often ~ Chicago, Walk the Line, Grease, Fiddler, Mamma Mia (1 & 2), etc. I’m going to see The Sound of Music live this weekend.
9. Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?
That’s a great question! Yes, probably, along with romance novels and rom-coms. I had this dreamy idea of a soul mate who would love me forever and we would exist in bliss with no problems whatsoever (after we resolved whatever main conflict kept us apart, of course, like me being a commoner and him being a Duke, or whatever thing), blah blah blah, and I think I formed that fantasy from the media I was exposed to because it sure as hell didn’t come from my parents or any other real-life marriage I saw.
10. How has your choice of music changed over the years? What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?
It hasn’t. I still love all the same music I ever did. My genre of choice depends on my mood, but mostly I enjoy soft rock/pop, such as Gordon and Neil and Stevie Nicks, and not so much the Def Leppard side of things unless I’m doing some dorky dancercise stuff.
Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room? Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.
I had a full-size poster of David Lee Roth on my bedroom door for a while. I can’t find the exact one online, but ugh he is old now. How did that happen?
EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?
The first time I heard Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers I was in a car with my boyfriend in 1980. We were in the back and his friend and friend’s girlfriend were in the front. It was the year of Damn the Torpedoes. (Says on Wiki that DTT was released fall of 1979, so that makes sense.) I fell in love with “Refugee” instantly and couldn’t wait to run right out and buy the album. So many good songs on there. I bought the prior album too and possibly the first one, not sure. Maybe later on a greatest hits I ended up with “American Girl” and “Breakdown.” Tom Petty was one artist I bought in vinyl, then again in tape, and finally on CD. Ridiculous, how we did that. But I didn’t do that for everyone!
My favorite Tom Petty album is Hard Promises. Unfortunately, I no longer have it (or any vinyl) and I see via iTunes that I don’t even have a complete list of the songs scattered about. Well! I don’t know how this disaster happened, but it will have to be remedied at once. *puts CD in Amazon cart* Every song on Hard Promises was significant to me in some way in 1981 when I listened repeatedly to the album back in Chicago. I can’t say that 1981 was such a terrible year, since 1982 was worse, and 1983 broke my heart, but maybe I had a premonition or something. I don’t know. I listened to so much music back then, just listened, and absorbed. Not like now, where I’m usually doing something else, not focused on music unless I force myself to stop.
Of course I loved some of TP’s later work as well. “Learning to Fly.” “Free Fallin’.” “I Won’t Back Down.” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Stevie Nicks. I didn’t really pay much attention to the Traveling Wilburys, except of course “End of the Line” was fun to listen to.
Melanie starts our week off right with a new set of Share Your World questions…
1. What is your opinion of the state of health care in your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?
Mine is okay, but I know lots of people are suffering because it’s so expensive and that doesn’t seem right for a wealthy country. I would like to see healthcare uncoupled from employment, since (1) it’s none of your employer’s business what health services you use, whether a gyno or a shrink or any other medical professional, and (2) it’s not fair to so many people working on contract and/or part-time without full benefits. I don’t know about Medicare (yet), so I can’t speak to that.
While I don’t begrudge doctors a high income since they’re so important to us ~ as are trash collectors and my area’s are currently on strike, which at the moment concerns me more that the cost of my next scammogram, I mean mammogram. However, sometimes I wonder at the motivation behind doctors’ recs, especially when they have to recoup their investment in fancy new equipment.
Take the mammos ~ they’re allegedly free as part of your annual checkup, but mine have never been free because inevitably the doc needs “extra views,” which means megabucks out of my pocket, since I don’t typically use any medical services the rest of the year and have to meet my copays. Last time, my OOP was $1,100 for these extras (nothing is ever found with them), which I paid, albeit grumpily, but many women might not be able to afford such a hit on their wallet. That sucks!
Bottom line: no one in the US should have to suffer from lack of medical care.
2. What are two words that describe you best?
Reliable and neurotic.
3.Do you have a morning routine? If so, what it’s like?
I reliably awaken super early and immediately panic that something is wrong. I struggle to clear my mind, remember what day it is, and obsess over my agenda. I grab my phone and frantically check for any new disasters, emails, comments, etc. On workdays, I generally get ready to go with oodles of time to spare just in case I need it because I can’t bear to be late for anything. On weekends, I’m slightly more relaxed, but not a lot because I always have my side work to do plus a buttload of chores and errands. Most days I start off with a diet Coke and coffee to ensure I’m as jittery as possible all morning.
3.What’s something that really makes your blood race?
Imagining bad things.
4. Do you enjoy singing festive songs during *insert festive celebration that you observe to replace “Christmas” if it’s not relevant to you * Christmas carols or songs?
I have a terrible voice, so I don’t enjoy singing anything, but I enjoy listening to many of the Christmas songs, especially the ones sung by rockers, such as Stevie Nicks.
Thanks go out to Jim Adams, our tuneful host of Song Lyric Sunday. For today I chose a duet by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley titled ”Leather and Lace.” The prompt word ”house” appears in the lyrics.
I have my own life And I am stronger than you know But I carry this feelin’ When you walked into my house That you won’t be walkin’ out the door
Stevie wrote the song for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Coulter, but they didn’t use it. So she revised it for a duet with Don Henley and included it on her 1981 album Bella Donna. It hit No. 6 on Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks in January 1982.
According to gossip, Stevie and Don dated in the 1970s, she became pregnant with his baby in 1979, and she had an abortion. Don went on to have children with someone else, but Stevie remained childfree by choice. She says it’s more fun to be the crazy auntie. Although, if you have kids and ride it out, you get to be the crazy Nana!
Lovers forever, face-to-face My city, your mountains Stay with me, stay I need you to love me I need you today Give to me your leather Take from me my lace
I chose the Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks’ duet “Insider” for Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday today. This song was written by Tom for his 1981 album Hard Promises, which is one of my favorites from him. I also love all Stevie’s duets. Tom says the lyrics are about trust in a relationship ~ a romantic relationship or a business relationship or … ? Draw your own conclusions, but at the time of writing Tom was in a legal dispute with his record company. Tom wrote this song for Stevie, at her request, but he liked it so much after they sang it together that he kept it and instead gave her “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which was a huge hit.
Hard Promises went platinum in the US and Canada. Here’s a lyric snippet from “Insider,” followed by a vid. Do have a listen ~ it’s great!
It’s a circle of deception It’s a hall of strangers It’s a cage without a key You can feel the danger And I’m the one who oughta’ know I’m the one you couldn’t trust I’m the lonely silent one I’m the one left in the dust