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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Eye in the Sky” is a pleasing soft rock tune from the 1982 album of the same name by the Alan Parsons Project. The song rose to number three on the U.S. charts, the group’s all-time best effort.

The lyrics are considerably less cheerful than the melody. They tell of the end of a relationship when a man discovers that his girlfriend is not who he thought she was. He feels victorious and empowered, but also angry and disappointed.

Parsons said co-writer Eric Woolfson came up with the title after spending time in Las Vegas.

“He had a certain fascination with the hidden cameras that were there watching the tables, taping the games and what have you,” said Parsons. “It was more than just the hidden cameras. It was also kind of 1984 syndrome. It covers the fact we can never be left to our own devices; we will always be watched.”

Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky

By the Alan Parsons Project, 1982
Written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson

Don’t think sorry’s easily said.
Don’t try turning tables instead.
You’ve taken lots of chances before,
But I ain’t gonna give any more —
Don’t ask me.
That’s how it goes,
‘Cause part of me knows what you’re thinkin’.

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret.
Don’t let the fire rush to your head.
I’ve heard the accusation before,
And I ain’t gonna take any more —
Believe me.
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you.
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools.
I can cheat you blind.
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.

Don’t leave false illusions behind.
Don’t cry, ‘cause I ain’t changing my mind.
So find another fool like before,
Cause I ain’t gonna live anymore
believing some of the lies
while all of the signs are deceiving.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you.
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools.
I can cheat you blind.
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you.
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools.
I can cheat you blind.
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.
I can read your mind.

 

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Tune o’ the Day

In 1987, Pink Floyd released “A Momentary Lapse of Reason,” the band’s first album after founding member Roger Waters quit in a huff in 1985. The new album was David Gilmour’s chance to show his creative stuff and poke Waters in the eye.

Gilmour used the album to take Pink Floyd in a more political direction. An example is On the Turning Away,” which laments how humans ignore the suffering of others.

The song did well, the album was popular in the US and UK, and most critics liked it. Waters, of course, opined that it stunk.

While that was going on, Waters sued Gilmour and the rest of the band over the legal right to the name Pink Floyd. Late in 1987, in an out-of-court settlement, Waters backed down. No doubt he was compensated handsomely.

Momentary

On the Turning Away

By Pink Floyd, 1987
Written by David Gilmour and Anthony Moore

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand.

“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering,
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away.”

It’s a sin that somehow,
Light is changing to shadow
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known,

Unaware how the ranks have grown,
Driven on by a heart of stone.
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.

On the wings of the night,
As the daytime is stirring,
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord,

Using words you will find are strange,
And mesmerized as they light the flame.
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night.

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary.
No more turning away
From the coldness inside.

Just a world that we all must share.
It’s not enough just to stand and stare.
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

 

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Tune o’ the Day

The British rock band Supertramp was, and still is, a rare group that performs without a front man. They are content to go on stage as musicians who get equal billing.

Actually, Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson wrote all the songs and essentially were in charge over the years, but neither made a big deal of it.

A few years ago, I posted a Tune o’ the Day featuring “The Logical Song” from Supertramp’s best-known album, “Breakfast in America.” The tune below, “Goodbye Stranger, is also from “Breakfast.”

Supertramp is still around, led by Davies and minus Hodgson. Their glory days are over, but their songs have held up well. Memorable stuff.

Supertramp-3

Goodbye Stranger

By Supertramp, 1979
Written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson

It was an early morning yesterday.
I was up before the dawn.
And I really have enjoyed my stay,
But I must be moving on.

Like a king without a castle,
Like a queen without a throne,
I’m an early morning lover,
And I must be moving on.

Now I believe in what you say
Is the undisputed truth.
But I have to have things my own way
To keep me in my youth.

Like a ship without an anchor,
Like a slave without a chain,
Just the thought of those sweet ladies
Sends a shiver through my veins.

And I will go on shining,
Shining like brand new.
I’ll never look behind me.
My troubles will be few.

Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice.
Hope you find your paradise.
Tried to see your point of view.
Hope your dreams will all come true.

Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame.

Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

Sweet devotion, it’s not for me.
Just give me motion and set me free.
And land and the ocean far away.
The life I’ve chosen every day.

So goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?

Now, some they do, and some they don’t,
And some you just can’t tell
.
And some they will
, and some they won’t.
With some it’s just as well
.

You can laugh at my behavior.
That’ll never bother me.
Say the devil is my savior
But I don’t pay no heed.

And I will go on shining,
shining like brand new.
I’ll never look behind me
.
My troubles will be few.

Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice.
Hope you find your paradise.
Tried to see your point of view.
Hope your dreams will all come true.

Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame.
Come tomorrow, feel no pain.

Sweet devotion, it’s not for me.
Just give me motion and set me free
.
And land and the ocean far away
.
The life I’ve chosen
every day.

And now I’m leaving. Got to go.
Hit the road
. I say it once again,
Oh
, yes, I’m leaving. Got to go.
Got to go, I’m sorry I must tell you
.
Goodbye, Mary
. Goodbye, Jane.
Will we ever meet again?

 

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The German new wave/synth-pop band Alphaville was formed in 1982 by three guys from Münster. Originally, the band called itself “Forever Young,” but soon switched to “Alphaville,” the title of a 1965 French movie they liked.

The name “Forever Young” promptly went to one of the songs on their aptly-named debut album, “Alphaville.”

“Forever Young” is often misunderstood. It’s a beautiful ballad that extols the virtues of youth, but it was written during the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation could have ended everything at any moment. Young Germans were well aware that their country would be among the first targets.

Lead singer Marian Gold is “hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Are you going to drop the bomb or not?” From there, the song begins to lament the loss of youth and the likelihood of getting “old without a cause.”

Lyrics can be a bummer.

Alphaville

Forever Young

By Alphaville, 1984
Written by Marian Gold, Bernhard Lloyd, and Frank Mertens

Let’s dance in style, let’s dance for a while.
Heaven can wait. We’re only watching the skies,
Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?

Let us die young or let us live forever.
We don’t have the power, but we never say never.
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip.
The music’s for the sad man.

Can you imagine when this race is won?
Turn our golden the faces into the sun,
Praising our leaders, we’re getting in tune.
The music’s played by the – the madman.

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever?

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young?

Some are like water, some are like the heat.
Some are a melody, and some are the beat.
Sooner or later they all will be gone.
Why don’t they stay young?

It’s so hard to get old without a cause.
I don’t want to perish like a fading horse.
Youth’s like diamonds in the sun,
And diamonds are forever.

So many adventures given up today.
So many songs we forgot to play.
So many dreams swinging out of the blue.
Oh, let it come true.

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever?

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, and ever?

Forever young.
I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever young?

 

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The 1966 song “A Hazy Shade of Winter” by Paul Simon is a poet’s lament about the passing of time and his “manuscripts of unpublished rhyme.” The changing of seasons is a metaphor for the cycle of life, lost opportunities, and all that. Another pretty ballad that is bleak in tone.

Two decades later, The Bangles were asked to contribute a song to the soundtrack of “Less Than Zero,” a movie about drug addiction and wasted lives. The Bangles already performed Simon’s song regularly on stage (shortened to “Hazy Shade of Winter”), so it was the natural choice.

But at the recording session, oddly, their record producer objected to the line “Drinking my vodka and lime.” The Bangles accommodated him by shortening the verse that included itwhich deleted the reference to the poet. These lyrics were cut:

Funny how my memory skips
While looking over manuscripts
Of unpublished rhyme,
Drinking my vodka and lime.

If the deletion irritated Simon, and it probably did, I expect the royalties made up for it. The Bangles’ version was a much bigger hit than the Simon and Garfunkel original.

Bangles

Hazy Shade of Winter

By The Bangles, 1987
Written by Paul Simon

Time, time, time,
See what’s become of me…

Time, time, time,
See what’s become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities.
I was so hard to please.

Look around.
Leaves are brown,
And the sky
Is a hazy shade of winter.

Hear the Salvation Army band
Down by the riverside.
It’s bound to be a better ride
Than what you’ve got planned.
Carry a cup in your hand.

Look around.
Leaves are brown,
And the sky
Is a hazy shade of winter.

Hang onto your hopes my friend.
That’s an easy thing to say,
But if your hopes should pass away,
Simply pretend
That you can build them again.

Look around.
Grass is high.
Fields are ripe.
It’s the springtime of my life.

Seasons change with their scenery,
Weaving time in a tapestry.
Won’t you stop and remember me.

Look around.
Leaves are brown,
And the sky
Is a hazy shade of winter.

Look around.
Leaves are brown.
There’s a patch of snow on the ground.

Look around.
Leaves are brown.
There’s a patch of snow on the ground.

Look around.
Leaves are brown.
There’s a patch of snow on the ground.

 

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Tune o’ the Day

“Yesterday” by The Beatles is one of the least Beatles-like of their songs, but among the most popular. In 1999, it was voted the best song of the 20th century by BBC Radio. In 2000, MTV and Rolling Stone named it the number one pop song of all time.

Those accolades may be a bit excessive, but the song is still exceptional. “Yesterday” has been covered over 2,000 times, which is amazing.

According to McCartney, the melody came to him during a dream. When he woke up, he hurried to a piano and played it so he wouldn’t forget it. The lyrics, however, weren’t written for another year.

As the months passed, the band gave the song the working title “Scrambled Eggs.” The opening verse was “Scrambled eggs. Oh, my baby, how I love your legs. Not as much as I love scrambled eggs.”

Eventually, Lennon suggested the title Yesterday, which clicked with McCartney, who finally did the rest.

Help!

Yesterday

By The Beatles, 1965
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Yesterday
All my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly
I’m not half the man I used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why she had to go, I don’t know,
She wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong,
Now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday
Love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why she had to go, I don’t know,
She wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong,
Now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday
Love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm.

 

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Tune o’ the Day

Roy Orbison (1936-1988) was an unlikely guy to become a rock star. But his operatic voice was captivating — angelic, otherworldly — and he sang sad songs about unrequited love. (“Pretty Woman” being the exception because he got the girl.)

Most of Orbison’s love songs were melodramatic, sometimes cheesy, yet still beautiful and memorable. A few examples: “Only the Lonely,” “In Dreams,” “Running Scared,” “Dream Baby.”

Then there is the classic “Crying.” Orbison at the top of his game.

Orbison R

Crying

By Roy Orbison, 1962
Written by Roy Orbison

I was all right for a while.
I could smile for a while.
But I saw you last night.
You held my hand so tight
As you stopped to say hello.

Oh, you wished me well.
You couldn’t tell
That I’d been crying
Over you.
Crying
Over you.

When you said so long,
Left me standing all alone,
Alone and crying.
Crying.
Crying.
Crying.

It’s hard to understand,
But the touch of your hand
Can start me crying.

I thought that I was over you,
But it’s true, so true:
I love you even more
Than I did before,
But, darling, what can I do?


For you don’t love me,
And I’ll always be
Crying
Over you.
Crying
Over you.

Yes, now you’re gone,
And from this moment on,
I’ll be crying,
Crying,
Crying,
Crying,
Yeah, crying,
Crying
Over you.

 

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Tune o’ the Day

The last studio album by the British rock band The Police was the superb “Synchronicity.” It was ranked number one in both the US and the UK, and “Every Breath You Take” won a Grammy for Song of the Year.

At the time, Sting and Stewart Copeland were involved in an epic feud that once led to a fist fight. To keep the lid on, Sting, Copeland, and Andy Summers recorded in separate rooms, and the results were mixed in the studio.

“Every Breath You Take” sounds like a gentle love song, and it gets played regularly at weddings. But, as you may be aware, it’s the opposite. The lyrics are spoken ominously by a jealous and possessive former lover. Essentially, a stalker.

When he wrote it, Sting said, “I was thinking of Big Brother, surveillance, and control.” He said the song is “very, very sinister and ugly.”

Mind the details when you choose the music for your wedding, people.

Synchronicity

Every Breath You Take

By The Police, 1983
Written by Sting

Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I’ll be watching you.

Every single day,
Every word you say,
Every game you play,
Every night you stay,
I’ll be watching you.

Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me.
My poor heart aches
With every step you take.

Every move you make,
Every vow you break,
Every smile you fake,
Every claim you stake,
I’ll be watching you.

Since you’ve gone, I’ve been lost without a trace.
I dream at night — I can only see your face.
I look around, but it’s you I can’t replace.
I feel so cold, and I long for your embrace.
I keep crying baby, baby, please.

Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me.
My poor heart aches
With every step you take.

Every move you make,
Every vow you break,
Every smile you fake,
Every claim you stake,
I’ll be watching you.

Every move you make,
Every step you take,
I’ll be watching you.

I’ll be watching you.

(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you.
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you.
(Every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake)
I’ll be watching you.
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you.
(Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take)
I’ll be watching you.
(Every single day, every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay)
I’ll be watching you.

 

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Tune o’ the Day

Richard Lester, the director of the second Beatles movie “Help!” said he wanted to make a film in the vein of the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup.” He delivered a madcap story about members of a sinister cult chasing Ringo because a sacred ring needed to perform sacrifices was stuck on his finger.

The working title of the 1965 film was “Eight Arms to Hold You.” According to a cousin, Lennon came home one night and said, “God! They’ve changed the title of the film. It’s going to be called ‘Help!’ now. So I’ve had to write a new song with the title called ‘Help!'”

Paul McCartney gets credit as co-writer, but he acknowledged that the song was Lennon’s baby.

Lennon elaborated in 1980. “I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help.

“So it was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: he — I — is very fat, very insecure, and he’s completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.”

Amazing. Lennon was asked to conjure up a usable song with the title “Help!” and he delivered something this good.

Help

Help!

By The Beatles, 1965

Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Help! I need somebody.
Help! Not just anybody.
Help! You know I need someone.
Help!

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now, these days are gone, and I’m not so self-assured.
Now I find I’ve changed my mind. I’ve opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down.
And I do appreciate you being ’round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground.
Won’t you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh, so many ways.
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then, I feel so insecure.
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down.
And I do appreciate you being ’round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground.
Won’t you please, please help me?

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now, these days are gone, and I’m not so self-assured.
Now I find I’ve changed my mind. I’ve opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down.
And I do appreciate you being ’round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground.
Won’t you please, please help me?

Help me, help me, Ooh.

 

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Tune o’ the Day

The English poet George Gordon, Lord Byron popularized the phrase “time, the avenger” in the 1880s. If you’re like me, however, you probably think of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders when you hear it.

Their song “Time the Avenger” is the story of a married businessman who has an affair, drinks to numb his feelings, eventually realizes that time is no longer on his side, and ends up on the street with his possessions in a briefcase.

The tune is from the 1984 album “Learning to Crawl,” the group’s first album after two of the four original Pretenders died of drug overdoses and Hynde had a baby.

The album, made with a new line-up, was a big success and, as you can imagine under the circumstances, heavy on retrospection. Chrissie had a lot on her mind.

Her daughter, by the way, was learning to crawl at the time.

Learning to Crawl

Time The Avenger

By the Pretenders, 1984
Written by Chrissie Hynde

Nobody’s perfect.
Not even a perfect stranger.
But, oh, what a gal.
She was such a perfect stranger.

And you’re the best in your field,
In your office with your girls
And desk and leather chair.
Thought that time was on your side.
But now it’s time the avenger.

Nobody’s permanent.
Everything’s on loan here.
Even your wife and kids
Could be gone next year.
And with what you have left,
You’ll be forever under pressure
To support her.
And a lover who looks strangely
Like time the avenger.

Time, time, hear the bells chime
Over the harbor and the city.
Time — one more vodka and lime
To help paralyze that tiny little tick, tick, tick, tick.

Nobody’s perfect.
Not even a perfect gent.
When your property took the A Train,
I wonder where your manners went.
You were standing at the station.
In your briefcase was your aftershave and underwear.
Can you hear the whistle blow?
Sounds like time the avenger.

Time, time, hear the bells chime
Over the harbor and the city.
Time to kill another bottle of wine
To help paralyze that tiny little tick, tick, tick, tick.

 

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