Music inside my head

I wish I could say I am one of those creative geniuses who can compose music because of what I “hear” in my head. Sorry. I hear old tunes. Hit records. Stuff that even annoys me. It contributes to the fact that I can play tunes on guitar without having ever read music. I can remember a lot of tunes, but it means that I cannot play tunes I never heard of (at least without a lot of work, since I have maybe a rudimantary skill at sight reading. This time around, the music I “hear” is music I either hardly care about or have never “heard” in decades.

Now playing

Susie (Dramas) — The flip side to the Rocket Man single, off the Elton John album “Honky Chateau”. When I was much younger, I recall not really liking this side of the single, prefering “Rocket Man” much more. Even after getting the whole album on vinyl, my opinion has not changed. It has always been known that there is good Elton and bad Elton in music. For me, bad Elton is when he sounds too bluesy, a rule which for me always seems to hold (with the exception of Amoreena).

The Greatest Love of All — I recall when this single came out by the late Whitney Houston, I felt kind of blase about it. The lyrics of this song sounded like a bunch of motivational poster slogans strung together. Of course, such is Whitney’s talent that she could sing a grocery list and still compel you to listen to the end. The song sounded way too preachy for me, but again no one does “preachy” better, I admit. This song was one of the reasons I was never a Whitney fan in her heyday, and I’m not really a fan now. I recently begun to understand why this mid-80s song struck me that way. It was the 80s, and we were coming off all those motivational slogans that sounded so good to us in the 70s. There were a lot of 70s tunes that sounded like stuff you read out of self-help books, which at the time struck us as warm, expansive, and visionary. This song was written for George Benson back in 1976, right around that period. Yes, these lyrics are supposed to sound “with it”. Back then, preachy was an OK thing to do. Songs which “had a message” of a “love your chilren/self-love” nature were common in the 70s, but it got tiresome after a while.

 

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I am Paul King, a math and science teacher. I help maintain the MIT FAQ Archive along with Nick Bolach. I am also the maintainer of a FAQ the archive.