It is time to take a wander through the musical memories of Louise Wener once more. This seems like a good day to do this what with the band currently enjoying a number one single, a new album looming and it being the anniversary of “Smart” being released.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Much like “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a song that is, all too quickly, dismissed as a bit of pop fluff…a wedding reception floor filler.
The truth is that this is a song that matters.
A feminist anthem…by feminist I mean the sort who are interested in the battle for equality of opportunity for women and not the slightly peculiar T.E.R.F’s and Intersectional Feminists who seem to have hijacked the debate over women’s rights to such an extent that women’s rights could well be attacked and, possibly, erased.
What do I know about it?
Not a lot.
Let’s move on.
Just look at this from Lauper;
Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
A punch in the face for the notion that women can belong to men.
Not her girls.
It’s difficult to get past the hen night hordes howling the chorus at the moon as they stagger back to the Jury’s Inn on any weekend night in any major city but, honestly, this is a song that is really saying something quite important.
Holiday by Madonna
It must be very difficult for young people now to understand how important Madonna was.
The biggest and bestest pop star the world had ever seen.
A run of hit singles that made Berry Gordy turn green with envy.
An inspiration to more performers than you could name.
I can’t write about her.
She defies description…certainly from someone like me.
Perfect Skin by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
She’s got cheekbones like geometry and eyes like sin
Do we need to say anything else?
The thing about that line is that it is just one example of the lyrical brilliance that Cole brought to every song he wrote between 1984 and 1987 across three of the best albums of the eighties…”Rattlesnakes”, “Easy Pieces” and “Mainstream”.
Walls Come Tumbling Down by The Style Council
I’ve made my thoughts on this matter quite clear.
I know you all disagree.
I know that it makes those blokes in their fifties with the Weller haircut very angry.
I understand that people get cross about it.
I don’t mean to upset people.
The Style Council are better than The Jam.
I get it.
You didn’t like the vaguely homo-erotic under/overtones of that video.
You don’t like the fact that their are not as many guitar bits.
You don’t like the fact that Weller isn’t wearing a Mod suit.
I’m with you…these things can be difficult to deal with.
Doesn’t change the fact that “Walls Come Tumbling Down” is ace.
Also, Weller has NEVER looked better than he does here…
See you all on Twitter.
Spirit in the Sky by Doctor and the Medics
“But Max” cries nobody “We thought you didn’t like comedy records.”
To which I cry…FOOLS!
“Spirit in the Sky” is no comedy song.
It is a glam rock romp.
A decade after glam rock stopped being a thing.
It’s easy to see why people dismiss it as a comedy record…the name of the band, the image but, honestly, just listen to it. A gospel song written by a Jewish bloke called Norman…what more do you want?
I love it.
Boys Don’t Cry/Inbetween Days by The Cure
More of an influence on many of the bands I usually write about here than many of us would care to acknowledge.
It is, again, difficult to get past the look…is there anything less attractive than Robert Smith’s wardrobe?
I’m being unpleasant.
The point I am trying to make is that it can be difficult to get past the “goth” label when it comes to The Cure but while they are much beloved of our friends in that community the truth of the matter is that they are a pop group.
There will be a playlist on Spotify of their singles I am sure…go and follow it and listen.
More pop gems than you could shake a Stock Aitken and Waterman shaped stick at.
Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
Talking Heads are one of the most creative and influential bands to have come out of the seventies American punk/post-punk scene.
You should be wary of people who don’t take to the dancefloor when this starts.
Summertime by Louis Armstrong
Sometimes you just need to listen to something that reminds you of how beautiful the world can be.
At those moments this will do just fine.
Cry me a River by Ella Fitzgerald
The first lady of song.
A woman who endured what can be described as a tumultuous childhood and then found that she had a gift…a voice that could bring Heaven to earth, joy to those in despair and paint pictures so beautiful with it that you could be left breathless.