Upon hearing the news yesterday that Phil Collins is officially retiring from music, it got me to thinking about how we often find ourselves looking back fondly on music we may have completely despised at the time it originally came out. For Collins that list is rather large… and sadly he actually apologized for how popular much of his music became and how sick and tired many of us were of hearing what we now would consider some rather awesome songs.
Sometimes we hold onto our musical grudges… other times we can let them go. I suppose it depends on why we disliked what we disliked. If it was for reasons of social acceptability, such as a Cure fan in 1986 not liking the aforementioned Phil Collins, it can be easy to overlook that bit of silliness as we get older and can appreciate both why we disliked it then and can now enjoy it for what it may be… good music. That of course does not negate disliking something because you just don’t like it. No matter how much time passes I will never like any music Eddie Murphy recorded (I had his damn Party All the Time piece of crap stuck in my head the other day)… nor Billy Ray Cyrus… nor Creed… nor Celine Dion. It just won’t happen.
My favorite category of nostalgic musical memory is when you actually liked something then… and find yourself liking it even more now. Case in point, Eddy Grant. I was barely into my double digits age wise when I recall his first big single in the US, Electric Avenue, coming through every stereo in every car… every station across the dial… it was huge, yet it seems to have been relegated to the dustbin of history. Today I wish to resurrect the memories.
My best friend growing up and I would often find ourselves heading to Seal Beach, CA and reveling in the fact that there is actually an Electric Avenue and would always, without fail, sing that song whenever we saw the street sign. Give it a listen… it’s super 80’s and probably better than you remember (the music at least… the video is pure 80’s crap… in that special 80’s way).
As a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark I was loathe to even consider Romancing the Stone as anything other than “that movie ripping off Indy”… but Grant’s theme song is another story… and it holds up surprisingly well. The video is one of those soundtrack videos that mixes the artist into the movie and giving the appearance that Grant is just singing the song as the heroes are in the midst of their daring-do.
Mrs. Blahg and I are convinced that Eddy Grant shaved his head and is now Seal… but according to that pesky thing called “fact”, that simply isn’t the case. I have no clue what he is up to now and I know even less about his past other than he was born in Guyana and moved to London at an early age… but I do know that I unabashedly dig these songs.
I’m gonna rock down to,
Cornelius J. Blahg