How are you all doing with quarantines and stay-at-home orders? Keeping some semblance of sanity? Since I work from home, it’s ‘business as usual’ for me, but everyone is home, so there are way more interruptions than I’m used to…heh!
Meanwhile, it’s Monday, and Monday means music! For the month of March, our Spotlight Dancer is our friend Marie from Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty! She has chosen the theme for this week, which is “Take a Walk In The Park Day – so how about SONGS ABOUT WALKING?” Let’s get this party started!
Let’s start with what has been described as the “daddy” of rap-rock tunes. An infectious remake of the 1970’s hit, which not only played a part in bringing Rap music into the mainstream, but also helped revive Aerosmith’s career.
This group stumbled across this song during a search for breakbeats to use during DJ sets in the early ’80s. They didn’t know who Aerosmith were, and actually thought the band was called “Toys In The Attic” because that was the album title. The producer was a huge fan of Aerosmith and suggested they call Perry to ask if he and Tyler would play on their cover version. Aerosmith’s 1985 album Done With Mirrors had flopped and the band were all but washed up. Perry was quoted as saying:
“It took me all of a minute to say yes. I didn’t know what was gonna happen when I walked in the studio. I thought they’d show us some ideas on how to rearrange it, but all they had was a drum track. The director said, ‘All you gotta do is play the song the way you play it.’ So I sat down and played it.”
This song led to Top 40 radio play and television coverage for rap artists. The producer said:
“The record and the video had a huge effect on both groups. It opened the door to [This band’s] full suburban crossover, and it reminded people how great Aerosmith was.”
Next up is another favorite ‘walking’ song from the 80s (face it, the 80s had awesome music). The songwriter got the idea for this song when he was on a ferry boat and saw people struggling to keep their balance. The way they held out their arms and jerked around made it look like they were doing Egyptian movements, and if the boat moved suddenly, they would all topple over.
This was the biggest hit for this group, and gave them a new level of notoriety, but not the kind they wanted. Formed in 1981, they wrote their own songs and were a big part of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground movement, which included eclectic acts like Rain Parade and The Dream Syndicate. These Paisley bands did well with critics but never broke big, except this group.
Their big hits were songs written by outsiders, rather than their own songs.This particular song, a goofy romp written by another outside writer, the band thought was “too weird” and wouldn’t get released as a single. It shot to #1 and became a sensation, but the group’s rock pedigree took a hit. Suddenly they were known for this quasi-novelty song instead of their own compositions.
The song does have their stamp on it though: every member could sing, and three of them get a verse in this song. The guitar riff is also their distinctive sound, something the lead guitarist had been developing for a while.
They didn’t have a problem with the song itself, but when it made them famous it also made them miserable – they were burned out and their friendships fractured. The hits kept coming until they couldn’t do it anymore; they broke up in 1989 at the peak of their powers.
Next up, these Scottish twins came out with this infinitely catchy tune in 1988 (see? 80s music lives strong!). It was their only American hit, though four of their other songs made the UK Top 40. This song is about being devoted to a woman and wanting to spend the rest of your life with her. And it’s all sung in a Scottish accent.
In the line “I’m gonna be the one who’s havering for you,” ‘havering’ means babbling on. However, several US radio stations initially refused to play the song, as they thought ‘havering’ meant something much more naughty.
This was written in 1988, and became a hit when the song was used in the 1993 movie Benny And Joon, starring Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson.
The song was last featured in a beloved Budweiser commercial that aired during the 2015 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. A sequel to the previous year’s “Puppy Love” spot where the Budweiser Clydesdales befriend a golden retriever puppy, this one finds the dog getting lost, and the horses saving him from a wolf and guiding him home. The song was used to convey the lengths that living creatures will go for love.
Without further ado, here’s The Proclaimers with “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”:
Last, but certainly not least, this frontman from a favorite band sings about overcoming difficulties in a rocky-but-loving relationship.
There’s nights we had to just walk away / And there’s tears we’ll cry, but those tears will fade / It’s the price we pay when it comes to love / And we’ll take what comes, take what comes
He explains the song:
“All my relationships when I was young have been very explosive, for better or for worse. I love hard. I fight hard. I’m just a passionate person. ‘[This song]’ is about the feeling of a relationship that feels a little dangerous. It can feel exhilarating at times or it can all fall apart at any moment. It’s like walking a tightrope, because when you’re up high it’s beautiful, but it also is scary. That’s how all my relationships have been. That song explores that.”
I love the accompanying video for this song, it shows clips of he and his then girlfriend/now wife in their early days of dating, marriage, and arrival of their adorable kids.
That’s a wrap for this week – have a great Monday and see you on the dance floor!
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, Callie of JAmerican Spice, and Alana of Ramblin’ with AM!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
Marie from Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty