April 18, 2005

Pick a decade.

Driving around in my car, I like to listen to the satellite radio, especially the XM "Decades" channels. I always start with the 60s, because basically, the 60s are forever imprinted on me, music-wise. But then if I don't like a song, I usually click down to the 50s. Sometimes, I click up to the 70s. Less often, I'll go all the way down to the 40s or up to the 80s or 90s. Which covers all the XM "Decades" channels.

Yesterday, as I emerged from the underground garage and could pick up a signal, the song playing from the 60s was my favorite song, "God Only Knows." Next up, confirming my subjective sense of belonging to the 60s, was "Bad Moon Rising." Then they went to "Suite Judy Blue Eyes," and I think: that's when things started to get screwed up -- Crosby, Stills, and Nash ruined rock and roll.

So I clicked down to the 50s, where they were playing some of the great novelty songs, which are so crisp and good-natured: "Get a Job," "Alley Oop." I love the way "Alley Oop" ends by giving us a nice clear 50s slang lesson:
He sure is hip ain't he?
Like what's happening?
He's too much
Ride, Daddy, ride
Hi-yo dinosawruh
Ride, Daddy, ride
Get 'em, man

It was hipsville. They played some Eddie Cochrane too. And Danny & the Juniors singing "Rock and Roll will never die." Danny was right! And Frank Sinatra singing "From Here to Eternity" -- is that the worst song he ever recorded?

I can't remember what made me leave the 50s, and I ended up in the 70s, and there was this song I just loved, which I couldn't remember ever hearing before. Had never heard of the group either: M. The song: "Pop Muzik." Can I get a 70s channel restricted to New Wave?
Get up...
Get down...

Radio, video
Boogie with a suitcase
You're livin' in a disco
Forget about the rat race...

I love it!


Pancho said...

Crosby, Stills, and Nash ruined rock and roll

Say it is not so. Say you don't mean this. All they did was to add a little harmony. Harmony is not a bad thing. Harmony made the Beach Boys.

Ann Althouse said...

Pancho: I'm not against harmony. I even loved the Byrds and the Hollies, source material for CSN. The problem is that CSN came along in the late 60s and were a "super group" that got a lot of attention. There was something about the whole feeling of CSN at the time that really seemed to be interfering with the development of music. Hard to describe. They did not rock.

JB said...

Forgive me...

But when you hear the Southern Cross for the first time, you understand it had to be that way, 'cause the music you might be running from is so small, but it's as big as the promise, the promise of the coming decade.

Sorry again.

Rob said...

Wow. You hate CSN but love M? If the '60s weren't already dead that would kill 'em for sure.

How about Neil Young? Did you like him?

Not Happy said...

CSN's vocals could be pretty annoying. They were often borderline shrill. I'll take the Beach Boys' or The Who's harmonies over theirs any day. "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "The Kids Are Alright" -- now there are some good vocals.

DirtCrashr said...

In college during the late 70's CSNY was used to get laid, and way overplayed. Plastic Bertrand! "Ça plane pour moi!"
Hey, there was a lot of great stuff that got overlooked during the New Wave period, as Punk fell and rose, and fell again. :-)

Ann Althouse said...

Rob: "Pop Muzik" is from 1979. That was quite a different era. The first CSN album came out in 1969. That was the year of "Abbey Road," "Let It Bleed," the first Led Zeppelin album, "Tommy." Hendrix was at his height.

But I love the clean, spare pop songs that have a sense of humor, like "Pop Muzik." CSN was smug and grandiose, but without rocking! To me, "Pop Muzik" is more like the lighter Velvet Underground fare. If you're going to be grandiose, don't be strumming folkies.

And of course I like Neil Young -- from way before he joined the group. We could not have spent more time listening to this album back in college days. It came out, by the way, in 1969.

I'm sorry, I feel very strongly about 1969 -- the year I graduated from high school. That was a cusp in music history -- a beautiful year in pop culture -- and CSN had a damaging effect. They are pleasant enough to listen to now, if, unlike me, you don't have to think of what they were when they were. But still, play something other than "Suite Judy Blue Eyes." And let me add that I especially dislike Stephen Stills. I bought his solo album that came out in the very early 70s, listened to it once, and sold it later that day. (You know the one with "Love the One You're With" on it. I detest that thing.)

There you have it. Subjective. But I'm right!

milowent said...

CSN, CSNY, yuck! ack! and those other big chill songs too. While you're at it, burn every copy of the White Album and replace it with Pet Sounds and the Village Green Preservation Society.