When I was growing up, my Dad would listen to the Oldies station in the car. For context, we are taking about the mid 80’s and listening to 50s/early 60s rock. He would occasionally comment on a song I had never heard of by saying “There are a lot of songs I remember that they just don’t play on the radio anymore”. You know what? He was right. I know this because the song I’m recommending to you is from 1990.
But enough of my being Old Man Funk now. This cut was a #1 hit on the Billboard pop chart that year. Propelled by a ridiculously catchy guitar riff, insistent rhythm throughout, and a simple lyric, this track is a perfect snapshot of the pop sound of the moment.
That, however, isn’t the main reason I’m recommending this song. The editors of this fine publication put out a call for love songs, and that is what I’m really here to talk about: Why this is a love song that matters to me.
I don’t know how many physical mixes I’ve made and sent to people over the years. A conservative estimate would be in the hundreds. This has an interesting side effect that very few people have ever given me mixes in return. I can count them on a single hand and have room left over. I suppose it’s a bit like going to someone’s house and thinking you can compete with them at their own video games. Discretion is the better part of valor.
In college I had a friend who made me a couple mixes. She and I had grown quite close and while there was certainly something electric in the air between us, we knew it wouldn’t work but neither wanted to say it. One day between classes she handed me a tape that started with this song. It was the only love song on the mix and I think our being in tune paid off right there. We had a near romance and a sort of break up without fallout or shrapnel. What could we do? We were thinking about each other and that’s how it would be.
(Song recommendation by Cory Funk)