Before I retired in 2019, my colleges Josee and Darrin put together Roger’s Retirement music list on Spotify. Most of it made a whole lot of sense to me. It’s not just a roster of tunes that I like. That would be near infinite. But many of them have very specific recollections in my aural history.
So, I’m now going to guess why THEY put these songs on the list.
Our Prayer – the Beach Boys. One of my top five BB songs. A near-religious experience.
Good Vibrations – the Beach Boys: on one hand, it was a bit overplayed. It was on every other 1960s music compilation. On the other, it’s been called a pocket symphony, probably the most expensive single up to that point. Plus it utilizes a theremin.
Get Ready – the Temptations: I saw the Temptations twice. Once on the Reunion tour at the Colonie Coliseum in the early 1980s and a couple years later, with the Four Tops, at Heritage Park in Colonie, near Albany.
Making Flippy Floppy – Talking Heads: I saw the group at SPAC when they were on the Stop Making Sense tour in the early 1980s. And I love saying “flippy floppy.”
Ain’t That Peculiar – Marvin Gaye. His performance, which I saw a video of in the past couple of years, was the essence of cool.
Face the Face – Pete Townshend. I love to play it LOUD. “Watch the flick!”
Sweet Honey Dripper – the Neville Brothers. From an album I bought from a DJ from WQBK-FM. LOVE that song, and in fact the first three songs from Fiyo On the Bayou. Saw them at a Live at Five concert in downtown ALB.
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman. A favorite song of a friend of mine.
Loves Me Like A Rock – Paul Simon. Probably my favorite solo Simon song. And it features the tremendous Dixie Hummingbirds, who I once saw back in the 1970s. Saw Paul Simon, too, in 1991, at the Knick in downtown ALB.
Slow Turning – John Hiatt. For some reason, LOVE the reference to Charlie Watts. My wife and I saw him at the Troy Music Hall, perhaps in the early 2000s.
Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin. Lives on the bottom. Feel like I’m in church. Part of that second wave of Aretha hits, from the early 1970s.
I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash. From the second American album, which featured Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I thought that album would be a pop hit; it got to #170 but won a Grammy.
Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell. From a breakup album. I saw her twice, in 1974 at SPAC and in 1981 in Philadelphia.
Mull of Kintyre – Wings. I didn’t even hear this song until I bought Wings’ Greatest Hits. Massive UK #1, but did nothing in the States, and I rather like that somehow. Saw Macca at the Knick in 2014.
Takin’ It To the Streets – the Doobie Brothers. Michael McDonald taking the group to another place. On one of those Warner Brothers Loss Leaders dedicated to soul, it was one of the only songs by a predominantly white group.