Friday, 18 January 2013

Starring on Steve Wright!

 Dear readers,

 On Tuesday I was made extremely happy by the fact that my Oldies were featured on Steve Wright's Non-Stop Oldies on BBC Radio 2 in the afternoon!

 Here is a link to the show - my Oldies start at about 1 hour 3 minutes into the broadcast.

 I thought I would talk you through my Oldies, why I chose them and what they mean to me.

 Firstly, First Time (very apt for the first song) by Robin Beck.

 I first heard this song on one of the music channels on TV, and I really liked it - it is very much the archetypical 80s love song: big-haired, big-voiced singer; moody video; strong beat and a really catchy tune. I love the lyrics and find them a lot deeper and more sensitive than many 80s love songs; I particularly like:

"Like a break in the clouds, in the first ray of sun, 
I can feel it inside; something new has begun."


"It's an uncharted sea, it's an non-opened door, 
But you gotta reach out, and you gotta explore."

 I love this song; I had forgotten about it for a bit and then something recently reminded me of it and I fell in love with it a second time. Brilliant song. And I'm glad they put it on first out of the Oldies; whether it was an intentional pun or not, it amused me.


 Secondly, we have the Rah Band and Clouds Across the Moon

I first heard this at the gym, on some mix-tape they had of old songs. I'd hear snippets and really liked the chorus, but with machines whirring it was hard to hear the rest of it properly, so I went home and looked it up. 

 I really liked the song when I heard it through; however this was on Spotify, so I remained blissfully unaware of the bizarre video until I finally thought of looking for it on YouTube.

 Though I do think the end of the video is really touching; you can see her despair at having to wait a whole year to hear her loved one's voice again.

 Some people may see this as some sort of novelty song - a woman calling her husband who is fighting a space war is certainly an interesting concept - but I think it stands on its own as a really good song, novelty or otherwise. Certainly, as Steve says, there "doesn't seem to be a hint of irony." 

 I like to think this song is a serious exploration of what a space war could mean for the people left on Earth. To be honest this song could be used as an exploration of war generally and its effect on civilians; before I heard this properly I did think it was about a woman talking to her soldier husband in a more conventional war.

 I also found out that the singer is called Liz! ♥


 Next we have Maria Vidal with Body Rock.

 I can remember exactly where I was when I first heard this - doesn't that tend to be the way with songs that are special to us? I first heard Body Rock while on the way to badminton practice one night; we were driving past the DW Stadium except it was probably the JJB at the time; I remember the song reminded me of Rhythm of the Night by DeBarge at the time, though now I can't hear that much of a similarity.

 It was me and my Mam in the car and I think I remarked to her that I liked this song; it has since been played on many car journeys. It just makes me want to dance! Not easy in a car, I know, but when I listen to it at home I do confess that I usually end up dancing about to it.

 This seems to have been Maria Vidal's only big hit; I think it's a shame as she had a lot of potential. She was pretty in a way that seems far more natural than some other female pop singers of the era and she had a really nice and quite unusual voice. 

 I think she wrote this song, though I don't know for definite; if so she is a talented songwriter. I'm surprised she didn't achieve greater success in the 80s, as this is another song that epitomises the 80s for me!


 The next of my Oldies is Crazy For You by Madonna.

 I included this in my choices partly for my Mam, as it is one of her favourite songs, and also for myself as I love it too, and as I like a lot of Madonna's music I was keen that she be represented in my Oldies. 

 I love her voice so much in this song, and she looks so beautiful in the video. The production of this record is also gorgeous; from the beginning it it just a real pleasure on the ears. 

 In fact, the beginning of this song is one of my favourite song-beginnings, and it is pretty unmistakeable, especially in the video where it starts with an alarm clock ringing!

 Whenever I see the video I ponder watching Vision Quest, the film featured, but never actually get around to it. If anybody has seen it and could let me know whether it is any good, that would be much appreciated.

 Regardless of the merits of the film, Crazy For you is a really beautiful song and one of my favourite Madonna songs, as well as one of my favourite love songs of the 80s.


 My next Oldie is Ella Elle L'a (Ella, she has it) by the French chanteuse France Gall.

 As you may have guessed from the fact that she features in the video, this song is a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. It was written by France Gall's husband Michel Berger. I love how happy and carefree France looks in this video, dancing around and looking like she is having a really good time - in her early career she came across as rather shy and demure, but here she seems to be coming out of her shell.

 I love this song; I discovered it when looking for French music to listen to sometime when I was at sixth-form college and a combination of my really inspiring French teacher and a wonderful college trip to Montpellier in the south of France made me really love French culture, music included. As well as France Gall I love Jean-Jacques Goldman, Lio, Niagara and many other French or Quebecois musicians and bands.

 Steve Wright commented on how high he finds France Gall's voice to be; I don't find it particularly high but maybe that is just because I am used to it as I have listened to this song so many times. Anyway, high or low I really love her voice and this remains one of my favourite songs in any language.


 Next is R.E.M. with Bad Day.

 I have already done a blog post discussing this among other R.E.M. songs, which can be found by clicking above; however to re-iterate, I really like this song; it was one I heard and loved years ago, then lost, then rediscovered and now love as much as ever. And the video is really original and quirky; clearly a lot of effort went into the making of it. I love this song and always end up singing along to it!


 My penultimate Oldie is Don Henley with The Boys of Summer, which was my favourite song for a while when I was in early high school, maybe 12 or 13 years old.

 We were doing some sort of project in our Music lessons about DJs, and I did DJ Sammy, and through doing so found his version of this song, which brought me right back to finishing primary school, when people were singing it on karaoke - either that or we were just listening to the song, I can't remember - but it was certainly popular at the time and I really liked it. 

 I then heard it in a bowling alley on one of our high school bowling trips, and wondered who sung it. I found out through doing my DJ project, and I re-listened to it and enjoyed it. Seeing that it was a remix of an older song by Don Henley, I listened to the original, convinced I couldn't like it more than the remix. I was wrong. It became my favourite song and I listened to it endlessly.

 The fact that the original is sung by a man makes the sentiment a lot nicer, I feel - the DJ Sammy one seems to be a woman declaring without much shame that she is cheating on her lover but still expects him to be there for her "when the boys of summer have gone," whereas the Don Henley version seems to be a man bitterly acknowledging that his lover is cheating on him but saying he'll always love her and will still be there for her at the end of it all.

 I still love this song and it was lovely to hear it on the radio and to share it with the listeners of Radio 2.


 My final Oldie is Is This Love? by Alison Moyet, which, again, was my favourite song for a bit - it may still be my favourite song. I have trouble deciding on a favourite at the minute, but this is certainly in contention.

 I have a blog post all about my love for Alison Moyet in which I discuss this song and video, so feel free to check that out. For now I'll just say that I absolutely adore this woman and her music, and this song is so happy and upbeat, and the video just puts a smile on your face; they are all having so much fun on the beach. 

 And the dance they do at the beginning and end is contagious - I find myself doing the actions whenever I hear the song!

 I love Alison Moyet ♥ And I love that my selection of Oldies ends on such a happy note with this jolly little song.


 I am really chuffed at my Oldies being chosen, and cannot stop listening to that half-hour of all my favourite music ♥ And I have a badge saying, "I chose the Non-Stop Oldies on Steve Wright in the Afternoon." I am very happy.

 I hope you have enjoyed listening to my Oldies as well - please feel free to add any comments below. 

 Thank you so much for reading my blog and letting me share with you the music I love.

 Liz x

Songs: First Time - Robin Beck - 1988
Clouds Across the Moon - Rah Band - 1985
Body Rock - Maria Vidal - 1984
Crazy For You - Madonna - 1985
Ella Elle L'a - France Gall - 1987
Bad Day - R.E.M. - 2003
The Boys of Summer - Don Henley - 1984
Is This Love? - Alison Moyet - 1986

 Lots of 80s songs - I clearly love 80s music! ♥

 Thanks for reading x

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