Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coming of Age in Songs

Doug: So a couple of weeks ago my 8-minute commute to school featured Paradise by the Dashboard Light from Meat Loaf. It's a rocker all the way through (with the exception of course of the baseball [ahem...] play-by-play during the bridge). And so as I walked into the building (being an old guy, I have a close parking spot so it was definitely a short trek) I was struck with that moment of inspiration. "We can do something with this!"

Doug: As I got up to my classroom on the second floor, overlooking our beautiful athletic grounds -- which includes one of the nicest-looking baseball fields in the state of Illinois -- I fired up the computer and made a few mental notes. How many artists have expressed the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the teen and young adult years through their music? Instantly Bob Seger's Night Moves came to mind. Later that day, with the iTunes player set on shuffle, Bruce Springsteen's The River came across. So I'll stop with those as my contributions to today's conversation, at least for now. After all, our readers are pretty well-drilled at this sort of thing. Have at it, friends!


david_b said...

There's probably a few songs I took to heart about 'coming of age'. On a very serious note, my first choice is 'Love' by Lennon..

If you have it on headphones, it speaks more to the isolation and extreme loneliness without love in your life than love itself. It truely defines the pain of searching for the right love.

Worse than any Barry Manilow song (and without the trademark syrupy..) it'll sock you in the gut.

One of his most profound, simplest, best tracks ever.

Anonymous said...

Two songs that really spoke to me, what I was feeling, what was happening all around me were "Crystal Ball" and "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)" both by Styx but two different albums, Crystal Ball and Grand Illusion respectively.

That was the weird confusing time the 12s and 13s. I had both on 8 track and just kept playing those songs.

Needless to say, they are both on my iPod.

For that first broken heart, "She's Out Of My Life" off of Michael Jackson's Off The Wall.

The Prowler (is it Thursday yet? Have you seen it? Have you SEEN it?).

Doug said...

Hey, Prowler-guy --

Yes, it's Thursday.

Yes, I'll be in the seat for the 4:10 showing of Winter Soldier. Cannot hardly wait!

And apologies for the flaw on today's post/comments. Over 185 visitors have left a thought, but for some reason all have remained invisible. Not sure what's up, but am excited about all of the approval for today's topic.


Doug said...

Billy Joel's "Goodnight Saigon" just came over the iTunes. That's a chilling coming of age song.

Hey, how come this works when I make a comment?


Garett said...

Not really a coming of age song itself, but I remember hearing Blondie's Heart of Glass in '79 and thinking that something was different in the music. Disco-ey, but with a cooler New Wave vibe. I just turned 11, and could sense changes coming! The Cars had that vibe too--poppy and singalong, but with something of an edge to the music.

In other news...Dreadstar is going to be a movie!
This is my favorite Starlin comic, so it'll be a blast to see the film.

david_b said...

Couple of comments, great call Prowler on 'She's Out of My Life'. I remember being reached on an emotional level like nothing before on that one.

Doug, I thought Joel's entire 'Nylon Curtain' CD was amazing. Heavy and dense, but nevertheless a remarkable sophisticated (and underappreciated) work (where Saigon's off of).

Garett, you thought that about 'Heart of Glass' too..?? I thought that was also true for the first Police hits. Shimmering coolness, yet in a very odd way, obviously the ska style had finally emerged on the national airwaves, not just in the seedy record shops in major cities.

I'll give a emotional shout-out to Paul Simon's lyrics, especially in the mid-70s up through 'Graceland'. A few years ago he was officially named an 'American Icon' for his masterful, elegant writing, and I could NOT agree more. His lyrics are like a rich woven tapestry, noteables are his 'Graceland' cuts, 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' and others, as their wisdom has gotten me through quite a bit.

Doug said...


A rubber mask.




Anonymous said...

Firstly, I forgot "Surrender" by Cheap Trick.

B-ly, OMG. Was it just not a great Captain America movie?

As it ended, I started planning on when I could see it again.......

The Prowler... (Me gotta go now, yeah yeah yeah yeah).

Doug said...

I think we can twist Ms. Karen's arm into running a "fully spoiled" Winter Soldier post early next week. Give it another weekend for those folks yet to see the Cap film once and then we'll blow it open.

Because we're caring and courteous around here...


Fred W. Hill said...

The Plastic Ono Band lp is pretty much a coming of age album, with reflections by Lennon on the pains he went through as a child, yearning for love, and on through to the break-up of the Beatles. Quadrophenia is another album that explores themes of growing up, disillusionment and trying to find one's way. One song that came to my mind was Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love", particularly those classic opening lines, "when the truth is found to be lies and all the joy within you dies ...." Then there's Alice Cooper's Eighteen and Janice Ian's Seventeen, two very different takes on being nearly but not quite adult. Of course, back in the '60s, a man who was 18 was old enough to be drafted into the army and be killed in combat but not old enough to legally vote or drink in most states. Well, these days they won't get drafted but can still volunteer to risk getting killed in combat or by a psycho, but at least they can vote!

Anonymous said...

Great topic and Fred I must chime in on Quadrophenia - the ultimate coming of age album for a teenage boy. Lines like "The beach is a place where a man can feel he's the only soul in the world that's real!" are both a "WTF" and a "I know exactly what Pete's talking about!" at the same time. And david_b, "Love" - YES!

How about U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". An obvious sentiment that I still have sometimes.

Then, on a much more, um, basic level, there's Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons "Oh What A Night". Love that song.


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