Let The Music Play

These Can Play All Day

When I was a kid, my family did 3-day drives from Montreal to Florida (my mom is afraid of flying). On the trip, we listened to a cassette with 2 artists over and over.

Those 2 acts became two of my favorites. Outside this trip two others joined them:

The Beatles

What can I say about them different from others? Their harmonies, their writing, their originality… when I used to sing, Help was my goto song.

Styx

This band has been around since some time in the 1970s. When I was in a day camp as a kid, their song Lights Up played often.

Later on, when I was 15 my camp unit performed their song Don’t Let it End for another unit a the end of the summer.

I’m a fanatic for harmonies, so I liked their music a lot.

In the summer of 2000, they played a show here in Montreal. They still had singer Dennis deYoung then.

When he said glowing things about Montreal I believed them. To be fair, all singers do that…

Now, for my two favorites from that trip:

Queen

Link

I listened to a Greatest Hits compilation of this band. Their wide variety of subject matter and song styles kept me from feeling bored. I can listen to the same songs now (either bought on iTunes or listen on Spotify) and still not find them dull.

Much of my like of this band is due — no surprise — to the lead singer, Freddie Mercury.

I was surprised to learn years later that off-stage he was shy… on the stage, he was one of the most charismatic performers that I’ve ever seen, and from recordings I’ve heard, one of the best vocalists ever.

He, sadly, was one of the too many people we lost due to AIDS in 1991, but he managed to still inspire me: the last song he sang for that last album (Made in Heaven) Show Must go on:

  • I learned this many years later. He was in tremendous pain during the recording, but the band needed this final song, but it wasn’t sure he could do it… but he just said to give him a vodka and he’d sing it. He did.
  • the song itself, and its meaning. It talks about our pains in life, and how we deal with them. I tend to think that way too:

I miss Freddie now. Often.

Billy Joel

I know: this is an old photo. He has no hair now. He’s also heavyset now.

Appearance is irrelevant though. His skill as a songwriter and performer is.

He was the other artist that I heard repeatedly during a trip to Florida, but this wasn’t a Best Of compilation, but a single album.

Link

What I thought right away was just how talented he is. Of 10 songs, five were hits. The rest are still memorable.

This is I believe his fourth album. I’ve bought many of his other albums since.;

These performers define me.

___

Aw… Medium! Don’t you DARE be sour! CLAP for your someday famous message poster, and feel the power! It’s a New Day, yes it is…

(I’m back now.)

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