Several times a year, I am asked what my favorite bands are. Or I’m sucked in by some kind of Facebook post where people are talking about their favorite concerts ever. Or their top five songs. Then there’s always the “desert island disc” thing, where people ask if I was trapped on a desert island, what 10 albums would I bring with me. These are all fun exercises! I certainly don’t mind doing them, but there’s also a tiny bit of stress in them, especially for a person like me who enjoys so much different music. These are truly first-world problems. So my approach to these types of things is to enjoy them. I view them as a snapshot in time. Because for me, my top anything when it comes to music is different on an almost day-to-day basis. I also know that 12 years from now, nobody is going to remember or hold me to it.
I say all this because the other day I was driving and decided to put my ’70s Spotify playlist on shuffle. Yes, I am the person who has built Spotify playlists by decade. All my favorite songs, seperated by time period. I have playlists for the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s and an ongoing one for the ’20s. I also have playlists for my favorite bands – all my favorite songs from each of those bands. It’s like my own little greatest hits collection because surprise! – my greatest hits for a specific band are generally not the songs that were continuously pounded into our heads on the radio. And truth be told, most of my band-focused Spotify playlists are bands that were never “famous” or on the radio anyway.
I’m getting off-topic, sorry. Ah yes, the ’70s. It hit me to write this blog post because I heard two consecutive songs that I just love so much. And as I was driving, I was singing them out loud and thinking these two songs belong on a top list somewhere for me. Don’t know what that list is and now I don’t really care as it’s been a few days. It just prompted me to write this post. So I’m sharing them here. Have a listen. Or don’t!
Richard & Linda Thompson’s “Hokey Pokey” from 1975 always hits me in the right place. Thompson’s guitar playing is just incredible, as always, but the fiddle and Linda’s singing really just turn it into a masterpiece. And the lyrics, well, you can interpret them how you please, but it’s clear there’s a double entendre going on here. It’s a song about ice cream…or is it? Sing along with the lyrics.
The second one is more well-known. Elton John’s “Country Comfort” (1970) feels like wearing a pair of old jeans and a hoodie. Just warm and snug. The piano is crisp and I just love how the chorus is sung. It’s “homey.” I love a song that can really take you somewhere, and this song does.