Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Memories Fade...

Tears For Fears The Hurting photo TearsForFearsThehurting_zpsa9e50493.jpg Marshall Crenshaw Downtown photo MarshallCrenshawDowntown_zpsccf4d003.jpg
Bronski Beat Age of Consent photo BronskiBeatAgeOfConsent_zpsf53915be.jpg Barbra Streisand The Way We Were photo BarbraStreisandTheWayWeWere_zpsd89b72c0.jpg
Clockwise: featuring the music of Tears For Fears; Marshall Crenshaw; Barbra Streisand; and Bronski Beat.

When thinking of what to post about tonight, a flood of memories came to me. You know, the musical kind. Songs began began to play, in a random way. And that is when it occurred to me, I should post about memories. You see, so many of our memories are anchored in music. The songs and artists you were listening to at any point in your life begin to play, and you are brought back to a time, to a place, surrounded by the people you knew. How would I apply this to a blog post? I went into my iTunes, and typed in 'memory' and 'memories' and settled on four songs that fit that bill. One of those that did was by Tears For Fears off their 1983 debut, 'The Hurting'. I loved that album, with the dark and brooding music it contained. That could definitely be said about the song "Memories Fade", written by Roland Orzabal, who also took on the lead vocals.

I remember listening to a lot of music by Marshall Crenshaw, brought to me by my sister Kim. Together, we saw him playing live a couple of times, and enjoyed him. I think my personal favorite album was his 1985 release, 'Downtown', a slightly darker collection, with a bit of a raw edge. It also included a wonderful song written by Crendshaw, "Like A Vague Memory".

It was in the early 1980s that I started by love affair with Jimmy Somerville, then singing with the Bronski Beat. I loved every measure of music on their debut album, 'Age Of Consent', one of my favorite albums of 1984. And while many of those songs immediately invoke memories of an apartment in Brooklyn, or going out to a club in the Village, I love it all. So I decided to go by the rules here, and include a song that was included in the reissue of the album. This is the beautiful "Memories", which I swear has mystic qualities. It was written by Jimmy Somerville, Larry Steinbachek and Steve Bronski. I might add that the Bronski Beat and Somerville were the first openly gay musicians I remember listening to, and following. I still follow Jimmy's music today.

And, finally, I decided to bread the rules just a bit, for this song really is all about memories. In fact, the first that is the first lyric of the song. I am, of course, talking about the great song with lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman and music by Marvin Hamlisch, "The Way We Were". It was sung impeccably by Barbra Streisand, the theme song to her 1973 movie of the same name. It is amazing, for it not only discusses how memories are strewn like scattered snapshots in our brain, but it also engages so many memories of listening to that song, when my heart was broken. It was always one of those songs I went to when a relationship ended.

Do you have songs that being back your favorite memories?

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