No, this post isn’t about the mysterious merits of “Sail on Sailor,” but rather Delaney & Bonnie’s “A Never Ending Song of Love,” which represents a soft spot I know Ben and other music friends a generation older than me has for a certain kind of hippie-folk music. If you know anything about me, I have a great affinity for hippie music and ideology. As a 6-year-old boy, after having seen Easy Rider at a drive-in double feature of biker movies my parents uncharacteristically took me to see, I wanted to grow up to be a hippie. I get it, trust me, but here’s where the Cabbage Patch Kids come into this discussion: There’s a certain kind of nearly forgotten hippie song – Melanie‘s “Brand New Key” or The Youngbloods‘ “Get Together” are possibly two of the best-known examples – that seem to be highly specific to a certain generation. Again, I’ve got no beef with Delaney & Bonnie, Melanie, or The Youngbloods, but I’m amazed by the less-known examples of that period of music that have made it through the ages, that probably help inform a totally cool music fan’s appreciation of “Sail on Sailor” and even Little Feat.
There must have been some lesser known Cabbage Patch Kids that only the cool kids of that generation collected, much like the underground folk-rock that only the coolest of cool music lovers got into after being turned onto. I don’t know what that depth of Cabbage Patch love resulted in for that generation, but I bet it was something cool. It wouldn’t surprise me if they are among the movers and shakers of the Millennial generation.
I’m not picking on the generation of music fans who came of age prior to my generation, mind you. In fact, I’ve been looking in the mirror since wondering about Ben Vaughn’s generation, obsessing over what my generation’s “Never Ending Song of Love” might be.
What is a mostly forgotten song that wouldn’t mean much to other generations that somehow unlocked secrets of the musical universe to my generation? Is it Sniff ‘n The Tears‘ “Driver’s Seat”?
I remember “Get Together” when it was a hit in ’69 & I was 7 @ the time. I remember liking it a lot & I still do. I also remember hearing “Sail on Sailor” a lot on the radio back in ’75 & was later surprised that it only reached # 49 or so in the charts the 2nd time around (it went to #89 I think in ’73).
So what you’re saying is what songs from our generation have the same resonance as those you mentioned? Do you mean songs from 1976-1984 or so? I would hazard a guess & say something like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” or REO Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You”.
diskojoe, we’re in the same age bracket, so yes, you get the gist of what I’m asking. I so despise those Journey and REO Speedwagon songs, but my tastes aside, they were such massive hits that won’t go away that I don’t think they get to what I’m asking about. Generations since ours are still subjected to those songs, they way we were Frank Sinatra’s hits and forever will be. I’m wondering, for each generation represented here, what nearly forgotten, under-the-radar songs might be our Delaney & Bonnie trifle that mean something to us but may cause subsequent generations to scratch their head over.
If your meaning of “us” means the sort of people that would read/comment on this site, would something by TMBG or Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper be closer to the mark? Another song that I remember from back in the day had “All I want was a Pepsi” in the refrain.
I spent three weeks in Australia in February and musically it seemed like a time warp. Just about every restaurant – fancy, casual, breakfast, cafe – was playing an ’80 playlist (and 9 times out of 10 it was way too loud). The reason for the trip was our niece’s wedding and at the reception is was the same thing and everyone of that early 30s age group new every lyric to every song.
One song I didn’t hear that might fit the bill is “Senses Working Overtime” by XTC.
Ah, I confess, maybe it doesn’t but it gives me an excuse to shoehorn this bit about Mr. Mod’s old sparring partner, Andy Partridge
One other thing about Australia. While in Melbourne our Airbnb was actually located on AC/DC Lane, one of several streets turned over to graffiti artists. Mr. Mod, how can I upload the Malcolm Young street mural in a comment?
Al, I’m not sure if you can load an image into a comment at this stripped-down community healing version of the site, but feel free to send it my way and I may be able to do so from The Back Office. Thanks.
Sticking to songs from the hippie era…Mod, am I on the right track with, say a “Reach Out of the Darkness” by Friend & Lover? There’s not a whole lot on the surface that would differentiate it from the kind of song Sonny & Cher might have done while dressed in some kind of problematic costumes as part of a skit on their old variety show. And yet, it’s got something to it that kind of pushes it out further into that “hippie cool” vibe, and I’d imagine it making the cut of an “aw, maaaan, you don’t know that one?” list for someone from that generation.
Good one, alexmagic! Is there something that will emerge as this sort of surprisingly essential song from your generation? Please tell me it’s NOT that big song by 4 Non Blondes.
I am about ten years older than you Mr. Mod, and Friend and Lover is definitely one that lights me up.
I also always thought that the D&B song was a cover intended to resurrect a song that came off cheesey in its original incarnation, but which they thought had hidden value. I even looked up the song when you referenced it and was surprised to see that Delaney wrote it.
Here’s another song from back in the day that I think fits into the catagory, “Yellow River”:
Been thinking on this one, Mod. Luckily the 4 Non Blondes song seems to have already completed the cycle from “maybe this was important?” to “No, it’s still annoying, no critical upgrade needed.”
I would instead throw something out there like Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam”, which was a big hit, but feels incredibly of its time now and hasn’t necessarily been rediscovered/elevated in anyway, and yet straddles a few emerging and converging genres (house, pop, hip hop and being a European act, I suspect has more impact on what was going on in the UK musically than would be immediately evident). Historically speaking, it’s settled comfortably into an eternal home as music to watch people in mascot costumes dunk basketballs to.