Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Top 5: Influential Songs

When Carly posted her radio session and post about her influential songs, I felt compelled to make a list too. And then remembered how very far away my current music taste is from the stuff I listened to that come to mind as "influential". Wow...worlds away!

Make It Happen – Mariah Carey
“If you believe in yourself enough, and know what you want, you’re going to make it happen….” Need I say more? Middle of high school, this song made me think and dream that I can do whatever I set my mind to do. And she was, and still is, right!

If – Janet Jackson
On an album that seemed to be the soundtrack for most of Year 12 for myself and a couple of other close friends, this song was risqu̩ and suggestive. Of course, it also related to a crush on a boy at the time, and all things seemed to just align around the same time in terms of personal development and exploring these sensual ideas РJanet seemed to make it ok to talk about, and own and seek, after Madonna paved the way several years before. Janet in 1995 was also the first gig I went to without any parents Рjust 4 Ballarat girls who joined a bus company running a trip down to the show. It was an awesome night, including stopping and having (underage) cocktails at Lygon Street on the way home. We thought we were so cool and grown up! Ha!

Hands – Jewel
With the message of making a small but significant difference, this song had such a profound effect on me. Gave me the inspiration to follow that idea...and now I am a Social Worker, making a difference one case at a time!

Since You've Been Gone – Powderfinger
I know this song is about Bernard’s brother, but it hit my car CD player when I had just returned from Cambodia, and was experiencing all kinds of issues with being back. Such a dark time for me, and I really felt like the missing “you” in this song for me was my usual happy self. It just fit so well.

Still Call Australia Home – Peter Allen
First with the mentions of the places he has been, which I longed to go to. Cities that never close down! New York! And then when I was in London, this song could hit you at an Aussie themed pub on big occasions like the AFL Grand Final and Australia Day, making the whole pub sing, and pulling at every string of homesickness you didn’t even know was there. Tears, a guarantee, for all! Nothing solidifies your patriotism like being part of such a heartfelt sing-a-long.

These are songs that come to mind in terms of influence, but then I think time and place and people also shift and mould your music taste. It certainly has for me, because whilst these songs listed have been important to me over the years, they barely resemble my current day music taste!

I think a lot of music taste as we go to through our formative years are development stages all of their own. Early on, when we are in that awkward teen phase when we just want everyone to like us, we listen to what most other people listen to. The Top 40, mainly, for me back then. And our parents' music is so daggy!

Then as we finish school and we start being so much more independent, we discover more independent radio and bands. So our music taste is shaped a little more.

I don't know if this fits for everyone, but then I moved to college and met boys (boy boys and boy mates) with good music taste, and started discovering Van Morrison and learn the words to Angie by the Stones, and Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. And suddenly the music of parents' era (well, some of it) was actually pretty cool.

And then you find a balance of your own taste, and own it all, from daggy to indie stuff that no one has even heard of yet! Well, that was my musical journey, anyway!

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