Many people could wax nostalgia on only very old songs, citing their youthful memories as the stimuli that trigger such wistful and wishful feelings. For me, however, because I have developed keen ears for perhaps any kind of music, whether old or new, even new songs could easily develop for me new memories that will become also nostalgic in the future.
“Angels on My Side” (2016) by Rick Astley
While watching music videos several days ago, my seven-year-old son, Evawwen, asked me to play that new song by Rick Astley titled “Angels on My Side.” I asked him how he did know the song. He told me that he remembered it because he was beside me playing his video game on the evenings when I was playing the new album of Astley repeatedly for my review of it. He said that it was very catchy, and that he could not stop singing along with the chorus every time he hears or remembers the song.
Evawwen said that he is the angel on my side even though he has no wings, but he has feet. I will certainly remember this instance in the future every time I listen to this Astley song.
Catapulted to popularity in the ’80s Pop music scene in 1987 via his solid debut effort, the English Singer Rick Astley has become a music icon in his own right. This was well-deserved; after all, Astley was able to churn out a string of successful singles culled from his ’80s-released albums: “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Whenever You Need Somebody,” “Together Forever,” “It Would Take a Strong Man,” “She Wants to Dance with Me,” “Take Me to Your Heart,” and “Hold Me in Your Arms.” To date, Astley has seven studio albums under his name, from 1987’s Whenever You Need Somebody to the latest, new offering, 50, where “Angels on My Side” may be found.
“There Is a Light that Never Goes Out” (1986) by The Smiths
Highschool memories, late ’80s, this song is full of these. I don’t really associate this with any particular girl or person. After all, most of the songs that I’ve come to love, I fell into primarily because of the music, the melodies and the lyrics, and not really because of the particular memories attached to them. But, in fairness, in case certain memories are positive, I celebrate them; but if they are sad or negative, I could always still listen to the songs without getting too down or affected by such memories. Such is the magical optimism that music has instilled in me.
“Evawwen, by what band this song is?”
“Dad, The Smiths!”
“How did you know?”
“I could recognize the voice of Morrissey.”
The Smiths was one of the most iconic English bands associated with ’80s New Wave / Post-punk music, despite having been active only for five years, from 1982 to 1987; but the band was relatively one of the most prolific, releasing four full-length studio albums, one EP, one live album, ten compilation albums, 20 singles, one video album, and 14 music videos. If I need to choose only one song by The Smiths, then I would have to cite “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out” without having second thoughts.
“Beautiful Day” (2000) by U2
For me, a truly beautiful day is comprised by a favorable weather, at least relatively, and a day without unnecessary stress, coupled with a positive disposition and strong and clear vision about the future. It could consist also of fun and worthy activities such as shopping, spending time with loved ones (as for me, with my son, Evawwen), and attending community events, where I get to interact with friends and other members of the community amidst celebration of music, arts, and cultures. And an appropriate song to play on days like this is something like U2’s “Beautiful Day”—upbeat, engaging, and lyrically positive.
Now, speaking of U2, many so-called fans have long written the Irish band off, claiming that its last great album was 1987’s The Joshua Tree. Sorry, but I don’t share that shortsighted and short attention–span mentality. Anyone who has keen ears for music should be able to realize that each of the 13 albums of U2 has its highlights—from 1980’s Boy (“I Will Follow”) to 2014’s Songs of Innocence (“Every Breaking Wave”). And from U2’s 10th album, “Beautiful Day” is only one of its shining moments.
Never underestimate the rhythm and melodies of new songs, for, after all, everything new will be old someday. So, the new music or songs that you heard the other day for the first time will most likely become also significant to you when you grow much older.