Monday, November 15, 2010

Good Lovin' Is Right

You know, I can attribute my deep love for music to all sorts of sounds and listening memories. I could source it to 1994 when I heard Mariah Carey's cover of  "Without You" and sang along while my Mom played guitar peacefully, putting up with me as a frightening replica of that prophane, shrieking YouTube child who couldn't get the note right. I could definitely source it back to the Top Gun Soundtrack and my strange enjoyment of the volleyball scene in which shirtless fighter pilots are frolicking in the sand to "Playing With The Boys" by Kenny Loggins. I could easily attribute it to all sorts of weird places that in some cases are now only a memory - Gloria Estefan, Glass Tiger, Star Search, the Great Expectations Soundtrack, CCR, The Cranberries, etc.

I won't even bother thinking it was just one of these musical experiences. It, of course, was a melting pot of weird musical influence and diversity that always made me want to know and hear more. But I can tip my hat to one very large and prevalent moment in musical history. One obviously notorious soundtrack that became a precedent-setting compilation, paving the way for future ingenious movie song collections like the Romeo + Juliet and Garden State Soundtrack, is bigger than all of these toddler musical notions I received.

For me growing up, The Big Chill Soundtrack, was bigger than big. IS bigger than big. It is an astounding roster of Motown legends and their powerful pieces of pop history. They are fast, slow, danceable, sway-worthy, sing-along hits that slide into eachother magically - as if all of the featured musical artists were in one room recording each single for the sole purpose of appearing together on one disc. The songs and the way they groove together still, to this day, causes me to hear one song end, and expect the next respective song on the Soundtrack to follow it. I hear the sexy bop of "Good Lovin'" by the Young Rascals, and expect to hear the familiar bass line of "My Girl" next. I still remember prancing around my house singing the sassy lead of "Tell Him" by the Exciters, expecting my tiny imitation growl to match that of lead singer Brenda Reid and cause my own toddler doo-wop troop to materialize out of thin air.

Procol Harem

The five songs on either side of my cassette tape brought me equal amounts joy. It taught me that music was everything from the magnificent, thumping slow dance of Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" (still one of my favourite love songs of all time, and aside from Annie Lennox I really don't like when people cover it), to rock infections like "Joy to the World" and the steamy "Heard It Through The Grapevine". This Soundtrack is one of those albums that, regardless of how great the movie was (pretty great), the music that backed it was an entity in it's own.

And, one track that stands on it's own (in honour of my Mom and I twistin' in the kitchen and squealing with laughter and the high notes), is the momentous "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by those Temptation soul preachers.

To this day, the album is fun for the whole family, and a prime lesson in excellence and how to feel good, if you ask me.

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