Reason why the British group so wonderfully named for the era, Tears for Fears, and their best album and song still registers with me. Everybody Wants to Rule the World, written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, and Chris Hughes, remains their biggest hit of the period. Even if it wasn’t the headlined single from the Songs From The Big Chair album. Producers thought it a bit bland and not important at the time.
Wrong they were as such is how pop hits are born, especially in this decade.
Admittedly, many I’ve spotlighted in this forgotten song series, which honestly began on a lark, are of the way-back-when variety. Rarely heard by later generations. I’ve stuck with those that somehow clicked…
Written by the underrated composer, arranger, and pianist Dave Grusin, the theme song, a seemingly lost art these days, had a distinctly melodious and infectious 80s mood to it. It has proven to be Mr. Grusin’s, another of Jazz Fusion’s durable players from the 70s, most recognizable of arrangements. If Dave Grusin’s name doesn’t mean much at first glance, you’ve most likely heard a few of his movie scores.
Sampled years later by Will Smith for the background in his ‘Summertime’ ditty, among others, Summer Madness had to be one of the unforeseen strains to come out of the Light of World LP on its release in ’74. I think I flattened every groove on my copy of the album back then before the year was out, the deepest for this track. Likely one of the most successful B-side numbers from the days where the 45 was still king, it did make quite a mark on radio air. An instrumental that played across R&B, jazz, and pop stations, at least around SoCal for sure.
Way back when, I had friends who’d argue endlessly about the quality and achievements of their favorite music groups in comparison with others. None more so than with those groups that transitioned with new members over the years. The music labels were not about to let go of a popular (read money-making) group name just because the lead singer would head out on a solo career (which they also managed).
Like some, certain memories are tied with the music of the time. During this particular period, I was in my Jazz Fusion phase and the artists in and around the genre. Yet, still very much near the R&B stylings of the day. And with summer of 2012 coming to an end tomorrow, there is one song and artist that comes back to my mind’s eye whenever the autumnal equinox cycles passed.
Recently, author Joseph Maddrey concluded a wonderful set of articles with his final entry of a quite splendid southwestern trip he undertook and cataloged. His Four Corners Tour series looked, both pictorially and historically, at some decidedly beautiful locations in that region (a number of which were utilized in some classic and iconic films). It a worthy piece of writing and I highly recommend it to my readers. What was almost as interesting was his inclusion at article’s end of a memorable music video from the distinct period of big hair and padded shoulders that was the 80s. Mike and the Mechanics’ Silent Running being that song…