A few weeks several of us in my noontime spin class were lamenting the sound track my pal, coworker, and spin teacher Cheryl had chosen. Who are those artists?? What are these songs?? They were from the 1990s. Not that it wasn't good spinning music, but the fact that the 20-somethings seemed to know all the words to songs we had never heard of had us feeling old.
To plot our revenge, Cheryl, who is ten years younger than I, agreed to put together a 1978 mix, that being the year that one of our classmates who just celebrated his fiftieth graduated from high school. Back in the office, Cheryl consulted me, given my expertise with that time period as a 1980 high school graduate. Top 40 lists reveal that there was a ton of crap released that year: The Bee Gees, Debbie Boone, Donna Summers, and the Commodores were all big, and good groups like the Rollings Stones and Steely Dan released some really bad stuff. But that was not what we were listening to.
High school may have been bad, but the music was good. Here, then, is part of my soundtrack and the mix for today's spin class:
David Bowie, Sound and Vision
Van Halen, Ain't Talkin bout Love
The Cars, Don't Cha Stop
Talking Heads, Take Me to the River
Led Zeppelin, Rock and roll
Cheap Trick, I Want You to Want Me
Elvis Costello, Pump It Up
Blondie, Hanging on the Telephone
Devo, Uncontrollable Urge
And for our big finale hill climb, when everyone was probably expecting Stairway to Heaven (remember we already had a Led Zeppelin song), we killed them with . . . Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird.
Cool down was to The Who's Squeezebox. I can't tell you how many hours my friends and I sat around stoned and discussed what is that song really about??? The answer is, of course, accordions.
I'm not saying this was the best or denying that there are not some notable omissions. I remember, for example, exactly what I was doing the first time I heard Steve Miller's Fly Like an Eagle, and the first concert I attended was the Pink Floyd Animals tour. Very important stuff, but a spin class is only so long.
Cheryl and I knew people would either love it or hate it. Fortunately, since I attend this class three times a week, they loved it, and we got a nice round of applause at the end, including from people who were probably not born when some of these songs were recorded. Next up will be Cheryl's slightly different version of the same time period. She wants to include Foreigner (well, ok . . . ) and Toto (must she really???). I'm working on her to throw in The Outlaws'Green Grass and High Tides for the hill climb. Wouldn't that be excellent? It's got an extended guitar solo that I think is even better than Freebird's and of course some great stoner lyrics.
What's playing on the sound track to your high school years?