Here’s a great song by the Rolling Stones, which I heard recently on the very first night of America’s Got Talent 2019 Champions, sung by British runner-up contestant Susan Boyle. She was of course given the golden buzzer, so she’s strait on to the finalé, which I believe airs this month. (I’m sure you can Google it…)
Anyway, here is the ukulele version in the Key of C. I find it more suitable to sing in this key 😉 and it is the Stones’ version, not Susan Boyle’s. I included the Vevo vid for it as well, just to clear up any confusion, because for one thing, you might be surprised at how slow this song actually is. People in my group were actually telling me that the Official Vevo video for the song is wrong because they remember it at a much faster pace. I, myself, however, remember the song exactly the way it is in the Vevo vid, which is actually the original recording set to some images. No one slowed it down, or we wouldn’t be able to recognize Mick Jaggar’s voice. Ha! So there! NNNNh!
Anyway, to the nay-sayers I say, go do your own friggin research and stop criticizing me, all I’m trying to do is bring you a fun song: do you have to suck lemons about it? Sheesh!
I admit it, I am biased. I started high school in the fall of 1979, and graduated in the spring of 1984 (Grade 13). I loved high school – that probably makes me weird! – and especially the music. I have fond memories of playing some vinyl at every get together with friends, and playing it loud! And then 4 years of University after that rounded out my entire decade of listening to 80’s music.
Fondest memories: Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, U2 became popular at my Uni during 1985, The Smiths, Motley Crüe, a couple Aerosmith songs, Tears for Fears, R.E.M., the Eurythmics, Poison, Metallica, a Flock, Culture Club, the Police, INXS – Holy cow, I think I just saw my whole life flash before my eyes!!
The most influential artist ON ME during this decade of my youth was Madonna. The picture on the left is a promo shot for the movie Desperately Seeking Susan. I had a couple of albums but later I started compiling entire CD’s of her stuff and I would listen to every song, over and over and over. Here’s a true story directly related to her influence: I had a 45 of her singles Lucky Star and Border Line. I had just put the needle on the vinyl and was about halfway through Lucky Star when my mother came charging up the stairs, into my room and ripped it right off the turn-table. She snapped it right in half, LOL! Mom, if you’re reading this, it back-fired on you because that made me like Madonna even more! Long live Madonna!
Other Madonna songs with that similar “fun bop” to them are Into the Groove and Like a Virgin from 1984, and Open Your Heart from 1986. Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody from 1987 also has the “fun bop” sound that I associate with the 80’s according to my memories. Movies like Flashdance and Footloose epitomized the music of this decade.
So without going too far into “big hair” band discussion, I am just going to provide as many songs as I can from the previous list, and hope that ukulele enthusiasts will enjoy my representation of the music of the 80’s as much as I do 🙂
Okay, okay. I already wrote enthusiastically about this, in a previous article in June. The problem is, I have this…. condition. Called…. “Sometimers”. And, even with the very best intentions, this….. ailment gets the best of me occasionally. Technically speaking, the True Colors Sunglasses at Night post was actually Part 1 making Part 1: Country Part 2.
And, coming up! Hits of the 80’s, Part 3: Fun Pop, will actually be the third, and final, chapter in this examination of the genre. (I’m just doing this because I have a ukulele theme night coming up August 7th, OK?)
I know the music of the 80’s has a reputation as being quirky, fun even, but to truly represent the musical hits of the 80’s I wanted to look at Country Hits of the era as well as Canadian, Pop and British or European, in as far as what made it onto the radio waves here in North America.
Part One is COUNTRY.
Here is one of our karaoke favorites and was a big hit on the Country Hits chart in 1982 and won Willie Nelson a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
Neither one of these songs was actually written in the 80’s. Elvira was written in 1965 and Always on My Mind was written in 1972 by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson. But who made it famous? These guys. Willie Nelson’s version actually won him a Grammy Award, and Elvira put the Oakridge Boys on the country music map.
The 80’s was a great decade for a mother and daughter singing duo who called themselves, quite simply, The Judds. Their country hits were Mama He’s Crazy in 1984, Have Mercy in 1985 and Grandpa (Tell Me Bout the Good Old Days) in 1985.
I’ll be your dream, I’ll be your wish, I’ll be your fantasy…
Dreamy Australian band, Savage Garden invaded our Canadian air-waves in the late 1990’s and this song became one of the most-requested wedding songs.
Although we can’t reproduce the deep bass beat (unless we have someone who plays the U-bass…) we can still convey the romantic feel of this song.
In 1997 “Truly Madly Deeply” was the No. 1 hit, until January 1988 when Celine Dion’s song from the movie Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On”, bumped it down to No. 2, where it remained for 10 weeks until it returned to No. 1 again for the rest of the year.
Over the last 5 years or so Jeff and I have been to about 10 weddings and at 3 of those, “Truly Madly Deeply” was the Bride and Groom’s song. Nice, ay?
Two iconic songs of the 80’s: True Colors and Sunglasses at Night.
Corey Hart, the underdog crooner of the 80’s, a Canadian from Montreal no less. (However, it worked for Celine Dion, did it not? LOL) I wasn’t too fond of The Boy in the Box (my hubby loves that song) but I could really party to Sunglasses at Night.
As I have told my kids and hubby numerous times: we sang this song in the hallways of my high school going between classes and my Grade 12 started a daily movement to wear sunglasses in classes, to the point where the Vice-Principal had to enforce a strict no-sunglasses rule. Yeah! That was us! We did that! VHSS Class of 84! GOD what a fun year! (We also used to sing Wasn’t That a Party between classes as loud as we could, but this is beside the point…..)
Enter Corey Hart, great looking clean-cut guy, great hair, big kissable lips, I mean, what a heart-throb! The picture of him in his brown leather jacket was taped onto every girl’s closet door, I’m sure. Sunglasses at Night came out in 1983/84 along with his other platinum hit, Never Surrender, but the real romance started when he released Can’t Help Falling in Love in 1986. I was in second year of Uni and girls were swooning over this song all night long.
When Cyndi Lauper’s debut album She’s So Unusual hit the stores in 1983, we couldn’t get enough of it: Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Time After Time, She Bop, All Through the Night, to name a few of the good ones. Set in the midst of the new-age techno sound, we bopped and ‘lauped’ to all. True Colors in 1986 became a national anthem of sorts.
(Hopefully the vid is there for Sunglasses. I haven’t had much luck with the one for Octopus’s Garden showing up.)
Here are my ukulele arrangements of these two songs: