If you were to make a list of songs that would be the soundtrack of your life, what would you include?
When I was a little girl, I loved Frankie Laine. I saw an ad on television for a collection of his greatest hits and I fell in love with his passionate style. So, I’d have to include Frankie Laine’s Jezebel.
When my mother would do the spring cleaning, she would put on Andy Williams records while she worked. He has so many great songs, but the one I remember best was Quentin’s Theme from the TV show Dark Shadows, called Shadows of the Night. I used to watch the reruns of that spooky soap opera about vampires and ghosts. They had the best hairstyles on that show.
The first cognizant record purchase I ever made (I won’t include kid’s records like the Mary Poppins soundtrack) was Morrison Hotel by The Doors. They were before my time, but I was shopping with my big sister and she pointed it out as a really good album. So to represent my first adult record, I choose Waiting for the Sun.
When I was a teenager I loved The Who. They were my first favorite rock band. Roger Daltrey was so cool and sexy, and what a set of pipes. I couldn’t have a playlist without Love Reign O’er Me from Quadrophenia.
I also loved Rachel Sweet. You probably don’t remember her, but she had an awesome voice and she was just a teenager when she started. It was nice to have someone to idolize who hadn’t already been around for decades. I practically wore a hole in her album Protect the Innocent. I’ve Got a Reason is a great rock song.
Then the new wave came in. I really liked Forever Young by Alphaville, Tainted Love by Softcell and Take On Me by A-Ha. But music was fleeting in that era.
The night my father died, I put on the classical music radio station when I went to bed. They played Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. It seemed appropriate. My father was a decorated war veteran and a great man.
I’d also include To Each His Own, which was my parent’s song. It was the song they danced to on their first date.
Speaking of romance, I can’t count how many times I’ve made out to Always and Forever by Heatwave.
Then music hit a big lull for me, until Nirvana came along and blew away all the cobwebs. Lithium is my favorite of their songs. No one rocked like Nirvana. When Kurt Cobain died, he left a big hole in the music world that still has not been filled.
So, I started listening to Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. I adore Tony Bennett singing They Can’t Take That Away From Me. He slows it down and makes it so heartbreaking. Also on my list is the King of Men, Frank Sinatra, singing Summer Wind and You & Me (We Wanted It All) from his Trilogy album. I always think of Frank and Ava when I hear that one.
I had a little apartment in Brooklyn for a short time. I remember sitting in my window seat overlooking the avenue and You Don’t Know What Love Is by George Benson came on the radio. He has such a pure voice. I also love his version of George Harrison’s Here, There and Everywhere.
When I moved to Manhattan in my twenties, all the Italian restaurants were playing Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. I always think of rigatoni in pink vodka sauce and Chianti Classico when I hear that song.
Ever since I discovered Sarah Brightman, of Phantom of the Opera fame, she has been my favorite female vocalist. If I could have anyone’s voice, it would be her crystal clear soprano. I have everything she’s ever recorded. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again makes me cry.
Other women I love are Rosemary Clooney, Linda Ronstadt, Ella Fitzgerald, Kathleen Battle. One of the most beautiful songs ever recorded is Sarah Vaughn’s I Live to Love You.
I’m sure I’m leaving things out, but enough about me. Who is playing on the soundtrack to your life?
Related links: See The History of My Life in Perfume.