Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Could It Be Finally I'm Turning For Home?

When you think of 70s music, what do you conjure up in your mind? Extended jams? Singer-songwriters?  Prog rock?  Disco?  Punk?

Whatever it is, here's the biggest hit of that decade:

Let's say goodbye to songwriter Joseph Brooks, who has committed suicide

His death comes two years after Brooks was charged in the sexual assault of about a dozen women, and five months after his son, Christopher Brooks, was charged in the death of his former girlfriend in a separate case.

[He] was found by a friend who was supposed to have lunch with him at his home[....] He was near a helium tank with a tube attached into a dry cleaning bag, and a towel wrapped around his head and neck, according to police. He left a suicide note.

No matter how he went out, he'll be remembered for a song that it inspired millions (and revolted about as many).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll never forget Kasey Cisyk.

3:40 AM, May 24, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah I recall there was a movie tie-in to the song. (Was the song originally written for the movie?)

I also recall there was a sequel movie/song (which since I can't recall means it must not have done too well) I only recall that the trailer for the sequel made my heart sink when I saw it in the Cinamette

6:36 AM, May 24, 2011  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The song was written for a movie of the same name. Debbie Boone's version, not in the movie, became a giant hit.

9:03 AM, May 24, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cinemette I mean- there were no fresh smells of buns in the theater. Who sang it in the movie then?

9:50 AM, May 24, 2011  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The lead character, played by Didi Conn, sang it in the movie, except she was lip synching to Kasey Cisyk.

9:52 AM, May 24, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The followup flick starred Joseph Brooks- "If I ever See You Again"

Surprisingly strong comments in favor of it mentioning Brooks as a master (relatives? himself?)


9:55 AM, May 24, 2011  
Anonymous Cinnaphile (buns) said...

PLease, its "If Ever I see You Again"

For some reason the positive comments show up on the main page but the jump contains some a lot of the "worst movie ever" type quotes

9:59 AM, May 24, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the parody version of the song "You Light Up My Wife."

10:00 AM, May 24, 2011  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

But in every era, wasn't commercial pop music more popular at the time than any other genre? And as history passes, doesn't a consensus gradually develop about what music was truly great from that era, which very rarely is the pop stuff?

Salieri really was more popular than Mozart for a while.

L.A. Guy has seen my CD collection: the years 1970 to 1976 are heavily represented with progressive rock music. But I suspect that all the Yes and (early) Genesis and ELP and King Crimson and Gentle Giant songs put together didn't get as much airplay as "Rhinestone Cowboy".

And while L.A. Guy's beloved Ramones were thrilling a few hundred fans at CBGB's, 45's of "Evergreen" and the infamous "I Write the Songs" were outselling them by orders of magnitude.

But forty years later, which of these are still remembered by dedicated fans?

I think you can see the drift towards long-term judgment in the last ten years. I'm biased when it comes to prog rock, so let me give another example. In the rock world, Led Zeppelin was omnipresent in the 1970s, but by the mid-1980s they were obsolete and rarely played on "classic rock" stations. But in the past decade they have been gaining recognition in a way that I predict will last another century. I say this not as a huge Zep fan myself. Meanwhile, chart-topping rockers like the Bay City Rollers are literally forgotten.

7:57 PM, May 25, 2011  
Blogger LAGuy said...

"in every era, wasn't commercial pop music more popular at the time than any other genre?"

If you define "commercial pop music" as what sells, then yes, by definition. But "pop," defined as something softer than rock and roll, doesn't always sell best. Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and even Eminem were the top sellers in their time, and represented something tougher than what was normally out there.

As to overall genres, it's not always clear, since you have to go into particulars with how everything is defined. Though I can tell you in the last 50 years or so Jazz and Classical make up a relatively small percentage of music sales.

I've been meaning to write on what does constitute success in music. In particular, I was thinking of Stephen Sondheim, who has never written a blockbuster musical (defined by me as a 1000 performance run), but has had his share of successes and, more important, is constantly revived. He's also the most respected Broadway composer of his time. Hasn't he arguably had greater success (in his lifetime, when he could enjoy it) than any of his contemporaries?

8:45 PM, May 25, 2011  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter