You Might Need Somebody….

August 24, 2018

My Favourite Eldest Daughter worries about hereditary conditions that may be on her future Timeline. In her position I would be less worried as I’m convinced that by the time she reaches the age of her mother or myself there will be a pill or spray that will sort it. If I were alerting her about future concerns then her father, aunt and grandfather had or have a troubling gypsy heart. The thought of being peripatetic would lose me no sleep other than where would I store my record collection, bikes and Morgan. Wandering far and wide simply and cheaply is a pleasure I live for. Another condition is less disruptive but persistent.

I cannot hear any music whether in a supermarket, lift, mall, waiting room and not marvel and wonder how such a track makes it into this space. There are so many songs out there why do they pick historical relics? Are the songs of today so temporary or irritating that they cannot make a background soundtrack for shoppers or residents?

Shola Ama is now 39 years old but at the tender age of 18 years old she had a hit single in 1997. It reached No. 4 in the UK charts and No. 21 in Germany. “You Might Need Somebody” was a dead ringer cover of Randy Crawford’s earlier effort. However, such was the quality of the song it charted 16 years later. Shola Ama released this on an album, which must have shifted a few copies. When the next album flopped she disappeared off the scene. (Yes, I have both albums).

So explain how 21 years later this song is echoing around a supermarket in Mauterndorf? (Mauterndorf in Austria has a population of 1,700 people and exists as a tourist spot mainly for winter skiiers who throw themselves off nearby Alps). Although it charted in Germany I’m incredulous this obscurity is serenading me as I ask for a cheese and gherkin sandwich.

How does Betty Wright’s 1971 “Clean Up Woman” make it into the lobby of a luxury hotel in Strasbourg’s OKKO Hotel? It’s France for heaven’s sake! This Soul classic shifted over a million records when it charted in the USA but how does it appear in my ears here?

1982’s “Pass The Dutchie” was still being played in a Miami mall 36 years after its release. Granted London’s Musical Youth’s reggae song was a worldwide hit and rose on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart to No.10. However, why does this make it onto any playlist for a nation that can pick from Elvis, Bruce, Jacko, Madonna, Aretha, Marvin, Dolly, Buddy, Whitney… need I go on?

You may think copyright keeps some of these big artists off the playlists. Maybe? However give me the total selection available and then I wouldn’t think to use some of these songs.

I’m expecting on my, say, wait in a Southern European taxi office that it will either be Billy Ocean or Todd Rundgren that accosts me. I’ll keep you posted.

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