Monday, October 24, 2005

Top 5: Time Passages

While I fondly recall several Octobers from the 1970s, there's one that's not all that pleasant to remember--1978. It was my first semester at college, and I was having a hell of a time--dorm problems, girl problems, general being-away-from-home-for-the-first-time problems. For a long time after, it was a season I preferred to forget. Nevertheless, there are some songs from that season that I still enjoy hearing, even though I usually try to separate them from what was going on in my life at the time. Here are five:

"Reminiscing"/Little River Band.
There's never been another record that sounded like this, not even during the big-band era it celebrates, and certainly not since. But even people far too young to relate to the 1940s could latch onto one of "Reminiscing"'s multiple hooks and dig it over and over again.

"Whenever I Call You Friend"/Kenny Loggins.
A Top-40 summit meeting, 70s style, with Stevie Nicks and Melissa Manchester joining Loggins on the record that jump-started his solo career.

"Right Down the Line"/Gerry Rafferty.
Rafferty had already built his monument, "Baker Street," and anything else was destined to pale in comparison. This doesn't pale much.

"Time Passages"/Al Stewart.
This song was a particular favorite of mine that fall, and it was no surprise that I would seize on a song about traveling back in time, especially given that the present I was living through at that moment felt like a waking nightmare. "Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight," indeed.

"Who Are You"/The Who. On the radio the week Keith Moon died, in early September. His death was the lead story that night on my campus TV station's evening newscast, where I was anchoring sports. I was in my third week at school at the time. (Why the station relied on utterly green talent at the beginning of the school year is a mystery.) It took only one week for me to decide that I had no business being in front of a TV camera. It felt a lot safer behind the microphone. I'd finally get there in December.


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