Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Remorse About the Entirety of 6th Grade (Part 3 In a Series)

There are probably many folks out there who don't have remorse/regret about the music they spent their time and money on in the 6th grade. Many of you probably feel that you can chalk up any ill-advised musical choices made at that age to the age itself. This may very well be true...I might be completely justified in letting myself off the hook. And as I alluded to in the last post, it is quite possible that the very musical ugliness that I consistently ingested in 6th grade finally pushed me over the edge in terms of ABSOLUTELY having to search out SOME sort of alternative...

Ultimately, I feel like 6th grade was kind of this wasteland in between my elementary school years (which, in spite of the REO Speedwagon rant yesterday, were, more than anything, about discovering pop music and its existence rather than about honing my tastes and voyaging into multiple unknown musical horizons) and the rest of middle school, which really found me stretching out a bit from my firmly established top 40 origins. The ONE EXCEPTION to my 6th grade stagnation was Run-DMC, who, it must be said, DID in fact hit the top 40 that year (so even though they effectively introduced hip-hop into my musical universe, they weren't really much of an aberration).

Songs that I wish I could take back the hours I spent hearing/listening to them in 6th grade:
"On My Own" by Michael McDonald & Patti Labelle
"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung (Many of you will probably attempt to assign some sort of value, sentimental or otherwise, to this song. I can't enjoy it. I haven't been able to enjoy it since around the 84th time I heard it in the 6th grade).
"(I Just Died) In Your Arms Tonight" by Cutting Crew
"I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" by Aretha Franklin & George Michael
"The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby & The Range (sorry, Nathan)
"Head To Toe" by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
"Stuck With You" by Huey Lewis & The News (I may have had kind words for "The Heart of Rock & Roll", as well as other tracks from the Sports album, but after that the dude fell off. Big time.)
"No One Is To Blame" by Howard Jones
"Talk To Me" by Stevie Nicks (This song was so overplayed it need NEVER EVER BE PLAYED AGAIN ANYWHERE EVER.)

There are other songs I could add to this list, for sure. "That's What Friends Are For" is a strong contender as is "Say You, Say Me". Of course, during this time, Bon Jovi & Whitesnake were busy ushering in the late 80's butt rock explosion, but ultimately I would argue that the butt rock and metal that I gravitated towards in the next couple of years led to further expansion of my musical tastes, and not to further stagnation.

I really can't emphasize enough that 6th grade was a "darkest before the dawn" moment musically. 7th grade brought Led Zeppelin, a renewed interest in the Beatles, and my introduction to the Dr. Demento Show (as well as lots of butt rock). These things would, for all intents and purposes, fuel the expansion of my musical horizons for years to come.

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