A Musical A-Z: I

Nobody told me I forgot to post ‘I’ before ‘J’! Sorry about that…

Don’t forget to play along. Any artist, song, album, or group. As long as the name begins with ‘I’.

One of my favourite songs from ‘back in the day’. (1972) It is remarkable how this song never ages, and the tone of Todd Rundgren’s voice never loses its appeal. This one’s for you, John Rieber!
I Saw The Light

In 1995, Canadian singer Alanis Morissette released her album ‘Jagged Little Pill’. It was a massive success, selling over 30,000,000 copies worldwide, driven by the popularity of her MTV videos. She was acclaimed as an international star, and is still much respected in the music industry today. This track was number one in so many countries, I won’t bother to list them. And although I never did buy that album, I always liked this rather clever song.

In 1970, I heard a powerful song on the radio. It was by a group I had never heard of, called The Ides Of March. I went straight out and bought it, but have to confess that I never listened to any of their other records. I still like this ‘blaster’ though.

When I heard the throaty tones of Macy Gray in the late 1990s, I thought that she was going to take the recording industry by storm. She certainly did well with her debut album, and this song, released as a single. Then she sort-of disappeared. So I looked her up. She released an album in 2016, and is still working.
I Try

When I first saw Chaka Khan, I thought she had the whole package. Cheeky, sexy, funky, and a great voice. And a huge wig, lets not forget that! She went on to great things and remains popular to this day, and I still like her just as much as I did in 1984. Written and recorded by Prince of course, but I actually prefer Chaka’s version. And she had a much curvier figure…
I Feel For You

The recordings of the Isley Brothers were a sound I grew up with, then continued to follow. I finally got to see them in concert in the UK, but not until 2001. I would be hard-pressed to choose one of their songs, but for the benefit of this post, I will go back to the Tamla-Motown glory days of the 1960s. I might just have to have another of their songs later on though.
Behind A Painted Smile

Michael McDonald first came to my attention as a vocalist in the Doobie Brothers. He later went solo, and enjoyed a successful career that continues to this day. Many of his songs have a sad theme, and his distinctive high voice suits them down to the ground. Because I like him so much, I am going to offer two of his songs today, both starting with an ‘I’.
I Keep Forgettin’

And this, the heartbreaking I Can Let Go Now. Chokes me up, every single time I hear it.

The top pick for today is a wonderful ballad from the divine talent that is Alicia Keys. When Julie and I got married in 2009, this was played as our first dance. Anyone who has ever been in love can identify with this soulful song.
If I Ain’t Got You

I will try to post in the correct order from now on!

Significant Songs (5)

If I Ain’t Got You

If any of you have ever been involved in a romantic relationship, I will bet my bottom dollar that there is a song that reminds you of it. You may not like to admit it though. You might consider it to be slushy and sentimental, to have a song that makes you come over all amorous, or reflective, but I am sure that there is one lurking there, filed under ‘Love’ in your brain’s memory banks.

When I met Julie, in 2000, we soon had a few songs that we could associate with the time and place of our new relationship. As well as our individual favourites, there were a few contenders for songs that were new to us both, and made us think about each other, when we were apart. One worth a mention, was the hit song ‘Groovejet (If this ain’t love)’, by Spiller, with vocals by Sophie Ellis Bextor. This was released that summer, before we started seeing each other in the autumn. I played it a lot, and Julie liked it too. The lyrics seemed to have a connection to our situation at the time, and we often thought it a very special song, just for for us. The other song with seemingly appropriate lyrics and theme that year was ‘The Time Is Now’, by Moloko, sung by Rosin Murphy. As we started our journey as a couple, it was as if songs written perfectly for us, were appearing from everywhere.

Of course, we were old enough to appreciate that they were just pop songs, and that the symbolism, though relevant, was just amusingly coincidental. Music featured a lot in those early days, and we would sit in my flat in Camden, and have ‘music nights’, both of us playing our favourites, old and new. As we carried on seeing each other, and becoming closer, we took less notice of lyrics in songs, perhaps settling into the knowledge that we were going to stay together, come what may. We did still have a soft spot for the Spiller and Moloko songs though, and always mentioned that they were ‘our songs’, whenever we heard them.

In 2003, I heard a new song, from Alicia Keys. I already knew of this talented young woman, and had bought her CD ‘Songs in A Minor’. This new song was instantly memorable, with a piano intro, great structure, and meaningful lyrics. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and bought the CD soon after. It was called ‘If I Ain’t Got You’, and the words immediately made me think of Julie, and our relationship. We both liked it very much, and played it often. One day, I remarked to Julie, that if we ever got married, then this song should be our first dance, such was the relevance it had for us. She agreed, and that was the end of the conversation.

Six years later, in 2009, we finally did get married; after nine years together, and many ups and downs in our lives, that we had worked through as a couple. Although many great songs had appeared in those intervening years, there was still only one choice for our first dance. And I almost missed it. I was standing outside the venue, chatting, and had to be rounded up by friends, to go in and have the first dance at our wedding. This September, we will have been married for five years, and together for fourteen. This song still means as much to me today, as when I first heard it, all those years ago.