Making the once known known again.
During my freshman year of college I made one of the best decisions of my life. A decision that would change everything forever. A decision that still bears fruit in my everyday existence. I know the suspense is killing you so I won’t leave you waiting any longer. That year I made the decision to subscribe to the Time Life AM Gold Collection.
The AM Gold Collection is a vintage pop music series. Upon subscribing, Time Life delivered a CD to me every six weeks containing twenty-two songs that defined a particular year. After I received my first CD, AM Gold 1971, there was no turning back. Many a night I shoved aside my music theory homework so I could listen to “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 or “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards. The CDs kept coming and vintage pop became the soundtrack of my college years. If I liked a particular year, I would research other artists/albums/songs that made it big but weren’t included in the collection. Thus, my obsession started.
Through the AM Gold collection I discovered that my favorite year for music is 1966. Something about the freedom and honesty of the music that year resonated with me and still does to this day. I’ve experienced some disappointment during the past couple weeks and upon seeking comfort I was directed to the truth of ’66. In the music of that year I’m able to lose myself and discover the person I was created to be. For Ryan Chavez, everything flows from 1966.
That said, I’d like to present you with “1966: 19 Songs To Lose Yourself In.” These songs are NOT all found on the AM Gold 1966 CD. A couple of them are but the others I discovered through different mediums. These songs mean everything to me and they hit a piece of my heart that no other music is able to. Give them a shot. You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself. There’s a Spotify link at the end that will take you to the playlist. Again, these are not all found on the AM Gold CD.
1. “The Sound of Silence” – Simon and Garfunkel. “And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made…” This song intimates the internal conflict alive in each of us. Simon and Garfunkel do it so beautifully that you’ll miss the message if you’re not paying attention.
2. “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” – Jimmy Ruffin. Jimmy takes his pain and turns it into a thing of beauty. It’ll make you wish your heart was broken just so you’ll know what he’s talking about.
3. “Five O’Clock World” – The Vogues. Do you spend your 9 to 5 patiently waiting for the 5? This song is for you.
4. “The More I See You” – Chris Montez. Makes me want to buy a velvet smoking jacket, grab a fine woman and go to a cocktail party.
5. “Oh How Happy” – Shades of Blue. An ode to the joy of loving someone. Not bubblegum love though. A true love where commitment and devotion has been proven. I can’t listen to it without smiling.
6. “Cherish” – The Association. “You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could mold you into someone who would cherish me as much as I cherish you.” Ever been there?
7. “19th Nervous Breakdown” – The Rolling Stones. The Stones’ warning to a young spoiled girl that if she doesn’t start appreciating what she has, it’s all going to come crashing down. Still relevant today.
8. “If I were a Carpenter” – Bobby Darin. Numerous artists have covered this song but Darin’s is my favorite version. A guy wanting a love with no limits. Pure and simple.
9. “Uptight” – Stevie Wonder. The opening bars will have you tapping your feet. The verse will have you doing the jerk. The chorus will make you run down the street looking for the nearest “Soul Train” dancer auditions.
10. “Bus Stop” – The Hollies. Love can be found in the most common of places. Like a bus stop.
11. “Time Won’t Let Me” – The Outsiders. This may be my favorite song of all time. Through it I learned that life is too short to sit around wishing I was somewhere/someone else. Gotta enjoy the day.
12. “Walk Away Renee” – The Left Banke. The keyboard player was in love with the bassist’s girlfriend Renee. Shady? Yes. But it’s real.
13. “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.” – Dusty Springfield. Dusty just wants her man close to her whether he loves her or not. It’s a song about loving someone so much that their feelings for you are of the least importance. Beautiful.
14. “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson changed the game with this song. He employed instruments and techniques that had not been used before in pop music. Electro-theremin anyone?
15. “You Keep Me Hanging On” – The Supremes. Over a pulsating Funk Brothers arrangement and H-D-H production, Diana begs to be set free from a lover who is having his cake and eating it too. Add Mary and Flo to help plead her case and the result is pop perfection.
16. “Reach Out I’ll Be There” – The Four Tops. A pop symphony. Lead singer Levi Stubbs sings that he is the cure-all for all of his lover’s problems. His passionate, gruff, almost shouting delivery makes you believe every word.
17. “Poor side of town” – Johnny Rivers. Poor boy loves poor girl. Poor girl leaves poor boy for rich boy. Rich boy dumps poor girl. Poor girl comes back to poor boy. You’ll feel poor boy’s pain.
18. “Darling Be Home Soon” – The Loving Spoonful. Not sure who John Sebastian wrote this one for but I consider it an ode to my future wife. The plan is to sing it at my wedding.
19. “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” – The Temptations. In my head I’m the sixth temptation and we’re singing this song at The Apollo. I’m a weak dancer so they make me stand towards the back. I’m fine with this.
If you have thoughts please share them. The link to the playlist is below. Enjoy!