The Playlist of Awesomeness
I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick (Sep 77)
Night Moves – Bob Seger (Nov 76)
Cecelia – Simon & Garfunkel (Apr 70)
Blinded By The Light – Manfred Man (Feb 73)
More Today Than Yesterday – Spiral Staircase (Jan 69)
On the drive into work I tuned in a radio station that was cranking out a playlist that came straight from my high school years.
“I Want You To Want Me” was a song I didn’t appreciate back in high school, which is strange because the lyrics perfectly encapsulate the emotional state I was in back then:
I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’d love you to love me
I’m begging you to beg me
Feeling all alone without a friend
Y’know you feel like dying
Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you crying?
(It’s fine. I was fine. I had plenty of good friends in high school. But I also had an overabundance of emotions and a crushing sense of insecurity. Same as it ever was.)
I can’t help but love this song now. Whenever I find it on the radio, I have to crank up the volume, sing along, and do a little boogey butt dance in my car seat.
“Night Moves” came on next. I was always dimly aware what this song was about, but the atmospherics on this particular morning made the lyrics so clear that there was no way to miss exactly what was going on:
She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points of her own, sittin’ way up high
Way up firm and high
After a respectful pause, I posed the question to My Darling B, who has every single one of Bob Seger’s albums: “He’s talking about her titties, right?”
“I think so,” she said, but was not entirely confident in her answer. She had to ask The Google. The answers she got danced around the subject, just like Bob. But I’m about 99% sure that’s what he meant. It was the 70s. That’s what all the songs back then were about.
I was never a huge Bob Seger fan, but his songs were on the radio every day back then. If I were going to make a high school playlist, I would have to include at least a couple of Bob Seger songs, same as I’d have to include Barry Manilow or Olivia-Newton John. Wouldn’t be right to leave that out.
Next up: “Cecelia” by Simon & Garfunkel, a happy-go-lucky song about infidelity. “Cecelia, you’re breaking my heart,” Paul and Simon sing in harmony,
Makin’ love in the afternoon with Cecelia
Up in my bedroom
I got up to wash my face
When I come back to bed, someone’s taken my place
No subtlety there! Just straight-up sexual frustration!
This song was on my favorite Simon & Garfunkel album, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which, during my high school years, was everyone’s favorite. Even though it had been released nine years before I graduated from high school, it was nevertheless still enormously popular. For example, everybody I knew had not only memorized the lyrics to “The Boxer,” but also recognized it was a moral imperative to wistfully sing along or at least listen attentively when it was on the radio. “Cecelia” got the same treatment but it was more of a party song so you could enjoy dancing to it, too.
“Blinded By The Light” was another song everyone sang along with even though nobody knew all the words, or even most of the words. After “Blinded by the light,” everybody I knew mouthed some version of “wreck up like a douche under the roamer of the night,” whatever that means. I’m pretty sure that Manfred Man, the band that made this song famous, didn’t know all the words.
And finally, as we were nearing the state office building, we were treated to the glorious wonderfulness that is “More Today Than Yesterday” by forgettable band Spiral Staircase (neither one of us knew that – we had to ask The Google). This is not really a song from my high school days. I was probably dimly aware of its existence and probably heard it on the radio now and then, but as it was released in January 1969 when I was eight years old, I would hardly include it on an ultimate 70s playlist. Still, it rounded out the mornings tunes nicely because it didn’t break the spell of the nearly perfect string of 70s songs they had been spinning.