As a well known and usually-proud dag, I have another guilty pleasure. By sharing this secret with you, I'm trying to do my bloggy bit to shift our minds (however briefly) from the bushfires of hell to something that might make you smile, if only in smug superiority. Besides, I've yet to pluck the courage to find out exactly what that Mysterious Monolith is yet.
Yes, in addition to wearing Crocs, kissing my rabbit on the lips and high-waisted undies, I also have an unhealthy fondness for horn. Well, saxophones to be precise. Their silken, sensual sound works for rock, pop, soul, folk and ska in my stuck-mostly-in-the-eighties music book. Brace yourselves, readers, because here are the saxiest beats on my iPod:
Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty. I'm sick to death of the song and groan if I hear it, but then that sax starts and I'm off. Off to Baker Street where I can forget about everything. She's got a dream about buying some land; givin' up the booze and the one-night stands.....
Careless Whisper - George Michael. Back in the days when Georgie boy was straighter than the lines on a dunny door he told us that he was never gonna dance again because guilty feet aint got no rhythm.... The Lady Diana lookalike with the pointy chin in the film clip never forgave him and flew off to be with someone who'd stay hetero forever.
I don't believe any more - Icehouse. Sad, heartbreaking, lingering, bitter. Just like a good gin and tonic after a long day's whining.
It's Raining Again - Supertramp. Cheerful, bouncy, sweet. Yes, it's Supertramp, but this is too infectious not to include. And don't forget the poetic lyrics: 'It's raining again, Oh no my love's at an end.....'
On the dark side - Eddie and the Cruisers. I was sixteen when this movie came out and it rocked. Well, in 1984 it did. Not that it's star Michael Pare went on to any dizzy acting heights - the last I saw of him he was the bad husband in a two minute scene with Sandra Bullock in the excrementally boring movie 'Hope Floats'. Yeah and so do fibre-filled turds.....
Heart of Rock-n-Roll - Huey Lewis and the News. Still good to run to. And pant out the words to, if fitness, speed and privacy permits.
Who can it be now? - Men at Work. The sax is the song.
Just Got Lucky - JoBoxers. I'm pretty sure that it's a sax in this song, but again, it was 1983 and such an arse-kickingly happy song. The lead singer (Sir Joseph Boxer) was one of the leads in the West End musical 'Five Guys Named Moe' that I went to see in the nose-bleedingly cheap seats in 1992.
Chanson D'Amour - Manhattan Transfer. I was a kid when I heard Mrs Cowham next door play this record. It was simply the most sophisticated and lush song I'd ever heard. Then again, my favourite song before that was a close tie between the Hustle and the Popcorn instrumental, but you have to start somewhere. "La da da da da...."
You talk too much - George Thorogood. This is fantastic to run to as the sax and drums even pound like fast feet do. For someone whose telling his lady to shoosh though he sure has a set of goat teeth and a mouth on him.
Smooth Operator - Sade. Beloved of coffee bars, cafes and dinner parties worldwide.
Will it ever stop raining? - The Saw Doctors. Sax used as a background step-one, step-two rhythm as Davey Carton bemoans dropping his icecream on the sand and backing an old greyhound who stopped right in front of the sands.
Sherry Darling - Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band. Just one of many featuring the mighty Clarence Clemons. Legend has it that he turned up to an audition with Bruce and the E Street Band on a windy day. He made a rather dramatic entrance when he flung the door open and it and fell off its hinges and blew down the street. Bruce apparently said, "Phark, who is this guy?" and no doubt was too frightened not to offer him the job.
But that doesn't mean that even a middle-of-the-roader like me likes anything and everything from the eighties. No Stevie Winwood, Johnny Farnham, Jimmy Barnes or soft-metal of any kind, let alone the hideous horn work on:
The Heat is on - Glen Frey. Annoyingly overplayed like a blowfly in a sauce bottle.
I do I do I do I do I do - by Abba. I may be a big fan, but this is by far my least favourite song next to 'Rock Me' and 'Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother'
Anything by Spandau Ballet. One of the band members who later got into acting and played a Kray twin admitted to Michael Parkinson that, when nearly gored to death by a bull in a Spanish video shoot gone horribly wrong, he was more concerned about the impact it would have on his just-styled hair than any of his bones or blood supply.
And Joe Cocker can Leave his bloody hat on, grab his car keys and nunchucks and tell every easy listenin' DJ or bored soundcheck guy at Ladies' nights the world over to burn every single copy of the song for all eternity. I've seen far too many drunk mothers-of-the-bride-to-be trying to squeeze their sausage stomachs and buttery boobs out of trashy tank tops and denim minis after Dazzling Darryl's done his dancing on stage.....
But even horns that aren't saxophones can still 'do it' for me:
Pretty well every song done by Madness
Soul Kind of Feeling & Gotta be the wrong way to love - Dynaptic Hepnotics
Most of the Hunters and Collectors' back catalogue
Consider me gone & If you love somebody - Sting
Rat in me kitchen - UB40
Reward - Teardrop Explodes
Cut the talking - The Dugites
Soul Man - Lou Reed and Sam Moore version
Dumb Things - Paul Kelly
Would I lie to you - Eurythmics
Everything ever done by Oingo Boingo, especially live on stage
.....have I gone too far? Do I need help to get over my shameful, FM-radio-style music tastes? And yet, believe it or not, I hate 'oldies' FM music and have The Specials, Radiohead, The Damned, Green Day, Nirvana, Live and a few others lurking in my CD collection.
But the saxophone, ooooh..... Seeing as Ray Bans and high-waisted jeans are back, can't the sax come back too?
Tell me, dear reader, you know and I know that help here is desperately needed: what other saxolicious songs should I be listening to?