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The Soundtrack of my Life

Get Off My Cloud by The Rolling Stones

I’ve written about my trip to the Soviet Union before. It was, for me, a highly transformational experience. It was the first time I’d ever travelled outside of North America, it was the furthest I’d ever been from my family, it was a to a part of the world where I didn’t speak the language […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

The Reflex by Duran Duran

Ah, 1984… wait, I mean 1985! Popular radio in Canada being what it is — what is has been a very long time, certainly modeled after the United States — tends to play chart-topping songs for a long time, sometimes too long and too much, to the point where you come to loathe and despite […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Peter Gunn by the Art of Noise

I couldn’t tell you when or how or where I first heard of the Art of Noise. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it was from watching MuchMusic, which had shows like The New Music that frequently played things that didn’t qualify as Top 40. I assume, since I can’t remember […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Dare To Be Stupid by Weird Al Yankovic

Sunday evenings. CHUM FM 104.5. The Sunday Funnies with Rick Hodge. In my adolescence, this was discovery. This is where I was exposed to the comedy greats: George Carlin, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, Robin Williams, (He Who Can No Longer Be Named But Hawked Jell-O), and so much ridiculous music that I still hold […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Rockit by Herbie Hancock

Born in the 70s, I was truly a child in the 80s: the music, the style, the culture. A period I simultaneously lament having left and one I warn my children of. Sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll pervaded nearly every part of what the 80s was in the early part, overturned by the […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Always Something There To Remind Me by Naked Eyes

A lot in my generation grew up with music compilations, basically a form of Top 10 lists committed to albums. One of mine — I think I only had two or three — was Star Tracks, by that pantheon of the compilation album, K-Tel. K-Tel, for those of us who remember it, was a record […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Modern Love by David Bowie

What’s the first song you loved? A song you would stop everything you’re doing to listen to, tell people to hush so you could hear clearly, memorize every word? For me, Modern Love became a desire, even a bit of an obsession. By the time the song was released in 1983, I had finally possessed […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Freeze-Frame by The J. Geils Band

The extent of my musical awareness more or less ended with ABBA when I was around 9 or 10. Without real knowledge of music or what was out there, I had very little understanding — all my musical exposure came via my parents, who listened to classical or talk radio. Not much for the nascent […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

No, this is not here because “ever list needs a Christmas song” (and, really, that’s very much a Christian perspective, why not a Hanukkah song, or something Hindu or Islamic?), this is here for another, very important reason: my father. Despite my pantheistic statement above, I grew up in a “Christmas Christian” household, and even […]

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The Soundtrack of my Life

Super Trouper by ABBA

For a while, liking this song was stigmatic. That was the disco backlash of the 80s and the rise of synth pop and rock and roll and peer pressure “EW YOU LIKE ABBA?!”. Of course, today, ABBA is (rightfully) regarded as being a pillar of pop music. I no longer get strange looks when Waterloo […]