Friday, 15 January 2016

Lisa's Pop Music Mix Tape

I love pop music.

Okay, I like a lot of music, and I'm not to ashamed to admit that the Top 40 radio stations are quite alright with me. I like rock too, so if you're like me and chuck it all in a big mixing pot, add bogan rock, and reasonably decent rock as well.

Why though? I mean, I've always been a bit out there in my tastes when it comes to fashion, interests and, well, obsessions. But when it comes to music, I like what all the teenyboppers like. I admit, I am still a teenybopper.

I remember the day I first discovered music. I was lying on my bed before school, with my walkman turned into 5SE (the pre-FM station days). I was 10 and the theme tune of 'Grease' was playing. I cranked the volume + static and that was it. Music and me, we were BFFs. As a preteen I love Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Bewitched, Steps and Hanson. Those tastes haven't really changed. And I also love 60s, and 80s pop and anything 90s which Matt and I would term "well, it's a good song to skate to".

Pop music got me through my first and ten disastrous crushes, break ups, countless nights on the dance floor, marathon bus trips to and from Mount Gambier and helped me form connections to people through conversation and shared love of music. And having said all that, I really can't sing and I don't play anything. I just love music.

I have been scoffed and laughed at on countless occasions for using lyrics to express my thoughts and emotions, rather than putting my own words to it. I have sniffled my way through 'Turn Back Time' by Cher and walked down the aisle to 'Smile' by Uncle Cracker. I have uncovered so many compilation albums I could never afford (or had stolen from my car many years ago), and each one is a little treasure chest.

To celebrate my admission, and to finally say to all you indies, Triple J purists and anti-pop fans - yes, I do love Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and PitBull, here is my list of songs which helped create the person I am today.

Lisa's Pop Mix Tape

1. Wannabe - Spice Girls
When this song came out, I totally loved the Spicies (as my Dad called them for some reason). The whole Spice album is bloody brilliant. I truly love each of the girls, and their autobios are worth reading (except Posh's, I actually threw my copy into recycling - on purpose.

2. MMMMBop - Hanson
I remember buying this single in Target with Matt. I didn't care that anyone else thought they looked like girls, Hanson did some mighty fine work in their hey day.

3. If you want it to be good girl (get yourself a bad boy) - Backstreet Boy
About track 7 or 9 on the album - I was so fortunate to have my first copy of this album on tape thanks to Ali. What's good about this song? Everything. It's totally random and I wish there was a video clip for it.

4. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Nikki French
Yeah yeah, Bonnie Tyler recorded this song first, but Nikki French made an awesome dance remix. Some would say it is a perfect roller skating song, and they would be right. There's melodrama, there's bitterwsweetness. Some may say the tween version of the spooky Bonnie version, which really spoke to me at 18... so much angst!

5. Lay Your Love On Me - Racey
At 13, Lay Your Love On Me was one of my 'had to listen before school' songs. There was references to being a teenager, letting your love run free, and the girl being everything he ever wanted to find. I could relate.

6. My Sharona - The Knack
Unfortunately, the boys in my Year 8 classes did a strip tease as a Red faces act to this song, and I started loving it. It drove my poor mum completely nuts.

7. Barbara Ann - Beach Boys
Give me a barber shop quartet any old day and I will be happy. This song includes an improv with the phrase 'hey, pass me the ashtray!', how could you not love it?

8. Crocodile Rock - Elton John
So many memories of why I love this song. Firstly, because it played on our last day of school in Year 4 and Scott was doing 360s pretending he was a cow (for some reason?!), and then played a few weeks later just after Trent was born. Secondly, because it played on a very happy Adelaide night, spent crusing around town. And, most importantly, I consider Crocodile Rock my 'lucky' song because I've never had a bad day after listening to it.

9. Jack and Diane - John Cougar Mellencamp
I grew up listening to this song, and hated it until I was 15, when I actually started listening to the ballad. Man, a great story. And it's referenced in 'Tully', my favourite book as a teenager. Score.

10. Born This Way - Lady Gaga
This song played all the time while Mum and I went on a cruise a few years ago. Okay, so apparently it's meant to be a bit of a LGBT theme song, but I love what it stands for. Being yourself.

11. All The Small Things - Blink 182
The first time I really heard this song was a Thursday close at KFC. We were all being incredibly silly and kept changing the lyrics to it. Actually, that seemed to happen a lot at KFC. I have been known to scream the words out on freeway on random occasions.

12. Titanium - David Guetta featuring Sia
A tough call, as I also wanted to pick 'Don't Let Me Go', but this one's a bit more mainstream. A good video clip, a song about being bullet proof, exactly what I needed right then.

13. Believe - Cher
Cher made so many good songs, and Believe seemed to be a theme tune for starting high school and leaving my friends behind (a bot of a joke, seeing as that was like 15 people, only one or two who were devasted by our separation). I love 'Turn Back Time' - so romantic, and 'In His Kiss' too.

14. Bad Case of Loving You - Robert Palmer
What's good about this song? 1. It was the Coon jingle for awhile. 2. A bit naughty but a lot fun to sing while driving down Henley Beach Road (and maybe at the stoplights near Holbrooks Road, a little too loudly).

15. Jump - Van Halen
A roller skating song. Also featured in 'Best Friends' film about roller skating. Was my theme tune at 12. And no, I still can't jump on my skates, but the kid in the movie could.

16. Raspberry Beret - Prince
I owned a raspberry berry, and did a lot of op shopping as a teen, but saying I wasn't too bright wasn't especially nice. I also loved 'Little Red Corvette' at 20 after being messed around by someone who did not have a little red Corvette, but close enough to allow for poetic license.

17. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
Such a good song, and at 21 I could relate. I so wanted something better than the life I had, and Bruce just got to me. He longed for something better. So, my better at 22 was to move across town, start at a new uni and be a single lass, but still, it was different and it made me happy.

18. Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
I love this song. It's sexy and cute and funny all at once.

19. 3am - Matchbox 20
How could I really choose a Matchbox 20 song:? They are all amazing. The girl in this one is pretty bonkers. Again, I can relate. Being bonkers is my life story. Honourable mentions include 'Real World', 'Unwell' (although that makes me cry a lot whenever I hear it now) and ' Bright Lights'.

20. She Will be Loved - Maroon 5
Does Maroon 5 (and Matchbox 20 for that matter) really belong in pop? For now, yes. Why I love this song? The OC ads. Standing around on corners in rain. The idea of an on-again-off-again realistic (but incredibly) depressing relationship. It has all the melodrama you want, without it sounding too OTT (see 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' for more OTT information).