Monday, February 07, 2011

Music Video Monday: Simply Red

In honour of the Reagan Centennial anniversary, I wanted to feature the perfect song that captures the essence of Ronald Reagan and the effect of his policies on the less fortunate in our society. The only requirement was that the song had to be from the 1980s, since that was the decade President Reagan dominated our national agenda and culture.

The song that came to my mind first was Simply Red's "Money's Too Tight To Mention." Why not? With mentions about "Reaganomics" and "The old man over the hill...", this song is an ode to the Reagan/Thatcherism of that decade (Simply Red was from the United Kingdom, though the song seems aimed at an American audience).

Its probably dangerous for a group to call themselves "Simply Red" and perform songs that criticize Reagan and Thatcher conservatism. The conservatives in both nations were likely to think the "red" in the group's name has a more sinister political reference, but I think the name was only referring to the lead singer's hair colour.

Simply Red had quite a few catchy songs over the years. Back in the 1980s, I did not really enjoy their single "Holding Back the Years" (I wasn't into ballads much as a teenager), but I appreciate the song now. Still, I think "Stars", "Something Got Me Started", and "If You Don't Know Me By Now" are all excellent songs. I also love the way they use the hook and melody of a Darryl Hall and John Oates classic for the single "Sunrise." I know some people who hate "sampling" but I love it. Why remake a song, especially if you try to replicate the same sound as the original? Why not use a popular melody and create a completely new song? I can't get enough of sampling. Give me more, musicians! Someday, for a Fun Friday post, I might have to do a countdown of my all time favourite songs that incorporate sampling. Stay tuned!

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