Friday, December 27, 2013

Days of Future Past and 10 for Fighting: A Boxing Day Soundtrack

"Every day deserves a good soundtrack."

That's what my best friend Lori's hairdresser once wrote to me in an email. At the time, Lori was trying to set us up because she thought we'd get along well, as friends, maybe more. He and I never did actually meet up, and I can't remember any of the songs that were on his daily soundtracks during our brief period of correspondence. I don't even know if he's still Lori's hairdresser -- or maybe he was her colorist. Whatever. The important thing is that I never forgot his words because they were/are so true.

The period between Christmas and New Year's has always been one of reflection on the past and resolutions for the future, and the best musical accompaniment for that is the music that defines the past that we'll forever be playing well into the future. I cooked up this idea this Boxing Day morning (my third, following two previous Christmas stints in London, in 1996 and 2004) while jogging to The Spencer Davis Group's 1967 Top 10 hit "I'm a Man."

That song always makes me think of the band Chicago because Chicago covered it in 1969, and Chicago later nailed the spirit of this season with two of its own classic-rock staples: 1975's "Old Days" (the past) and 1971's "Beginnings" (the future). (Yes, I might be a child of the '80s, but "retro" has always meant the '60s and the '70s to me.)

"Take me back to a world gone away/ Boyhood memories feel like yesterday."

"Only the beginning of what I want to feel forever."

Old days and beginnings: The end of one year always means the start of another one, with new hopes, new people, new places and old songs that still sound like brand-new ones.

And just in case you'd rather focus on a literal musical theme this Boxing Day (which actually has nothing to do with pugilistic sports), have I got a a soundtrack for you.

"Fight" The Cure

"Fighting Fit" Gene

"Boxers" Morrissey

"This Is a Call" Foo Fighters

"Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting" Elton John

"I Don't Want to Fight" Tina Turner

"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" Pat Benatar

"Sock It 2 Me" Missy Elliott

"Hit" Sugarcubes

"Hand in Glove" The Smiths

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