Monday and Music. The perfect combination, am I right?
If songs about the past have a common thread, it is that the singers/songwriters love nostalgia. In the 1970s, Chicago sang about the “old days” (and still do to this day, though it is now sung by someone not old enough to remember those “old days”), and in the 1980s, Bryan Adams sang about the summer of ’69.
Nostalgia makes for great storytelling in every medium. Today, it is the “in” thing to live nostalgia. People love looking back on fond memories.
I was watching an episode of Avengers Assemble last week (I’m actually writing a recap about the episode), and there is a scene where Steve Rogers/Captain America talks about how he uses the past the learn and improve, while Clint Barton/Hawkeye says that he would never want to relive grade school. Tony Stark/Iron Man informs Cap that he is a man of nostalgia, and that he likes to look ahead to the future.
Listening to this line of dialogue, which is a bit heavy for a kids’ cartoon (this adult, who normally doesn’t like cartoons, loves it!), I came up with this week’s Music Monday.
This week, we look in on the year 1982, where singer Paul Davis talks about the experience of coming of age in 1965. Davis had previously had hits that were either ballads or country-oriented. The switch to pop was quite beneficial to his career. His 1981 album Cool Night (of which the first song released was the eponymous “Cool Night”), was hugely successful, thanks to both the album tile song, and this week’s song, “’65 Love Affair.”
The song, originally titled “’55 Love Affair,” was modernized to 1965 after Arista looked to target potential listeners whose teenage years were in the 1960s. This included Davis himself, who was 17 in 1965. The song peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #5 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks Chart.
Unfortunately, this commercial success disgusted Davis enough that he opted out of his contract with Arista, signed with Razor and Tie, and never again charted on the Billboard Hot 100. He later left the business for some time after the late 1980s. He did return in the mid-2000s to the business, recording two tracks that were never released. Sadly, he died in 2008 from a heart attack.
The real shame is, nostalgia is huge, this song captured it well, and Davis never really enjoyed his success. I wonder if time allowed him to enjoy his success.
Guess we won’t really ever know.
I used to think this song was sung by Hall and Oates (see if you can find the similarities!), but as it turns out, this song was meant to have a similar sound (“Blue-Eyed Soul”) to that of Hall and Oates. It was a type of sound Davis had never tried before, and obviously, we know how that turned out.
But for now, for your listening pleasure, the 1982 nostalgia trip back to 1965, “’65 Love Affair.”
Music Monday will be back next week with another visit into my playlist, but until then, enjoy the music, look back fondly on the good times, and sing along with the good songs!