“Imagine all the people
Living life in peace”
8th October marked 46 years since John Lennon released his iconic song ‘Imagine’. Even though it was the best-selling single of his solo career, the legendary Beatles member probably never imagined that the song would grow to be so immensely popular. More than 200 covers of it have been recorded, including a UNICEF World version released in 2015 (you can listen to it here).
Most of us were introduced to the Beetles and other such brilliant classic artists of the age by our dads, which is why I thought this tribute would be complete only alongside a tribute to dads everywhere.
In honour of the legend, let’s take a walk down the memory lane of the golden era. Here’s a list of the top 5 classic artists/bands by the man who introduced them to me – my dad.
Undoubtedly, ABBA comes in first place on my dad’s list. Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad formed this Swedish pop group in the 70s and became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music.
While most of the cool kids our age were singing Backstreet Boys, my sisters and I knew the lyrics of ‘I Have a Dream’, ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘Dancing Queen’ thanks to our VHS tape (yes, from the Dinosaur Era) of ‘ABBA Golden Hits’ which we adored. Their wacky outfits and addictive groove had us hooked.
The artists got married (Agnetha with Bjorn and Anni-Frid with Benny) but had to separate at the peak of their career. These relationship changes were directly reflected in their later soulful compositions like ‘The Winner Takes It All’ and ‘When All Is Said and Done’, which I couldn’t entirely appreciate as a kid, oblivious to the band’s history.
This German vocal group gained popularity with their unique reggae style during the Disco Era. Their Christmas album featuring ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and ‘Feliz Navidad’ used to be on the loop during the Holiday Season. As a kid, I had only listened to their songs like ‘Rasputin’, ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ and ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’ on tape. Recently, I watched some of their stage shows on YouTube for the first time. One word – CRAAAZY.
The only artist on this list who came way before the 70s, Jim Reeves was a legend of his time and much later too. His rich baritone voice is the kind that makes you nostalgic. You’ve probably listened to his famous renditions of ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘White Christmas’ being played around Christmas time without knowing it was him. His songs always remind me of home and he is one of my personal favourites on this list. Dad recommends – ‘Welcome to My World’ and ‘Bimbo’. Other notable mentions – ‘Whispering Hope’ and ‘Adios Amigo’.
‘Country Roads’ is undeniably THE most well-known song by this popular singer-songwriter of the 70s and thus a must-sing at family reunions on my dad’s side. His acoustic style with a splurge of country goodness made him a beloved entertainer of his era. It was a tradition for my dad to play ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ on the stereo just before we left for family vacations, which is my personal favourite by Denver. Other must-hears are ‘Annie’s Song’, ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’ and ‘Rocky Mountain High’.
The talented sibling duo, Karen and Richard Carpenter, had a distinct soft musical style. Karen, with her 3-octave range, usually handled the vocals, while Richard handled the composition and instruments. ‘Top of the World’ is one of the feel-good family favourites by the duo. Their career ended in 1983 following Karen’s tragic death, but their songs like ‘Yesterday Once More’, ‘Close to You’ and ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ will leave you nostalgic and craving for more.
Even though Lennon’s dream of a world without borders is yet to come true, count me among the dreamers! We owe these classic artists for their perennial hits which continue to keep our feet tapping.
Also, share some love to your dad, uncles and all the other father-figures who brought this wonderful music into your life.
Image Credits: Google Images