You're tuned to SDM&M, the
blog that celebrates diversity
and where everybody is a star.
We are joined today by our good friend
Israel Carrasco. Israel responded to
my invitation to send in a song list and
become my guest blogger.
Israel lives in Anaheim, California and hosts the always entertaining Israel Carrasco Monologue Jokes . Old schoolers like those of us who matriculated at the Shady Dell School of Hard Knocks in the 1950s and 60s are in for a real education and, I might add, a real treat, as Israel introduces us to his favorite songs.
With that I'll step aside and
say Israel...be my guest!
Although I lived in a
different era and the
music I listened to is
different than what is
normally played here,
I thought that I would
include a list as well
and the stories behind
them. I'll begin in
from earliest to latest. Hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do.
#1- "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head"
- B.J. Thomas (January 1970, written by
Hal David and Burt Bacharach, theme song
from the 1969 motion picture Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid)
This song was very popular in the 70's when my family came
to the U.S from Mexico and it was a song that I associated
with the simpler and fun times in America.
#2- "Before the Next Teardrop Falls"
- Freddy Fender (1974)
This used to be my grandmother's favorite song. My grand-
mother died and I almost got choked up writing this as I'm
listening to the song now but it's a beautiful song. She
would do her chores and feed me the same thing every
Saturday. "Chillaquilles, beans, and French bread with
butter." Afterwards, I would play with all the kids in the
Pico/Union area of Los Angeles.
#3- "What a Fool Believes"
- Doobie Brothers (March 1979)
This song takes me back to East Los Angeles. At that time
East. L.A was filled with "cholos" and they would park their
low riders and play this song on their cars while smoking
weed and drinking beer.
#4- "Rapper's Delight"
- The Sugarhill Gang (1979)
This was the song that made me love rap music. The first
time I heard this baseline, I fell in love with the rhythm and
the sound they called "rap". This song is not only a classic
but has stood the test of time and it put the world on
notice that rap has reached the mainstream.
#5- "Holiday in Cambodia"
- Dead Kennedys (1980)
This was song about the massacre that occured in
Cambodia at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. This
song was significant because it came at a time when
the political climate in America was tense especially
since it came at the height of the cold War. Punk
Rock music during the late 70's and early 80's also
created alot of great songs that were influenced by
the politics of that era.
#6- "Shake the Disease"
- Depeche Mode (1985)
I used to have a casette tape and I would play Depeche
Mode's tape over and over again especially in my drama
class where I met some good friends. They took electronic
music to new heights.
#7- "Big Mouth Strikes Again"
- The Smiths (July 1986)
The Smiths are one of the most underrated bands in the
world. Not only did they make great music but Morissey
was a freaking poet. All you have to do to support this
contention is to look up the lyrics to ANY Smith's song
and you will find wit, intelligence, and a wicked sense of
humor disguised as songs.
#8- "Rock Box" - Run-D.M.C. (1984)
Without a doubt this song forever changed rap music. This
was one of the first instances in which rock music and rap
was used. At that time it was revolutionary. Run DMC was
the first rap group to debut in MTV and the first to be
endorsed by a major company (Adidas). Run D.M.C also
brought in an aggressive style and realism at a time when
most were just rhyming for the sake of creating party
rhymes. They were talking about poverty and crime as
they experienced it in Queens NY. I remember listening
to this music in awe because it was so powerful and
refreshing. In a sad side note, the beloved DJ Jam Master
Jay was murdered a few years ago. R. I. P.
#9- "Fight the Power"
- Public Enemy (April 1990)
This group, though political in nature, schooled the world
on the great divide that exists between Blacks and Whites.
I would listen to PE and feel like I just left a seminar on
black history. They are prob. one of the most influential
groups in hip hop. Sadly, the trend in rap music has gone
away from politics and towards gimmicks.
#10- "Debaser" - The Pixies (1989)
This is my favorite rock group ever. I can talk for hours
why this band is amazing. Suffice to say that they created
the blue print for what was later to be called "grunge"
music. The Pixies played that type of music before it even
had a label. They are pure energy. They always get me in
a good mood. Their sound is unique and they create
perfect melodies. What makes them even more attractive
is that they down play their greatness and even write
songs about silly stuff and yet they pull it off because their
music is that good.
Israel, that was
quite a journey!
These songs of yours cut through the crap and get to the point. Intense message music like this can be jarring. It's not for the faint of heart; but it is essential listening for those who are serious about expanding their horizons and increasing their awareness of what's happening in the real world. These songs give us an understanding of where you're coming from, Israel. They, along with your outstanding blog, reveal that you have seen, heard and experienced a great deal in your life.
I can perhaps best relate to the Sugar Hill Gang because
I was heavily into the club scene during the 70s and 80s.
I remember dancing to "Rapper's Delight" (1979) and the group's other 12-inch hits "Apache" (1981) and "8th Wonder" (1981) along with "The Message" (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" (1983) the anti-drug opus by Grandmaster Melle Mel.
A street kid gets arrested,
gonna do some time
He got out three years from now
just to commit more crime
A businessman is CAUGHT
WITH 24 KILOS!
He’s out on bail and out of jail
And that’s the way it goes
"White Lines" was co-written by music industry veteran and Sugar Hill Records founder Sylvia Robinson, remembered by boomers as one half of the Mickey and Sylvia act that had a big hit in 1957 with "Love is Strange" and another hit as a solo artist in 1973 with "Pillow Talk."
Thank you good friend
Israel Carrasco for sharing with us
the music that shaped your life!
If you have a Top Tunes list I'd love to see it. It would be fascinating to discover which songs meant the most to you in your youth or which ones resonate now in the present. Why not do what Israel and others have done? Make a list, submit it in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted. It can be a list of your favorite songs, the most exciting songs, best songs from a particular time period similar to my mid 60s Dell survey...anything you like!
Have a Shady day!