guilty pleasure monday: holding back the years (simply red)

because it’s new year’s eve (for us red sea pedestrians), i thought i’d make a somewhat appropriate entry into the book of my musical guilty pleasures:

it’s hard for me to believe that simply red was one of the bands that resulted from a famous sex pistols stint in manchester in 1976 (a set of shows that ultimately inspired the creation of the buzzcocksthe smiths, joy division/new order, not to mention factory records. this bit of history, by the way, is chronicled in the movie 24 hour party people, a painful but interesting work. i defy you to not hate the happy mondays once you’ve seen it.) i mean, here’s the seminal british punk act inspiring other complete musical departures… and simply red?

simply red? holding back the years, the major hit for the band in the states, is a lulling, wistful ode to growing up, moving on, yet holding on to your dreams. this is no anarchy in the uk, kids — mick is wishing for the arms of mater(mater? pater? who the hell calls their parents in latin?) apparently, the song originally was not so subdued.

and yet, that’s exactly what i love about it. it’s meditative elevator music, an earworm of a song that never leaves you. when i was 20 and starting my life over (the first time) in a variety of ways (moved away from our childhood home, starting out at a new university, etc.), i completely glommed onto a song that captured the way i felt.  and whenever i hear it, it brings me back straightaway to a spring and summer i cried through after an excruciating, but expected, breakup.

good. times.

but the good thing about hearing the song now is that i did keep holding on — to myself. and i’m still here. still annoying people. still listening to bad music.

and still trying to make each year better than the last.

to those of you who celebrate rosh hashana, l’shanah tova!


4 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: holding back the years (simply red)”

  1. I had no idea about the Sex Pistols stint spurring a lot of the music I like. Clearly, I’m not a *true* fan 🙂 In HS in the late eighties-early nineties (is that how you spell that?) I was introduced to GOOD music. No boy bands for me, so sirree. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus, The Smiths, Siouxsie, The Cure (swoon) … and now? Backyardigans and Wiggles. Something went awry ….

    Thanks for the blast from the past! I’m going home tonight and reloading my iPod!

  2. Happy New Year! I love your stories that go with these songs. beautiful post.

  3. I love your Monday posts. I always learn something. I might just have to see that movie you mention. (Painful in what way, by the way?)

    And can I just say that, cruel woman, you have thoroughly implanted this earworm? I saw this post on Monday, and found the song going through my head this morning. Several days later.

  4. Hiya, I love your posts. You make me smile for the most part. You have good taste. I like this song by the way. You are most definitely not annoying! Keep em coming. Val

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