I’m doing the music this Saturday night for three very special people who have turned fifty in recent times. One’s my wife; the other two are her close friends all the way back to school days. It will be great.
I have about 22,000 songs on my iPod. I can cover most situations and have done the odd disco in recent times. Including my own 50th three years ago. At that we got pretty nostalgic and I think “Jean Genie” by David Bowie went down better than just about anything. But only just better than “Up Town Top Ranking” by Althia and Donna and “Little L” by Jamiroquai, which are two of my absolute top dance favourites. And of course we finished the evening with a few anthems: “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “Wonderwall” by Oasis and “Angel” by Robbie Williams.
So, more of the same? Well, not quite.
I’m taking requests, and have found a disconcerting number of tracks on the lists which (a) I don’t have and (b) would never download in normal circumstances. I cringed as I downloaded the following from the iTunes store tonight:
Cyndi Lauper – Girls just Wanna Have Fun
The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
Kenny Loggins – Footloose
Lou Bega – Mambo No 5
Ricky Martin – Livin’ la Vida Loca
Katrina – Walking On Sunshine
Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
Dancing Queen – Abba
But, hey, they’re all good songs really. It’s just that I’ll be quite happy to be up on the stage just playing the tunes as they come on. So I won’t have to dance to them.
Mind you, there were a few others that made me think, why haven’t I got this on my iPod already? Got on vinyl, but never made the translation. The wonderful soca classic from the early eighties, “Hot, Hot, Hot” by Arrow, for example. Belgian pop techno artists Technotronic, with “Pump Up The Jam”. Soft Cell with their sleazy take on the Northern Soul Classic “Tainted Love”. I’ll dance to any of them!
And we’re having a metal interlude. How will this go down? Well, if we do it after everyone’s had a few drinks it will probably be a great laugh. There will be inflatable guitars at the ready. ”Enter Sandman” by Metallica may feature. The best ever metal riff? ”Ace of Spades” by Motorhead! Runs it close. And , er… “We Will Rock You” by Queen. Now if it was entirely up to me, I’d be putting on “Brighton Rock” if we had to have a Queen song. The one when Brian May went all Hendrix. Loved it the day it came out on “Sheer Heart Attack” in the mid-seventies, still love it today. But I digress…
We might have a bit more 70s rock – classics like “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, or “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy. But it will be mostly 70s and 80s dance, plus a few new ones, I suspect. And there is nothing wrong with that. Anyone who can’t or won’t dance to Michael Jackson’s classics – my favourite is “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” – or to “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees, isn’t gonna dance.
Some of the younger folk at the party will grimace as they watch their parents re-live their youth, but hey, if you can’t do it when you turn fifty, when can you?
(Yeah, we’ll have that one too – if I get my way)