Monday, January 25, 2010

The End of the Eighties, Track 03

Love and Rockets

Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven


In the wake of Bauhaus’ dissolution in the early ’80s, band members went their separate ways with various solo and one-off projects. As the story goes, in 1985 when Peter Murphy failed to show up for a proposed Bauhaus reunion rehearsal, three-fourths of the band decided to jam anyway and Love and Rockets was born.

Amid the psychedelia-glam mash-up of Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, the debut closes out with a gorgeous 13-minute pairing of “Haunted When the Minutes Drag” and “Saudade”. The former is somewhat well-known for being featured in John Hughes’ She’s Having a Baby (an edited version of the song appears on the soundtrack). The latter is a five-minute instrumental I have always associated with my college roommate John.

For the last 20 years, I have operated under the assumption that “Saudade” is John’s favorite Love and Rockets tune. And knowing John, and how thoughtfully he walks through this life, there couldn’t be a more fitting choice because “saudade” is a Portuguese word analogous to nostalgia. Regardless, “Saudade” is one of my favorite Love and Rockets tunes and reason enough for inclusion on the playlist.

The synthesizer-guitar mix winds and flows around and between all the little reflective places in my head, easily conjuring memories of friends and girlfriends. It encapsulates those quieter moments I remember from Bowling Green… furiously trying to capture the thoughts in my head as my Sharpie (my writing utensil of choice at the time) flew across a page, watching Wonder Years in our dorm, hanging out with Kari (my girlfriend early that Fall semester).

Avoiding the Goth prototype they pioneered, Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins explored psychedelia and glam (Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven and Express), psychedelia and folk (Earth * Sun * Moon), and alternative rock and glam (Love and Rockets), before finally devolving into techno and house (everything after until I stopped following them altogether). But those first four albums contain some of my favorite songs of the era.

And given the backward-looking nature of this playlist, I can’t think of a more appropriate song selection than “Saudade”.

Related, irreconcilable memory: Not sure why it’s lodged in my head or if it’s even accurate, but I’m pretty sure Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven was the first compact disc I ever bought. What I do know for sure is that I started buying CDs before I ever had a player.

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