Monday, April 13, 2015

Blast from the Past EXTRA: Reunion's Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)

I've been remiss in getting back to my regular Blast from the Past weekly feature, and will try to start that up again next weekend. In the meantime, this song popped into my head, and I decided to look it up. I'm really glad I did! Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) by Reunion is both more and less than what it seems.

It's "more" because even though it's a little bubble-gum sounding, and sounds a bit like gibberish, it's actually very, very clever. The lyrics are stuffed with callouts to music, artists, DJs and other famous music-related pop-culture references from the early days of Rock & Roll, to where it was at the time of the recording. The snappy, fast pace--seemingly without room for the singer to breathe--makes learning the lyrics tough, but fun. And as the song fades out, several songs (Baby I Need Your Loving, Uptight (Everything is Alright), Celebrate and I Want to Take You Higher) are woven together, while the lead singer continues to patter. It's quite complex.

It's "less," because Reunion isn't really a band at all. It was an ad hoc collection of studio musicians, something that seemed to happen a lot in the late 60s and early 70s. The lead singer, Joey Levine, is a voice you'd know from other 70s novelties like Yummy, Yummy and Chewy, Chewy by Ohio Express (also not a "real" band). Still, the song is undeniably catchy and clever. And somebody named "abmcw" on YouTube saw fit to make a video that's almost as clever as the song. I'm sending it out to my brother-in-law Todd, who is similarly gifted in creating these sorts of videos. It made me think of him. So, without further ado, here is Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) by Reunion. And for the heck of it, the remake by Tracy Ullman.


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