17 June 2006

Guilty Pleasure Saturday: "Voices" by Russ Ballard

It has been a stressful, stressful day. The computer, work, family, friends, the Hurricanes playing Game 6 tonight in Edmonton, payday's on Thursday and I'm depleted of adult beverages, my discipline regarding keeping on budget is waning, Father's Day is tomorrow, on and on ad nauseum...

I know, get the hell off my high horse and STFU already. There are people dying not only overseas, but also just down the street. And you're right. Today I'm just not coping well...at all.

In what must be a record for me, I found another music video from what seems like eons ago (1984) to supplement my 'frazzled but yet not altered' mental state. I can never HEAR this song on the radio anymore (not even on the 'retro' radio stations nor even on the 'all-80's' weekend marathons)...imagine my shock and disbelief when I actually came across the link to the VIDEO of it on YouTube (the source I always use for my video uploads here). The world is a funny, funny place but thank God I'm not the only one who remembers the songs of my adolescent youth with mild to heavy fondness (frequently the music was the only thing I had, especially in high school). And thank God so many of those hooked on to musical nostalgia also know how to upload old music videos.

Hands down, one of THE favourite songs of mine from the '80s. I have no idea why this guy only had 'one' hit (he even had that Ric Ocasek look from The Cars that was all the rage there for a bit, crossed with possible drug user sunken in cheeks look, too), but this one hit was a great one. He used to be the lead singer of Argent and is a great guitarist...you'd think that would get him some kind of marketing. But, alas, no apparently. My fellow Aquarian Michael Mann (from his "Miami Vice" days) apparently inspired this (like so many other vids and even songs..."All She Wants to Do Is Dance" by Don Henley, anyone?). I have a friend that argues that Mr Mann's 1980s works inspired the style of filmmaking used to much fame in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Traffic". I argue it's just because they all featured drugs, deserts, and irrational people a wee bit too much. (My friend, by the way, doesn't even remember much of the 80's, as he was then aspiring to be the next Tony Montana of suburban Atlanta. Now he's cleaned up his act and gives drug smuggling training to the State Bureaus of Investigation along the Atlantic seaboard.)

Listen to the lyrics...while I've often wondered if there isn't a verse 'missing in action' on a menu somewhere, these are pretty good. Simplistic, yet universal. Oppressed, repressed, angry, dangerous, doubtful. Not too wordy...a Goldlilocks song of '80s angst, if you will. My SBI friend loves this song, too, as he steadfastly believes it's about drug-induced paranoia. I argue (never having even remotely been to that stage of 'mental unconsciousness' myself) that it is still highly applicable to Hollywood today still and maybe even now to mainstream politics (would perhaps explain a few things.)

Incidentally, this is one of the two songs I've ever done completely solo live in all of my years of being onstage in one capacity or another...and *this* was the one that went over well. LOL. Both Ballard's radio version and ours featured a killer guitar solo sequence before the last two sets of the repeating chorus, which is sadly missing from the video. (I'm guessing to help it get airplay on MTV?)

I give you Russ Ballard and his phenomenal one hit: "Voices"

Lyrics can be found here from Leo's Lyrics.

VH1 has a very limited biography on Mr. Ballard, and I have yet to find a comprehensive 'artist' website on him. (If you do, please email me.)

(And, yes, I know I need to get back to some 'serious' blogging. Tomorrow's shaping up to be a tough day for me, "but come Monday...it may just be alright", to plagerize Jimmy Buffett a bit there. I vow to don my more Concerned Citizen Hat next week and stick with it, for a few days at least.)

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