Saturday, January 2, 2021

Day 3: Please No More Sad Songs

For poetic purposes, I probably should have put this song first on the playlist. But I've already done that once, on a years-long digital playlist called "The Lukebox" that I started back in 2006. The Lukebox mix was a precursor to this one, and it got its name (and many of its tracks) from one of my favorite DJs, music archivists, and pals, James Wells. In addition to the playlists of good friends, The Lukebox included both longtime favorites and things I'd only just discovered and wanted to share. "Please No More Sad Songs" was something of a theme song, if not a motto I had any real intention of adhering to. Songwriter Jeff Lynne is familiar to millions as a founding member of ELO, The Move, and Travelling Wilburys, but first hearing his early work as Idle Race felt like a discovery, one of the pearls unearthed from hours and hours of questionable quality psych mixes I used to download in my free hours as an idle office worker in my mid-twenties. I was driving a lot to Lawrence, KS, and Joplin, MO, at the time, and I remember the lyrics of the bridge echoing off the walls of my stoney dome like a revelation. The vocals were so sweet and acrobatic and filled with harmony and longing. After it ended, I would promptly defy the song's titular imperative and listen all over again.


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