27 Days of Old School: #27 “The Sweetest Days” (by Vanessa Williams)


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“So we whisper a dream here in the darkness
Watching the stars til they’re gone
And when even the memories have all faded away
These days go on and on”

We’ve finally reached the end of 27 Days of Old School and I think it appropriate that I choose a heartwarming and life-affirming song from 1994 by the incomparable Vanessa Williams.

While Madonna courted controversy on the other side of the ledger was the classic beauty and soulful talent that was Vanessa Williams. She may not have had the mega-success that Madonna had in the music business, but she still left quite a mark on her own terms.

She’s been on top of the charts as an R&B and pop singer. She really hit her stride with her second full-length album which includes the memorable ballad “Save The Best For Last”. She would follow this ballad with “The Sweetest Days” which is also the name of her third album.

While she hasn’t been making music these past years she has branched out into becoming a successful actress both on the big and small screen and even doing some time on Broadway.

So, for those who feel down and out and who think the world is crashing down around and on them I recommend they sit down, relax and listen to this song. It might just help lift things up even if just a bit.

27 Days of Old School

  1. “Billie Jean” (by Michael Jackson)
  2. “Word Up!” (by Cameo)
  3. “Tell It To My Heart” (by Taylor Dayne)
  4. “You Got It All” (by The Jets)
  5. “Welcome to the Jungle” (by Guns ‘N Roses)
  6. “Hip to Be Square” (by huey Lewis and the News)
  7. “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)” (by Information Society)
  8. “Rio” (by Duran Duran)
  9. “I Got It Made” (by Special Ed)
  10. “Jackin’ for Beats” (by Ice Cube)
  11. “Seasons Change (by Exposé)
  12. “If Wishes Came True” (by Sweet Sensation)
  13. “Alone” (by Heart)
  14. “The Trooper” (by Iron Maiden)
  15. “You Shook Me All Night Long” (by AC/DC)
  16. “Gimme All Your Lovin” (by ZZ Top)
  17. “Take On Me” (by A-ha)
  18. Take A Bow” (by Madonna)
  19. “You’ll See” (by Madonna)
  20. “Whip Appeal” (by Babyface)
  21. “One” (by Metallica)
  22. “Here I Go Again” (by Whitesnake)
  23. “Mama Said Knock You Out” (by LL Cool J)
  24. “Here and Now” (by Luther Vandross)
  25. “Voodoo Child” (by Stevie Ray Vaughan)
  26. “I’m Still In Love With You” (by New Edition)

27 Days of Old School: #24 “Here and Now” (by Luther Vandross)


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“One look in your eyes and there I see
Just what you mean to me”

Those opening lyrics are instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up during the late 80’s. Whether one was in junior high, high school, college or already settled down. It’s a song with not a single cynical bone in its making.

“Here and Now” was the song that introduced the velvet-voiced crooner Luther Vandross to the general public. He was already a favorite singer for those who followed the R&B and soul music scene, but for the rest of the world he was an unknown. After the release of “Here and Now” in 1989 he was not an unknown to the rest of the world.

It’s a song that’s become a staple at proms and formal dances. The song soon became at weddings and continues to this day.

27 Days of Old School: #19 “You’ll See” (by Madonna)


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“I have truth on my side,
You only have deceit”

For #18 on the KTSL Old School charts I had Madonna’s “Take A Bow” and what better way to follow it up but with it’s sequel which arrived as a single for her 1995 compilation album, Something to Remember.

“You’ll See” is another ballad that brings to conclusion the story of the mistress (Madonna) from “Take A Bow” and the Spanish bullfighter (Emilio Muñoz) with the tables now turned as the former takes control of her life and moves on while the latter sees his mistakes though too late.

This song has a Spanish musical influence to it’s production from the use of a Spanish guitar that begins the track and returns throughout the length of the song. While “Take A Bow” strained Madonna’s vocal skills to their limits it is the opposite for “You’ll See” where the song’s composition works to take advantage of Madonna’s vocal range and not trying to go beyond what she’s capable of.

27 Days of Old School: #4 “You Got It All” (by The Jets)


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“You must have been heaven sent.”

This is the song that ushered me from junior high and straight into high school. Again, much of the music that kids my of my age in 1986 just fell in love with The Jets’ ballad “You Got It All”.

There was something very earnest about this song even for a kid. There’s nothing cynical about the message in the lyrics and it helps that the group’s lead vocalist, Elizabeth Wolfgramm, just killed it. Here’s the kicker….Elizabeth was just 12-years old when she sang this song with the rest of the group (literally her brothers and sisters). Even 28 years since having first heard of this song it still resonates in this cynical man’s heart.

“You Got It All” definitely brings back fond memories of being a kid and just entering those teenage years when anything was possible. I don’t want to be that cliched old man who rails against the music of today’s youth, but one must admit that this song from The Jets has more heart and soul than most of what kids these days are listening to.

Now, you kids get off my porch while I listen to my stories!

Song of the Day: I’ve Gotta Be Me (by Sammy Davis, Jr.)


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Today is the date that will forever become a date of remembrance for me and my family.

My father, Fernando Sandoc, passed away after losing his battle with cancer. He’s been a huge influence in my taste in music. I remember listening to him when I was younger singing songs by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin to The Beatles, Tom Jones, The Temptations right up to The Eagles and Elvis Presley. His was an eclectic taste in music, but one that I didn’t appreciate at a young age.

Yet, as I grew older I began to listening to the very same bands and singers and really become fans of them as well. It was one of many ways he and I bonded throughout the years. This was especially true as I grew into adulthood.

One song which always stood out for me was of the Sammy Davis, Jr. song “Ive Gotta Be Me”.

I remember him singing this song with as much enthusiasm and vigor as Sammy himself. It became a sort of anthem (in addition to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” which was another favorite of his and mine) as if he tried to live his life just how the lyrics spelled them out. I can’t say whether he succeeded or not, but he definitely lived his life “his way” and remained to being true to himself.

He and those he called his closest friends were lived to be their very own Rat Pack.

So, I shall be forever grateful for having such a loving, understanding father and a great friend and mentor who will remain eternal as I take up the mantle he has finally set down to rest.

I’ve Gotta Be Me

Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won’t give up this dream

Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

That far-away prize, a world of success
Is waiting for me if I heed the call
I won’t settle down, won’t settle for less
As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I’ve gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I’ve gotta be me

I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be
I can’t be right for somebody else
If I’m not right for me
I gotta be free, I just gotta be free
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta be me

Song of the Day: These Dreams (by Heart)


The latest “Song of the Day” comes courtesy of one of my favorite bands of the 80’s. It’s the sister rock duo Heart, Nancy and Ann Wilson, and their chart-topping power ballad from their self-titled album released in 1985. The song itself was released in 1986 and soon rose up the charts in both Billboard’s Mainstream, Rock, Pop and Adult Contemporary Charts. The song I speak of is “These Dreams”.

I was 13 when I first heard this song and saw the video make it’s rounds on MTV (yes, MTV used to show music videos, shocking isn’t it). I wasn’t sheltered muscially enough not to have been introduced to female rockers (Jett, Benatar, Slick being some of the ones I listened to courtesy of my Dad and older cousins), but with “These Dreams” I was finally introduced to the pioneers who gave young girls someone to look up to and dream of becoming rock stars as well. Heart, by the time I discovered them in 1986, were more in tune with that eras soft rock and adult contemporary sound. It was later on when I listened to their earlier albums that I finally heard them as hard rock musicians.

“These Dreams” was a favorite power ballad growing up and it rivals Led Zeppelin’s own fantasy-themed power ballad, “Stairway to Heaven”, as a power ballad I listen to constantly. It also had a music video that was so very 80’s MTV with both Wilson sisters sporting the overly teased, big hair that was glam/hair metal of the day. It didn’t matter since both then and now I still carry quite the crush and torch for Nancy Wilson. She, as Wayne and Garth would say, is a babe then and now.

Now, just sit back, relax and listen to one of my favorite songs of my youth.

These Dreams

Spare a little candle
Save some light for me
Figures up ahead
Moving in the trees
White skin in linen
Perfume on my wrist
And the full moon that hangs over
These dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Is it cloak n dagger
Could it be spring or fall
I walk without a cut
Through a stained glass wall
Weaker in my eyesight
The candle in my grip
And words that have no form
Are falling from my lips

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

There’s something out there
I can’t resist
I need to hide away from the pain
There’s something out there
I can’t resist

The sweetest song is silence
That I’ve ever heard
Funny how your feet
In dreams never touch the earth
In a wood full of princes
Freedom is a kiss
But the prince hides his face
From dreams in the mist

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it’s cold outside
Every moment I’m awake the further I’m away

Song of the Day: Wicked Game (by Chris Isaak)


With the return of True Blood with a new season on HBO over the weekend meant the return of Jace Barrett’s theme song for the show. “Bad Things” is the theme song that almost everyone knows now whether they like the show or not. It’s a sexually suggestive and charged country song that also doesn’t rely on vulgar lyrics. The fact that it’s a country song is quite a surprise. But that’s not the song I picked for latest “Song of the Day”. Nope, the song I’ve chosen is what I’d call the precursor to the True Blood theme song: Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”.

This song was originally released in 1989 as part of Isaak’s Heart Shaped World album, but didn’t reach pop hit status until it was chosen to become part of David Lynch’s Wild at Heart film in 1990. Constant request and radio airplay put the song into top ten hit status in early 1991 and it’s become one of those so-called “sexiest songs list” people tend to create. It’s a label that’s well-earned especially with the accompanying Herb Ritt’s directed black-and-white video starring Chris Isaak and supermodel Helena Christensen rolling around topless on the sand and surf of the beach setting.

I’ve always thought of this song as one of those everyone man should have in their playlist at their place. It’s a song that’s definitely earned the title of “song to close the deal”.

Wicked Game

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.
I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you.
And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you.

No, I don’t want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I don’t want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
With you (This world is only gonna break your heart)

What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way.
What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you.
What a wicked thing to say, you never felt this way.
What a wicked thing to do, to make me dream of you and,

I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
With you.

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.
I never dreamed that I’d love somebody like you.
And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you,

No, I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
With you (This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I… (This world is only gonna break your heart)
(This world is only gonna break your heart)

Nobody loves no one.