You've probably noticed that Go Retro has a snazzy new template (cue the theme to The Jeffersons, "We're moving on up!"). It was a long overdue, needed, and timely change, especially considering this is the week we "ring out the old, ring in the new." So to help us all welcome and celebrate a new year, why not play some retro songs that remind us of the holiday and new beginnings? (Note to Prince fans: I'm excluding "(Party Like Its) 1999" from this list because it's overplayed anyway and he doesn't allow his actual recordings to be posted online. Who's the party pooper? Nor will you see Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" here.) Here's five songs that are a little more unique to help us usher in 2016...
"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" - Ella Fitzgerald (1960)
This lovely song was recently used in a commercial for the college football playoff, of all things, which isn't a bad thing -- it drove a lot of people to YouTube to hear the entire song and get some exposure to The First Lady of Song. It was written in 1947 by Frank Loesser and has been covered by everyone from Fitzgerald to Zooey Deschanel.
"Don't Rain On My Parade" - Bobby Darin (1966)
Does this song seem out of place here? Let me explain...it may not be about New Year's but it is an inspirational, kick-in-the-butt song to grab the new year by the horns and enjoy it. I've mentioned before how my musical hero Bobby Darin lived each day like it was his last because he knew his time on earth would be limited, and there really is something inspiring about his delivery of the Funny Girl song. No offense to Babs Streisand, but I feel like the song was custom-made for Darin and his bravado.
"Ding Dong, Ding Dong" - George Harrison (1974)
All of the Beatles released Christmas songs, but Harrison was the only fab to pay homage to New Year's with the catchy, horns-punctuated "Ding Dong Ding Dong." Plus, those clever lyrics: "Yesterday, today was tomorrow. And tomorrow, today will be yesterday." Judging by the video, maybe another line should be changed to, "ring out the old, ring in the NUDE." That George -- I knew there was a reason he's my favorite Beatle!
"Move On" - ABBA (1977)
I bet you thought I was going to include ABBA's "Happy New Year", right? In my opinion, that track is a downer. ("Here we are, me and you. Feeling lost and feeling blue.") C'mon, Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha, and Anni-Frid, you guys can do better than that! Somehow I feel that the inspirational "Move On" is more appropriate to start a new year with.
"Funky New Year" - The Eagles (1978)
I'll be honest -- I feel a bit guilty that I don't like The Eagles -- one of the '70s' biggest bands -- more than I should, and I've always preferred Don Henley's solo work. Having said that, "Funky New Year" makes me want to explore more of their underrated tracks -- it was released as the B side for their more popular single, "Please Come Home For Christmas."
I hope all of you groovy readers have a happy, safe, and healthy New Year's Eve and day...and that 2016 gets off to a great start for you. Let's all make it a funky new year!