Little did I know of the importance of a simple song recommendation from my sister Samantha on Thursday 18th July 2019 at 17:52 UK time (which was 20:52 local time for my sibling over in the UAE). For some reason, this cover version had passed me by – as has been noted previously, I rarely listen to music radio and my music radar outside Spotify is somewhat driven by what I hear on television shows, adverts or when out and about – usually in a branch of a high street greeting card retailer. I should probably clarify my earlier statement. This TV junkie now consumes very little television (beyond current affairs – minimal live transmissions). As usual with Whats App I did not respond to my sister’s message until nine days later. Even though she had sent me a link to the lyric video on YouTube, I did not find the time to listen. I actually did finally hear the song in a rare moment with my car radio tuned into KISS on a Saturday evening driving home.
An excellent cover version and although I vaguely remember the original Steve Winwood track from 1986 it was not one I would put down as a classic. It was just not memorable – it did not contain the raw ingredients of being a smash hit. Fast forward twenty-three years Whitney Houston’s powerful vocal merges effortlessly with Kygo’s soft tropical house beat. As I drove home that evening heading off the A329(M) onto B3408 for Binfield my thoughts raced back to early 2012.
For key pivotal moments in history, we all remember exactly where we were, what we were doing, who we were with. I would rather not list various significant dates from recent history because we all know what they are and the impact on us personally. I always tend to think of the opening of the song HIStory by Michael Jackson – when various key dates from history are read out aloud as part of the intro. Where was I when Whitney passed. It was Saturday 11th February 2012 into the late evening and we happened to be at Wrexham Hospital A&E department with an unwell relative. My brother in law Steve sent me a text to let me and my wife know the news. This was the time before the ding notification from the BBC News app. Such a beautifully talented woman unfortunately haunted by demons throughout the later part of her life. Her vices are well documented but with her gone, we should reflect on the vocal gift she shared with us. Her performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl probably still is the gold standard for live renditions of the US National Anthem.
I watched the music video of the cover (when it was officially released almost a month after I responded to my sister’s WhatsApp) and it did remind me of the music video (which coincidently was also a cover of a slightly older Steve Winwood track – Valerie from 1982). I am of course talking about Eric Prydz – Call On Me. A music video that almost caused a former PM to collapse in sheer shock. The Higher Love video features the captivating Canadian actress Vanessa Morgan in a staring role as 1980s aerobics instructor. I will not give anything away but feel free to track it down on YouTube. Well worth watching.
For reasons unbeknown to me, I did not add Higher Love to my Spotify library until this evening and listening to the song properly for perhaps the first time I realised how well the lyrics reflect our current situation perfectly.
Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be
My last day in the office was Monday 16th March – exactly two weeks ago and I am keeping a track of the number of days spent WFH on my blog (see the menu bar on the right at the bottom). We are living through unprecedented times and this perhaps deserves a separate post in the next fortnight.
We try to regulate how much news we consume trying to keep bulletins to a daily minimum, but it does feel rather strange to be so disconnected from the reality of what is happening out in the wider world beyond the confines of our little bubble in Bracknell. While we live a rather basic existence trapped in our homes there are professional people across various industries but in particular health and social care doing their utmost best to give the exemplary service (we would all expect) to those suffering. We try and join the round of clapping each Thursday but not always possible with a hungry and temperamental toddler. BTW – what was the definition of a key worker again?