Thursday, May 31, 2012

Song #207 of 9999 - Modern Love by David Bowie

Song #207 of 9999

Title: Modern Love 
Artist: David Bowie 
Year: 1983 
Album: Let's Dance

Having just finished conducting my last (and most high-profile) obligation of the school year, I find myself with a feeling of lightness and joy with summer impending. Driving home, I started thinking of writing my blog and I knew immediately which song to choose.

I used to have a cassette filled with songs that could lift my spirits no matter how miserable I was on any given day. (This was obviously prior to my evolution into the consistently chipper person I am now.) David Bowie's "Modern Love" was the first track on the tape and it never failed. What made the song work for me was the driving tempo, the shouting quality of the lead vocal track, the call-and-response pseudo-gospel chorus—it's a perfectly joyous pop song and I love it.

I read that one of the influences Bowie lists for the Let's Dance record is Louie Jordan. I had no idea who Louis Jordan was until about six or seven years ago when I took a History of Rock and Roll class, but now that I'm familiar with his jump blues style, I can absolutely hear the connection to a song like "Modern Love." The saxophones are reminiscent of Jordan, but really its the springiness of the track that reminds me of Jordan. (Check out the 1946 hit "Caldonia" if you've never heard this rock and roll pioneer. I'll give it its own space in a future post.)

Go ahead; jump up and down around the house while you listen to "Modern Love." No-one will blame you.

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