For this “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something pertaining to the topic of “Music”. There are so many songs that I can remember from years ago, and since music is a huge part of our family, the memories come streaming back when you hear a certain song.
Do you ever have that tune that comes on the radio, and you can just automatically remember where you were, who you were with and what you were doing? It amazes me, how as I get older, I can’t remember things from last week – but have that certain song come on the radio on a “Flashback” day, and “BOOM”, I am back in the place I was when I heard it. Don’t know if it’s the side effects of my brain surgery, which they said might affect certain memory, but I’m so glad that I can remember some things of the “good old days.”
So to get on with this “Things That Brings Back Memories” blog post for this week, I’m going to pick “Baby, I Love Your Way / Free Bird“. This song and the video that goes with it, is one that I hold dear, and one that always makes me remember a time in my life. Check it out:
The song “Baby, I Love Your Way / Free Bird Medley” is one that I can always remember as one of the slow skate songs at our Holiday Roller Rink in Montclair, CA, where I was almost all week it seemed, back when I was younger. I remember skating to this with a guy, who later told me he was that Free Bird and then I never saw him again – oh well, he was a total jerk and not even worth that slow skate in the first place!! I later found my soulmate at another roller skating rink that my friend Jenny and I decided to visit one day. It was kind of like high school back then, where one rink was better than the other (ours of course), and all of that drama. 🙂 For some reason, we decided to hit up a rink in Chino, CA (Skateway), and that’s where I met my husband-to-be. I can look back now and know that God was involved in that, and it’s crazy how He can make things happen. David and I have been married now for 14 years and have a son named DJ. Crazy what a “slow skate” can do!! 🙂
Now for more on the song: “Baby, I Love Your Way / Free Bird Medley“, subtitled “Free Baby“, is a song by the American dance-pop band Will to Power. The song combines elements of two previously recorded rock songs: “Baby, I Love Your Way”, a #12 Billboard Hot 100 hit from 1976 by the British-born singer Peter Frampton; and American Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s song “Free Bird“, which hit #19 on the Hot 100 chart in 1975. Will to Power’s medley of these two songs had more of a synthesized dance beat (as opposed to the rock ballad-like nature of the two original songs). It rose to #1 on the Hot 100 chart on December 3, 1988 (the last medley to do so on that chart) remaining there for one week. It also peaked at #2 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. Additionally, in the “Free Bird” section, the line “and the bird you cannot change” in the original version was changed to “and this bird will never change”.
In March and April 2009, VH1 ran a countdown of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80’s. Will to Power’s “Baby, I Love Your Way / Free Bird Medley” placed at #97 on the countdown, despite the group having another Top 10 hit, a cover version of the 1975 10cc hit “I’m Not in Love” (#7), in 1991.
So, is there a song that brings back great memories for you? Leave a comment below, and let me know.
More Info on the Band:
“Will to Power” was an American dance-pop and freestyle music group that originated in south Florida in the mid-1980’s. The group recorded a number of hit singles on the Billboard dance and pop charts in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, most notably “Baby, I Love Your Way / Free Bird Medley“, a medley of 1970’s hits by Peter Frampton and Lynyrd Skynyrd that reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1988. The group has also two number one singles on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play, “Say It’s Gonna Rain” and “Fading Away”, and continues to create music into the 21st century.
The Florida trio formed by producer Bob Rosenberg which initially featured Dr. J and Maria Mendez. The group later became a duo, with Rosenberg and Elin Michaels. The group’s name, taken from the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, belies their mellow adult contemporary sound. Their medley of Peter Frampton‘s “Baby, I Love Your Way” and Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Free Bird” hit number one in late 1988.
Rosenberg attended a Winter Music Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale where he met singer-songwriter Suzi Carr, who had co-written two songs on Miami Sound Machine’s 1985 breakthrough album, Primitive Love. After Rosenberg mentioned that he was looking for a vocalist, he and Carr provided vocals for a song he had written, “Dreamin'” (which would later appear on Will to Power’s debut album), with Rosenberg on lead vocals and Carr on backing vocals. Rosenberg wrote “Dreamin'” as a tribute to his sister, Robin, after she had died. Radio program director Bill Tanner was the first PD to play “Dreamin” on Power 96 in Miami, Florida. Released in Miami on the Thrust Records label, “Dreamin'” became a regional hit and got the attention of Epic Records, who picked up the song for distribution to radio stations and dance clubs around the country. The song peaked at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in August 1987. It also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart in September of that year. Epic Records asked Rosenberg if he had enough material for an album. In June 1988, Will to Power released a follow-up single, “Say It’s Gonna Rain”, which featured Carr on lead vocals. This song reached No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July 1988 and spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in August and September of that year.
After Rosenberg spent much of 1987 and early 1988 working on new material with a variety of different musicians, including vocalists Carr, Maria Mendez, Donna Allen, and Sandeé, keyboardists Lawrence Dermer and David Rosenthal and a DJ/saxophone player, Johnny James, known as “Dr. J”, the group’s self-titled debut album was released on Epic Records in March 1988. Along with the aforementioned songs “Dreamin'” and “Say It’s Gonna Rain”, the album contained a medley of two popular rock songs from the 1970’s, “Baby, I Love Your Way” (a 1976 hit record for Peter Frampton) and “Free Bird” (a well-known track by the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1974). This medley, titled “Baby I Love Your Way / Free Bird Medley (Free Baby)“, which also featured Carr on lead vocals, was the last song from the album to be created. Although Epic was reluctant to release this hybrid song as a single, Rosenberg had distributed copies of the song to various radio stations in the Miami vicinity, including WPOW (Power 96). According to Rosenberg, “they played it, and a few other stations caught onto it, so Epic put it out.” This song became the group’s biggest hit, spending a week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching No. 2 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in December 1988. It also became the group’s highest-charting hit in the UK, reaching No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart. That month, the album reached its peak position of No. 68 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. A fourth single from the album, “Fading Away”, spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in early 1989.
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