Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love Turns To Lies

Although I've posted a track or two by Chris Rea before, I don't think I've ever mentioned the emotional connection I've felt to this man's music for about twenty years. I may have mentioned before that I joined a CD club back in 1988 when I bought my first CD player, and if my memory is correct, Chris' compilation album New Light Through Old Windows was a "selection of the month" for January 1989. Although I didn't expect that much when I ordered it, I was so impressed that I promptly sought out each album going back in time to the late seventies.

My regular blog readers will know that a gruff-voiced northerner with a slide guitar and a Ry Cooder fixation was not exactly the kind of music I was listening to, then or now. But the quality of the songwriting, and my intense emotional connection to the things he was singing about left a huge lasting impression. Dealing with the end of a relationship, I could sense understanding in songs such as "It's All Gone" and "Ace of Hearts". It was the kind of music that would continue to accompany me on new emotional journeys as the years passed - falling in love, marriage, children, missing home, dreaming of a better life. In a remarkable way, Chris has always been there for me. I'm sure many other music lovers have had a similar experience.

While I could have picked from dozens of tracks that I like, I'm going to post three in particular that have a strong emotional resonance for me. The first is the title track from his 1984 album, Wired To The Moon. Much of Chris' songwriting dwells on the joy of being a father, and even before I became one myself I enjoyed the tale of watching a little girl dreaming in her bed, knowing that one day she will lose that precious innocence. Now I have a six year old, the words are even more magical:

Because you want her to laugh
You want her to play

Leave her in sweet dreams
She may lose them one day

Keep her wired to the moon

The second is a track that almost always leaves me with a tear in my eye and a dry throat, "Hello Friend" from his 1986 album, On The Beach. It's one of those great songs that captures perfectly the mood of seeing someone and feeling the regret and nostalgia of a love that didn't work out:

Bridges You burn, long since turned into ashes
And there were no reasons, now the river runs dry

Seems it's gone in the wind
Washed away in the rain

And the years go by and by

Finally I'm going to post a track from Chris' 1985 album Shamrock Diaries, "Love Turns To Lies", one of several songs on that album that deal with losing someone and feeling betrayed. For an emotionally sensitive nineteen year old, these words were a kind of lifeline, a signal that other people have been there and made it through - a theme Chris has consistently used, starting with his first hit single, "Fool (If You Think It's Over)".

Crazy though what I say may seem
I could have learned to mend
these broken dreams
You could have pushed, I would have gently fell

I could have played the graceful one so well

Chris Rea - Love Turns To Lies

By the way, I've ripped these from my original CD's. While may collection has dramatically ebbed and flowed over the years, I've held on to these very tightly for over twenty years. Not bad for a spur of the moment purchase from a CD club.


Mikeyten said...

Hi 50,
just to let you know, your site keeps getting redirected after a few seconds,took me ages to get this before being redirected.
It actually says stopped for some reason and keeps loading.
All the best Mikeyten

whiteray said...

No problems here . . .

Anonymous said...

That Hello Friend track is quite brilliant. I Had the LP, but never really listened to it. Thanks for flagging this poignant song.

D said...

New light through old windows was also a unsuspecting gem for me, a mate at work said he was constantly play it, Still love it.