Educating Peter # 23

This is the easiest Educating Peter post I think I’m ever going to write.

This week young Michael (Hi, Michael!) suggested an obscure Power Pop / New Wave song from 1981 called “I Don’t Wanna Cry” by The Keys.

Unbeknownst to Michael, “I Don’t Wanna Cry” has already appeared on the blog. Easy.

The song made its first appearance in amongst four other songs in an instalment of another, much older series on this blog called Frank’s Faves on Fridays. That series was instigated by my friend Frank (Hi, Frank!) who, every Friday, would send me four or five of his favourite songs. And, like the Educating Peter series, Frank handed the songs over to me, and I would offer my thoughts on them.

When I received “I Don’t Wanna Cry” from Michael, the names of both the song and the band didn’t look familiar at all. And when I started listening to the song it didn’t sound familiar. But then the singing started and BAM!, I remembered it. I also remembered that I had put it on the blog at some point in time.

I found that it appeared in the 29th instalment of Frank’s Faves on Friday. (The series ran for 47 weeks. Thanks, Frank!)

So I’m just going to copy and paste what I wrote about back then.

Easy.

This is what I said*:

***

The Keys – “I Don’t Wanna Cry” (1981)

Link

Although I’m usually mildly allergic to skinny-tie songs, I liked this. And the more I played it the more I liked it. (I’ve played it five times now – in a row.) And I like the lyrics, too. There are only two things I wasn’t keen on:

1) The melody in the verse has an octave jump (e.g., at 0:08: “…our last GOOD night…”) that I find a little disconcerting. I sounds a little like a yelp instead of being part of a natural and flowing melody. It’s a very minor thing, and doesn’t stop me from enjoying the song, but it’s just slightly jarring;

2) One of the song’s recurring riffs has a passing note that made me screw up my face the first couple of times I heard it. (One example is at 1:21.) I’m used to it now, but I thought it just a tad sour in amongst the rest of the song.

But I like this song a little more every time I play it. (I think I’ve already said that.)

***

I’ve just listened to “I Don’t Wanna Cry” again, and I’d say that pretty much everything I said earlier still applies.

However, I would add one thing:

I didn’t notice it before, but this time I can hear a little musical coincidence:

The Keys – “I Don’t Wanna Cry” (1981) (excerpt)

Link

Dave Edmunds – “Girls Talk” (1979) (excerpt)

Link

Here’s the full version of “Girls Talk”:

Dave Edmunds – “Girls Talk” (1979)

Link

Incidentally, “Girls Talk” contains what might be my all-time favourite pun-based rhyming couplet in any pop song:

“You might be an old-fashioned girl but you’re gonna get dated.”

But I’ll finish this post by swivelling back to talking about The Keys. and I’ll do it effortlessly.

Hey you!

If you’re in the mood to hear some more music by The Keys, here’s their only album, The Keys Album, plus a couple of extra non-album tracks:

Thanks to the PVAc to 44.1 kHz blog’s Blog Kihn for the album. And I dare say Blog Kihn thanks the Power Pop Lovers Blog, which is where it came from originally.

(*That sounds horribly pretentious. It sounds as if I’m in Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait: “That is what he said. That is what Peter said. He said what he said when he said the thing he said because that is what he said” etc.)

6 Responses to Educating Peter # 23

  1. FD13NYC says:

    Hi Peter, thanks for the mention. The Keys was produced by Joe Jackson, and Girls Talk was written by Elvis Costello.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Damn! Its all about doing the proper research … sorry Peter; sorry Frank .. for the duplication. Regards Michael

  3. Peter says:

    Hey, FD: You're more than welcome.

    And thanks for reminding me that the English Punk / New Wave / Power Pop community in the late-70s / early-80s was such a close-knit one. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Graham Parker sang backup vocals on a Clash song that was written by Pete Shelley from the Buzzcocks.

  4. Peter says:

    No need to apologise at all, Michael.

    Suggesting “I Don't Wanna Cry” gave me a chance to revisit the song – and I enjoyed it again.

    It also gave me a chance to waffle on about other stuff.

    Win-win!*

    (*Isn't that what the young 'uns say nowadays about advantageous circumstances? And was that previous sentence pompous? I think I know the answer to one of those questions…)

  5. side3 says:

    The Keys drummer was ex-Wings drummer Geoff Britton (must well known track he played on was “Junior's Farm”)!

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