Depeche Mode – Stripped/Never Let Me Down Again
Way back in the mid-80s, British eletro pop wizards Depeche Mode were the face of doom and gloom with their bleak industrial sound music, their S&M leather look and their isolation from the mainsteam bubbly pop of the time. In 1986 they released their CD Black Celebration, which featured the song Stripped. A powerful song with a dark edge. I loved it! It was different and fitted perfectly with my thoughts of that time – being myself and not part of the mainstream. I was different. The video featured a bizarre, fantastical, gothic concept that to this day has me glued to the TV screen when I watch my Depeche Mode DVDs. In 1987 they released Music For The Masses and the single Never Let Me Down Again was in the same genre as Stripped. Powerful. Strong. Gripping. The live versions of these two songs from their 101 CD/DVD are the best ever! Watch Stripped. Watch Never Let Me Down Again.
Prince – The Cross
High school was a time when I explored music. I knew Prince’s music from the 80s, but in 1987 he released probably his best CD ever, Sign "O" the Times. While the double disc featured a string of hits, there was this little gem that became an underground fan favourite – The Cross. My late friend Liezl, who passed away in 2012, was a Prince fanatic and we use to discuss the CD in length at her house and we both agreed that The Cross was the best ever. It’s a slow riff song with a hypnotic beat that exploded into a rock gospel anthem of sorts. To this day, every time I hear that song I remember those warm lazy summer days in Bellville chatting to Liezl about Prince and listening to this song on repeat mode. Listen to The Cross, HERE.
Wendy & Lisa – Waterfall
You are probably thinking, “Who on Earth are Wendy & Lisa?” The two ladies were former members of Prince’s Revolution band, and they also appeared in the Prince movie Purple Rain. Waterfall is an underappreciated hit by these to ladies, which released in 1987. A funky tune in which their husky voices take you along on their trip over the Waterfall. None of my friends were into this song, they didn’t even knew who these to ladies were! I liked it, partly because I was still clinging on the Prince And The Revolution sound of the 80s. Listen to the track HERE.
Miriam Makeba – Pata Pata
Mama Africa released this song in 1967. I was only born in 1971. Yes, I grew up under the Apartheid regime, but luckily my parents were spirited free-thinkers who taught me the value of life and taught me to respect every human being. They use to play this song our house. It was foreign to me, yet I loved it. Sitting in the living room with my mom and trying to learn the words. Later in high school, when I openly supported the then-banned ANC and got bullied for my thoughts, I always listened to Pata Pata to remind me I am African. Listen to the song, HERE.
Pink Floyd – Learning To Fly
My cousin was the first one to suspect I was gay. I was then in my early teens. He had an open mind and huge in depth knowledge of music. He introduced me to Pink Floyd. Weekends we would sit and listen to music, and chat about the meaning of the lyrics. He always encouraged me to come out and “learn to fly” and that is why this Pink Floyd track is so close to my heart. We both loved this song. In my final year of high school he committed suicide. I never took his advice and only came out in my late 30s. At least I have now learnt to fly. Listen to the track HERE!