I went to college in the late 80’s and early 90’s during a time when music was making a transition. We would soon see the beginning of the end of big hair bands and Rat, Skid Row, or Poison and would soon make our way into the Seattle grunge scene and Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and the ground-breaking Nirvana.
Rap music (old school hip-hop) which had been in white bread suburban America for close to a decade, was mixing with lyrical soul to form what would become today’s hip-hop. I can remember doing the cabbage patch and running man to the likes of M.C. Hammer, Tone Loc, and Naughty by Nature till the cops came knocking.
But with all the flux I walked away from college missing something. I’ve never listened to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” or Snoop Dog and thought back to my college days. Unlike those predecessors who graduated five plus years earlier with the likes of The Cure, The Pixies, REM or The Smiths, I don’t consider Heavy D and the Boyz or A Tribe called Quest to be part of my college soundtrack.
Even today, with the halls of academia two decades in the rear view mirror, I can hear certain songs that just make me think of college campuses and all that meant. And there is one, above all others, that when I hear it I’m transported back to ’88 with it’s tight-rolled blue jeans and Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses (with the sweat bar).
The song was released February of the same year (three months before I graduated high-school) and incorporates an indelible 12 string guitar melody. From an Australian band it earned commercial success in the states and their home country. So take a moment and reminisce with me during this week’s RetroRewind and my vote for the best college rock song ever!
I know they’re are countless others, if you know what I’m talking about and have a favorite let me know in the comments.