Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wading Through Layers of Dreams

Song 208: This week's playlist track is These Dreams by Heart, written by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin, and it follows last week's song about hard-edged, oppressive political realities of war, injustice, assassination and class struggle, by moving into the soft-edged romantic unreality of dreams. Songs often create their own reality by virtue of their existence, and this one does so in a truly inspired and poetic way. Heart came out of the gate with a very strong first album (Dreamboat Annie) and had some excellent tunes on the follow-ups, but by the turn of the '80s the band seemed to hit a lull, despite having a couple of stand-out tracks. Then, a decade after their first LP, they came back strong on their 10th album (Heart), which contains this song as well as a few others that shouldn't be missed. One of the songwriters on this track, Bernie Taupin, had made his career in the early 1970s writing words that Elton John set to music and turned into hits, and I liked a lot of his early work, but by the mid-'70s his lyrics came across as more pop than poetry, which is not necessarily a bad thing for a songwriter, but it was also inspiring to note that a decade later, he could pen a song this richly evocative, with lines that suggested layers of meaning. Maybe I like this song as much as I do, though, because I've also had some of These Dreams myself.

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