Six epic gems from the ’80s and ’90s compose today’s installment of musical inspiration. Time may pass, but good music is timeless. In other words, it’s never too late to check out all of my previous playlists, each with a unique theme, such as giving thanks, spiritual healing, or connectedness. Got a request for a future list? Let me know.
1. Steve Winwood, “Higher Love”
It’s ironic that this ‘80s pop hit earned a long life as inoffensive adult-contemporary white noise you hear at, say, the dentist’s office. Because it’s message demands a much greater fate. Don’t be vanilla background music; feel into your passion and step into the spotlight. Why? “I could light the night up with my soul on fire/I could make the sun shine from pure desire/Let me feel that love come over me/Let me feel how strong it could be.”
2. Joe Jackson, “You Can’t Get What You Want (til You Know What You Want)”
Living with intent may not always go as smooth as Jackson’s horn section sounds. But being clear with your desire is the first step.
3. John Hiatt, “Have A Little Faith In Me”
Someone always loves us and expects nothing in return other than one little thing. Hiatt’s vocals and piano are soulful reminders.
4. Simple Minds, “Alive And Kicking”
What’s it gonna take to make a dream survive? Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside?
5. Martika, “Love, Thy Will Be Done”
If “Higher Love” never lost airplay, this song was long forgotten as the second single released by one-hit wonder Martika (“Toy Soldiers,” 1991). At least by me. But love today is the same as then, and “I can no longer hide/I can no longer run.”
6. Baz Luhrmann, “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen”
Less a song than a late-’90s commencement address to music, Luhrmann’s advice here is what’s timeless. “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” True.
Image at top: Screen capture from Simple Minds, “Alive and Kicking”