The Roundup was created with the intention of bringing you new discoveries of the last month; largely to showcase what new tunes been floating the proverbial boat. This month though I’m tweaking the format ever so slightly because there’s been one thing that’s been dominating my thoughts for (at least) the last thirty days. You see, this time next month I will be a married man and so the majority of my musical thoughts have had some form of wedding related slant. So this month I’m going to offer up a few of the thoughts that went through my head went thinking about music for the big day.
Starting somewhat whimsically, when I think about the combination of Rock and Weddings there are two big tunes that pop immediately to mind. One for the song, one for the video.
Billy Idol – White Wedding (Part 1)
Perhaps the most iconic wedding related rock song ever to grace the airwaves, “White Wedding (Part 1)” is the second track on Mr. Idol’s 1982 self titled début and has gone down in history as an all time classic. It might be 30 years old, but it’s just as rocking as it was way back when. The song might be timeless but I hope fashions have moved on in the last 30 years or my wedding photos are gonna be shocking.
Guns’N’Roses – November Rain
Where Billy Idol has the iconic wedding song, Guns’N’Roses stick out for me as the most memorable video. The song feels about hundred years long and features Slash playing outside the wrong church (unless it’s a TARDIS), but you’ll find few better examples of how the music video used to be an event to be savoured rather than the hollow flashiness of much of today’s MTV show pieces. Mind you, if you want to keep in the spirit of the celebratory fun of a wedding, skip the last few minutes.
Perhaps the single hardest musical decision is selecting the first dance. Being a metal head it kinda rules out most of my collection and so I’ve had to turn to the world of the ballad; that single track that doesn’t fit the rest of the typically heavy and solo filled rock records that fill my iPod. It’s like most bands easily channel the rock clichés of anger and nastiness into the fast songs yet never figured out how to do it with nice lyrics. And so we step firmly into that realm with the next few songs.
Extreme – More Than Words
Extreme made it huge with this song yet with the possible exception of “Hole Hearted”, it’s the only slow song of its ilk on seminal album Extreme II: Pornografitti. Stripping the instruments back to simply an acoustic guitar and vocal, a point driven home by the rest of the band buggering off at the start of the video, the sentiment of the song is that the simple words “I love you” are overused and it should be actions not words that define a relationship. It’s a lovely sentiment indeed and an even lovelier song.
Queen – You’re My Best Friend
Now I’m no relationship expert (though I must be doing something right considering what awaits in a few weeks) but I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that a successful relationship builds upon the simple framework of being the best of buds. Queen put that concept into musical form in that way that only they can leading to a rather lovely little song. It’s one of my favourite of the softer Queen tunes.
Reuben – Nobody Loves You
I can picture folk wondering why I’d include a song called “Nobody Loves You” in a list of potential wedding songs. The answer lies in the chorus which completes the sentence with the worlds “like I do”. As good as Reuben were, by the end of their days many of the songs had run out of lyrical inventiveness, but “Nobody Loves You” is a highlight with a mature sensitivity to it. It was never released as a single and doesn’t have a video so here it is in live form. I encourage you to give the album version a spin too though due to a bit of piano and string accompaniment missing from the live version.
Shakira – Underneath Your Clothes
But I need to go “full Pop” with a guilty pleasure of mine to wrap this soppy little party up. Shakira hit the big time with “Whenever, Wherever” from English language debut Laundry Service, but it’s the second single from this album that makes this list. The song tells the story of the unconditional love that a woman has for her boyfriend, so what better sentiment is there for a wedding song?
And that’s me for another month. Next time I promise to bring the noise!