This evening I was looking for an '80s song with a saxophone solo -- only because I just felt like hearing some good ol' '80s style pop sax. Seems like every song in the decade had saxophone, but when I looked up a list on Songfacts, I was quite disappointed. Seemed like the list was way too short. Somehow, I stumbled on to Time (Clock of the Heart) by Culture Club. This tune has a huge sax solo which I had forgotten about, so bingo -- I fulfilled my wish. I had guesstimated that the song was released in 1985, but boy was I off. It was released in 1982, which meant I was pretty young. In fact, it was my pre-clarinet time, and I think I was in the third grade. That all may seem inconsequential, but it helps make sense of my perspective. I remember when Culture Club came out in the U.S., and they seemed really different. Boy George was a guy? Woman? We didn't really know. Funny thing was, it didn't seem to matter back then. There were plenty of male rock and pop singers wearing make-up, and that was alright. They looked good. Boy George wore a bit more color, and I guess we knew he was a guy, but he was a pop singer, so really, rules didn't exactly apply.
Anyway, I listened to the song this evening and couldn't believe how awesome the bass guitar line was in this. How could I have missed this all these years? Well, as mentioned, the song came out before my clarinet playing, so I wasn't really keen on things like that. In fact, a "bass line" would have been completely foreign to my ears and musical knowledge at that time. Now, it is certainly prominent, and it's a darn good one. I also like the synthesized strings in the beginning with a touch of bells. I bet Culture Club could perform with a live orchestra, and this would sound terrific. It's hard to put your finger on just what makes British music from this time so distinctive, but I think it's difficult because the music seems to have a mix of so many stylistic elements. The vocal harmonies (complete with back-up singers) seem to hint at R&B style, and the relaxed strings are almost reminiscent of '70s dance music. And, of course, the saxophone solo definitely gives it a Top 40, pop feel. I really like this song, regardless of everything that one might think about the group now -- and Boy George. The lyrics are pretty straightforward, too. Sounds like it's about a relationship that didn't work out, but the cool bass line makes it seem all okay. "And time makes lovers feel, like they've got somethin' real..." Yeah! You know how much I love when song lyrics include words like "lovers" and "romance" or "romancing." It's all so glamorous and unrealistic for regular speech. Thank goodness for the '80s... Gotta love those clocks in the video, too. Swatch watch, anyone? Let me grab my three and put them all on the same arm ;)
|These little plastic watches were so expensive, but we had to have them!|