Pink Floyd released A Collection of Great Dance Songs 37 years ago, on Monday 23 November 1981.
Yesterday, I spent a few hours researching material and sources for my next podcast, due out early next week, on my interpretation of the story behind Careful with that Axe, Eugene, while simultaneously downloading all the Floyd albums to my Samsung, including the Collection and flipping through the pages of Inside Story, a Personal History of Pink Floyd (2004) by Nick Mason.
23 November, 1981 was also the day when, for about 5 and a half hours, the UK suffered from a series of tornado outbreaks. A cold front swept across the country. Depending on which source you use, 104 or 105 confirmed tornadoes touched down in South East England.
Fortunately, there were no fatalities but damage to hundreds of properties was reported.
Humans are resilient beings, and find ways to get through bad times. Ottawa, where I live, had a tornado rip through one of its communities this past October, devastating property and homes, disrupting and upturning lives, some where recovery may never be possible financially, perhaps even mentally. Ottawa isn’t like Oklahoma or Kansas, where tornado activity is a regular occurrence, but the fear and uncertainty resulting from the traumatic experience may never subside. We just don’t get tornadoes here.
The chosen release date of the Collection is coincidental with the atmospheric events of that moment in the UK back in 1981. Some may even ask the question about why release an album on such a day? It’s a good question, but we have to understand that album release dates are not easy decisions. There is money involved, risk of delays which add to the stress of getting an album ready. And who could have predicted tornadoes would occur back on that date in 1981?
In hindsight, we can perhaps treat the Collection as an inspirational piece, a source of motivation to reassure folks that things will get better. Which song or songs would support that thesis is up to each of us to determine. Perhaps Shine On You Crazy Diamond? Perhaps Wish You Were Here, for obvious, familial, reasons.
While tracks have, in most cases, an original motivation for why they were written and composed, each of us have our own interpretation and opinion about what a track means. Music is personal. Why I listening to a certain album or track will be quite different from my you listen to the same album or track, or a completely different genre.
We all suffer from events in our lives, both good and bad. It’s how we learn from things, rebound, persevere, lean on our support network and thrust forward with indomitable spirit that counts.
It’s also about what music we turn to in the moments of solace we seek when we need to think, reflect, collect our thoughts and recharge when time get a little tough. Music is global, but sometimes we need to make it personal, or invite it into our personal space. Music inspires. Music ignites emotions in us that make us feel better. Or sometimes worse.
Did some people of the UK, on that day in 1981, turn to music? Maybe. I hope so, at certain points.
Without music, I think, we have little to add to our feelings, beyond that of a wisp of air and the chatter of supportive, regular voices. But music helps with recovery. It charges our soul. It’s the electricity we need to stay charged. It’s the air we breath. It’s the melodic echoes and reverberations of voices that make us feel better.
The Collection contains 6 songs:
- One of these Days
- A 1981 re-recording of Money
- Shine on you Crazy Diamond, part 1 through 4
- Wish You Were Here
- Another Brick in the Wall, part 2
What would be on your personal Pink Floyd collection of great dance songs? Is there a song, anywhere, that uplifts you?
If there is, get up and dance to it! Life is too short.
The Seany D Show would like to thank Joho345 for the picture of the house, located in Dungeness, used in this blog.
Source: Joho345 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10030777