Tuesday, August 23, 2005

National Albums

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, telling me just what a fool I’ve been. I wanna be your lover, I don’t wanna be your friend. So I’ve tossed a lot of nickels in the wishing well, and saved the fortunes that the fortune cookies tell. Still, you cheated and you lied; I hope you’re satisfied. Oh, why won’t you let me be? Today, I’m on my own; it’s my first day alone. There must be a reason. I’d like to know why, oh why? Oh, I’d like to know.

Recognize the words, dear viewers? I’m sure you do. Don’t deny it, you know those songs.

I think even before ABBA, Kalapana and The Eraserheads, The Cascades are one of those hidden national treasures, the Philippines’ most popular overlooked group. I suspect each and every household in the 7100-plus islands has a copy of The Cascade’s Rhythm of the Rain in some kind of format: cassette, long-playing album, open-reel tape, 8-track, or CD. I know I already have mine on MP3.

Last Friday I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that several of my cast mates, all of them around 25-27 years old, were familiar with The Cascades’ songs. I was amazed that a generation that’s a decade or so younger than me would know the songs “Rhythm of the Rain,” “Lucky Guy”, and “Angel on My Shoulder”. When I asked them why they knew the group, they all had the same answer: their parents played the album Rhythm of the Rain to death when they were growing up. I know my dad kept playing it every Sunday morning (he also played to death the soundtrack of The Sound of Music and a lot of Ray Coniff albums). It seemed to me that The Cascades only had one album and after that they never released another one. Like most, I believed in the story that The Cascades died in a plane crash.

So in between rehearsals we had a mamaraz blast singing their other songs: “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, “Let Me Be”, “My First Day Alone”, “There’s A Reason”, etc.

I have a theory: every generation has one album that almost everyone knows or owns. For our parents that album is Rhythm of the Rain. Another album that I’d nominate as the Pambansang Album is Ray Conniff’s We Wish You A Merry Christmas album. Who knows, maybe the next generation’s Pambansang Album is Eraserhead’s Ultraelectromagneticpop or, heaven forbid, a Michael Learns to Rock album.

7 Comments:

Blogger sky said...

Not really albums, but singles. Here are the likely candidates for the 90's:

Heaven Knows
More Than Words
Bed of Roses
Paint My Love

6:05 PM  
Blogger McVie said...

"More Than Words" and "Bed of Roses" are staple "giling music" among macho dancers.

For the 90s, let's also include Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love".

How about for the 80s? Will "Nightbird" and "Never Mind" qualify?

6:18 PM  
Anonymous muddynights said...

yeah. my dad played rhythm of the falling rain ad nauseum as well...until he got me humming to punch and judy show, lucky guy etc...

11:13 PM  
Blogger JM said...

my dad has that ray conniff album, as in plaka!

3:01 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

JAY MATTHEW: (delivered pang-sitcom) Wala ka sa tatay ko! May plaka na, may open-reel tape pa, at may CD pa kami ng Ray Conniff album!

Seriously, we do have that album in all three formats. Now all I have to do is burn the CD in my computer and I'll have it on MP3. That album us really a timeless one.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Nadriamez said...

Nothing beats Madonna!

Ewan ko, Dad ko Beatles ang trip, Mom ko si Madonna..

Mama's boy ako eh..lalang!

miss u mcvie!

1:23 AM  
Blogger McVie said...

NADRIAMEZ: Huuuuy, ano na ba'ng latest sa iyo, ha? Mukhang mas busy ka pa kesa sa akin, hehehe.

My parents were not into The Beatles, but my older brother and I were. Paano, my earliest memory of any pop song is "Obla-Di, Obla-Da".

11:31 AM  

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