As an eclectic music lover, there are many songs that Ken loved the most, some more, some less. These I am telling you about, were among his favorites. Five of his top favorite songs were: (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding, he loved mostly because it reminded him of his father; Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle perhaps tied up with Bus Stop by The Hollies; Time of the Season by The Zombies; Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday, and the song we named as ours, Drive In Saturday by David Bowie, particularly dear to him. Every birthday of his, I played this song for him. There were many other songs, Ken used to tell me he grew up listening to the oldies radio, so there are a lot of songs from the 1960’s he liked. When we became one, as a big fan of the 1960’s songs myself, we shared many favorite songs together. Dolly Parton with Jolene and I Will Always Love You, sometimes he would walk around the house singing “Jolene…Jolene.” Other 1960’s songs are Alone Again Or by Love, this one I don’t think he knew it before, and I used to listen to the band Love sometimes, one day Ken turned to me and asked me “Hey what’s that song that the guy says he could be in love with everyone?” Just like that became one of his favorites. On Christmas 2015, he bought the Love album that features that song, Forever Changes, to give me as a present. He loved to listen to that album, and its cover. Have I the Right by the British band The Honeycombs, I remember when he started to like this song, and for a week, listened to it all the time. It was right after we watched together the Joe Meek biopic Telstar that he became a fan of that song, included in the movie’s soundtrack. I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher; People are Strange by The Doors, my favorite band, Ken listened to a lot of Doors because of me, however, this was really the only song I know he liked of The Doors, sometimes he’d sing along to The End, but People are Strange he genuinely liked, overall wasn’t a fan. The Beatles songs Here, There and Everywhere, Yellow Submarine, Penny Lane, Eleanor Rigby, Obla Di Obla Da and Drive My Car were his favorites of the fab four; he always preferred the McCartney songs to the Lennon ones, despite John being his favorite Beatle. The Who songs Pinball Wizard and Tommy Can You Hear Me? , Be My Baby by The Ronettes, Bonnie and Clyde by Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg (an artist he personally disliked except for this song). Somebody to Love by the Jefferson Airplane, Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan, this one he liked it since he was a kid, Dream a Little Dream of Me by the Mamas & The Papa, overall a band he enjoyed listening. Though he knew a lot about the Rolling Stones and we would play it often at home, he was not really a big fan of their songs, except for Paint It, Black, that was his Stones song. Lots of 1970’s songs were also part of his favorites, the Bowie songs, Heroes The Man Who Sold The World, Changes, Rebel, Rebel, Life On Mars?, Space Oddity and Golden Years. He always preferred the 1970’s David Bowie, except for the 2016 album Blackstar, that included two of his favorite songs Blackstar and Lazarus. The 1970’s Cher was also his favorite phase of her; I recall mainly the songs Half Breed and Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves. He had brought with him from the U.S the 1971 Cher album that featured Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, my favorite song of her, a precious memory I have is of us singing along to the song and dancing while Ken added his sarcastic funny comments to the lyrics. Queen were another one of his favorite bands, which he bought a few records to our collection, once he got a pack with a bunch of Queen records shipped from England, often he used to say that “even the worst song of Queen is still better than most of today’s hit songs.” His favorite Queen one was Spread Your Wings, which he bought in vinyl, and liked Bohemian Rhapsody, I Want to Break Free and Under Pressure. Another 70’s song he loved was Ballroom Blitz by Sweet, he sort of had a thing for that band, I recall him a few times browsing through their songs and videos on YouTube, and one day I got home from work and he was playing Ballroom Blitz on the turntable. Hotel California was his sole favorite song of The Eagles, and he got the original single of it too. Because Ken had such a natural fine taste in everything, the 1980’s were not musically one of his favorite decades because many of the songs sounded overproduced, he liked a more organic melodic song. However, there were a few 1980’s songs he enjoyed, Mickey by Toni Basil, the late 80’s Madonna songs True Blue and Like a Prayer, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, an obvious favorite. A 1980’s music artist he got fascinated for and became a fan was the German Klaus Nomi, with the songs Total Eclipse and Lightning Strikes. One day he turns to me and tells me “David you got to listen to this guy’s voice. It’s amazing” Later he wrote an article about Nomi for Pop Expresso. Dreams by Grace Slick was one that he used to sing along to, specially the part “sons of Satan sons of bitches”, it was classic Ken. Not originally, a 1980’s song, he loved the Grace Jones version of Little Drummer Boy that she performed in the Pee Wee’s Playhouse. One day I woke up to the sound of it, and asked him what he was playing; every time I listen to it now still brings me back to that moment I first heard it. Ken wasn’t a big fan of Heavy Metal or Hard Rock, but had a soft spot for Ozzy Osbourne, the songs he liked the most of Ozzy were Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley. Two 1980’s songs that were completely unknown to him as the artists were largely unknown in the U.S was German Pop band C.C Catch’s Heaven and Hell, and one he totally hated that he liked, Cheri Cheri Lady by Modern Talking. Those two bands were popular in Europe back in the 1980’s and I was familiar with them growing up, sometimes I’d play some songs on 80’s playlists or we would watch videos of that era to have a laugh, and sometimes Modern Talking was on. He did thought they were absurd and went to dig into their story to confirm his opinion and reinforce it. Cheri Cheri Lady got him hooked though, once he was singing it around the house, turns to me, and says, “This is your fault David.” A guilty pleasure, and he did not had too many that I can remember of; but did thought Heaven and Hell was genuinely a good song. The 1990’s songs he enjoyed listening more were Annie Lennox’s Why and Walking on Broken Glass. One time I got him a single of Lennox that I thought he liked, No More I Love Yous, and he wasn’t disappointed but was like, “I do prefer Why and Walking on Broken Glass though”. Nirvana were also a band he liked listening to sometimes, they had two of his favorite songs, Heart-Shaped Box and Pennyroyal Tea. Madonna’s songs, Justify My Love, Erotica, Deeper and Deeper, Rain, Secret, Take a Bow and Human Nature are the ones I recall him liking the most. Ken never was a big fan of George Michael, but Freedom’90 and Jesus to a Child were two of his favorite songs, also Possession by Sarah McLachlan, Blind Melon’s No Rain, Don’t Speak by No Doubt, Snow on the Sahara by Anggun, Gravity of Love by Enigma and Doll Parts by Hole. He loved RuPaul with Supermodel and wrote an article about that one for Pop Expresso, as he also wrote for Janet Jackson’s album that featured Together Again. In recent years, some of his favorite contemporary songs were Fireworks by Katy Perry, Back in Black and Rehab by Amy Winehouse (another one of his tragic divas) and The Name Game by Jessica Lange after he saw her performing it on American Horror Story. To conclude, the classic Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WABWNOEwC9A
Drive In Saturday, David Bowie
https://www.youtube.com/embed/rTVjnBo96Ug
(Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding
https://www.youtube.com/embed/9vpV3zovhWg
Time of the Season, The Zombies
https://www.youtube.com/embed/n6P0SitRwy8
Heart-Shapped Box, Nirvana
https://www.youtube.com/embed/16R8njf0a74
Pennyroyal Tea, Nirvana
https://www.youtube.com/embed/fregObNcHC8
The Man Who Sold The World, Nirvana
https://www.youtube.com/embed/WyhdvRWEWRw
Erotica, Madonna
https://www.youtube.com/embed/ewFBuYHldeY
Balroom Blitz, Sweet
https://www.youtube.com/embed/FVovq9TGBw0
Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne
https://www.youtube.com/embed/G3LvhdFEOqs
Mr. Crowley, Ozzy Osbourne
https://www.youtube.com/embed/o83gLvDdSG8
Have I The Right, The Honeycombs
https://www.youtube.com/embed/GgD9FyE60hs
If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher
https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z6E98ZRaU1s
Half Breed, Cher
https://www.youtube.com/embed/TOSZwEwl_1Q
Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, Cher
https://www.youtube.com/embed/zaC-WDrvmUQ
I Put A Spell On You, Bette Middler
https://www.youtube.com/embed/PSMj1C9B_JY
Cupid Carries a Gun, Marilyn Manson
https://www.youtube.com/embed/kszLwBaC4Sw
Blackstar, David Bowie
https://www.youtube.com/embed/y-JqH1M4Ya8
Lazarus, David Bowie
https://www.youtube.com/embed/BPPSu0vaNWA
Changes, David Bowie
https://www.youtube.com/embed/g33-W9t2q2Q
The Man Who Sold The World, David Bowie

Drive In Saturday, David Bowie

(Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding

Time of the Season, The Zombies

Heart-Shapped Box, Nirvana

Pennyroyal Tea, Nirvana

The Man Who Sold The World, Nirvana

Erotica, Madonna

Balroom Blitz, Sweet

Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne

Mr. Crowley, Ozzy Osbourne

Have I The Right, The Honeycombs

If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher

Half Breed, Cher

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, Cher

I Put A Spell On You, Bette Middler

Cupid Carries a Gun, Marilyn Manson

Blackstar, David Bowie

Lazarus, David Bowie

Changes, David Bowie

The Man Who Sold The World, David Bowie