Tuesday Tunes 22: Disappointment

One of the comments on last week’s Tuesday Tunes post was made by fellow blogger Hugh, who suggested Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy as another possible song that matched the theme of growing up. That song is one I’ve always liked, and I had the album back in the days of vinyl, but as I said to Hugh it meant something different to me. This got me thinking, and I realised I could feature it as a song representing a number of themes. And here we are, with one of those possibilities. This week’s theme is: disappointment (and the frustration that can go with it).

Having had it suggested to me, I really couldn’t start anywhere else, could I? So, heeeere’s Andrew:

If you listen to the lyrics you can hear why I thought it fitted this theme. It describes a boy who felt that his parents had made him a promise that he would be their only one, who then felt badly let down when they gave him a sister. Now he was no longer in that position, hence his disappointment. Many of the details – especially the dates – match his own life but he denied that the song was autobiographical, saying that he’d had a happy childhood. The song was first released on Gold’s second album, What’s Wrong With This Picture, in 1976 and became a single in 1977. The single peaked at #11 in the UK and #7 in the US. The album, which was generally given poor reviews, didn’t chart in the UK and only reached #95 in the US. I enjoyed it, though! As well as making his own records Gold produced many others, including Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like A Wheel. Listen carefully and you may just hear her briefly on harmony vocals on this one, too – she’s on the second verse.

This week’s second tune is about the frustration and disappointment of not finding what you want in life. I’ll admit to some misgivings about U2, who began as a great rock band but were, in my view, overtaken by Bono’s ego and belief in his own publicity. Some of their earlier songs, in particular, are still favourites of mine, though, including this one:

I suspect that many of us can relate to that feeling. The song is on U2’s fifth – and I think their best – album, The Joshua Tree, from 1987. It was released as a single and reached #1 in the US and #6 in the UK. The album was #1 in both countries – and many others too, selling over 25m copies thus far. Maybe others don’t share my doubts about Bono, and that song is rather good, after all.

This week’s third tune is one of many about how love doesn’t always run the course we might have hoped for, giving rise to disappointment. Maybe frustration too, but I’m not going down that road (it’s your mind, not mine!). This is a classic ‘boy wants girl, girl not interested‘ song. I’ve loved it since it was first released and this video for it is a piece of creative genius. This is still one of my all time favourites, even though those with a sense of humour bypass would probably want it banned nowadays (but she does smile to him right at the end!):

The song was on The Cars’ fifth album, Heartbeat City, which peaked at #3 in the US but only reached #25 here in the UK on its 1984 release. I think I almost wore out my copy, though! It was one of those albums which spawned a multitude of singles – six, in this case. You Might Think was the first of them, and got as high as #7 in the States but only #88 here. In my view, that is criminal! The best known of the album’s singles is probably Drive, which peaked at #3 in the US and #5 here, and then went one better to #4 when it was re-released in 1985, having featured as a backing track to some of the most memorable and poignant footage of African famine victims which supported the Live Aid concerts of that year.

I seem to be getting into a routine of indecision when it comes to choosing my Tuesday Tunes. Again, I’m unable to reduce the selection below four, and I have left out a great many that could equally as well have been chosen. So, for this week’s fourth and final song, I’ve picked one which has a positive message mixed in with the disappointment of reality:

The song is the final track on the Stones’ eighth album, Let It Bleed, which was released in 1969This is, by any reckoning, a classic album: a record that begins with Gimme Shelter, has seven more great tracks, and then ends with this seven minute epic, complete with choral backing vocals. It was, in my view, a triumph. The album was, of course, #1 here in the UK but only got to #3 in the US: letting the side down a bit, chaps! The song was the B-side of Honky Tonk Women but was re-released as a single in its own right in 1973, reaching #42 in the US. The verses cover various types of hope and expectation, which end in disappointment and disillusionment, but the chorus carries the uplifting message that ‘if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need,’ even if what you want is untouchable. There is a strong sense of realism and pragmatism in that, which I rather like: after all, do we really need everything that we think we want? Somehow, I doubt it.

I realised when I chose this theme that it could be a little downbeat, but I hope you didn’t think that. In any event, music isn’t always happy, is it? Hopefully you’ve enjoyed all of the songs but, if I can’t get what I want, maybe at least one of them? Be fair: I’ve given you more than nineteen minutes of music here!

Have a great week, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday. Take care, stay safe.

28 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 22: Disappointment

    • Thanks, Robbie. I like rounding the songs out a bit: I’ve picked up a fair bit of knowledge in 50+ years, and there’s always Wikipedia to fill in the gaps 😉


  1. Hi Clive
    Halfway through the lonely boy song I realized that I knew it way back when…
    And did not realize Joshua Tree was the fifth album for U2…. would have thought “second” but shows how long they have been making music! And I recall when that song was overplayed on the radio and then the albums as all the rage….
    Nice Tuesday tunes

    Liked by 2 people

  2. now there’s a first – I knew everyone of this week’s songs, and loved every choice. I think I like everything by the Cars.

    That seemed like a tough challenge, finding songs about disappointment, but you did well.

    the only song I can think of that might fit this theme, and it’s one that I mentioned last week with the theme of growing up, is Cat’s in the Cradle

    Liked by 2 people

    • I must be getting predictable! Glad you liked them all, and I’m with you on the Cars.

      To be honest, a quick trawl through my Apple Music library usually brings up way more than I can cope with, if my memory hadn’t done its job.

      Yes, you did mention Harry Chapin, but I’ve already included that one: post #14, on fathers, and I don’t think I should use the same song twice. There are plenty to choose from, after all…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m also a huge fan of the Andrew Gold song. It’s his best single that I can remember. Thank You For Being a Friend got a lot of airtime back in the states, but I didn’t like that one as much. The Cars are in my Top Ten all-time favorite bands. I especially like Benjamin Orr’s voice. It was tragic that he passed at such a young age.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s my favourite of his, too. In the UK his best performing single was Never Let Her Slip Away, which fared less well in the States. Weird, isn’t it!

      Glad you like the Cars too. Ric Ocasek also left us last year, but Benjamin Orr died very young. He didn’t take many of their lead vocals but I don’t think it a coincidence that they were some of their biggest hits – especially Drive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Darlene. From memory they did well in both Canada and the US, but less so here. They had a few UK hits but for some reason this song wasn’t one of them. A pity, as I loved them and had all of their albums back then.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Clive, thanks so much for the mention and for playing one of my all-time top 5 records – Lonely Boy.

    I know of the U2 and The Roling Stones song but never heard The Cars one before. Maybe because it only reached #88 in the UK charts? To me, that means it never got much radio play, but I could be wrong. However, I agree that it’s a great tune, and I think very much of its time.

    The first song that comes to my mind with the theme of disappointment is ‘Loves Unkind’ by Donna Summer. Similar to the song you featured by The Cars but with the roles reversed – so a classic ‘girl wants boy, boy not interested ‘song.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re very welcome, Hugh. It was the least I could do after you gave me the idea! It could have featured in a couple of other categories too.

      You could well be right about the Cars not getting much airplay here. Their chart history is a bit irregular. I still love the song and, even after all these years, I still find little visual jokes in the video that I hadn’t noticed before.

      I know the Donna Summer song but she isn’t really my ‘thing.’ Probably haven’t forgiven her for being all over the radio during summer 1977!

      Liked by 1 person

      • After her comments about the LGBT community, I (along with many other gay men) smashed up all the records I owned by her,, Clive. Years later, she did apologise for what she said, but it took a very long time before the LGBT community accepted her apology. She disappeared from the UK charts rather rapidly. These days I now only own her ‘Great Hits’ album.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I hadn’t realised that she had caused such an upset. Given that she was a gay icon and that I Feel Love was covered by the likes of Bronski Beat and Sam Smith, I’m surprised she did that. I’ve never owned any of her records – too pop-y for me!

        Liked by 1 person

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