Sunday, 2 May 2010
Quality of Life Improvement 17: "Forever Young"
In the 1980s, "Forever Young" never appealed to us much. It was the music that our older relations liked, it was sappy and it was performed by musicians with hair that looked like proof of mental illness to us. By the 1990s, the song was long gone from our memory.
In 2006, an almost unspeakable tragedy occurred in Arctic Norway: our iPod literally froze to death in temperatures that sunk below -20°F and gave up its ghost.
On the long journey back to the Western Hemisphere we were given no choice but to listen to SAS' audio program Pure Vinyl, with ridiculous headphones (we still took them), and that's when we heard "Forever Young" consciously for the first time in 20 years.
Maybe it's aged well since 1984, when Alphaville first recorded it. Or maybe we've aged well, and from our perspective the lyrics actually make some sense, and the hair and haze of Westdeutschen Kitsch in the music video are to us sentimental and comforting now.
Laura Branigan also recorded "Forever Young" in 1985. The album for which it was recorded, "Hold Me," was a commercial failure at the time, but it was in the mid-1980s that Laura Branigan began her tradition of ending every one of her live shows with an encore of "Forever Young."
Interestingly, "Hold Me" has been out of print for many years, despite the fact that it is now considered to be one of the best albums from one of the most underrated stars of the 1980s. The album's cover artwork is unsettling, which only adds to the charm, and we have been led to believe that copies of "Hold Me" regularly sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.
Laura Branigan will truly be forever young, to us and to everyone—she died unexpectedly of a cerebral aneurysm at her home on Long Island, New York, in 2004.