What I’m Listening To – December 2023

Hello all, and welcome to a new edition of "What I'm Listening To". This month could have been easy to do a X-mas Top 5, or a Winter/Snow edition. However, if you're like me, you're already thinking ahead of vacations you want to take to get you away from the dreariness of Michigan in the the coming snow-filled months. So, I thought, why not do a list of songs that talk about specific places you could go?

"Sweet Caroline" - Neil Diamond (All-Time Greatest Hits)

Neil Diamond is one of the better solo artists of his era. A unique voice with a little bit of cigarette gruff to it, he endeared himself to the masses for life with this song. There have been many sporting events where this song will come on. Or, maybe you heard this come on at a bar where everyone sang along, albeit the words may have been changed...slightly. At any rate, this song is about Boston, a place I have not visited, but have thought about going to because of its rich history. This song is so good, so good, so good.

All-time Greatest Hits

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" - Tony Bennett (The Best of the Improv Recordings)

Tony Bennett. Ultimate crooner. He made a living on love stories, and this one was no different. I've actually travelled to San Francisco to visit when I was a baby, but haven't been back to California itself since I was in college. An aside, in elementary school I participated in a talent show as a comedic act. I had gotten a joke out of Reader's Digest, as one does, and proceeded to knock the joke out of the park (so I thought). The punchline used the same title of the book, except the words were changed for the joke. Ok, back to the song! Tony's smooth voice is on display as always, and is a great song!

The Best of the Improv Recordings

"Rocky Mountain High" - John Denver (The Windstar Greatest Hits)

This time of year is the beginning of ski season, and for someone like me, I love going out West. My happy place is Summit County, CO, where many of the favorite ski resorts in the state can be located. John Denver was one of the most known and well regarded folk song artists of his time. His later tragedy set aside, this song makes me think of skiing down a mountain a Breckenridge, CO, or maybe even Keystone. I look out on a nice sunny day and see the expanse of the Rockies in front of me. If you have never gone, this area is so, so beautiful. 

The Windstar Greatest Hits

"Philadelphia Freedom" - Elton John (Greatest Hits 1970-2002)

This song is just fun. The up-tempo up-beat music. Elton John. How can it get much better than that? While I am not big on Philly sports fans (look up the day they threw snowballs at Santa Claus. Yes....Santa Claus. Classy!), I do love this track. I think I would enjoy running up the steps like Rocky did in the original movie, maybe see the Liberty Bell. Have a cheese steak.

Greatest Hits 1970-2002

"Kokomo" - Beach Boys (The Very Best of the Beach Boys)

Some of you might be saying "Erik, these are all nice, but not warm". Well, I got you covered. Let's go down to get away from it all, with this great song by the Beach Boys. The steel drums, the light meandering vocals that make you feel at ease. No worries, just you, your floral shirt, a nice drink, and the waves of the ocean at night. Don't ask me where Kokomo is, but if I was a betting man, I'd say the Caribbean. And doesn't that just sound better than Michigan in December? Yeah, I thought so too.

The Very Best of the Beach Boys