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C'mon, get happy…

Everybody has a set of songs that cheer them up. Sometimes these songs have a happy message, or a happy sound; sometimes they trigger happy memories. Here are some of my happy songs.

Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good.mp3
Rarely has a jazz-fusion song been so appropriately titled. On a forum I frequent, somebody described Mangione as the Kenny G of the flugelhorn. Slander. If you want to be scathing about Mangione’s descent into smooth jazz, then compare him to David Sanborn — another one who traded credibility for Quiet Storm commercialism. But listen to Mangione’s 1975 album Chase The Clouds Away, especially “Can’t We Do This All Night”, and you have something much closer to the mighty Crusaders than Kenny bloody G.

Earth, Wind & Fire – In The Stone.mp3
A companion piece to “Feels So Good”. Anything by EWF can make me happy, but none more so than “In The Stone”, with its happy melody, soaring horns, jaunty bassline, funky guitar, and Latin percussion. And the “Never…” outro is pure singalong magic.

Bill Withers – Lovely Day (Sunshine Mix).mp3
An obvious choice on any happy-song list, and with good reason. This is the 1988 Sunshine Mix, which is nit as good as the original, but more difficult to find. I concede, it sounds a little aged now (the female “hey hey”s!), but — unlike the original — this remix can get a party going. And, let’s face it, you can’t fuck up that great a song.

Bill LaBountyLivin‘ It Up.mp3
Bill LaBounty should be a legend in the Guilty Pleasures department which includes the likes of Boz Scaggs, Ambrosia, Linda Ronstadt etc. Somehow, fame eluded the dude, despite at least one quite excellent album which included this wonderful track. It’s a song of denying the pain of a love lost, set to a happy melody. Magnificent.

Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday.mp3
In 1984 I somehow got to see Howard Jones and his mime sidekick at the Hammersmith Odeon. But it was the support act that blew me away. A couple months later, Strawberry Switchblade’s “Since Yesterday” was a Top 10 hit in Britain. It remains of one of the finest moments of pop in the 1980s.

Fifth Dimension – Stoned Soul Picnic.mp3
The happy association is obviously in the title.

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  1. Liz
    June 11th, 2007 at 18:25 | #1

    Aaah, this horrible song has been earworming me ever since you posted this post. Thanks a bundle.

  2. Victoria
    June 20th, 2007 at 13:43 | #2

    i’ve got a song that is guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy and i would strongly advise everyone to do their own version of it onhttp://www.allweneedislove.co.ukit’s as easy as singing happy birthday while attempting to break records and raise money for charity!!

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