It's winter and it's cold in many parts of the country. If you live somewhere where it isn't cold, well, you're smarter than the rest of us. Because cold is not better than warm. If it were, we wouldn't be heating our houses. We'd be opening the windows and letting the cold in. But songwriting thrives on adversity. We sing about broken hearts. We sing about black lung. We sing the blues. And when someone sings because they're happy, we tell them to shut up!
Let's hear it for five songs about the cold! And I left out Foreigner's "Cold As Ice" on purpose. Because I can! Now that's power!
It's Cold Outside"--The Choir: These guys understood how everything is noticeably worse when it's cold outside and while they never amassed the kind of success that have been accorded great visionaries from Wilhelm Reich to Dr. Phil, the Choir did manage to get this song on a number of influential compilation albums that have ensured that not everyone has forgotten them. Certainly not me.
"Cold"--The Cure: This is from their wonderfully chilly Pornography album, which sounds like it was recorded in an igloo. Just the title alone demands its inclusion here. In fact, that's the only reason it's here. If I remember correctly, they also have a "hot" song for when summer rolls around. God, I love working around genius!
Stone Cold"--Rainbow: Man, who didn't love Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow? This song is everything an AOR anthem should be. "Try to run, try to hide." "If I was wrong I want to make it right." "Your words like ice fall on the ground. Breaking the silence without a sound." "You got me in the deep freeze." "Ice cold." It's like they opened up a book of clichés and tore the pages from my heart. I guess that's the way the ball bounces, y'know?
"High Winds, White Sky"--Bruce Cockburn: This guy was obsessed with the weather. He puts the snow on the cover of the album and there are other albums where he's wearing a sweater. It's so North! Even his record label was called True North. He wanted you to know just how cold he was. Yet, dig this irony, his voice has a warmth to it that just cannot be denied. No, mama, it can not be denied!
A Winter's Tale"--The Moody Blues: I have a friend. We'll call him "Jerry." "Jerry" used to buy records back when they made records. "Jerry" was a young man looking to establish his own identity. He wanted a band he could call his own. Other kids were buying Led Zeppelin records and calling LZ their band. "Jerry" decided to make the Moody Blues his band. "Jerry" bought all their records. "Jerry" grew up. As an adult, "Jerry" tried to listen to his old Moody Blues albums. They were, after all, "his" band. If you mention the Moody Blues to "Jerry" today, he gets angry and irrational. I don't think things turned out "well" for "Jerry" and the Moody Blues. I don't dare ask why.