ongs about sailing reach me in places I forget about sometimes. My father taught me to sail (lest you get the wrong impression, the ‘sailboat’ was 16′ long and 4′ wide, and you sat on the deck like a glorified surfboard; we were not yacht club people.)
Songs that surprise me fall into another special category—when an artist does something a bit out of their box, and does it well, it has special appeal.
Songs that teach me about myself are the best category, with books, movies, and people who teach me about myself.
“Cool Change”, recorded by the Little River Band in 1978, is one of the very special entries in all three categories. In my head, it connects the peace of sailing with the peace I’ve always wanted in life; it connects the hard work of sailing with the hard work I know life to be.
Later in their career, LRB tried to ‘roughen up’ their image. I think it was a mistake; the glorious harmonies and slick production of all the tunes on their Greatest Hits album are a major part of the appeal (of course, well-written song help.)
"I was born in the sight of water, and it's there that I feel my best"
Another nice touch is the subsitition of the word ‘cool’ in the phrase ‘sea change’, with overtones and undertones of the life-altering decisions we often fail to make, and sometimes make so poorly.
Oh; one last category: really good saxophone solos. Intense, simple, melodic.
I don’t listen to this song nearly enough.
Accompanied by faves like “Take it Easy on Me”, “The Other Guy”, “Lonesome Loser” (it’s better than you remember), and one of my guilty pleasures, “Reminiscing”, LRB’s Greatest Hits is a no-brainer.