“The Armor-Plated Heart” is a series of songs that, once you hear them, you start thinking, “I’m not going to cry… I’m okay with things… my heart won’t break… scuse me, I have to find some tissues…”
I’ve had these songs before on the playlist, and in many cases it’s because my own emotional heart is sitting in a corner, crying and groaning and looking for comfort where no comfort can be found. It’s those moments when depression and anger and loneliness pour over me like the clouds covering an angry sunshine.
And in those moments, these songs call out to me.
Can’tcha Say (You Believe In Me) / Still In Love
This is one of Boston’s lesser-known hits, but it’s still a song that packs an emotional punch – complete with false endings and and a build-up crescendo that only Boston can construct.
It’s Not Easy
Australian pop star Normie Rowe recorded this Barry Mann-Cynthia Weil track in London, and two of the musicians on this track – John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page – were a short time away from joining Led Zeppelin.
Don’t Let It End
You can be a fan of Styx’s ballads. You can be a fan of Styx’s rock songs. Me … I’m a fan of both. Especially this track.
Singer-songwriter Peter Allen wrote some beautiful songs in his career; this track is an autobiographical homage to both his grandfather, a saddle-maker in the tiny town of Tenterfield, and to his father, who committed suicide when Peter Allen was a young lad.
If I Call You By Some Name
This Canadian ballad got some airplay on American radio stations, and it still captures my emotions every time I hear it.
Something Happens To Me
Jean King was a vocalist with the California girl group The Blossoms, this was a rare solo hit for her. This should have been released on a major label that knew how to promote music … not on the Hanna-Barbera label, where the record company was more interested in promoting the Flintstones than decent music.
The Vogues’ best hits – “Turn Around, Look At Me”, “Five O’Clock World”, “You’re The One” are so upbeat and joyful, this other hit has a mixture of angst and tears about dashed dreams and dour determination.
Make the World Go Away
Eddy Arnold’s music was symbolic of the “countrypolitan” sound, with Chet Atkins producing and Floyd Cramer on the keyboards. He had so many sad country ballads, but this one is probably the saddest one of all.
Down in the Depths of the 9oth Floor
If you ever get a chance to sing a Cole Porter song, do it. And Lisa Stansfield hit this classic out of the park.
Please Don’t Ask Me
Just listen to these lyrics. And tell me if you get a teary feeling in your eyes.
So if you’ll excuse me for a moment… I’m going to get a tissue or seven and put this playlist on auto-repeat… and I’ll be fine in a day or four.
Have a great day, everybody.