What a rollercoaster this playlist turned out to be. I started off on a lark, “A playlist where every song has the word groovy in the title would be amusing,” I thought to myself. Once I hit the search button and saw how many songs there actually were, I knew I had a bit of culling to do.
Let’s talk about what groovy actually means though because I only just looked it up now as I write this. Previously I had been working based on a set of assumptions farmed from pop-culture which were pretty accurate to an extent as the Oxford Dictionary says:
- fashionable and exciting -“sporting a groovy new haircut”
- enjoyable and excellent – “he played all the remarkably groovy guitar parts himself”
So I was pretty close however, I eliminated quite a few modern rap and electronic instrumental songs/tracks and a few really aggressive rock songs that just didn’t resonate with me as “groovy” as I understood it when I set out. A lot of them sounded like hot garbage or just basic. Like I could have made it with Garage Band in an afternoon or two if I set my mind to it. But if that’s what’s fashionable and exciting these days, to some it would be groovy. I’m old though so I found them neither enjoyable nor excellent.
I also eliminated a slew of tracks that were simply called “Groovy” which to me is a bit of a cop out. Groovy what? Just groovy? OK, I guess. I can say in all honesty that there wasn’t a single track in that category that was a must hear.
Last, I for a second considered including songs with the word “groove” in them simply because more songs immediately sprang to mind with that word. Groove, noun or verb isn’t the same though. You can be in a groove that feels anything but “groovy” in my opinion. So you’ve got two hours of groovy here, a lot of it instrumental so you’re not constantly hearing the word groovy for two solid hours. I’ll only go into a few of the highlight tracks as most of them were new discoveries for me. Stay groovy!
Somebody Groovy – The Mamas and The Papas – Before I even hit search, I figured there would be something by these folks or by Jefferson Airplane. I was right and it is exactly the preconceived flavor of groovy I expected there to be much more of in the search results.
Groovy Kind of Love – Sonny and Cher – This one seems to be a groovy standard as a long list of people have covered it. Most notably, Phil Collins which was the only version I knew until I made this list. I was actually kind of pissed off as it seemed like such an obvious inclusion despite the fact that I’ve always hated the song. I was so pleasantly surprised to find a Sonny and Cher version in my search. I loved them as a kid and this song feels so right coming out of them. Hearing this pretty much erased the Phil Collins version from my memory.
Groovy Potential – Prince – Being from Minnesota I was a huge prince fan early in his career. The Purple Rain tour was one of the first live concerts I saw as a kid and my mind was sufficiently blown. In 1994 he had two albums released and those were the last that I payed attention to until 2014 when he released Plectrumelectrum and I was reminded of his gifts. This particular track is from his last album HITnRUN Phase Two which struck me as odd. Seems like someone so groovy might have used it in a song title sooner.
Groovy Gravy – Quincy Jones – This is a great instrumental jazz track but let’s not deny there’s a dark cloud around this guy. This particular album was recorded with Bill Cosby as backing soundtrack for his TV show back in the 60s. Cosby, we all know now, is a huge two-faced, sex-creep and these two are good buddies. There’s also some weirdness around Jones’ relationship with the Jacksons (Jackson 5, Michael Jackson) and their notoriously abusive father’s business dealings as well that he seem’s to want to distance himself from. I don’t know… if ever there was Jazz tainted by legit evil, this might be an example. Given who it was produced with and for, how groovy could it really be?
Hang on Groovy – Van Morrison – I’ve never liked Van Morrison and make no mistake, I still don’t. I’ve always found his vocal delivery to be annoying and whiney sounding. This particular recording made me laugh though. He sounds so bored and annoyed, like he’s trying to convince himself to be groovy and it’s not working. Thank God it’s a short track.
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) – Simon & Garfunkel – Don’t act surprised.