Runaround Sue by Dion

As “Hipster Runoff” would say, we are in a buzz-drought. Summer is coming to a close and bands are kicking off year-long tours to support their June or July releases, festivals are coming to a close, and the independent world is entering its usual August-September slump. Some people view this as a sort of musical apocalypse; others view it as a much needed vacation. With the recent scarcity of new independent music, I’ve decided to take a time machine back into rock’s golden age: the early 1960’s. Something about this era gets me all jazzed up. Maybe it’s the greaser style, the muscle cars, the preppy cheerleaders, the jukeboxes and malt diners or maybe it’s the melodic simplicity of the period’s music. That G-Em-C-D progression that almost every doowop song used never felt repetitive and the youth’s backyard baseball games never became tiresome. Such a straightforward, catchy time. “Runaround Sue” by Dion is by no means a chunk of hidden gold, but it is a rockin’ prophet sent by the god of rock n’ roll himself: Elvis. Dion’s pompadour-rock jam is a bouncy, six-beers in collage of weeping sax and supercharged “hey’s” and “bum’s.” Dion’s voice is sorrowful yet confident like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Toward the song’s grand finale, a killer sax solo ensues forcing drunken fraternity brothers onto the bar countertop to shred some righteous air-sax. In all, “Runaround Sue” is a classic staple of early rock n’ roll, doowop, and pop in general. Without it, modern pop music might not be so infectiously melodic. Thanks Dion, you slick haired son o’ bitch, you.

-Ryan

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