“Always Returning”

Here we go again with another year-end roundup of 15 of my favorite new (to me) songs of 2022. As it was last year and all years prior, the rules are: (1) only one song per album, and (2) I must have added it to my iTunes [sic] library between January 1 and December 31, 2022 to qualify. (I know this sort of thing is properly done right at the start of the new year, and really, I would have posted it earlier, only I wanted to finish this animated lunar mouse truck to go with it.)

As in prior years, lots of instrumentals and soundtracks here. I discovered the genre of dinosynth (who knew?) along with Keith Mansfield and the stupendous treasure trove of the KPM music archives (I suspect the 2023 installment of this series will be 2/3rds library music). It was also evidently the year I started making my peace with jazz. The U.S. Bicentennial Era had a very strong showing, with just short of half the tracks originating between 1973-1977. The Isley Brothers notched a rare miss, their first year without an entry, but instead we have a double dose of Mott the Hoople. With one exception, all of these tracks can be purchased at Bandcamp or downloaded through your local library’s Freegal music service.

The last track deserves special mention. Last Christmas my wife gave me a telescope. This was the song I played each time I set it up on our balcony and turned it skyward. I was listening to it the first time I spotted Jupiter’s moons, and the first time I squinted hard and the rings of Saturn popped into view. It’s hard to put words to the feeling of “laughing out loud because of all the awe,” but that was me, hearing this song and feeling like I was flying off into space myself. It’s safe to say that Vangelis with his music has laid claim to more corners of my mind and life experience than any other artist. Our pale blue dot lost one of the greats last year.

“Always Returning” — a Playlist for 2022.

  1. Saturday Gigs — Mott the Hoople (Greatest Hits, 1976)
  2. Cast Your Fate to the Wind — George Benson (Good King Bad, 1976)
  3. Philadelphia Freedom — MFSB (Philadelphia Freedom, 1975)
  4. Living Together, Growing Together — The 5th Dimension (Living Together, Growing Together, 1973)
  5. Countdown to Love — Greg Phillinganes (Pulse, 1984)
  6. Dancefloor — Billy Ocean (Suddenly, 1984)
  7. Calypso — John Denver (Windsong, 1975)
  8. City of New Orleans — Steve Goodman (Steve Goodman, 1971)
  9. Ugrunaaluk Kuukpikensis — Diplodocus (Slow and Heavy Tyrannic Edition, 2019)
  10. Superstar — Keith Mansfield (Kpm 100 Series: Lifeforce, 1981)
  11. Water — Robin Hatch (T.O.N.T.O., 2021)
  12. A Remark You Made — Weather Report (Heavy Weather, 1977)
  13. Ballad of Mott the Hoople — Mott the Hoople (Mott, 1973)
  14. Always Returning — Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno (Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, 1983)
  15. Theme from the TV Series “Cosmos” — Vangelis (Greatest Hits, 1981)