31 Days of Faves: Del Amitri – Roll To Me

#21 Del Amitri – Roll To Me

I turned 40 on the day Del Amitri‘s “Roll to Me” was released in the U.S.

By 1995, there were few of the tunes in the Hot 100 that even mildly interested a child of the 60s. Billboard’s year end chart seemed to be populated with short lived bands and forgettable songs. Even the music released by enduring brands like Madonna, Michael Jackson and Elton John felt like throw-aways.

“That’s just because you’re an older guy,” my kids would tell me, as they turned up the latest derivative Boyz2Men offering.

They were probably right. The ship that carried my musical sensibilities had long since sailed.

Perhaps it was because the airwaves were so bereft of anything I liked that “Roll To Me” stood out. It had all the components of a 1960s pop smash: A musical range and a three word hook that made the tune eminently singable, an 8 second guitar ramp at the beginning that sounded great after a radio station jingle and an break-up strain that bounced between minor and major chords, resolving into a stair-step of notes that took us easily back into the next verse.

And it was barely two minutes long with an ice cold final chord that hung around for almost ten seconds, slowly dissipating until only the base guitar remained.

In short it was based on the same simple formula that Berry and Greenwitch, Goffin and King and the other brilliant talents who hung around the Brill Building had been cooking 30 years before. That recipe still tasted great to this “older guy” and “Roll To Me” became part of my permanent playlist.

When I was putting together my “What Keener might have sounded like” packages to showcase tunes that my favorite oldies station might have played in later years, Del Amitri was there.

Perhaps Tom Hanks and Adam Schlesinger were listening, too. Slow “Roll To Me” down just a touch and the opening drum licks to “That Thing You Do” make a natural segue, catching your attention just like the movie of the same name did when it premiered the next year.