The song Hotel California from the nine-track album of the same name was produced by American rock band The Eagles in 1976 and released by Elektra Entertainment. The album's cover photo featured Beverly Hills Hotel. The album won the 1978 Grammy Award as Record of the Year. The song consists of overwhelming guitar music and deep, dark lyrics. Ironically, although highly popular in the late 1970s the song didn't find a place in “1972-1999 Selected Works” brought out by Elektra Entertainment in 2000.
From the album The Beatles 1967-1970, the song is a simple, snapshot account of a happy nuclear family. The 28-track album released by Apple Records features hits such as Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, The Ballad of John and Yoko and Get Back as well as While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Green Green Grass of Home
From the album The Best of Tom Jones, this melodious song is sung by Welsh singer Tom Jones. The lyrics are melancholic, relating the story of a man who returns to his childhood home and feels good to touch the green, green grass of home. But soon he realises that this is all a dream. The song's acoustics are simple but resound with nostalgia.
What A Wonderful World
What a Wonderful World has been an evergreen favourite and is by the famous African-Amercian jazz musician and singer Louis Armstrong. Released in 1968 in the U.S., it was the best-selling single in the UK soon after. The song underlines the concept of racial harmony. Years later, another African-American legend, Stevie Wonder, teamed up with former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to bring out Ebony and Ivory with the same message.
Under African Skies
Under African Skies, from the album Graceland was released by Paul Simon in 1986 and features performances by Ladysmith Black Mambazo as well as singers such as Hugh Masekela and Mirium Makeba. It contains 11 songs including Graceland, Gumboots, Under African Skies and Homeless. The album makes best use of authentic African sounds and reflects the African spirit for freedom. The album also included the voice of Linda Ronstadt. Unlike African-American music, which is a melting pot of sounds from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America this album is filled with the unadulterated sounds of Africa.
Those that almost made it
ABBA: Super Trouper
Mary Hopkin: Those Were the Days
The Ventures: Swamp Rock
Mark Knopfler: Neck and Neck
John Denver: Country Roads
(Panamalai R. Guruprasad was formerly, technical advisor, Inspectorate of Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Government of Cambodia)