Some folks may not believe in the idea of a Queen or Royal Family and resent the presence of such lavish celebrations in light of the poverty that exists throughout the World. They believe the resources meant for such over the top celebrations should be redistributed to those most in need. In my opinion, the Royal Family exists as a global reminder of the splendor of pageantry. While the Royal Family is not perfect, we feel it is certainly appropriate to celebrate the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. Having been to London many many times, I know our friends across the Pond take their Royals very seriously. While there, I visited Buckingham Palace as well as the Royal Crown Jewels. It was simply amazing and I became a fan. Yes, there is a ton of imperialism underscoring the crown, but on this day, let’s try to keep it light and celebrate the Queen and the British culture, which has produced some of the best music anywhere on the planet.
As a kid, I recall being in a thrift store and hearing The Style Council‘s Home and Abroad live album. Paul Weller and crew changed my life with their interpretation of American soul, but done with a very grand pop presentation. They spoke of the Queen often. It was light an aural mirror; one I loved. Then, of course, I became entranced by Morrissey voice on The Smith’s The Queen is Dead, the album I spent hours with during high school. And, of course, Depeche Mode….ah Depeche Mode. I listened to Catching Up With Depeche Mode nearly everyday after hearing them for the first time on a bus ride to Boston from the Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire where I was for Summer school. Those beats and stories of life and “strange love” in London built my curiosity. I also recall not understanding a word The Cure‘s Robert Smith sang on Why Can’t I Be You? but not being able to stop dancing.
When I finally arrived in London several years later and had my first pint, I felt like I was at home. The pubs, the architecture, the cloudy skies, the cobblestones, the cabs, the double deckers, wooooo! LOVE it. And of course, the record stores, clubs and ambient music was and is just perfect in our eyes.
Fast forward to today and the Brits continue to deliver the goods in terms of music. From British soul legend Omar to Amy Winehouse and Adele, England has been producing quality for decades. We are happy they have chosen to celebrate their Queen and we are happy to present some of the highlights from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, which features incredible performances by Elton John, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder and many others.
Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely
Stevie Wonder (with Will.I.Am)- Happy Birthday
Stevie Wonder – Superstition
Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm
Elton John – Crocodile Rock
Elton John – I’m Still Standing