by Kevin Burton
Pink is the girliest color, ever. It’s the favorite color of the girliest granddaughter I have.
OK, I just have the one granddaughter, but anyway, she takes the cake, the pink cake. Here comes a list in a hue she would heartily endorse, although it’s not all suitable for eight-year-old ears.
Given the iridescent girliness of the color pink, the only choice for your bonus track is “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper. Also the singer of “True Colors” deserves a place somewhere in our Flying Colors series, right?
OK, bring on the pink songs:
8 “Pretty In Pink,” by The Psychedelic Furs. I’ve seen this song picked apart and analyzed as if it were American Pie. I’m not above that, but not for this tune. It’s a pretty good song musically. Lyrically it’s an overcomplicated song about a girl named Caroline who sleeps around. Let’s leave it there.
7 “Pink Petal Pushers” by Carl Perkins. Rockabilly scandal! Tell me “Stray Cat Strut” by the Stray Cats wasn’t a rip off of this song. The strut is a much better story, but write your own stuff Cats.
6 “Pink Champaign,” by Joe Liggins and The Honeydrippers. I like this version but this song is just sitting there waiting to be ripped up by the right band with more energy.
The Beatles did a ton of American R&B in the early days, too bad they didn’t record this one. Then again, maybe they played it live in Hamburg. They played everything they could think of in their sometimes eight-hour shifts in Germany.
5 “Pink Dominos,” by the Crescents, featuring Chiyo. This is a pre-British Invasion instrumental by a five-piece Los Angeles band. The only female member of the band, Chiyo was billed as a woman of mystery and the only female surf guitar player. Good track I would like to have a shot at writing lyrics for it.
Don’t you wonder how people name instrumental songs? I’m not feeling pink or dominos from this track.
4 “Pink Lemonade,” by James Bay. British singer/songwriter Bay has created a song with a good beat and really cool interaction between lead and backup singers. Rolling Stone called the song “catchy,” which it is. Lyrics sound like love’s got him twisted every which way.
3 “Pink Sunshine” by Fuzzbox. Really tuneful, energetic song from the all-female British rock and pop band. The song only made it to 14 on the UK chart and didn’t chart at all over here. One of those songs that makes me really glad I went casting about for songs with colors. Well-crafted tune.
Brief pink sidetrack before the top two songs:
Thumbs down: “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen. This made number five on the Hot 100, which means most people disagreed with me on it. In fact it was top ten in ten different countries. I find the song monotonous and pointless.
Thumbs down: “Pink Cashmere,” by Prince. Prince almost always delivered much more. This is just a pedestrian song most any group could come up with.
Wow, thumbs down to two legends!
Bonus track: “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper.
Now for the top two:
2 “Pink Houses,” by John Cougar Mellencamp. When this song came out in 1983, “Ain’t that America,” the hand claps and the ‘home of the free” put a swagger in my step. Pink Houses was a song about the kind of everyday people Sly Stone wrote about.
It was a sweet guitar-driven snapshot of life as I knew it. The man said America was “something to see.” For better and worse, it still is.
1 “The Pink Panther Theme,” by Henri Mancini. Mancini had go-to sax player Plas Johnson in mind when he wrote this song. “I nearly always precast my players and write for them and around them, and Plas had the sound and the style I wanted,” Mancini said.
In high school I knew nothing about that or about the three Grammy Awards the song won. I just knew my school nickname was the Panthers and this was my special song, the one that put that fire in the belly.
Please let me know in comments below if I missed your favorite pink song.