Oldies reigned in 2015
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2015 - 9:00am

Sounds-wise, the year 2015 was a strange one. Contrary to the prediction of naysayers, the music did not die, but changes happened that vastly affected the industry. I know you can list down Twerk It Like Miley by Brandon Beal featuring Christopher or Watch Me (Whip Nae Nae) by Silento or perhaps as your choice for song of the year. Very good choices but you are wrong.

From now on and for always, 2015 will be remembered in the annals of Philippine show business as the time when oldies took over the hit charts in a very big way. Now nothing really strange about that as sentimental Pinoys have always loved the old songs. These three songs though acquired renewed popularity thanks to the power of television.

And these are God Gave Me You by Bryan White and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran from the GMA 7 noontime show Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye portion and On The Wings Of Love originally by Jeffrey Osborne from the ABS-CBN teleserye of the same title. Of course, these songs are already hits in their own right and big radio favorites. That is precisely why they were tapped for use in those TV shows. But their latest stints as TV theme songs have made them even bigger.

Aside from that, the other thing these songs have in common is that their popularity these days owe a lot to two popular love teams. God Gave Me You and Thinking Out Loud are the most popular among the songs used during the AlDub romance portion of the Kalyeserye where viewers wait daily with bated breath to find out what will happen to the Romeo and Juliet lovers of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza as Yaya Dub. On the Wings of Love is the theme for the problematic but flaming hot romance of Clark and Lea played by James Reid and Nadine Lustre.

God Gave Me You is by country music crooner Bryan White and was first recorded in 1999. I do not know who was responsible for unearthing this oldie and for choosing to use it in crucial moments during the AlDub love story. But whoever he is deserves a huge bonus. He helped launch a unique phenomenon in local showbiz. Why, people now also know who Bryan is. Alden has released a cover of God Gave Me You in his latest album, which is also a big hit.

Thinking Out Loud is one of the big hits from the X album by the Brit pop idol Ed. It was named No. 14 most important song of this decade and is a nominee in the 2016 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. But those facts are all immaterial to the AlDub Nation of the Philippines. To them, this is the theme for those painful moments in the AlDub romance. Alden also recorded his own version for his album and it is another big hit.

On the Wings of Love was released in 1982 as one of the songs in Osborne’s self-titled solo debut album. He also wrote the lyrics to the melody by Peter Schless. Regine Velasquez came out with a version that was totally divine in the mid-‘90s. Nowadays, it is local R&B singer Kyla who sings the theme in the TV series. James and Nadine, who are also both recording artists, have recorded a duet version that went into streaming on Spotify last Dec. 18 and became available for downloads on iTunes last Dec. 25.

Speaking of downloading and streaming, these two music outlets are starting to gain ground in the local music industry. It is a fact that record producers have stopped or at the very least minimized the production of albums on CDs. Some of them are now only selling online, an arrangement that many music buffs out here still have to get used to.

That means a big drop in sales as complete albums on CDs cost more than downloading a song or two from the Net. To land in the hit charts, an artist needs to go out to the fans to sell his products. He will perform some songs and then sign autographs and pose for pictures. In exchange, fans have to buy his CD. As a result, there has been a huge reduction in the production of recordings.

No wonder three oldies but definitely goodies are our big hits for the year. In a way I am glad that there are songs like these and fans who love them keeping the music alive. On the other hand, I am also sad that the local music industry now has to struggle to stay alive.

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