I'm surprised that there aren't more pop songs about photography, photographs, or photographers. Here are five of my favorites.
5. "Click, Click, Click, Click," by Bishop Allen
All that I know about Bishop Allen is that he (they?) has one great song about the permanence and satisfaction of old pictures. If you don't know this song, it is definitely worth a listen.
4. "Freeze Frame" by the J. Geils Band
Sure, everyone knows this one. In 1982, the J. Geils Band had massive hits with two different songs, both dealing with photography. The first was "Centerfold," which, beneath its sing-along chorus, dealt with the emotional punch that a photograph can pack. The next big hit was this one, "Freeze Frame," which has something to do with a man in a darkroom, printing pictures of an elusive woman. As far as photography jargon goes, this one is pretty stacked, with references to "proof-sheet love" and a pun on the girl's "stop-time heart."
3. "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon
Paul Simon has never sounded as cynical and, well, interesting as he does on "Kodachrome," his 1973 single. I got my first Nikon camera when I was 18, and I soon learned that I, too, loved to take a photograph. This song became one of my favorites because it articulated the thrill seeing one of your photos in those nice bright colors.
2. "People Take Pictures of Each Other" by The Kinks
"People take pictures of each other just to prove that they really existed." That's it.
1. "Picture Book," the Kinks
It shouldn't be surprising that The Kinks, those nostalgic lads from North London, score twice on my list of the best songs about photographs. The Kinks were constantly looking backwards, towards an idyllic past that probably never really existed. And what's more suited for an evening of wistful longing than a picture book? Nothing.