WOW!! Look what I found buried in my collection! Yo! If you don’t remember these guys from back in the day, something is wrong.. 😀 You know, I could be wrong, but speaking only from the best of my memory, I think this was one of the biggest, and last hit we got from Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five. This amazing and flamboyant group released a rap song called “Beat Street Break Down,” for the 1984 movie “Beat Street,” Starring Rae Dawn Chong, and Guy Davis.
Now, to be honest I don’t remember much from the movie. I don’t even remember whether I liked it or not. I do remember however, hearing all the straight boys going bananas over Rae Dawn Chong. Personally, I didn’t think she was all that much of a brilliant actress, and her looks were average. I just couldn’t understand the infatuation str8 men had for her. Anyway 😀 The soundtrack was amazing tho, another song that became my favorite was “Us Girls,” by Sharon Green, Lisa Counts & Debbie D. Sadly it’s not on Spotify, but do check it out on YouTube.
When we talk about the history of hip hop, you can’t leave out GMM & TFF! They played a pivotal role in helping to make hip hop popular the way it is today. But on the other hand, from my perspective, I didn’t really experience their music as just hip hop either. It was more dance mix in with pop, and I think that added a lot of diversity to their music.
This song was one of many hits that truly represented what the late 80s was like. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” was released from Whitney Houston’s second hit album “Whitney.” The song peaked at #1, and stayed number one for two weeks. This was a really fun song, and I loved this song, but the music video always seemed weird to me. I really didn’t like those wigs she wore in the video. I don’t know, I just didn’t think they were suited for her. Then again, that was “the 80s look.” A lot of hits came from this album, including “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” Which also peaked at #1, and stayed there for a whopping 3 weeks. This was probably my most favorite song from Whitney. I’m still made that we lost her. It still hard for me to accept we will never again hear new and amazing songs from her ever again.
OMG!!!! I couldn’t believe I rediscovered this album by accident. I literally have not heard this song since my club days. Actually, I stopped hearing this song just about the end of the 90s. You see, this is why sometimes you need to get off YouTube!! You’ll never really find the kinds of music you liked back in the days (in our age group) unless you truly venture out to other websites!! Wow, wow!! “Two Of Hearts” by Stacy Q (note: not to be confused with Suzy Q) was hugely popular back in the day. Although I’ve heard this song in clubs, she was really a pop singer than anything else. The song hit #3, and stayed on the charts for about 22 weeks. From what I can tell, this was her only big hit from her career. Her next hit below this one, was a song called “We Connect,” which only peaked #33 if I’m not mistaken.
Alright….. I wasn’t a huge Isaac follower. My only real favorite to be honest, was his iconic “Shaft (1971)” theme to the movie “Shaft (1971).” Just a side note, this may sound bias but… Of all the Shaft remakes we’ve had, I think the original with Richard Roundtree was the best. Anyway, I remember a LOT of Black folk having this particular Isaac album. And that includes my mom. Personally, I wasn’t particularly drawn to this album, and I wasn’t sure what people really liked about it. I think maybe people just liked the sound of his voice! LOL. Sometimes I hear good beats from him, but I never thought that some of those songs warranted being 15-20 minute long. There’s a song on this album called “By The Time I Get To Phoenix (1969),” I felt was a nice soulful and romantic song, it was just way too long for my taste. Quite a few artist reinterpreted this song, including the legendary Johnny Rivers, and the legendary Engelbert Humperdinck. Do you remember this album? Was it one of your favorites?
I think Maxwell’s music is soooo under rated if you ask me. I love his music! It’s smooth, it’s sexy, danceable yet slow jam-able at the same time. I think one of my most favorite groove songs from Maxwell is a song called “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” released in 1996 from his “Urban Hang Suite” album. Now, hear is the real interesting part about this song. The song only reached #36 on the Top 100 Charts; however, in terms of the hip hop category, it reached #8 on the streaming charts. I’m not sure what to make of this. A while back, I’ve talked about the fact that eventually streaming numbers would be used instead of record sales. The way I see it, it makes it difficult for bloggers, because some songs will have both, as with the case with this song. Why is this a problem? Streaming wasn’t as popular as it is now, and it does change the dynamic quite significantly. Maybe as a classic blogger, I need to include both? As it would indicate a resurgence of popularity/interest? From the same album, I also love his piece called “The Urban Theme.” It has a hint of Blaxploitation to it, mixed with modern sound.
Esther Phillips is one of the many many forgotten artists. I absolutely love her distinct, sassy voice. She did a reinterpretation of one of my old time favorites called “Alone Again, Naturally,” that was originally written and performed by Gilbert O’Sullivan in 1972. Esther took this song to a whole different level in my opinion. I’m sorry but, it’s a fact that when you add a little bit of soulful voice to any melody (never mind the music), it changes both it’s meaning and energy. I’ve heard a LOT of reinterpretations of this song by many artists (and that even includes Neil Diamond’s version). However, I think Esther did it best, even better than O’Sullivan (Sorry). Now, according to the billboard charts, this song only reached the 177th position, on the Top 200 Charts. However, that’s misleading because there are different positions for every category. In fact, I’m not even sure if that was an “album position,” instead of the actual position of the song. I had a heard time finding more data for this song. I’m not going to believe that people disliked the song that much for it to have peaked that low. If you’d like to listen to O’Sullivan’s original version, you can listen here.
I haven’t done any articles on celebrity portraits in a while. So, I got the idea to pay tributes to one of my hugely favorite bands/artist. Culture Club/Boy George. I absolutely love their music, it’s so different and unique. Although they’re still making music, I still prefer his old stuff (before 1990(ish) I’d say). They’re first album, “Kissing To Be Clever (1982),” is their best album of their career (in my opinion). Not that I didn’t love his other albums, but “Kissing To Be Clever” was the album that I kept listening to over , and over again.
Now, let’s be honest here for a minute. Despite the group’s talent and hard work, the second reason that made culture club so famous was George’s out outrageous looks and make up. It made both him and the group stand out from all the other 80’s bands. At first look, you’re thinking “what the hell am I looking at?” But then as you listen to their music, and see their talent for what it is, much of America and across the world fell in love with them. So here are some of the most outrageous and best looks of Boy George!!
In honor of the late Aretha Franklin, I thought I’d do a special hand picked playlist of some of her best work throughout her career. Aretha was best known as “The Queen Of Soul,” but in actuality, Aretha sang many different genres, which included jazz, blues, and many musical standards. I’ve spend a couple of hours digging through Spotify’s massive Aretha collection and found 60 of Aretha’s most iconic gems! Some you’ll remember, and some you will not. But one thing is for sure, if you’re an Aretha fan, you’ll enjoy this playlist. The list contains legendary songs such as, “Oh Me, Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby),” an awesome reggae re-interpretation of Alicia Key’s song “No One,” I’m sure you remember “Ain’t No Way,” “Something He Can Feel,” “Ever Changing Times,” and “Jimmy Lee.” Aretha also tor up a re-interpretation of “Groovin,'” from The Young Rascals. Check it out on Spotify!!