MUSIC GROUPS (I-P)
Lipps Inc. was a very popular dance musical group during the early 80s. They were a hit all over the world including Hong Kong and Australia. You may remember them by one of their biggest hit of their career called “Funkytown (1979).” The song “Funkytown” catapulted their carer in the same way that “Rapper’s Delight” did for “The Sugar Hill Gang.” The beautiful thing about those two songs is that, both are remembered, and both are likely to drive guests crazy at any old school party! And unfortunately, both songs were so popular that they overshadowed any other work they have done. It’s so sad, this was yet another group I would have loved to see where their career would have gone. Culturally mixed groups that played disco music was so difficult back in the day on so many levels; not that it’s not difficult now, but the landscape has changed.
The song I would like you to draw your attention to, is a song called “All Night Dancing (1979),” it was on the “B” side (45) of “Funkytown.” This is sch a nice song, and it did not get nearly as much attention as “Funkytown.” It has a great beat, danceable pace, and a great melody. It kind of reminds me of the ethnic dance movie themes that exploded all over the 80s. You know, movies such as “Flash Dance,” “Beat Street,” and “Breakin’.” When you listen to the lyrics, it’s about having a good time on the dance floor, however, the whole feel of the song still reminds me of a young innocent girl who has positive dreams of stardom in the industry. Definitely an 80s period song, pointing to a specific era. This is the 12 inch version, I think it’s a little bit too long in my opinion for this type of song, but it’s still a really nice one. Take a listen with Napster.
Not sure if anyone remembers this group from back in the day. They were called Klymaxx. I have to be honest, I never did like a lot of there music. However, there was one song that as far as I’m concerned, was their biggest song throughout their career. It’s called “I Miss You (1984). The original album was released in 1984, however, Wiki has it as 1985 and I’m not sure why? The only thing I can think of is that the song was re-released on a separate bonus album? Also, “Meeting In The Ladies Room” is cool also, but, that’s about it for that album. They’ve been performing off and on for a little over 20+ years collectively. Listen to “I Miss You” on Rhapsody.
“Two Tons O’ Fun,” also known as “The Weather Girls,” first album (pictured above) was in 1980 I believe. A two woman group consisted of Martha Wash and Izora Armstead. Their music was mostly disco, club, and high energy dance music. I remember my mom playing this album all the time. I know I’ve written about this album before I think, but I wanted to post it again because it’s one of my favorite albums from them, and if you’re a true old school person like I am, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this album. On the original album there’s only 8 tracks. Rhapsody has three additional tracks for this album (not sure why, maybe they are bonus tracks). My favorite songs are “Do You Wanna Boogie, Hunh?” “Just Us,” “Got The Feeling.” Martha Wash is still performing, however, Izora Armstead was sick and past away in 2004. Listen on Rhapsody.
Not only is Gloria Estefan beautiful, I think she is one of the most talented Cuban performers of our time. I can’t even list all of my favorites from Gloria, there is just way too many. She’s had so many hits, that I don’t think there is one particular song she is known for. I think the greatest thing she has done for her career, is to cross over into English music. The fact that she was able to seamlessly cross over, and still pump out hits says a lot about her musical talents. In my opinion, she defies the mentality that an artists has to be either all dance, or all ballads. Gloria is one of the very few artists, who can sing whatever she wants, and people love her no matter what she comes out with! After a serious accident that could have left her paralyzed, she bounced right back in to performing, making her one of the baddest, and fiercest divas the world has ever known in my opinion! There are many hits that came out of this album, such as, “Can’t Stay Away From You,” “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” and “Anything For you.” All three songs from this album are just a few of my many favorites. If you love Gloria as much as I do, check out Rhapsody’s 3 album collection of Gloria and the Miami Sound Machine’s Hottest albums. I consider them a lost treasure, cause now-a-days people are not listening to her music anymore. It’s a shame because their music is not only beautiful, but timeless.
I believe this was New Edition’s first album release. Personally speaking, I think this was their best album, because it had more hits on one album. Although they’ve had other hits on subsequent albums, they just never quite hit that same success of their first album. At first, I really wasn’t impressed, because at the time, it was very obvious that (just like every other label) they were marketed to be the “next Jackson 5 generation.” In fact, Ralph became extremely annoying; personally, I couldn’t listen to him live, after their 5th/6th album. The reason being, once he became a teenager and puberty kicked in, Ralph strained his voice during performances in order to try and keep that “little Michael sound” and it wasn’t working. I think it wasn’t until they broke up, and got back together again and Johnny Gill joined the group, his voice became a lot better. However, that doesn’t take a way from the fact that they were/are a very talented group. I’m not sure if they’re still performing together. I think that Roni, Ricki, and Mike are still known “Bell, Biv, Devoe,” and they have performed in the recent past. My favorite songs from this album are, “Give Me Your Love,” “Candy Girl,” “Is This The End,” “Pop Corn Love,” and “Jealous Girl.” Please listen with Rhapsody.
You know, I wasn’t really a fan of this album, but I didn’t think it was horrible either. I thought it was alright, nothing to go crazy for. However, for some strange reason, I like it better now than I did when it originally came out. I think it’s because the album clearly has that unmistakable 80’s sound, that adds to the nostalgic experience. When I listen to the song “Torture,” I am immediately transported back to watching it’s cheesy video for the first time. Not only did this video NOT make any sense, you almost wonder how is it that a family with this much talent, can make a music video so bad? There were actually some cute, almost danceable songs on this album. The danceable ones I liked were “Body,” and “Wait.” “State Of Shock,” duet with Michael and Nick Jagger is a thumbs down for me. This was one of those songs I couldn’t understand how it became a hit. Their music styles were so different, it just didn’t blend well for me. Some collaborations should never have happened. I like Randy Jackson’s “One More Chance.” Michael’s “Be Not Always,” was just too damn sad to listen to. I always skipped over that one.. LOL I believe this was the last album the Jacksons did together.. Listen with Rhapsody.
Going back to an old school reggae album called “Right Time (1976)” with The Mighty Diamonds.” This is one of my many favorite albums from The Mighty Diamonds. The song I really love from this album is called “Why Me Black Brother Why?” I don’t even hear anybody speak of The Mighty Diamonds these days. I do recommend that old school reggae lovers seek them out. There is one other ultimate favorite album of mine; however, it is extremely hard to get. It is not available on streaming; and I only recommend the original vinyl. The reason why I recommend the vinyl, is because the CD version has a lot of re-edits, and in my opinion, it is not as good as the original album released in 1979 (unless you can find a CD with both original and “Dub.” I guarantee you, once you start playing this album, you will play it over and over, I think it’s that good. It is not often that I hear an artist, and I like their entire album! This album is called “Deeper Roots (Back to the Channel) (1979)” and you can find the vinyl version on Amazon. It was on Rhapsody and Spotify (the dub version), but the license expired. Do you see the importance of “liking” your music, and sharing them, and playing them? Don’t let our culture die. Anyway, I feel it should be a must have in your reggae collection. My favorites are “Dreadlocks Time,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” and “Bodyguard.” Below are links to the album called “Right Time (1976).”
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Oh my goodness! I absolutely loved The Jets in the 80’s. I played almost all of their songs on cassette tape. This was a brother and sister group, with the last names Wolfgramm. I even used to love how they dressed (they were very Menudo’esk). They’ve done a lot of Soundtracks for many movies including “Beverly Hills Cop” with a song called “Tough Guys (1987).” To my understanding, the group broke up more than 20 years ago; but gets back together again for those occasional reunion performances. My favorite songs of all times are “Crush On You,” “You Got It All,” “I Do You,” and “Make It Real.”
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Kano was a band from Italy. I’m not sure if they still perform together. A lot of their earlier music is very similar to Giorgio Moroder. Most of their music was disco and electronic. Actually some of their music sounds like new age (space age sounds) I’d almost like to say Depeche Mode, but it’s not exactly that kind of music either. I don’t know if there are a lot of Kano fans, but, no offense, they qualify to be on my “One Hit Wonders” category. Because the only song I liked throughout their entire career is “I’m Ready (1981).”
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I’m sure I’ve written before, of how much I love The Mamas & The Papas. In my opinion, they had the most beautiful and unique voices of their time. I can’t remember any other sound like theirs. The only group that could somewhat come close is “The Fifth Dimensions.” The Mamas and The Papas group formed just at the beginning of the folk music era; and during the huge success of The Beatles to my understanding. I really loved how they harmonized; all four of their voices were so different and yet they blended beautifully. I found it interesting how Mama Cass had such a powerful and dominant voice, yet it never over powered the other three.You know, even though they’ve been put in the “folk” category, I never viewed their music as folk. To me, their music was more like very, very soft rock kind of; the kind of “easy listening rock” of their time. This group was so talented, it saddens me when I think about how drugs spoiled their career. They broke up around 1968. The Mamas and The Papas “Gold” album is a collection of their greatest hits. My favorites are, “Monday, Monday,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Go Where You Wanna Go,” “California Dreamin,” “”Dedicated To The One I love,” “My Girl,” “Creeque Alley.”
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