CLASSICS: EASY LISTENING / SOFT MUSIC (SINGLES)
Do you remember this awesome classic from The Stylistics? The song is called “Hurry Up This Way Again,” distributed by Philadelphia International Records. Now the song only peaked at #11 on the R&B charts, but it still did very well. It’s a very sweet and romantic song about a guy who loves a woman so much, that he’s willing to drop everything just to make time to see her. We certainly don’t hear classics like this anymore. Great song to put on for those classic get-together(s).
Does any of my readers remember David Soul? If not, you may remember him as Hutch, from the hit 70s cop show “Starsky & Hutch.” You may also remember him for some other hit films such as “Salem’s Lot (1979),” and Clint Eastwood’s “Magnum Force (1973).” When he was young, I thought he was a very handsome and talented actor. But, did you know David had a very short singing career? As far as I can remember, he only had one hit song to his career. The song was called “Don’t Give Up On Us,” released under Private Stock Records. The song shot up to #1, and stayed on the charts for about 19 weeks. Now, I have to be honest, he was probably a better actor than a singer. He had an average voice. However, the song itself was such a sweet, warm, and romantic song; and I feel the song suited his voice perfectly. That combination was what made both him and the song a hit. This song remains my one and only favorite from David Soul.
“Real Love” was a great song produced in the 1980s, recorded by the Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald was the lead singer. This was definitely a unique romantic song. I don’t know what the instrument is called, but it’s from the violin family I think; when I heard that sound, I said to myself what was that? I didn’t think it was a string instrument at first, it sounded almost synthesized. I never heard that sound before. but, the sound kind of made me want to listen to the song. I loved it ever since. It was perfect for Michael’s voice. The song reached #5 on the Hot 100 Billboard Charts, and stayed on the charts for about 16 weeks.
Not only was James Ingram handsome as hell back in the day, he was a very telented singer. James is best known for singing love ballads (although he’s made a lot of pop music back in the day), and many of his ballads became huge hits! One of them is called “I Don’t Have The Heart,” from the “It’s Real” album, under Warner Brothers Label. This is a very different, yet, interesting kind of love song. The average love song talks about how much one loves the other; while this particular song focuses on calming the fears of the person he loves. I can’t accurately find which chart category the song was number one (it had to have been “Top 100 Charts”), but I found this article showing that it was on a “Top Five.”
Another huge favorite of mine, is a song called “Just Once,” released in 1981. I believe it was all written and produced by Quincy Jones. This was a single release, I don’t think there was ever an album. However, it was promoted as Quincy Jones, featuring James Ingram. The song reached #7 on the Adult Contemporary Charts. It stayed relevant for twenty weeks.
Unfortunately, as talented as James Ingram is, he’s only had about 4 number ones throughout his career. And I think that “Baby Come To Me,” a duet with Patti Austin, was his most notable and memorable accomplishment. It was released in 1982, and hit number one on both Top 100 and Adult Contemporary Chart. The song was so popular, for a short time, it became the theme song to a soap opera called “General Hospital” in the mid eighties.
I absolutely fell in love with an old classic, that was produced by a group called “Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds.” In 1975, under Playboy Records (however, the rerecorded version was distributed by Purple Pyramid Records (not sure if related)), they released a song called “Fallin’ In Love.” The song was written by band member Dan Hamilton. This is the perfect kind of song to play, when you’re trying to rekindle a broken relationship, and your both on a picnic/beach vacation together. Although the rerecorded version sounds ok, I still prefer the original. It only reached up to #24 on the R&B Charts, but this was one of my biggest favorites from the group. The second song I love from this group is called “Don’t Pull Your Love (1971).” This song reached #4 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and stayed relevant for about 12 weeks. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more songs I like from them, or at least songs that are worth listening. I believe the two above were their only hits throughout their career.
This is an example of the kind of music my grandfather introduced me to when I was a baby. I clearly remember listening to Brook Benton’s music on my grandfather’s ginormous Reel2Reel. “Rainy Night In Georgia” still remains to be one of my favorite childhood songs of all times. His voice was so smooth, calming, and enjoyable. Benton was one of the very few artists that reminded me of the late Nat King Cole; because they both had that added (what I call) xmas texture to their voices. The song was originally written and produced by a guy by the name of Tony Joe White. I didn’t particularly care for Tony’s original. Brook’s voice added that romantic magic to the song, that took it to #1 on the R&B Music Charts, and stayed relevant for 14 weeks. However, long after the song fell off the charts, Brook’s version continued to play both on the radio and our homes for decades later after it’s release. Another favorite song of mine from this same greatest hits album is a song called “Kiddio (1960).” Kiddio reached #7 on the Hot 100 Charts, and stayed relevant for 17 weeks. Also Check out “It’s Just A Matter Of Time,” and “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes),” a duet with Dinah Washington.
Peabo Bryson is an awesome singer, and has made major hard hitting hits. That includes duets with people like the legendary Regina Belle; with their hit theme song to the movie “Aladdin (1992),” called “A Whole New World.” Peabo was born in South Carolina, and grew up to be a distinguished performer, with two Grammy awards under his built. Besides doing movie scores, he’s also a R&B, soul, and a pretty good jazz singer. A couple of days ago, I heard a song from him on an Internet radio station I totally forgotten about. It’s called “If You’re Ever In My Arms Again,” released in 1984. The song reached #10 on the Top 100 billboard charts, and stayed on the chart for 25 weeks. This is such a beautiful love song we just don’t hear anymore. These kinds of music is less likely to be discovered on YouTube. I don’t know if it’s a rumor or not, but it is said he’s supposed to come out with a new album in 2018. If so, I’m interested to see what he has to offer. It will be his first album in a looong time.
“Take It To The Limit” by the Eagles, is such a beautiful song. Then again, the Eagles are legendary for making great music. So many bands tried to imitate their sound, such as “Chicago,” “Ambrossa,” and “Alabama,” just to name a few. In fact, a lot of their music sounded so much alike, I used to get confused as to which band sang what. Personally speaking, as a fan, it was very frustrating, because it made going to the record store that much harder! Now we have Shazam, so those issues are a thing of the past (well almost). The lyrics talk about a subject I seldom hear str8 men talk about. Which is running around being self absorbed with personal desires, while wondering if a/or any woman around him had actually loved him. Some deep sh*t. I think the blunt and raw honesty of the lyrics is what also makes this song so beautiful. Check this classic out on Spotify!