Timmy Thomas is a one hit wonder that made it big with his first song called “Why Can’t We Live Together,” released in 1972. The song hit number 12 in the UK, number 3 on the Pop Charts, and number 1 on the R&B charts. This is interesting, as it was never my opinion that this was R&B; ever since I was a child, I’ve always identified this song as being more Latin jazz than anything else. It’s an extremely unique composition I’ve never heard before in any other song. It almost sounds like a theme song to a Latin 70s science fiction movie. Almost like a Spanish version of a “War Of The Worlds,” if it had existed. LOL. He sang a lot about social issues in our country, and it’s a shame that he had no real hits after that.
This was a badass group back in the day. Jacques Fred Petrus (1949–1987) and Mauro Malavas got together and formed “Change.” However, all of their most popular hits, seem to be the ones all featuring Luther Vandros. In the late seventies & mid eighties, they’ve clearly dominated the disco era. The album called “The Best Of Change,” is (unless you’ve been living under a rock, I dare to say) the most memorable album of the 1980’s. The album itself reached #10, and one of my favorite songs from this album “The Glow Of Love,” not only did it hit #1, it also stayed #1 on the dance chats for 9 consecutive weeks! That’s a little over two months! I remember every single block party in the hood was playing this song. Change was smoking in deed. My other two favorites, which were also #1 were “A Lover’s Holiday,” and “Searching.” Now, I have this album at home, and it appears that Spotify has added additional bonus tracks on this album. The bonus tracks sounded alright, I wasn’t exactly shaking my butt to them, but they were enjoyable. The most important thing is, the album includes all the famous tracks we know and love.
I’d say this has got to be one of my many favorite songs of 1984. Dan Hartman released an awesome love song called “I Can Dream About You.” This was a hit theme song to the movie “Streets Of Fire.” The movie is about a mercenary guy who gets hired to save his ex-girlfriend from a motorcycle gang. The song hit #6 on the Top 100 Charts, and stayed on the charts for about 16 weeks. Another big hit I love from Hartman, is a song he released in 1978 called “Instant Replay.” Although it only hit #29 on the Top 100 Charts, it still remains one of my favorite disco dance tunes from that era.
Today, I was grooving to some sounds of the late Dennis Brown. It’s been 19 years since Dennis’s death. Sometimes I still can’t rap my head as to how long it’s been. One of my very favorites from Dennis is a song he sang called “Money In My Pocket,” released in 1979 I believe. If I understand correctly, this was his first major hit that help to launch his career. The song reached #14 in the UK reggae charts. However, the song was first produced by Winston “Niney” Holness some time in 1972, and it was actually intended for another artist named Joe Gibbs. Gibbs version of “Money In My Pocket,” is an instrumental dub, which I also like very much. There are a few different versions of the song, but in my personal opinion, these two are the best out of all of them.
Another great classic that is not only one of my biggest favorites, it was the biggest hit of 1987. Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes came together to sing the theme song to the hit movie called “Dirty Dancing (1987),” starring the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The song is called “I Had The Time Of My life.” You know to be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot about the movie; but I do remember Swayze’s serious dance movies. I’ve always been a Swayze fan, but I didn’t know he was such a talented dancer until I saw this movie.
I dare to say that the theme song was so huge, that sometimes I think that it was more popular than the movie. The song hit #1 and it stayed @ number 1 for a whopping 4 weeks! Zoinks!! Bill and Jennifer really had luck on their side, to be at the right place, time, and the right song. And let me tell you, I’ve heard a lot of Bill’s songs back in the day, and none of his songs appealed to me except for “I Had The Time Of My Life.” At least I can say that Jennifer had a couple other hits under her belt. My favorite song she released was in 1977 called “Right Time Of The Night,” which reached #6 on the Top 100 Chart.
YES!!!!!!! I went there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Weird Al Yankovic is one of the many artists I missed from the eighties era. Again, for those readers who did not live through the eighties, it was the best era in terms of music that was plain fun (before what it has become now, tits , ass, drama, and celebrity laundry aired on television…. But, I digress). Weird Al is a musical comedian who basically did a lot of spoofs on other artists work, in a non-degrading way. They were fun to listen to, his videos were fun to watch, and very tastefully done. Al has redone a few of Michael Jackson’s music, and one of my favorites is a song called “Eat It,” released in 1984. It was a re-interpretation of Micheal’s “Beat It.” Al’s version is just way too funny, and even funnier when you watch the video. Some of the lyrics remind me a lot of what my mom used to say “boy, you better eat the food I gave you.” Or “boy, people are starving in Africa.” Just having those memories and watching the video, cracked me up.
Another Michael spoof He’s done, was a song called “Fat,” which was an hilarious re-interpretation of Michael’s song called “Bad.” Al was obsessed with making food the subject matter for most of his music, however, most of it were mad funny. Please watch Weird Al’s “Fat” on YouTube, this shit is just too funny; and the dances are even funnier. I don’t think there was any other performer like Al in the 80s, he was definitely an eccentric performer. Check out some of his other classics such as, “Like A Surgeon,” “Amish Paradise,” and “White & Nerdy.”
One of my favorite songs from some of hip hop’s biggest groups back in the day; from Run DMC was “King Of Rock.” It was on side B, of their hit single “Walk This Way,” a duet with famous rock group Aerosmith. If I am not mistaken, Run DMC was the first mainstream rap group to experiment and incorporate rock in to their music. This experiment turned out to be a huge success. As far as I can recall, no other rap group has matched both the success of “Walk This Way,” and “king Of Rock.” The background music for “The King Of Rock” was perfect as far as helping to bring out the classic Run DMC persona we remember and loved.
“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.