I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE me some Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The string of hits they produced back in the day was just astounding. The had a distinct sound (which in my opinion was more like a doo-wop and pop mix), and I can’t recall anyone at the moment that duplicated their distinct sound and harmony in that era. The only group that kind of came close were the “Beach Boys,” but they sang surfer music, and appealed to a specific kind of audience. The Four Seasons have been performing since the 60’s, and they have been so successful, that a Broadway play was produced about their life called “Jersey Boys.” I really hope to see “Jersey Boys” live one day (big named tickets are so very expensive here in NYC (unless you’re going for off, off, Broadway)).
Throughout The Four Season’s career, it appears they have switched/replaced more members than the Spanish group Menudo. However, the most recent names have been, Frankie Valli (lead singer, and at age 82 I hear he still has a strong falsetto), Todd Fournier, Brian Brigham, Brandon Brigham, Landon Beard, Gary Melvin, Keith Hubacher, Robbie Robinson. Now that I think about it, it’s a testament to the magic of this group, to have so many hits despite member turnarounds. If you’re a 4 Seasons fan, I’m pretty sure that many of the songs I love you’re also familiar with. On the top of my list is “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Stay,” “Let’s Hang On,” “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore),” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “My Eyes Adore You,” “Swearin’ To God,” “Who Loves You,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night),” and lastly from the motion picture “Grease (1978),” “Grease.” Listen to this group legend on Spotify.
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 Spotify.
I absolutely LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEEEEE Gloria Estefan! I just HAD to share this photo of her. She is on the front page of Spry Living’s magazine, which was in this past Sunday’s “Daily News.” This bitch is GORGEOUS!! She hasn’t aged one day, not ONE!!!! I am so happy for her, I mean for real! I’m really happy for her. Not only do I love her music, she is truly an inspiration; and anybody who is old enough to remember her during her peak career (in the 80s) understands exactly what I’m talking about. From the boating accident that not not only almost killed her and almost left her paralyzed for life; but also the issues she faced not being able to go back to her beloved country, Cuba. Just imagine, dancing is a huge part of your culture and career; laying in a hospital bed and the doctor tells you you may never dance again, ’cause your spine suffered major damage? Just sit down and think about that! Shit just not being able to walk would make me crawl over the tallest building. Honey, this woman went through a lot, and she still looks fucking good! You would never know she was under such incredible stress like that. And before you say “I don’t believe,” you better use google and search it, before you get on Facebook, cause I know a lot of your parents won’t tell you to. Thank you Gloria for your music and your positive energy. Huge love to you sistah… 🙂
Donny Hathaway was mostly a blues and jazz singer, as well as a pianist. He was born in 1945 and died around 1979-1980. He song with many artists, including the talented Jerry Butler & Aretha Franklin; he also worked with musical groups such as, the Impressions and the Staple Singers. He’s even worked with Curtis Mayfield on quite a few projects. If I understood correctly, during the height of his career, he began to develop sever depression, and later it was discovered that he had bouts with mental illness. Unfortunately, from what I’ve read, it sounded like no one really knew he suffered from mental illness until it was too late. He claimed that “White people were trying to steal his music.” The very same day he said this, he was found died from suicide. It’s interesting, I couldn’t help but to wonder if he heard something he wasn’t supposed to hear, and it triggered something? Let’s be real, there were a LOT of record labels stealing a lot of money from Black performers in that era (this is not only a fact, but common knowledge). Maybe he knew something big was about to go down then (concerning him), and he had no recourse? Who knows?
I have to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Donny. I found a lot of his songs either too slow, or the lyrics were depressing (now I know way). The only song that I can remember I really liked him to sing was a song called “A Song For You.” But I like many of the duets he did with Roberta Flack. Now that I think about it, it’s quite hilarious, because I’ve complained before about how boring I thought Roberta Flack is (they’re music is actually kind of similar in a way), yet when they collaborated they’ve made great music!! Who would have ever thought that two boring artists, would come together to produce positive music! I sure didn’t LOLOL. Some of those songs I love were, “Where Is The Love,” “The Closer I Get To You,” I really liked how they reinterpreted “You’ve Got A Friend,” and “Back Together Again.” Lastly, I like a song they did called “You’re My Heaven.” Listen to the album here.
I love Stevie Wonder, and he is most definitely one of the greatest living performers of our time. It is such a pleasure to hear him sing, he always gave us his all, and has always projected his voice. This was a young man that definitely was not scared to sing. Every time I think of Stevie, I can’t help but to think if Stevie and Jose Feliciano were young today, and if Ray Charles was still with us as a kid, the way that the music industry is now, I’d doubt that these phenomenal artists would have ever been given a chance at stardom. What do you think? Today’s musical culture is so lost, that in the next few decades, kids will probably tell you there were no such thing as successful blind performers!
But, let’s talk about this particular album released by Stevie. The Complete Stevie Wonder (2015), is truly the MOST complete musical album of any artist I’ve ever seen. This will make you realize just how much he has contributed to the music community. The album has a whopping 48 disc collection! Starting from his earliest work to his present. It has just about all of his greatest hits, and some never heard before recordings. When I saw this collection, I thought to myself, Damn, maybe Stevie Wonder was the hardest working man in show business?! I don’t ever recall even James Brown label releasing an album trilogy this huge! You Stevie fans will definitely enjoy this album. He sings all kinds of music, jazz, R&B, his music label even included some of his christmas singles. This collection is jaw dropping. I don’t think the average person would have been able to afford this collection if we saw it in a store. Do you see why music streaming like Spotify and Napster are so important? The average cost of a single CD today is about $18.99 x 48 = $911.52, but you can download and listen to all of these songs for just $10 a month (and everything else in it’s 36m+ library and additional access to their international around the world music) with @320 highest quality. That’s 9 years worth of unlimited Napster for the full value of Stevie’s collection. Or you can sign up for a FREE Spotify account, and listen to the entire collection FREE on your PC (and in random shuffle mode on your Smartphone). I don’t remember if the free version of Spotify has a limit on skips for on-demand listening; or they may hit you with more commercials; but who cares, your getting it free! Honestly, I’m not going to go in to all the songs I like because they’re just too many; and I’m sure true Stevie fans feel the same way. Check out the album on Spotify.
Unfortunately, Air Supply, like many other great bands from back in the day, fell in to the big hole of “forgotten greats.” The group “Air Supply” was huge in the 80’s; radio stations literally played their music at least 2 or 3 times in a two hour span at the peak of their career. Now, I doubt that any young person even knows who they were (unless they have family cultural enough to play their music). If I’m not mistaken, the band was formed in Australia in 1975/76, and became a huge success in America. Russell Hitchcock was (and still is) the signature voice of the band, and helped to produce some of their biggest love hits to date. In my opinion, probably their most biggest and memorable song is “All Out Of Love (1980),” and the second I’d say would probably be “The One That You Love (1981).”
When Air Supply first started out, they got absolutely no attention outside of Australia. Their big American break, came when they opened for Rod Stewart in the late 70’s. Shortly after that, they landed a contract with Arista Records in 1980, and they’ve been rising to the top ever since. In later years, Air Supply has supported and performed with groups like Chicago and singer Boz Scaggs. In Australia, they were inducted in Australia’s Hall Of Fame in 2013. Air Supply’s hits are kind of scattered throughout many albums, but I think this particular album has the most hits (both American and Australian). Check them out on Spotify.
You know, Eddie Murphy has had such a huge acting career, with movies like “48 Hours (1982),” “Coming To America (1988),” and so many others, it’s hard for me to see him a singer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he is a bad singer, but he’s not a great singer either LOL. In my opinion his voice was/is average; but unfortunately his singing voice didn’t wow me enough to want to actually buy his records. If I can be honest for a moment, a lot of his musical recordings sounded like he produced them in a karaoke bar. I really hate that style of recording because it comes off cheap.
Now, I don’t mean to offend Eddie Murphy fans (but I am actually a fan of Eddie’s work as well) however, the only song that I really liked from Eddie is a song off the “How Could It Be” album called “Party All The Time.” That was the ONLY song I really liked, and that was more probably because it was a catchy tune. Then there was a song called “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” which sounds ok but he sings the song like he’s a long lost Jackson that no one knew about LOL. It appeared that Eddie really tried hard to make it as a solo artist, but his music really didn’t light my fire. I did make time to listen to his later album called “So Happy (1989),” but I was turned off because it was obvious he bit really hard off of Prince. Listen to his “Party All The Time” classic from Spotify.
I can’t believe I found this album, I totally forgot about them (I haven’t heard about these guys since the 90s). “C&C Music Factory,” also was known as “The 28th Street Crew,” was really hot back in the 90s. Their music wasn’t just dance music, they were also workout music. You could still rock this music in your ear in the gym, or while doing power walk exercises. This group confused me a lot, because before I knew what they looked like, for the longest time I thought rapper Freedom Williams voice was actually rapper/actor Ice T, who you may remember from the hit TV show “Law & Order.” 😀 Actually I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought that.
I also thought the voice of Martha Wash was Scarlett Santana. I used to say to myself, “for a very skinny lady, she sure knows how to belt those notes!” Turns out it was Martha all along LOLOL. Not saying she can’t sing, but unless I’m wrong, I never saw Martha in any of there videos. I guess they couldn’t afford to pay extra LOLOL. The members of the group weren’t always the same, but Scarlett & Freedom where the ones I’ve always remembered. To my understanding they are still performing, although they haven’t had a big hit (that I’m aware of since the 90s. My favorites are “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm,” “Gonna Make You Sweat,” “Here We Go Let’s Rock and Roll,” “Live Happy,” and finally, a song called “Untitled.” “Untitled” has a hot beat in my opinion; although this particular song has gay overtones, I’m not sure if any of the members where actually gay. But then again, “gay club music” was also hot in the 90s too. Today, Mr. Freedom is working to help the homeless. Which is almost unheard of with many of these celebrities. Check their album at on Spotify.