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.
I could have sworn that I’ve written about this group before, but I guess I didn’t. Hmmm. Well, I think this group is one of many talented groups that were forgotten about. “Huey Lewis and The News” were also one of the very small number White groups that had both a soul and rock sound in the 80’s (at least that is my opinion). I say this because this was truly their style of music, it wasn’t like one or two songs on their album with the soul/rock style (that “hit” song), this was their sound! Huey truly knows how to take control of the mic. It’s a shame he hasn’t continued with the major success he had in the 80’s. But then again, the entire music culture has started to change shortly after the 80’s ended.
This particular album has all the hits that I love. I could be wrong, but I think most people probably remember this group by there hit song “The Power Of Love (1986),” which was one of the major sound tracks to the movie “Back To The Future.” Other hits that I love are “If This Is It,” the remake of a song (originally done by J. J. Jackson (I believe)) “But It’s Alright,” “Stuck With You,” “Heart And Soul,” and finally a song called “I Want A New Drug.” I would have loved to see them live. Check the album out on Spotify.
I’ve always liked Bobby Brown’s music believe it or not. But I felt that it would be more appropriate to write about him after I felt the shock of Whitney and Bobbi-Christina’s death died down. Why? I’ve heard way too many people blaming Bobby for Whitney’s addiction; rumors circulated for decades that Bobby got Whitney hooked. But, as we found out, Whitney had been hooked long before Bobby and Whitney met. Although it didn’t help that Bobby was on it too, but let’s be serious, when you have the kind of money Whitney had, do you think that just telling someone to quit drugs will stop them? We’ve seen this over and over with now deceased celebrities that had addictions.
Some have even claimed that Bobby used Whitney’s fame to capitalize on his own career. I disagree with this, because if you don’t have talent, I don’t care who you know, you’re not going to have the long career that Bobby had if he didn’t have at least a little bit of talent. The rumors probably started just after he left “New Addition.” It was said that Bobby was such a “bad boy,” that the group really couldn’t handle him any longer, he always wanted to do things his way. Don’t quote me, I think that was one of the reasons Johnny Gill joined the group. Well, Bobby leaving the group really seemed to have paid off for his career. I really do believe he would have made it with or without Whitney.
There were many chart topping hits that eventually became my very favorites. I think his first big hit was “My Prerogative.” Actually, if my memory serves, I think this was a song specifically written because of his relationship with Whitney back then. There’s also “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Roni,” and I “Every Little Step.” All the beats are consistent, easy to dance to, and he knew how to carry a tune. I don’t know if he still sings as good as he used to, but his oldies are still goodies to me. Here is his greatest hits on Spotify.
I’m not going to tell you know lie, I used to think Al B. Sure was fine as hell back in the 80’s. He sort of reminded me a lot of Christopher Williams in a way (they do look alike). I’m going to take a wild guess and say that most people probably remember him for his hit song “Night And Day (188).” I used to LOVE that song, it had such a unique sound to it, I no other musician’s music that I can think of compared to it at the time. “Night And Day” was probably his biggest hit, judging by how much I remembered hearing it on the radio. However, he actually had a few more hits, which happens to be on this same album above. One of them was a song called “Off On Your Own.” Let me tell you, when I saw the video to this song, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video where the girls in it had skirts so high and tight, if they farted they’d be in trouble. LOLOL. The next song from this album I really liked was called “Rescue Me.” I really liked this song, the lyrics were fun and the beat was danceable (although the beat is reminiscent of “Off On Your Own” with different vocals LOLOL). I do like how he redid “Killing Me Softly.” Unfortunately, this was the first and only album from him I liked. Listen to his album here.