What the hell ever happened to the girl group Exposé? I can’t exactly call this Miami group a one hit wonder; but I didn’t recall seeing a whole lot of albums from them after 1987. That could be because, the album “Exosure (1987) was their best album of their career in my opinion. According to Billboard, they were the first group to have 4 top 10 hits, on Billboard’s “Hot 100,” and those hits all came from this album. All of my favorite songs are here on this album. My most favorite song from them of all times is “Seasons Change.” I think this song is so beautiful. Like Ce Ce Peniston, their music sort of transport you back to our H.S. days of innocence, and learning about boys, life, school, and all that good stuff. “Seasons Change” is truly a classic, because as old as this song is, I can still continue to listen to this song all day. Another song I love from this album is “Come Go With Me,” a danceable pop song that was playing all over the radio @ the end of the 80’s. “Come Go With Me” is another song that is timeless in my opinion. The last song I love from this album is “Let Me Be The One.” After all these years, they are still performing together. Check out their website. Listen to this album on Spotify.
What a great subject to write about I thought. I think it’s safe to say that, we focus more on just using Shazam, than thinking how important the service is to us. I have been using Shazam and services like Shazam for quite a few years, and it has proved to be an essential application to have on any smartphone. But, Shazam just doesn’t help the die-hard music lovers; indirectly they also help the streaming services as well! Why? Well, they are actually “bridging the gap,” between the major streaming services (although iTunes/Amazon both have streaming and “On-Demand” download purchases, I still consider it in the same family of streaming). Shazam is not only the best music discovery application to date, it is an independent service that does not depend on music sales “per-say,” but it’s popularity and near flawless functionality. What I’m trying to say is, the music industry depends on Shazam, not the other way around. Shazam makes money by making it easy for Shazam users to purchase their discoveries on iTunes Amazon, and Google. Now, with the recent partnership of Rhapsody, Shazam can encourage people to slowly move over to streaming services. Shazam plays an important role with streaming services, because each time a user Shazams something, they are not obligated to sign up for another service! Shazam will eventually bring all kinds of services together in one application, making it very convenient for Shazam users. If your particular service doesn’t have a song in their library, you’ll still have a choice of purchasing that song through anyone of the three services Shazam is partnered with. The integration with Rhapsody is still new, so the functionality still needs to be ironed out, but the fact that Rhapsody is there speaks volumes. And the fact that some rich dude invested over $40M on Shazam and it’s research. Music fans are in a very exciting era; how wonderful to be living in an age with such incredible technology at our fingertips!
Chuck’s music is the kind of music I’ll listen to if it’s on the radio, but I wouldn’t actually buy it. Only because I find a lot of his music way too mellow, even for me. Chuck Mangione is a trumpet player and composer. He comes from a huge family of musicians, and his music career spans over 40 years. He it really big in 1977 when he released the album “Feels So Good.” On this album there were two hits. The first was the music piece that put him on the map and its name was the title album “Feels So Good.” I think “Feels So Good,” is one of the most beautiful instrumental pieces I’ve ever heard. I love how it starts of really slow, and then gradually goes in to a disco, almost a “Copacabana like beat.” It’s a mixture of jazz and disco mixed together. It stayed on the music charts for more than 26 weeks! Now that was amazing! The second piece from the album that was a hit was “Maui Waui,” To be quite honest, the only one I like from this album is “Feels So Good.” Listen with Spotify.
I can’t call Lou Rawls a one hit wonder, but unfortunately there is only one song I like from this entire album. The song also happens to be one of his biggest classic hits of all times; which pretty much put him on map forever as far as I”m concerned (at least those of my generation). That song is “You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine.” Lou’s voice has turned that song in to something special; a song that I believed no one else could have song with the same romantic flair. But, again, that was pretty much it for this particular album. Unfortunately much of Lou Rawls music wasn’t my cup of tea. It was almost like listening to a soulful version of Frank Sanatra. Actually, I like more of Frank Sanatra’s songs than Lou Rawls. I guess that should tell you something. LOL. However, I’m not foolish to think there’s no one else out in the cyberspace that wouldn’t like it. Check out his album on Spotify.
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 Spotify.
This remains to be my most favorite album from Carole King. If I am not mistaken, this was also her very first album. Carole is a composer, and a songwriter. She has snatched lots of Grammy Awards, and had been inducted into the songwriter’s hall of fame. Carole’s music is sort of what I call, modern folk music; very similar to James Taylor. In fact, Carole and James performed together quite a few concerts. On the original album, there is only one vinyl. However, since the digital release, they have added an extra bonus album with 11 extra live performances. This album has the kind of mellow music that is perfect to listen to while you’re reading, or perhaps while relaxing in the park. This album is packed with what remains to be her most greatest hits (in my opinion). She released this album throwing some hard punches with 6 huge hits, starting from the first three tracks back to back. “I Feel The Earth Move,” “So Far Away,” and “It’s Too Late.” The piece “So Far Away” is so beautiful, I believe if she would have made it an instrumental only, it still would have become a huge hit anyway; the entire composition and the base is just wonderful. There is also “You’ve Got A Friend,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.” Yes, that song is actually Carole’s song, not Aretha’s. Carole has written that song along with two other composers. Please listen With Spotify.
I absolutely LOVE Bill Withers’ work! In my opinion, he is a musical genius that hasn’t gotten as much credit as he deserved during the prime of his career. His music is so unique, and his voice is distinctive. The only other musician that has almost a similar style of music is probably Al Green (in my humble opinion). Although, I think Al’s music tends to be a little slower “church” sounding tempo, whereas Bill’s tempo is more of a mixture jazz and funk. Mr. Withers story is inspiring; before he became internationally known, he suffered from stutter. You’d never know he had a problem with stuttering after listening to some of his music. He actually talked about this in his video biography called “Still Bill.” I highly recommend this video! The video gets in to detail about his life growing up, but it’s also a history lesson. If you are a Bill Withers fan like I am, rent it from Netflix. Bill has so many hits that I felt it was best to pick-out a greatest hits album. This album has A lot of his great hits I love, including “Harlem,” “Grandma’s Hands,” “Who Is he (And What Is He To you)?” “Use me,” “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” and “Just The Two Of Us (with Grover Washington).” There are quite a few other hits that are not on this album, so I recommend that you search for them. Listen with Spotify.
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 Spotify.