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.
Another lost classic and movie. Cyndi Lauper released a very fun song called “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough,” in 1985. It’s an unusual song, with an almost 60’s hippie sound to it. It’s the theme song to the 80s movie “The Goonies,” directed by Richard Donner. It stars Sean Austin and Jeff Cohen. Although Cyndi’s song is fun and a little bit goofy (especially if you’ve seen the music video), the movie itself is actually a great adventure movie. Cyndi’s Goonies song peaked at #10 on the Top 100 Charts, and stayed relevant for about 15 weeks. Cyndi recorded the song while she was still at the height of her career.
I have to tell you, I was very disappointing to discover that Patti Drew’s version of “Hard To Handle,” released in 1968, only reached 93 on the Hot Billboard Charts. In my opinion, this was a badass song! How could people not like it. This was a soul sister that not only meant business when she sang the song, her vocals took this song to the next level. Who the hell knows why it wasn’t a hit? Another sad interesting fact, the late Otis Redding, Al Bell, & Allen Jones, all came together to write this awesome song. I think Otis recorded “Hard To Handle” first that same year, and the song only peaked at 51. Over 22 years later, it was reinterpreted again by a rock group called “The Black Crowes.” Not only did the song hit #1, it stayed number one for two weeks! WTF??
Now THIS!!! I haven’t heard in a really, really, really long time. This was one of my favorite songs from the Jacksons, and it is rare indeed. This is why I love streaming so much. Could you imagine if we didn’t have streaming on the net? Could you imagine just how time consuming, and financially straining it would be to find just one of your classics? Then again, you have to have people old enough to remember these, to make it available on the net. Anyway, this was a hard song to categorize, because technically, back in the day, we would have categorized it as disco. However, as we have evolved musically, I felt it was probably best to put it in R&B. The song is called “Show You The Way To Go,” and it was released in 1976. It’s a smooth/soft, romantic type of disco song, soft enough to be considered R&B.
Did you know that the legendary Tina Turner was also an actress? Yes, the Black queen of rock ‘n’ roll was an actress for a very short time. Do you remember the second “Mad Max” series starring Mel Gibson called “Beyond Thunderdome” released in 1985? Well, the legendary Tina had a small part in this movie. She played a character named Aunty Entity, and the little she did, she was fierce, down to her clothing. I was impressed because I never pictured Tina as an actress. One thing’s for sure, she definitely looked the part.
Tina sang the movie’s theme song called “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome),” which peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 Charts. It stayed on the charts for about 18 weeks. This is my favorite song from the soundtrack. Even if you’ve never seen the movie before, once you hear the song, you’re instantly reminded of the movie. Even in the movie trailer Tina had such an amazing presence.
I absolutely love Billy Ocean’s music. These days, I wonder exactly how many people even remember him. Billy Ocean is one of the very few Caribbean musicians, where it seems all of his music was intentionally customized and marketed to the American audience. Now, I spoke about this before, very few artist from the Caribbean (in my opinion) can musically cross over to American genres and sound good (that is if the band isn’t naturally drawn to that said genre). Just in case… Please don’t confuse my statement to mean the same as “reinterpretations, or redo’s,” those are not the same. Reinterpreting an American song, is not the same when a producer tries to change your natural inclination for YOUR own music. However, I feel Billy Ocean is one of the very few exceptions to that rule. Not only does the music that was produced worked for him, he has the perfect voice to go along with it. With hits like “Suddenly,” which happens to be one of my very favorite ballads from Mr. Ocean, hit #4 on the Hot 100 Charts. Beautifully sung.
If I am correct, Mr Ocean is now 68 years old. Remembering when I first heard his music from his self titled album “Billy Ocean (1976),” I am stunned as to how different he looks now. I guess maybe because he really hasn’t had a huge hit since around the end of 1980s, I only remembered him as far as his last hit. I believe Billy’s last huge hit was in 1988, with a song called “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car.” “Get Outta My…..” was number one in the U.S., and it stayed number one for 2 consecutive weeks. The song continued to stay relevant on the charts for about 20 more weeks.
You know, I don’t listen to music in French (other than an old disco song Grace Jones sang back in the day); however, this song caught my ear’s attention. The above is Édith Piaf, she was born on the year 1915, and grew up to be a famous French singer & cabaret performer. In 1960, she released a song called “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.” It means “No, I Don’t Regret Anything.” All I can think of when I first heard it was, damn she rolled the shit out of her tongue. LOLOL. She sang that song like she meant business; she really didn’t regret nothing!!! Honestly, it’s a beautiful medley, so much so that I feel if you truly appreciate music culture, most people would enjoy listening to this piece (whether we speak french or not). You may also remember Édith from the DOVE chocolate commercials that seemed to have run every our on some TV channels. Thanks DOVE, the song is forever stuck in my freak’n’ head now. LOLOL She also sings an English version as well. Édith died early in her career at the age of 47.