Sunday, March 17, 2013

MY TUNE OF THE DAY


This tune was inspired by a recent trip to the grocery store as I was strolling through the aisles, this familiar song was playing in the background  While continuing through the store until making my way to the check-out, I noticed that many people were quietly humming along including the cashier.

The song coming from their lips was "Got To Be Real", the disco classic by Cheryl Lynn. What I found remarkable was that this 1979 tune has managed to endure despite being part of what was once considered a completely forgettable trend in music. Back then, "disco" was considered a very dirty word with people actually rioting in the streets to burn the vinyl discs of the offensive music.

The disco era may have faded out but this sound never truly went away. It has slowly evolved in to Electronic dance or "EDM" and has once again taken over the airwaves but this time people have embraced this music wholeheartedly. I think it might possibility be even more popular than disco ever became.

Back to Ms Lynn, after displaying her gifts on the kitschy talent program, "The Gong Show" (and losing out the grand prize to a juggling act), she was offered a recording contract. This dynamic singer went on to record nine studio albums with this song being her biggest hit. "Got To Be Real" is the perfect vehicle to showcase her dazzling, powerful vocals and distinctive phrasing.

I know you all know the tune but how can you ever get tired of this:

"Got To Be Real" - Cheryl Lynn (1979)

Here is a video of another favorite tune of mine, "Shake It Up Tonight":


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BREAKFAST CAN WAIT


I knew there had to be a reason that the publicity-shy artist, Prince made an appearance at this year's Grammys and it wasn't just to give somebody an award. The purpose seems to be timed to remind that program's global audience that he's still around and he has some new music to share.

His latest tune, "Breakfast Can Wait' has dropped and it's hot. It brings to mind the funky, more sensual sounds from his early days before he fought with his record label, changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, found religion and began making music that was simply too esoteric. The song is no where near as raunchy as what we used to expect from the Purple One but the lyrics are still as clever as ever. I'm still a very big fan and looking forward to whatever comes next.

Have a listen:

"Breakfast Can Wait" - Prince (2013)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

TAKE TWO: SISTER SLEDGE


Sister Sledge is one of many singing groups that not only shared in vocal harmonies but also the same DNA. These ladies hit the height of their fame during a time in America when people wanted to do nothing more than get on the dance floor and shake their groove thang. Their songs are still highly influential and are as exciting today as they were when they first hit the airwaves over forty years ago.

The sisters, Debbie, Kim, Joni and Kathy grew-up in Philadelphia and formed a professional singing act when they were just teenagers. The Sledges recorded their first single, "Time Will Tell" under a local record label in 1971. Although that first song wasn't a major success but they kept on until eventually scoring their first national hit with, "Love, Don't You Go Through No Changes On Me" that hit the top forty on the r&b chart. This lead to the recording of their debut album, "Circle Of Love" in 1974 but the release wasn't commercially successful.

Sister Sledge were teamed with Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the musical creators of the group, Chic and "We Are Family" was released in 1979 at the height of the disco music craze. It may seem that the girls were not much more than singers-for-hire as Rodgers & Edwards maintained complete control of the project but the combination proved to be quite magical. The title track and "He's The Greatest Dancer" became international smash hits along with the more modest success of "Lost In Music" and "Thinking Of You" which helped turn this album in to a modern classic. These songs have continued to be remixed over the years and have even reappeared on the pop charts, most especially in the U.K. where "We Are Family" reached number five there in 1993 which is actually higher than it charted when the original version was released.

The subsequent albums from Sister Sledge were not able to achieve the same amount of commercial acclaim although the group had a surprise number one hit in Britain in 1985 with the song, "Frankie". The sisters continue to perform together and separately with their last major appearance was on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011.

Listen to two of my favorite songs from Sister Sledge:

"He's The Greatest Dancer" - Sister Sledge (1979)

"Easier To Love" - Sister Sledge (1979)

NUMBER ONE FLASHBACK

I can't believe it but it's been forty years since " Best of My Love " by The Emotions landed at number one on the pop...