Friday, January 30, 2015

SOUND ALIKE?



I was quite surprised to hear how smoothly a settlement was reached between Sam Smith and Tom Petty in regards to the new pop star's hit song sounding very similar to the rocker's 1989 tune. Although Smith and his co-writers, James Napier and William Phillips were not familiar with "I Won't Back Down", the song composed by Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, the trio agreed to add them as writers to last year's smash, "Stay With Me" which earned Sam Smith multiple Grammy nominations. It's pretty amazing how there was no ugly, drawn-out legal battle and the situation was resolved very amicably.

Do they really sound alike? Well, maybe it's just me but I can't really hear it. Here are the two songs together, so listen and judge for yourself:

"Stay With Me" - Sam Smith (2014)  vs.

"I Won't Back Down" - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1989)

This is hardly the first time this situation of songs sounding similar has arisen. Below are a few famous examples that were eventually settled in court. These cases, I can hear the similarities, (especially Harrison vs. The Chiffons):

The Rolling Stones - "Anybody Seem My Baby" (1997)  vs.

k.d. Lang - "Constant Craving"(1992)

George Harrison - "My Sweet Lord" (1971)  vs.

The Chiffons - "He's So Fine" (1962)



Sunday, January 25, 2015

RANDOM SIGHTS + SOUNDS

2015 is off to a great start with some exciting new music hitting the airwaves.


Paul McCartney has certainly been busy. First, the former Beatle plays piano on Kanye West's surprise single, "Only One", a touching ballad about his late mother and new-born daughter. Now, both Sir Paul and Mr. West appear on the just-dropped new song from Rihanna. "FourFiveSeconds" displays an unexpected acoustic sound from the pop superstar. I'm not sure how her fans will respond but I think it's a great creative move:



"Only One" - Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney (2015)



"FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna featuring Kanye West & Paul McCartney (2015)

Thanks to Daft Punk's tribute to him on their Grammy-winning album, "Random Access Memories", the legendary producer, Giorgio Moroder has decided to stage a comeback. At the age of seventy-four, the man responsible for helping usher in the era of disco music has assembled some of today's hottest vocalists including Britney Spears, Sia, Mikky Ekko and Charli XCX for his first new album of dance music in thirty years. Listen to the sizzling single from the upcoming, "74 Is The New 24", "Right Here, Right Now"  which features Kylie Minogue:


Here is the video for the title track from Giorgio's new album:



D'Angelo quietly released his third studio album, "Black Messiah" after a fourteen year absence from the music scene last December. It has received a lot of love from critics and fans alike. The reclusive singer plans to embark on short European tour beginning in February with his band, The Vanguard. Listen to "Sugah Daddy", the track that was given away as a free download a few days before the album's release:



"Sugah Daddy" - D'Angelo (2014)

I'd been wondering what had happened to Stephanie Mills? The theater veteran and popular recording artist hadn't been heard from in quite a while but made a very welcome return at last year's BET Awards performing a stirring rendition of her hit, "Home" that she first sang when she starred as Dorothy on Broadway in "The Wiz" many years ago. She's one of my all-time favorite singers. Enjoy a few of her lesser known songs that I love:



"You Can Get Over" - Stephanie Mills (1979)



"Try My Love" - Stephanie Mills (1980)



"Keep Away Girls" - Stephanie Mills (1982)

Finally, here's a new music video I love from Danish electronic band,  Kadie Elder:

Monday, January 19, 2015

SING IT LADIES - THE THIRD

With this third and (possibly) final celebration of all-girl groups, this list is comprised mostly with performers at the height of popularity during the 1960's or from the resurgence in the 1990's:

THE MARVELETTES



"Don't Mess With Bill" (1965)


SWV



"Weak" (1993)

THE TOYS



"A Lover's Concerto" (1965)

THE CHIFFONS



"One Fine Day" (1963)

THE CRYSTALS



"He's a Rebel" (1962)

THE THREE DEGREES



"When Will I See You Again" (1974)

THE MARY JANE GIRLS



"All Night Long" (1983)

KLYMAXX



"The Men All Pause" (1984)

BLAQUE



“Bring It All To Me” (1999)

HONEY CONE



"Girls It Ain't Easy" (1969)


XSCAPE



"Just Kickin' It" (1993)

702  



"Where My Girls At" (1999)

ZHANE



"Hey Mr. DJ" (1993)

THE DIXIE CHICKS



"Not Ready To Make Nice" (2006)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MY FAVORITE MOMENTS IN MUSIC OF 2014

There was quite a bit of good music during 2014 and it all helped motivate, inspire and excite me each and every day. I happily shared some of my favorites here throughout the year, so these are the rest of my best:

"Rather Be " - Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne

"Don't Tell 'Em" - Jeremih featuring YG

"2On" - Tinashe featuring ScHoolboy Q

"Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz



"I Don't Mind" - Usher featuring Juicy J

"Water Fountain" - Tune-Yards

"Cool Kids" - Echosmith

"I Was Gonna Cancel (Steph Seroussi Family Remix)" - Kylie Minogue



"Love Me Harder" - Ariana Grande featuring The Weeknd

"Show Me" - Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown

"Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil' Jon

ICONA POP ARE "GIRLS GIRLS"

Those Swedish musical party-girls, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, otherwise known as  Icona Pop are back with a new club-banging anthem. ...