Musication Archive

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Musication

You Keep Me Hanging On- Vanilla Fudge:  This is a song  written by the super production team of Halland-Dozier-Holland.  It was originally a 1966 hit for Diana Ross & The Supremes, but just one year later psychadelic rockers Vanilla Fudge released their version on the debut album Vanilla Fudge.  It was their first and most successful single to date.

Dreams- Fleetwood Mac:  This song is off the bands the 11th album, Rumors, but the second with Stevie Nicks and that other guy.  Trivia:  did you know Rumors is the 10th best selling album of all-time?  Who knew!  This is one of my favorite tracks, but let’s face it, anything with Stevie Nicks is good quality!  So enjoy this track from one of the best selling albums of all-time!  Who knew that adding a few more people into the band would re-introduce a whole new sector of fans.  I love Stevie Nicks and I think Fleetwood Mac was a better band with her than without!

Human- Human League:  This is the third track from the British group’s 1986 album, Crash.  Although the band had a more pop/synth sound, this track had a very R&B sound to it.  It had a lot of powerful undertones in its lyrics.  This was a big hit back in the 80s.  The album as a whole had much more R&B feel to it, and not many Brit acts were doing R&B influenced tracks.  Or I should say that those acts weren’t getting radio play during the mid-80s.

Happy- Surface:  Surface was that smooth R&B band from the 80s that just sang sow jams.  This is the second track off their 1986 debut album, Surface.  This R&B trio had a few hits with : Shower Me With Your Love, The First Time, Close than Just Friends & Never Gonna Let You Down.    Unfortunately the band broke up in 1994, and in 2005 Surface member David Townsend was found dead at his home.

Do Right Woman- Aretha Franklin:  Taken off of Aretha’s 11th studio album,  I Never Loved A Man the Way I Love You.  This was Aretha’s “breakthrough” album, especially with the standout Otis Redding cover “Respect.”  This album was ranked #83 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time, and ranked #1 in Q Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums ever.  I do not have to go into why Aretha is one of the most notable R&B singers, but if you did know, just listen to this track.  Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.

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Samba Pa Ti- Santana:  This is the 7th track taken from the band’s sophmore ablum Abraxas.  This is purely an instrumental track, but it plays so good.  The sound is unlike anything I’ve heard before.  The begining of the track is one of the most beautiful guitar solos I’ve ever heard.  I love how the end of the song picks up towards the end.  Carlos Santana is widely considered one of the best guitar players ever, and this track is what sets him apart from the other musicians.  As a group, Santana was not afraid to mix their latin and african musical styles within their music, which makes them one of a kind!

Hey Joe- Jimi Hendrix:  This song was voted as the #198 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs of All-Time, and #22 by VH1’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of All-Time.  Doing some research for this song, I was suprised to learn that the Jimi Hendrix version was actually a cover.  I did not know that.  The song was originally recorded in 1965 and released by a band named The Leaves.  The song was a major hit here in Los Angeles, but the song didn’t get much fame until 1967, when it was recorded by Jimi Hendrix.  See, you learn something new every day!

Baby, I’m A Star- Prince:  This song is off of the super-huge, mega hit album soundtrack Purple Rain. This album came out at a time where Prince dominated the music scene.  Prince is a gifted musician, but this album put him over the top and into an elite status.  There are tons of greats songs off this album, but most of our readers know the standard hits:  When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, The Beautiful Ones, Let’s Go Crazy.  I thought I’d highlight a track that wasn’t so obvious.  Baby, I’m A Star has the energy of a Prince show.  From the over the top bass, to the over the top melodies.  This song was originally recorded earlier in Prince’s career, but it didn’t really fit into any of his other albums, so he waited.  The wait paid off, because this song blends in well with the other songs on the album.

Under the Boardwalk- The Drifters:  The night before this song was to be recorded, the lead singer for the Drifters died.  The group brought in Johnny Moore to sing the track, and the rest was history.  This song was released in 1964 and was an instant classic.  The song itself was voted #487 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs of All Time.  What I love about this song is the way it sounds.  It has that 60’s vibe to it.  I can remember the TV show, American Dreams, where this song was played, and it just felt like magic.  This song has been covered many times, but it never really captures the true essence of the track.  When I hear it, I can close my eyes and imagine what it must have been like to live during that time period!

Since I had You- Marvin Gaye:  Released on the highly sexual 1976 release, “I Want You,” this was the 8th track off the album.  This song talks about old lovers reuniting after seeing one another at a local dance.  This song’s melody and beat is so good, especially the girl moaning at the end.  This album is great from start to finish.  Although the critics did not like the album too much at the time of its release, many of those critics have now changed their minds.  This album was recorded at a time in Marvin’s life where things were about to get very bad.  The girl at the end of the track is Minnie Ripperton, who is the mother of SNL star Maya Rudolph.  Ripperton rose to fame in the late 70’s, but was tragically diagnose with cancer and died in 1979.

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“The Seeker”-The Who:  This song is from the super/mega hit album, “Tommy,” which was released in 1969.  The album was a concept album and it was very popular.  The Who was already a popular band, but this album put them into another atmosphere.  The Who have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and without a doubt, this is one of those songs that we all need to know.  As a matter of fact, this album is one that any person worth their salt should have!  Seek the truth and you shall find!

“Anything, Anything”- Dramarama:  I’ve been waiting to feature this song!  This is one of my all-time favorite songs.  It is often labeled as a “flashback” but it is a rock classic!  This song just rocks from the opening to the end.  The bass in the middle of this track is crazy good and I cannot say enough about how much I love this track.  I am sure you’ll feel the same if you’ve never heard this song before!  Simply amazing!  Just Marry Me, Marry Me, Marry Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This song is taken off the 1985 album, “Cinema Verite.”  Dramarama was not around a long time, but they were an LA based band, so for that we give them major props!

“No Woman No Cry”- Bob Marley:  You may ask yourself, “Why feature Bob Marley? Everyone has heard of him!”  Believe it or not, some people haven’t!  I couldn’t believe it when I heard it!  Bob Marley created a whole new genre and was the social voice for many Jamaicans.  It saddens me when some of us haven’t heard of these legendary singers!  You don’t have to like them, but at least know who they were and maybe you’ll understand the lyrics!  This song is very powerful to me!  Bob Marley was also a great humanitarian.  Although he wrote the song, he gave writing credits to Vincent Ford, a friend of Marley’s.  He received the royalties and it allowed him to run his soup kitchen in Trenchtown.  This song is off his 1975 “Live” album.  This song was was ranked as #37 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time!

“Mona Lisa”- Slick Rick:  Released in 1988, “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick,” was the debut album by rapper Slick Rick.  I feel this album is one of the greatest albums ever made!  This song is the eighth track on the album, which was on The Source’s list as one of the 100 Greatest Rap Albums of All-Time.  This album is good from start to finish and includes one of my all-time favorite songs, “A Teenage Love.”  Slick Rick was in jail for several years, but he is out now and back on the scene!

“Sweet Thing”- Chaka Khan:  This song was actually recorded as Rufus with Chaka Khan and it was featured on the album, “Rufus featuring Chaka Khan.”  Released in 1975, this is one of those timeless slow jams that still sounds as good today as it did when it was first released.  Everyone knows that the great Mary J. Blige covered this song on her “What’s the 411″ album, but the funny thing is that both versions sound a lot alike.  Chaka Khan is a “Diva” in every sense of the word.  She recorded many albums with Rufus, all the while turning out hit after hit!

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Gigolos Get Lonely Too- The Time:  The Time was known in the 80’s for being a funk band with very sexual lyrics.  Their biggest track to date has been the song, “Jungle Love,” which was made famous in Kevin Smith movies.  With songs like “Get it Up,” & “777-3911,” their lyrics got more & more sexual in nature.  This track was the 5th song off their 1982 album, “What Time Is It?”  Lead singer Morris Day got a lot of exposure in the Prince movie, “Purple Rain.”  This band rarely gets any recognition, but today is their day in the sun.

Nights of Pleasure- Loose Ends:  Jane Eugene’s voice along with the phat beats on this track make this a classic R&B standard.  Because of its instrumentation, it is a heavily sampled track in most rap songs.  This band only released 3 studio albums.  This track is taken off their 2nd album, “Zagora” and it is the 8th track off the album.  Other notable tracks off the album include: “Slow Down” & “Stay A Little While Child.”  Loose Ends has a lot of nice tracks that are sampled by many artists, so you may have heard of this band indirectly.

When The Music’s Over- The Doors:  My favorite Doors track.  The Doors are one of the most famous bands of all-time, so their is no need to write about their legendary status.  In my opinion, this is a track that is over-looked as one of their best.  It is appropriately the last track off the bands highly successful sophmore album, “Strange Days.”  With the lyrics, “I want to hear/ The scream of the butterfly.”  Come on, how psychedelic is that?

Paranoid Android- Radiohead:  Radiohead is considered by many the best band of our generation, and with good reason.  I feel that they are the Pink Floyd of our time.  They are not afraid of experimentation musically.  The band’s third album, “OK Computer,” released in 1997, is often considered one of the greatest albums of all-time.  It is often ranked as the best, and this track is the second song off that album.  What I love about this song is the different stages it goes through.  It starts off like a regular rock song.  Towards the middle, Thom Yorke’s vocals become haunting, with a touch of spirituality.  Then as the song closes, it just rocks out!  Truly great!

Straighten It Out- Pete Rock & CL Smooth:  Pete Rock is often thought of as a famed record producer, he hooked up with CL Smooth to release 3 albums.  I first heard this song on the hit TV Show “In Living Color” and I immediately had to run out and buy the CD.  They are known for their smash hit song “TROY (They Reminisce Over You),” but let’s face it, this is my opinion piece so I don’t care!

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“Like A Rolling Stone” Bob Dylan:  This was the lead-off track to Dylan’s sixth studio album, Highway 61 Revisited.  This song sparked some controversy when it was released amongst Dylan’s fans.  His fans were upset about the rock & roll sound of the album, particularly with this track.  This song and album were a strong departure from Dylan’s previous folk sound as it had a more rock sounding album.  The album was rated fourth best album of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.

“Crazy” Patsy Cline:  Come on, we all hate to admit that we may like country music from time to time.  This is the first country song that I ever loved!  Pasty Cline’s story is one of great tragedy and heartbreak.  She died in a plane crash far too soon, but left us with a legacy of great songs.  This particular song was written by the great Willie Nelson and is the seventh track of her 1961 release, Pasty Cline Showcase.  This song is a standard country song and has been covered thousands of times.  Still, Patsy’s version is the best!  She is truly a country legend, and who knows, maybe you’ll read more about her in the months to come!

“God Only Knows” The Beach Boys:  This song is taken off the 1966 smash hit album, Pet SoundsPet Sounds is regarded by many as the best album of all-time.  Rolling Stone Magazine named the album as the second greatest album of all-time.  “God Only Knows” is the eighth track off this defining album.  The song was also ranked as number 25 in Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Songs of All-Time.  This song broke a lot of ground for its great production, but it was also one of he the first pop songs to use the word “God.”  In keeping with the “Beatles” theme, Sir Paul McCartney often sites this song as being one of his all-time favorites!  So if it is good enough for Mr. McCartney, it is good enough for you!

“Piece of My Heart” Big Brother & The Holding Company:  Many people confuse this song as being a Janis Joplin song.  But that is not the case, although Janis’ is the most famous, it was originally recorded by Erma Franklin.  Janis sang the track as part of the group Big Brother & The Holding Company.  Their debut album, Cheap Thrills, was ranked #338 of Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Songs of All-Time.  This  song was also featured by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.

A Day In The Life: A Pokadelick Adventure – Kwame And A New Beginning“Ownlee U” Kwame & The New Begining:  This Hip-Hop classic was taken of Kwame’s 1990 album, A Day in the Life: A Pokadelick Adventure.  There was a time in the late 80s- early 90s when rap began to get a bit silly.  The baggy pants, the dance videos, and the outlandish wardrobes.  Nonetheless, this was one of my guilty pleasures.  Kwame was from Holland, and if you listen close enough, you can hear bis accent!

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“The Shining”- Badly Drawn Boy- This English singer/songwriter has been around for quite awhile.   This is the lead track to his 2000 release,”The Hour of Bewilderbeast.”  The song begins beautifully with a Cello intro.  Then the one of the greatest opening lines ever:  Faith pours from your walls/Drowning your calls/I’ve tried to hear/You’re not near/Re-Member-Ing When/I Saw Your Face/Shining My Way/PURE TIMING!”  Damn!  Enough Said!

“In A Sentimental Mood”- John Coltrane- Their is a reason why Coltrane is a household name.  There is a reason why you know his name, even if you’ve never listened to jazz.  If you ever wanna show some class, just put on this track, and immediately you’ll get street cred with any jazz junkie!  This is by far my most favorite track of Mr. Coltrane.  His saxophone style is often immitated, but never duplicated.  This song can be found off the 1962 album,”Duke Ellington & John Coltrane.”  Although it was recorded in 1962, the song still sounds fresh and pleasing to the soul!

“Hope”- The Decendents- I wonder why I picked this track?  This is the 13th track off their 1982 album, “Milo Goes to College.”  This punk band from the OC was very popular in the early 80’s.  They have been covered by many bands including: Face to Face, MXPX & Sublime.  This song was later covered by Sublime for their album “40 oz. to Freedom.”  Damn, the lead singer (Milo Aukerman) has a dope voice and an even doper name!

“I Get the Job Done”- Big Daddy Kane- Big Daddy Kane is Hip-Hop royalty.  Many people often recognize Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, KRS-One and Kool Mo Dee.  No one ever mentions the Big Daddy.  With some of his homiez being Biz Markie and Kool G Rap, The Daddy was considered the Barry White of rap.  This was one of the first rap cassettes that I owned.  My favorite track was a remix of the track “Cause I Can Do It Right,” but that is a hard track to find.  This track is the first song on the second side of the cassette from his 1989 cassette, “It’s a Big Daddy Thing.”  the track “To Be Your Man” rivals “I Need Love” by LL Cool J.

“Overjoyed”- Stevie Wonder- Music has a way of impacting your life in ways that no other medium can compare to.  Music can transport you back in time, music can be personal.  Songs can become anthems, can become motivation.  What song gives you chills, what songs can make you just break down in tears?  This is one of those songs for me.  Stevie Wonder is obviously a legend.  He has many tracks to choose from, but this song hits home for me.  When I hear a song, I hear the words.  If I do not like the instrumentation, I can still listen to a song just for the lyrics.  For me, music is secondary and lyrics are primary!  This is the 9th song of his 1985 album, “In Square Circle.”

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Fortunate Son- Creedence Clearwater Revival- When you hear John Fogerty’s voice, you immediately know who it is.  With all the talk of war, health care and bailouts this song hits home, even though it was recorded in 1969.  This is the 6th track off their 4th release, Willy & The Poor Boys. This song still hits home, talking about how the fortunate don’t get the pleasure of serving during war.  How the rich get passes, while the poor and middle class take it in the @#$!   This song was ranked #99 of Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs of All-Time.

For No One- The Beatles- This is by far my favorite Beatles song.  It is the 6th track off their 7th album, RevolverRevolver is considered by many (arguably) to be the best album ever recorded. This is a rare song because Paul McCartney plays all the instruments, except the drums (Ringo) and the horn (Alan Civil).  Interestingly, Harrison & Lennon do not play on the track.  The original song titles was “Why Did It Die.”  Paul McCartney is my favorite Beatle and I think that is why I love this song so much; it hurts deep down into my soul!

Enjoy the Silence- Depeche Mode- “All I Ever Wanted/All I Ever Needed/Is Here/In My Arms”  Damn that is some good shit!  Was there a bigger band in the 1980’s than Depeche Mode?  Meat Matt, Turrtle and Dr. Justin, recently went to their concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  Depeche Mode is an amazing live band.  This song is the 6th song off their 1990 Mega Record Breaking album, Violator.  David Gahan has seemed to work past some of his internal demons, so check out this incredible band!  More importantly, find time to enjoy the silence!

The Grand Finale- The D.O.C. f/NWA-  The D.O.C. is a west coast rapper, who never go too much love in the east.  He was backed by the super group NWA.  This song appears on The DOC’s 1989 album, No One Can Do It Better.  This song features all the all-stars:  Ice Cube, MC Ren, Eazy-E and the DOC.  What is crazy about this song, was that it featured real instruments.  Who was doing that back in the day?  The west coast rarely gets any love or respect in the rap game, but this song is crazy good!

Love You Down- Ready for the World-  It is time to get nasty!  This is a steamy song from the 80’s R&B/Funk band Ready for the World.  This song is off the band’s 1986 second album, “Long Time Coming,” is that a play on words?  This song is guaranteed to get the party started, especially with lead singer Melvin Riley’s steamy lyrics and even steamier delivery.  This band is most known for their funk smash hit, “Digital Display” and “Oh Sheila.” So enjoy this slow jam, and let enter the shell love you down!

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In our last podcast, Dr. J mentioned some funk bands that he had worked with.  I was taken back by some of those names and I decided to do a Funked-out version of Musication (Since this feature is in honor of the Dr.)  So check out these tracks by some of the funkiest artists around!

Men All Pause-Klymaxx- When I heard Dr. J mention Klymaxx I almost fainted.  This all-girl funk band never got any play during the 80’s.  This song immediately came to my mind.  It is the lead track off their 1984 mega hit album, “Meeting in the Ladies Room.”  These girls are funky!  They had other smash hits like:  “Meeting in the Ladies Room”,  and the ballad “I Miss You.”  Nate Dogg & Kurupt used the hook in their hit single, “Girls All Pause.”

I’d Rather Be With You- Bootsy Collins- Does it get any funkier than the Funk master Bootsy Collins?  This track is off of his 1976 album,”Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band.”  If this song sounds familiar to you, it should.  It was re-done by the immortal Eazy-E, with the track, “I’d Rather.”  Bootsy came to fame during the Parliament/Funkadelic era, which he was a part of.  He released about 15 funk filled albums!  It’s Bootsy Baby!

Square Biz- Teena Marie-  The original White Chocolate.  Marie is a Rick James protegé, don’t let the white skin fool you, this Diva can belt out a funk jam with the best of them!  She and Rick James collaborated on many hits, including a brief cameo in this track.  This song is the 6th track taken off her 1981 album, “It Must Be Magic.”  Teena Marie has been touring around SoCal for awhile, so check out this Diva near your hood!

I Want To Be Your Man- Roger & Zapp- When have you known someone with a car, who had subwoofers that didn’t bump a Zapp track?  Zapp is probably the most sampled artist of all-time!  With all their hits, why choose this track?  Well, this song is not really a Roger & Zapp song.  It is actually a Roger Troutman song, which appears in his 1987 album, “Unlimited!”  This is a beautiful ballad, worthy of being used by any guy to get a girl!  This track belongs in the Slow Jam Hall of Fame!  R.I.P. Roger, you were a pioneer!

Mothership Connection- Parliament- Bootsy was cut from the cloth of Parliament.  In the 1970’s, there was no one doing funk like Funkadelic/Parliament, or should I say P-Funk!  Straight out of Ohio, these guys were gettin’ down and dirty with funk.  Their live shows were legendary for over the top stunts and jams.  There would be shows were it seemed liked there were 100 people on stage!  I would have given anything to see these cats in their prime!  This is the second track off their 1974 album, “Mothership Connection”

Thanks Dr. J for bringing the Funk Back!

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Summer Madness- Kool & The Gang-  Kool & The Gang has been getting some love from ETS lately, and it is well deserved.  With summer coming to an end, I thought it would be fitting to include this track.  Kool & The Gang recorded many jazz songs, enough to make a compilation called, “Kool Jazz“.  This song does sound like summer, especially when it hits some of its very high notes.  These notes might even make the tweeters in your car explode!  So check out this track, it is sure to make you want to go the park and throw some Carne Asada on the BBQ!

The Breaks- Kurtis Blow-  Some of you may only know Kurtis from his radio show “Kurtis Blow & The Old School Show”. Kurtis Blow was one of the original rap artists.  He, along with The Sugar Hill Gang, Grand Master Flash & Afrika Bambaattaa, pioneered this musical genre.  “The Breaks” was one of the first rap songs ever released.  It is the second track off his 1980 self-titled release.  Enjoy the Breaks!

Funky Worm- The Ohio Players- This is pure-unadulterated funk!  This is probably the most sampled track in hip-hop history.  Just the other day I heard it in a song, and it reminded me how funky this song was.  It is the 9th song off the band’s 1972 release, “Pleasure“, which is the band’s fourth album.  The song reached number 15 on the billboard charts in 1973.  So if you’re bored at work and feel like gettin’ down or gettin’ funky, then get up out of your cubicle and do the funky worm!

Sylvia’s Mother- Dr. Hook- This is one of my favorite songs of all-time. I seriously get chills whenever I hear it!  This song has so much passion in the way it is delivered.  Lyrically, the song tells a story of a man trying to call his ex-girlfriend before she leaves town forever, to marry another man.  If that doesn’t catch you, then this will: when you listen to the delivery, it just blows your mind!  Sylvia’s Mother (Mrs. Avery) answers the phone and he pleads with her, “Please Mrs. Avery/I just gotta talk to her/I’ll only keep her awhile”.  The lyrics do not give the song justice, you need to hear this one for yourself!  I’ll be honest, I have always wanted to make a movie inspired by this song!

My Sweet Lord- George Harrison- Some people may argue that George wrote the best Beatles songs.  My question is, why wasn’t George (as a solo artist) celebrated as highly as John or Paul?  George put out several hit albums and began doing benefit concerts since the split of the famous quartet.   This song is off the incredibly popular and highly critically acclaimed album “All Things Must Pass”, which is considered by many the best solo album of any of the 4 Beatles.  This is not about Christianity, which many people who don’t know about The Beatles believe when they first hear the song.  The song is actually based on the Hindu God Krishna.  Although it has some Christian elements, the song is mostly ambiguous, so many people take on personal beliefs when they first hear this song.  I think that is what George intended.  R.I.P. George, you are truly missed!