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Posted by: In: Other 22 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


915-M.I.A.-Paper Planes.

2007- Did not chart in the UK until 2009, when reaching Number 19.

Best Bit-At 0.56.The sound of gun fire frightens me. but the sound of tills cashing, gets me excited.

‘Paper Planes’ is a critically acclaimed song, taken from M.I.A.’s second studio Album,’Kala,’ from 2007, music critics have lauded the song for bringing ‘unconventional subject matter’ in to the world of Hip-Hop, and Dance Music.

M.I.A. was born Mathangi Arulpragasam, in London, England, on July 18th, 1977, her father Arul Pragasam (1948-2019,) was a Tamil activist, and former revolutionary.

‘Paper Planes’ is an attack on those who stereotype illegal immigrants, claiming that it is not true that they all want to harm you, and take all your jobs. It also satirises American perceptions of visa seeking foreigners, and immigrants from Third World nations.

The song was co-written by M.I.A. and her then partner ‘Diplo’ (see also best songs 210,) who also produced the track. The song samples ‘Straight to Hell,’ by the Clash, and they are also credited as co-writers. It has also been pointed out that the chorus sounds similar to the 1992 song, ‘Rump Shaker,’ by Wreckx-N-Effect’s.

‘I fly like paper, get high like planes, if you catch me at the border, I got visas in my name.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


916-Earth, Wind & Fire-September.

1978-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 0.12.’Ba duda, ba duda,ba duda, badu.’ The songs writer Maurice White said,’Never let the lyric, get in the way of the groove.

‘Earth, Wind & Fire were formed in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., in 1969, by Maurice White (1941-2016,) from the remains of his previous band, ‘Salty Peppers.’ His first studio work was as a session musician at Chess Records, where he played drums on some of their biggest hits, including, ‘Rescue Me,’ for Fontella Bass, and ‘Higher and Higher,’ for Jackie Wilson.’ In 1966 he joined the Ramsey Lewis Trio, where he notably played the drums on ‘Wade in the Water’ (see also best songs 525.)

White co-wrote ‘September’ with fellow band member Al McKay, and Allee Willis (1947-2019,) who had been recommended to White by his brother Vernon. Allee Willis was a prolific songwriter, working with many different artists, she went on to co-write ‘Boogie Wonderland’ (see also best songs 462,) and ‘I’ll Be There For You,’ which was used as the theme song for the sitcom ‘Friends,’

Even though ‘September’ was a massive hit when initially released, I think it is fair to say it has become more and more popular through the years. In 1999 a remix by Phats and Small, took the song back in to the chart, reaching Number 25. and in 2016 EW&F re-recorded the song, with Anna Kendrick, and Justin Timberlake, for the film ‘Trolls.’

‘Do you remember the 21st night of September, love was changing the minds of pretenders.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


917-The Killers-Mr. Brightside.

2004-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 1.02.’Always look on the (Mr.) Brightside of life.’

The Killers were formed in 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, when Brandon Flowers answered an ad placed by Dave Keuning, the lineup was complete when bassist Mark Stoemer, and drummer Ronnie Vanucci Jr. joined soon after.

‘Mr Brightside’ was the first single released by the band in 2003, from their debut Album,’Hot Fuss.’ When Keuning first met Flowers he already has the music written for the song, and Flowers added the lyrics, based on his own life experience.

He has said,’It’s about an odd girlfriend of mine.All the emotions in the song are real, my wounds from it were still fresh.

‘Mr. Brightside is a song about a man who suspects his significant other is cheating on him, and his thoughts are running riot, as he imagines what she is getting up to with another man. He knows his emotions are a mixture of jealousy and paranoia, but when he comes out the other end, things will look brighter.

Part of the songs structure is very similar to the 1971 song ‘Queen Bitch’ by David Bowie, a song which in turn owes a great debt to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground.

At the time of writing ‘Mr Brightside’ has spent 210 non consecutive weeks in the UK top 100 singles chart, longer than any other song. One of the explanations for this, is that with it being played at party’s every week, people are continuously downloading it. Amazingly even so it first came out in 2003, it was the 12th best selling song of the decade, 2010-2019.

‘Jealousy, turning saints into the sea, swimming through sick lullabies,;

Posted by: In: Other 19 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


918-Queen-Brighton Rock.

1974-Has never been released as a single.

Best Bit-At 4.27.This was a very important song at Queen concerts, as it often went on for 12 minutes, giving Freddie Mercury enough time to make his costume change.

‘Brighton Rock’ is the opening track from Queen’s third studio Album ‘Sheer Heart Attack.’ As the song starts, if you listen carefully, you can hear someone whistling the 1907 Music Hall Song, ‘I Do Like To be Beside the Seaside.’ On their previous Album ‘Queen 2,’ the final track,’Seven Seas of Rhye, closes with the same song.’Brighton Rock’ was written by Brian May, and many consider it his finest.The song developed over many years, and was borne out of many hours of studio experimentation, making use of extensive ‘Delay,’ and an ‘Echoplex’ unit.

The song tells of two young lovers sneaking away to Brighton for a day out, on a public holiday. The girl (Jenny,) can’t relax because she is frightened her mother will find out. She writes to the boy (Jimmy) everyday, but he appears to have lost interest, as Jenny’s mother keeps interfering.

It is possible that the ‘The Who’s, Quadrophenia’ could have been an inspiration, as Mods travelled to Brighton on Bank Holidays, and Quadrophenia’s lead character was Jimmy.

‘O lady moon, shine down a little people magic if you will.’

Posted by: In: Other 19 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


919-Dean Martin-Gentle on My Mind.

1969-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 1.58.Some of the most poetic words ever expressed in a Pop song, and what does ‘The King of Cool’ do? He starts humming.

‘Gentle on My Mind’ was written in 1967 by American Folk/Country singer John Hartford (1937-2001,) he recorded the original version, which appears on his 1968 Album,’Gentle on My Mind and Other Originals.’ The best known version of the song in America is by Glen Campbell, from 1968, which has received over five million plays on the radio, while in the UK, it was the Dean Martin recording that found success.

John Hartford has said that he was inspired to write the song after seeing the film ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ although the songs subject has nothing to do with the films subject, Hartford said it still gave him the inspiration.

The lyrics of ‘Gentle on My Mind’ can be interpreted in many different ways. My own personal view is that the narrator needs to be free, he is possibly a hobo, he doesn’t want any commitment, but knows that if he did want to settle down, she will be waiting for him. It is also possible that this situation is just a fantasy he enjoys playing out in his own mind.

‘It’s knowing that your door is always open, and your path is free to walk.’

Posted by: In: Other 19 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


920-Stevie Wonder-Do I Do.

1982-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 7.47.Stevie Wonder’s attempt at Rapping, was more prankster, than gangster.

‘Do I Do’ was taken from Stevie Wonder’s Album ‘Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium 1,’The Album consisted of 11 previously released tracks, and four new songs, including this one. It was released in 1982, and filled the gap between 1980’s, ‘Hotter Than July,’ and 1984’s ‘The Woman in Red.’

The song is notable for the guest appearance of Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993,) one of Stevie’s hero’s, who plays a trumpet solo. The bass guitar playing of Nathan Watts, has been critically acclaimed, Watts has been collaborating with Stevie Wonder since 1974, and can be heard prominently providing the bass lines on songs such as ‘I Wish,’ and ‘I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It.’

Towards the end of the song Stevie (see also best songs 843-834-682-570-503-366-205-152 and 65) lightheartedly starts Rapping. Back in 1982 Rap was still young, and somewhat of a novelty, and Stevie is obviously enjoying experimenting with this new musical genre.

‘Do you want some candy? Do you want some honey suckle? Do you want some chocolate dripping kisses, full of love for you?

Posted by: In: Other 16 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


921-Drake-Started From the Bottom.

2013-Number 25 single.

Best Bit-At 1.37. He wears every single chain, even when he’s in the house. Now that is dedication to the lifestyle.

Aubrey Drake Graham (see also best songs 858 and 1043) was born October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.His father who is an African American is a practising Catholic, who worked as a drummer for Jerry Lee Lewis, and his mother is a Jewish white Canadian. He has two very famous uncle’s, Larry Graham, of Sly and the Family Stone, and Teenie Hodges (1945-2014) who worked with Al Green, and Ann Peebles. In his youth Drake attended a Jewish day school, and had a Bar Mitzvah when reaching the age of 13. Since releasing his first music in 2006, Drake has gone on to be the best selling Rap artist, and also one of the best selling artists of all time, with sales in excess of 170 million.

‘Started From the Bottom’ was the lead single from Drake’s third studio Album,’Nothing Was the Same,’ In the song Drake is telling us, that to have got to this point in his life wasn’t easy, and there had been many obstacles to overcome. He wrote the song in response to other Rappers who have claimed that Drake’s upbringing was a lot easier than their own, Drake counters that by saying that he also had problems to overcome in his youth, just different ones.

‘Boys tell stories about the man, say I never struggled, wasn’t hungry, yeah,I doubt it.’

Posted by: In: Other 16 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


922-Lil Louis-French Kiss.

1989-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 7.03.The poor girl sounds like she is completely exhausted from dancing to this song, she could do with a lie down.

‘French Kiss’ amazingly wasn’t banned by Radio 1, and many other stations, upon it’s release, but in later years many radio stations, have had their knuckles wrapped for playing it.

Lil Louis was born Marvin Burns in Chicago, United States, he is a producer of ‘House Music.’He has also released music under the name,’Lil Louis & the World,’ and ‘Lil Louis & the Party.’

There are several well known remixes of French Kiss, this ,the original version was written by Lil Louis, and Karlana Johnson, she provides the ‘moaning,’ and is given song writing credits.There are also unreleased versions of the song, that were very popular in clubs, that featured vocals.In America the female singer Shawn Christopher’s version reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart, while in Europe, the vocals were performed by a female artist known as Pasquale.

Lil Louis has charted in the UK on two further occasions, in 1990 his song ‘I Called You (But You Weren’t There,’) reached Number 16, and in 2000 a remix of French Kiss by Lil Louis, and Josh Wink, called ‘How’s Your Evening So Far’ got to Number 23.

Posted by: In: Other 16 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


923-The Bellamy Brothers-Let Your Love Flow.

1976-Number 7 single. When reissued in 2009, it reached Number 21.

Best Bit-At 0.43.Unlike the Walker’s, and the Righteous,’ and the Beyond’s, these two are actually real brothers.

The Bellamy Brothers are Homer Howard Bellamy, born 1946, and his brother, David, born 1950, in Pasco County, Florida.In 1975 David was working as a session musician, having just co-written, with Jim Stafford, the hit single ‘Spiders and Snakes,’ and his brother Howard, was Stafford’s manager, when the duo were offered this song.’Let Your Love Flow’ was written by Larry E. Williams, who was a roadie for Neil Diamond’s live shows. Williams offered the song to Diamond, who turned it down, it was then offered to American Rockabilly, and Blue Eyed Soul singer, Johnny Rivers, but he turned it down as well.The Bellamy Brothers recorded the song with members of Neil Diamonds live band, and in 1976 it went to Number 1 on Billboard.There is actually an earlier release of the song from 1975 by American Pop/Folk singer Gene Cotton, which failed to chart.

In 2008 the song was used in a Television advert to promote ‘Barclaycard,’ this brought the song to the attention of a whole new generation, and put it back in the UK chart again.In the UK The Bellamy Brothers are also known for their 1979 Number three song, If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,’ but in The States they have achieved 26 top 10 Country Music hits.

‘Just let your love flow like a mountain stream, and let your love grow, with the smallest of dreams.’

Posted by: In: Other 16 Sep 2020 Comments: 0


924-The Special A.K.A. featuring Rico-Too Much Too Young.

1980- Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.56.Dr Hall’s family planning classes.

The Specials (see also best songs 372) were formed in Coventry, England in 1977, they were one of the bands who led the way in the ‘Ska Music’ revival of the late 1970’s, and early 1980’s.This version of Too Much Too Young’ was written, and produced by The Specials founding member, and keyboard player, Jerry Dammers, who also formed the record label ‘2 Tone,’ in 1979.The song borrows the melody, (speeding it up,) and subject of the 1969 Reggae song,’Birth Control,’ by Lloyd Charmers (1938-2012.) Dammers has said,’I nearly had a thing with a married woman, and it didn’t happen in the end, obviously because she was married, so there was all sort of rage and frustration in a young man.

‘Too Much Too Young’ pulls no punches, it says that getting pregnant at a very young age is stupid, and you have wasted a lot of opportunities, you can no longer pursue. It also tells that when having sex, you must use protection.The song in it’s original form of six minutes, and six seconds is on The Specials self titled debut Album, from 1979, which was produced by Elvis Costello.This live recording from ‘Tiffany’s’ in Coventry in 1979, is at two minutes, and four seconds, the shortest song in length to be a UK Number 1 single in the 1980’s.

‘Ain’t he cute, no he ain’t, he’s just another burden on the welfare state.’