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Posted by: In: Other 21 May 2021 Comments: 0


675-Busta Rhymes-Turn It Up (Remix)/Fire It Up.

1998-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.01. He’s a clever Trevor.

Busta Rhymes was born Trevor George Smith Jr., on May 20th, 1972, in East Flatbush, New York, United States, he was given his stage name by Chuck D of Public Enemy, who named him after the American footballer George ‘Buster’ Rhymes. In 1994 he founded his own record label ‘Flipmode Entertainment,’ which changed it’s name to ‘Conglomerate’ in 2011, many of the artists who were signed to the label were also members of Busta Rhymes backing band ‘Flipmode Squad.’ He has released 10 solo studio Albums to date, including the 2006 Billboard Number 1 ‘The Big Bang.’In the UK he has achieved 18 top 40 singles as the main artist, and a further six as a featured artist (see also best songs 841 and 210.)

‘Turn It Up (Remix)/Fire it up’ was in it’s original form called ‘Turn It Up,’ and first issued on Busta Rhymes second studio Album ‘Disaster Strikes,’ from 1998. The original version heavily samples the Al Green 1972 song ‘Love and Happiness,’ but it was this remix which was released as a single, using a sample of the theme from the 1980’s television series ‘Knight Rider,’ which was written by Stu Phillips, the American composer, conductor, and producer. The Knight Rider theme was also heavily sampled by the Panjabi MC, for his song ‘Mundian to Bach Ke (see also best songs 966,) and also for the Hip-Hop song ‘Clock Strikes’ by Timbaland & Magoo, from 1998.

‘What y’all wanna do, don’t you know we always coming through, me and my crew, let me hear you say, fire it up.’

Posted by: In: Other 19 May 2021 Comments: 0


676-Grace Jones-Slave to the Rhythm.

1985-Number 12 single.

Best Bit-At 3.50. It’s the teaming up of ‘The man who invented the Eighties,’ with the ‘Queen of the Gay Disco.’

‘Slave to the Rhythm’ is the seventh studio Album by Grace Jones, originally released in 1985. It is a concept album produced by Trevor Horn, that reworks the title track in eight radically different ways. ‘Slave to the Rhythm,’ and it’s parent Album, was co-written by Horn, Simon Darlow, Stephen Lipson, and Bruce Woolley, Horn and Woolley had previously teamed up to write ‘Video Killed the Radio Star,’ the 1979 UK Number 1 for the Buggles.

When writing ‘Slave to the Rhythm,’Trevor Horn (see also best songs 19) had the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood in mind, as the follow up to ‘Relax,’ a song he had also produced, but in the end it was offered to Grace Jones instead. The song has been interpreted as having two meanings, telling of slavery in Afro-American history,and it has also been suggested that it is about the exploitation of musicians in the music industry.

Grace Jones was born on 19th May, 1948, in Spanish Town, St Catherine, British Jamaica. She first found success as a model in New York, and then Paris, before embarking on a music career in 1977, signing with Island Records, and working with the legendary producer Tom Moulton, in the ‘Disco’ genre, he would produce her first three Albums. Grace Jones has also found great success as an actress, highlights include starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1984 film ‘Conan the Destroyer,’ and appearing in the 1985 James Bond film ‘A View to a Kill.’

‘And now Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s Grace.

Posted by: In: Other 19 May 2021 Comments: 0


677-Mass Production-Welcome to Our World (Of Merry Music.)

1977-Number 44 single.

Best Bit-At 6.13. I hope these 1000 songs introduce you to music you would have never otherwise have heard, or enjoyed, ‘WELCOME.’

For whatever the reason Mass Production never quite achieved the same commercial success as their Funk, and Disco contemporaries, such as Earth Wind & Fire, Crown Heights Affair, or Brass Construction (see also best songs 916-852 and 462,) but for lovers of those genres, they are held in the same high esteem.

Mass Production are well named as throughout the bands lifespan there have nearly always been 10 members at any one time. They are an American Funk, and Disco group who were formed in the 1970’s, and remained active until 1983. In 2017 some of the bands past members reformed to tour, and record, but at the time of writing there has been no new material.

Between 1976-1983 they released eight studio Albums, with a best of compilation made available in 1996. They achieved several minor hits on Billboards R&B chart in the late 1970’s, and early 1980’s, of which the 1979 song ‘Firecracker,’ is the one they are remembered best for in the States. In the UK their song ‘Cosmic Lust’ is very popular with fans of the genre, and they have twice troubled the UK top 100, with this song, and ‘Shante,’ which made Number 59 in 1980.

‘Welcome to our world of merry people, where everybody’s got a song to sing.’

Posted by: In: Other 17 May 2021 Comments: 0


678-Jerry Lee Lewis-Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On.

1957-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 2.27.If I was Jerry Lee Lewis’ piano, I think I would be feeling abused.

‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ was probably co-written by Dave ‘Curlee’ Williams, and James Faye ‘Roy’ Hall (1922-1984,) but it has always been open to dispute, as both have been solely named on various recordings.The inspiration for the song came about when both were on vacation,Hall has said,’We were down in Paokee, on Lake Okeechobee, out on a damn pond, fishin,’ and milkin’ snakes. This guy down there had a big bell that he’s ring to get us all to come in to dinner, an’ I’d call over and say,’What’s goin’ on?’ Coloured guy said,’We got twen’y-one drums, we got an old bass horn, an’ they even keepin’ time on a ding-ding,; see, that was the big bell they’d ring to get us t’come in.

‘It was Hall who made the first recording of the song, but with little commercial impact. Big Maybelle (1924-1972) released her version to regional success in 1955, but it was Jerry Lee Lewis who made the song an international hit in 1957. Lewis released his radically altered version on the ‘Sun Records’ label in a ‘Rock and Roll’/Rockabilly’ style, with suggestive lyrics, taking the song to a peak of Number 3 on Billboard.

Jerry Lee Lewis (see also best songs 362 and 99) was born on September 29th, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana, United States, he is the only surviving member of ‘The Million Dollar Quartet,” who recorded for ‘Sun Records,’the other three were Elvis Presley,Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins. In 1956 an impromptu ‘jam session’ took place between the four of them, but none of the songs recorded were made available until 1981.

‘Well I said come on over, baby,we got chicken in the barn. Come on over baby, babe, I got the bull by the horns.’

Posted by: In: Other 17 May 2021 Comments: 0


679-Janet Jackson-When I Think of You.

1986-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 3.18.’BREAK.’ Be careful we don’t want another wardrobe malfunction, do we.

Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born May 16th, 1966, in Gary, Indiana, United States, she is the youngest of the 10 Jackson siblings (see also best songs 812-570-511-249-191 and 137.)With sales in excess of 100 million records, she is one of the world’s best selling artists. Before becoming a ‘Pop Star’ she appeared in three television series, the sitcom’s ‘Good Times,’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ and the drama/musical ‘Fame.’

It wasn’t until teaming up with the music producers, and songwriters Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis for her third Album ‘Control,’ that Jackson found musical success. The Album went to Number 1 on the Billboard Album chart, and five of the seven songs released as singles, reaches the top 5 on the Billboard Top 100. ‘When I Think of You’ was the Album’s second release, and Jackson’s first Billboard Number 1, making her, at the age of 20, the youngest artist to top that chart since Stevie Wonder at the age of 13, with ‘Fingertips’ in 1963.Also due to this song topping the chart, it made Janet, and brother Michael the only brother and sister to have had separate Number 1 singles on Billboard.

‘Control’ would prove to only be the start of the collaboration between Jackson, and Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis, as they would work together on the next seven Janet Jackson Albums.Jam and Lewis had first met when both were members of the band ‘The Time,’who worked very closely with Prince, touring with him in 1981. Jam and Lewis have had more Billboard Number 1’s than any other songwriting, and production team, having written or produced 16 to date, including nine for Janet Jackson.

‘Ooh baby, anytime my world gets crazy, all I have to do to calm it, is just think of you,’BASS.”

Posted by: In: Other 15 May 2021 Comments: 0


680-Gilbert Becaud-A Little Love and Understanding.

1975-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 2.57.Bon Chanson.

Gilbert Becaud was born Francois Gilbert Leopold Silly on 24th October, 1927, in Toulon, France, he died 18th December, 2001.Gilbert Becaud is one of France’s most celebrate artists, during his 53 year career he was a singer, composer, pianist, and actor, because of his energetic on stage performances, he earned the nickname ‘Monsieur 100,000 Volts.’While touring in 1953 as a pianist with the singer and actor Jacques Pills (1906-1970,) he was introduced to Edith Piaf (1915-1963) (see also best songs 178) the then wife of Pills, and on her recommendation he took up singing. Between 1953-1999 he recorded 23 studio Albums, and 15 live Albums, which were all recorded at his favourite venue, the Paris Olympia.He also wrote musicals, and film soundtracks, and as an actor appeared in seven films, and a French television series in 1995.

Gilbert Becaud had great success as a songwriter, his first hit in the English speaking world was Jane Morgan’s cover of ‘Le Jour la Pluie Viendra,’ as ‘The Days the Rain Came,’ (1958 UK Number 1 single) with English lyrics by Carl Sigman. Other notable songs Becaud wrote include,one of the biggest selling singles in French history,’Et Maintenant, which when given English lyrics once again by Carl Sigman has become one of the most covered songs in Pop music history. He also co-wrote with Neil Diamond, two of his best known songs, ‘Love on the Rocks,’ from ‘The Jazz Singer,’ and ‘September Morn.’

‘A Little Love and Understanding’ is Gilbert Becaud’s only international hit as a singer, as well as going top 10 in the UK, it spent three weeks at Number 1 in Australia.

‘Each night my voice happens to sneak through your transistor radio, I’m just a secret you can keep, and no one ever needs to know.

Posted by: In: Other 15 May 2021 Comments: 0


681-Ice Cube-It Was a Good Day.

1993-Number 27 single.

Best Bit-At 4.18.We all have our own idea of the perfect day, this is Ice Cube’s.

Ice Cube was born O’Shea Jackson on June 15th, 1969, in Los Angeles, California, United States.Evidently his stage name has nothing to do with him trying to portray a ‘cool’ gangster persona, Ice Cube explained that it was down to his elder brother,’He threatened to slam me into a freezer, and pull me out when I was an ice cube, I just started using that name, and it just caught on.’In 1987 he formed one of Rap music’s most influential groups N.W.A. with Eazy-E, and Dr.Dre (see also best songs 128 and 564,) he left in 1989 to start his solo career. To date he has released 10 solo studio Albums,’The Predator’ from where this track first appeared, gave him his only Number 1 Album on the ‘Billboard 200 Album chart’ in 1992.

‘It Was a Good Day heavily samples the song ‘Footsteps in the Dark,’ a 1977 song by The Isley Brothers (see also best songs 823-382 and 176) from their Album ‘Go For Your Guns’. The song has been covered and sampled by many other artists throughout the years, probably first by the American Gangsta Rap group ‘Compton’s Most Wanted’ on their 1991 Album ‘Straight Checkn ‘Em,’ calling the song ‘Can I Kill It?’

Ice Cube has explained his inspiration behind the songs lyrics.’I was at the top of the rap game. It was the summer of ’92, and I was in a hotel room, really in a state of euphoria. I had all the money I had dreamed of. I was in a good frame of mind, and I remember thinking,’Okay, there’s been the riots, people know how I will deal with that, that’s a given, but I rap all this gangsta stuff, what about all the good days I had?’

‘Hey wait, wait a minute fool, stop the s…, what the f… am I thinking about.’

Posted by: In: Other 13 May 2021 Comments: 0


682-Stevie Wonder-Boogie On Reggae Woman.

1975-Number 12 single.

Best Bit-At 1.51. We all have that fantasy of seeing you ‘In the raw under the stars above,’ but I bet Stevie wishes for it even more.’

Stevland Hardaway Morris (originally Judkins) was born on May 13th, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, United States. He was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in ‘retinopathy of prematurity,’a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted, and causes the retinas to detach, resulting in blindness.

‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’ is taken from Stevie Wonder’s (see also best songs 920-843-834-570-503-366-205-152 and 65) 17th studio Album, and 19th overall,’Fulfillingness’ First Finale,’ and he was still only 23 years old. Along with his previous release ‘Innervisions’ (1973,) and future release ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ (1976,) the three Albums are considered as his ‘classic period.’By 1975 Wonder had won two consecutive ‘Grammy Awards’ for Album of the year. In 1976 when Paul Simon won Album of the year for ‘Still Crazy After All These Years,’ he said,’I’d like to thank Stevie Wonder, who didn’t make an Album this year.’

On ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’ Stevie plays every instrument, with the exception of the congas. As well as the vocals, he plays the Fender Rhodes piano, harmonica, drums, and Moog bass. As well as writing the song, he also co-produced it with Robert Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil.The congas were played by Rocky Dzidzornu (1935-1993,) his many credits include his conga drumming on The Rolling Stones ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’

‘I’d like to see both of us fall deeply in love, yeah, I’d like to see you in the raw under the stars above.’

Posted by: In: Other 13 May 2021 Comments: 0


683-Max Romeo-Wet Dream.

1969-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 1.52. A rough guide to ‘The birds and the bees.’

Max Romeo was born Maxwell Livingston Smith on November 24th, 1944, in St. D’Acre, St. Ann, Jamaica. He first found success as one third of the Jamaican trio ‘The Emotions,’ alongside Lloyd Shakespear, and Kenneth Knight, they had hits locally between 1965-1968, until he left to start a solo career. From 1969 to the present day he has released 28 studio Albums, and 73 singles, of which ‘Wet Dream’ is his only international hit. His subject matter over the years has covered sexual, political, and religion.

‘Wet Dream’ was one of the very first Reggae songs to come to the attention of the wider general public. Max Romeo who wrote the lyrics, initially offered them to the Jamaican artist Derrick Morgan, but he shied away from their suggestive nature, as did John Holt, and Slim Smith. Morgan using different lyrics released the track ‘Hold You Jack,’ while Romeo using the same melody (riddim) was persuaded by the songs producers Harry Robinson, and Junior Smith to record the song himself, only Romeo is officially credited with writing the song.

‘Wet Dream’ was banned by the media due to it’s explicit sexual nature. When Radio 1 were doing the chart countdown the DJ’s were instructed to refer to the song as ‘A record by Max Romeo,’ with no mention of the songs title. Initially in order to try to get the song played Romeo said the song was about ‘A leaky roof,’ but in 2007 he claimed to have started a ‘sexual revolution,’ asked why he wrote the song he replied,’The devil made me do it.’

‘You in your small corner, I stand in mine.Throw all the punch you want to, I can take them all.’

Posted by: In: Other 11 May 2021 Comments: 0


684-Lionel Richie-Truly.

1982-Number 6 single.

Best Bit-At 2.07.Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi is named after Lionel Richie, you learn something new everyday.

Lionel Richie was born Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. on June 20th, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States, he is one of the worlds best selling artists, with sales in excess of 90 million records.Before going solo in 1982 Lionel Richie was a member of the Tamla Motown R&B, and Funk band The Commodores. Richie would share the songwriting with the other band members, and lead vocals with Walter Orange, who joined the band in 1972. Initially The Commodores were known for uptempo Funk songs such as ‘Machine Gun,’ and ‘Brick House,’but would change style for many of their later releases, finding greater success with the Richie written, and sung ballads, including ‘Three Times a Lady.’ and ‘Easy.’

After leaving The Commodores after 14 years, Richie kept on with the same theme, with the release of ‘Truly,’ from his self titled debut Album. The song went to Number 1 on Billboard, and his debut Album provided him with a further two top five singles, in the shape of ‘My Love,’ and ‘You Are.’ As with The Commodores, all the early solo Albums of Lionel Richie were produced by James Anthony Carmichael.Aside from his hits with The Commodores, and as a solo artist, other notable songs he has written include the charity single ‘We Are the World,’ with Michael Jackson, ‘Lady’ which provided Kenny Rogers with a Billboard Number 1 in 1980, and ‘Endless Love,’ the duet with Diana Ross.

‘Because I’m truly, truly in love with you girl, I’m truly head over heels with your love.’