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Posted by: In: Other 29 Jun 2021 Comments: 0


635-T-Connection-At Midnight.

1979-Number 53 single.

Best Bit-At 3.07. The percussion intro was meant to go on for longer, but the bongo player got cramp.

T-Connection were a Funk, and Disco group formed in Nassau, the Bahamas in 1975 by Theophilus ‘T’ Coakley (guitar, and keyboards,) his brother Kirkwood Coakley (bass, and drums,) David Mackey (guitars,) Anthony Flowers (percussion,) Monty Brown, and Berkley VanByrd (drums,) who is now deceased. They were active until 1984, releasing eight studio Albums, and reaching the UK top 40 on two occasions.Their most successful song was the 1977 track ‘Do What You Wanna Do,’ which peaked at Number 11, and also in the same year they reached Number 16 with ‘On Fire.’

T-Connection relocated to Miami, Florida, United States in 1975, and signed with ‘T.K. Records,’ the home of KC and the Sunshine Band, and George McCrae (see also best songs 893-375 and 64.) The bands first four Albums were all released through TK Records subsidiary label ‘Dash.’ In 1980 they left ‘TK,’ and signed with ‘Capitol Records,’ where their other four Albums were recorded.

‘At Midnight’ was taken from the bands third Album called ‘T-Connection,’ and was co-written by Theophilus ‘T’ Coakley, and David Mackey. The 12 inch vinyl record for ‘At Midnight’ was ‘DJ friendly,’ as there were etchings on the record to let you know where to place the needle. For instance if you wanted to skip the drum intro, this was clearly marked. These were the days before mixing, but the seeds were being sown.

‘Look in to my eyes, tell me what you see, do you see some possibilities.’

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636-Jay-Z-Girls, Girls, Girls.

2002-Number 11 single.

Best Bit-At 1.22. Even if only 10% of what he brags about is true, he must still have a very understanding wife.

Jay-Z was born on December 4th, 1969, in New York City, United States, he is recognised as one of the greatest rappers of all time. He is one of the world’s best selling solo artists, with sales in excess of 50 million Albums, and 75 million singles. He has released 13 studio solo Albums between 1996-2017, with the last 11 all reaching Number 1 on Billboard. He has also achieved a further three collaborative Albums with R Kelly, Linkin Park, and Kanye West, which also all made Number 1.

‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ is taken from Jay-Z’s (see also best songs 477-267 and 23) sixth studio Album ‘The Blueprint’ from 2001. The Album was unfortunately released on the same day as the 9/11 tragedy in 2001,.but that didn’t stop sales of the Album topping 427,000 in it’s first week, it has since gone on to sell in excess of 2 million copies in America. ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ samples the 1974 song ‘There’s Nothing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You,’ by the American Soul singer Tom Brock (1942-2002.) which was produced by Barry White (1944-2003,) on the ’20th Century’ record label. The songs chorus of ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ was inspired by the 1980 ‘Old School’ Hip-Hop song ‘High Power Rap,’ by the New York based the ‘Crash Crew.’ The song has additional vocals by Q-Tip, Slick Rick, and Biz Markie. There is also a remix of the song produced by Kanye West, which can be found as a hidden track on ‘The Blueprint,’ with unaccredited vocals from Michael Jackson.

‘I got this young chick, she’s so immature. She like,’Why you don’t buy me Reeboks no more?”Like to show out in public, throw tantrums on the floor, gotta toss a couple of dollars, just to shut up her holla.’

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637-Joni Mitchell-Big Yellow Taxi.

1970-Number 11 single.

Best Bit-At 2.10. Joni Mitchell laughing at her own vocal gymnastics.

Joni Mitchell (see also best songs 558 and 299) was born Roberta Joan Mitchell on November 7th, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada, she released her debut studio Album ‘Song to a Seagull’ in 1968, and after the release of her 19th Album ‘Shine’ in 2007, she said it would be her last. In the UK the only time she has made the top 10 singles chart was when guesting on the Janet Jackson song ‘Got ’til It’s Gone’, which reached Number 6 in 1997, the song samples

‘Big Yellow Taxi.”Big Yellow Taxi’ is a song about the damage being done to the environment.Joni Mitchell has said,’I wrote Big Yellow Taxi’ on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel, and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance.The, I looked down, and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see,and it broke my heart, this blight on paradise. That’s when I sat down and wrote the song.The song also reminds us not to take anything for granted, and that if we don’t make a stand to protect the natural world it will be gone tomorrow.In the final verse ‘Joni’s ‘old man’ is taken away in a big yellow taxi. This refers to an old boyfriend, being arrested by the Canadian police, for being an environmental activist. In Toronto, Canada many of the police vehicles were yellow, with red flashing lights on the roof, and this is from where the song takes it’s title.The song has also charted twice in the UK for other artists. In 1995 the American singer Amy Grant took her version to Number 20, with slightly changed lyrics, at the request of Joni Mitchell,to bring the song more up to date, and in 2002 the American Rock band Counting Crows, with backing vocals from Vanessa Carlton made Number 16, after being featured in the film ‘Two Weeks Notice.’ In America the only version of this song to make the top 40 on Billboard was a 1970 cover from ‘The Neighborhood which made Number 29, although a live version by Joni Mitchell did reach Number 24 in 1974.

‘They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, with a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Jun 2021 Comments: 0


638-The Clash-Bankrobber.

1980-Number 12 single.

Best Bit-At 4.29.The band filmed a low budget video for the song, depicting members of the band recording the track in the studio, interspersed with The Clash roadies Baker, and Green wearing bandanas over their faces, performing a bank heist in Lewisham, London. During filming, Baker and Green were stopped by the police who thought they were genuine bank robbers.

The Clash (see also best songs 867 and 294) were formed in London, England in 1976, and were active until 1986, the classic line up were Joe Strummer, who was born John Mellor (1952-2002,) (guitar, and vocals,) Mick Jones (lead guitar,) Paul Simonon (bass,) and Nicky ‘Topper’ Headon (drums.) Headon left the group in 1982, and Jones departed in 1983, with new members being recruited, through until their disbandment in 1986.

‘Bankrobber’ was released as a stand alone single in 1980, and did not appear on an Album until 1983’s compilation ‘Black Market Clash.’ The Clash experimented in many musical genres, and this song incorporated Reggae, with the band working with the Jamaican producer Mickey Dread (1954-2008,) who would also be very influential in the recording of their fourth studio Album ‘Sandinista!’ in 1980.

The songs lyrics are not meant to be taken literally, they are a continuation of the bands themes of dead end jobs, and escaping oppression that ran through so many of The Clash songs. In 1997 the Manchester band Audioweb covered the song, taking their version to Number 19 in the UK.

‘The old man spoke up in a bar, said,’I never been in prison.’A lifetime serving one machine, is ten times worse than prison.’

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639-Carly Simon-You’re So Vain.

1973-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 2.56. One of Pop Music’s best kept fun secrets, is ironically taken from her 1972 Album,’No Secrets.’

Carly Elisabeth Simon was born on June 25th, 1945, in The Bronx, New York. Before finding worldwide success as a solo artist, she and her two older sisters, Joanna, and Lucy were signed to ‘Kapp Records’ in 1964, releasing two Albums. Simon signed as a solo artist with ‘Electra Records’ in 1970, and released her self titled debut Album in 1971, she has released 22 studio Albums to date. Both of her first two solo Albums fared well, with both reaching Number 30 on Billboard, but it was with the release of her third Album ‘No Secrets’ in 1972, that she achieved worldwide success, in the main,with thanks to this song.Carly Simon has had a lot of fun teasing the media, and the general public about whom ‘You’re So Vain’ is really about. Even now, nearly 50 years later, only a handful of people know the truth. In order to keep the mystery and intrigue going, Carly Simon from time to time drops hints. She has stated that the song refers to three men only, one of whom is the actor Warren Beatty, Carly Simon has said that the second verse is about him. She has also stated that the song isn’t actually just about one person, but an amalgamation of three men she has known. Unaccredited backing vocals on the track are provided by Mick Jagger (see also best songs 933-662-452-160 and 77) of whom Simon has stated is definitely not part of the subject of the song.In 2001 Carly Simon used the basis of this song in collaboration with Janet Jackson (see also best songs 679) and Missy Elliott (see also best songs 691,) recording a new ‘version’ called ‘Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You.’) for Jackson’s Album ‘All For You.’ ‘Son of a Gun’ is what Simon can be heard whispering on the intro of ‘You’re So Vain.’

‘Well I hear you went to Saratoga, and your horse naturally won.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Jun 2021 Comments: 0


640-Tears for Fears-Change.

1983-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 2.31.’Dance like nobody’s watching.’

Tears for Fears were formed in Bath, England, in 1981, by Roland Orzabal, who was born August 22nd, 1961, in Portsmouth, England, and Curt Smith, who was born June 24th, 1961, in Bath. Shortly after forming they were joined by Ian Stanley (keyboards,) and Manny Elias (drums.) Elias left the band in 1986, and Stanley in 1987. Orzabal and Smith recorded, and toured together until falling out with each other in 1991 (see also best songs 24.) The bands name was inspired by ‘Primal Therapy,’ developed by the American psychologist Arthur Janov, which gained tremendous publicity after John Lennon became Janov’s patient in 1970. ‘In 2000, after not speaking to each other in nearly 10 years, Orzabal and Smith had to meet up to sign some routine paperwork, and this led to a re-union, and the recording of their sixth studio Album,’Everybody Loves a Happy Ending,’ in 2004.Between 1983-2004 Tears for Fears recorded six studio Albums, although Smith didn’t appear on ‘Elemental’ (1993,) and ‘Raoul and the Kings of Spain,'(1995.) In the UK they have achieved 17 top 40 singles, with the highest chart placing being ‘Everybody Want’s to Rule the World,’ which reached Number 2 in 1985, but a cover version of their 1982 Number 3 song ‘Mad World,’ did become the Christmas Number 1 of 2003, when covered by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules. In America they became one of the most successful British bands of the 1980’s, achieving two Billboard Number 1’s, (‘Shout,’ and ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World.’) and a Billboard Number 1 Album with ‘Songs from the Big Chair’, in 1985.

‘Change’ is taken from the bands debut Album,’The Hurting,’ and was written by Roland Orzabal, who has said about the songs meaning,’It’s not really about much. It’s just one of those cheap pop lyrics.’Of the song Curt Smith said,’A strange little pop song.’

‘You walked in to the room, I just had to laugh, the face you wore was cool, you were a photograph.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Jun 2021 Comments: 0


641-Sonic Youth-Bull in the Heather.

1994-Number 24 single.

Best Bit-At 0.15. Undoubtedly the best song ever written about a racehorse.

Sonic Youth were an Alternative Rock group, formed in New York City, United States, by Kim Gordon (vocals, and bass,) Thurston Moore (vocals, and guitar,) Lee Ranaldo (guitar,) Anne DeMarinis (keyboards,) and Richard Edson (drums). Gordon, and Moore were married in 1984, but divorced in 2013, and along with Ranaldo were the bands three constants until they split in 2011. The group had three previous drummers until Steve Shelley joined them permanently in 1985. They took their name from the nickname of the MC5’s Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith (see also best songs 155,) and ‘Youth’ from the reggae artist Big Youth.Sonic Youth are considered one of the most important acts in the development of experimental rock music, redefining what a guitar could do, by using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tuning’s. Thurston Moore has said the odd tuning’s were an attempt to introduce new sounds. Between 1983-2009 they released 15 studio Albums, with all of the bands members also releasing solo material, or working with others.

Kim Gordon who was five months pregnant when recording this songs video explained what ‘Bull in the Heather’ is about. She said,’Using passiveness as a form of rebellion-like, I’m not going to participate in your male dominated culture, so I’m going to be passive.’Bob Nastanovich who is a member of the American Indie Rock band ‘Pavement,’ and a big horse racing fan, had told Kim Gordon about a horse called ‘Bull in the Heather,’ who had won at big odds. In the context of the song the horses odds probably represent coming out on top, even when the odds are against you.’

Time to tell your dirty story, time turning over and over, time turning, four leaf clover, betting on the bull in the heather.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Jun 2021 Comments: 0


642-The Osmonds-Crazy Horses.

1972-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.09.They needed something that sounded like a horse. They tried everything, until they finally found something on Donny’s organ that sounded like a neighing stallion.

The Osmonds father was George (1917-2007,) and their mother was Olive (1925-2004,) together they had nine children, George Jr, Virl, Tom, Alan, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy. George Osmond was a devout Mormon, and brought his family up to be the same, when he died in 2007, as well as his nine children, he left 55 grandchildren, and 48 great grandchildren.

Between their formation in 1962, until 1970, they were a quartet, comprising Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay, their big break came when they were booked to appear on a regular basis on the Andy Williams television show between 1962-1969 (see also best songs 914 and 112.) They would become a quintet for the first time in 1970, when joined by their younger brother Donny. Between 1970-1980 The Osmonds released 10 studio Albums, with Donny, Jimmy, who is the youngest sibling, and their only sister, Marie, all pursuing successful solo careers. On top of this, Donny and Marie also teamed up to record several successful duets.

‘Crazy Horses’ was a turning point in the bands career, as prior to this they recorded songs written by other artists, and chosen for them by their record company. Merrill has said,’We were rehearsing in a basement one day when Wayne started playing this heavy rock riff. I came up with the melody, and Alan got the chords.’The songs subject was way ahead of it’s time. It’s a song about the environment, those’Crazy Horses, smoking up the sky,’ are gas-guzzling cars, destroying the planet with their fumes’.

‘Never stop, and they never die, they just keep on puffin’, how they multiply.’

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


643-DJ Jazzy Jeff & The French Prince-Summertime.

1991-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 0.05. Unlike the majority of Rappers, you will never need a Parental Advisory Label on one of Will Smith’s records.

Willard Carroll Smith Jr. was born on September 25th, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, he is the only actor to have starred in eight consecutive films which have grossed over $100 million in the United States box office, and 11 consecutive films, which grossed over $150 million internationally. As a solo artist Smith has released four studio Albums between 1997-2005, and in the UK he has had 12 top 40 singles,(one as a featured artist) including his debut hit ‘Men in Black,’ which reached Number 1.

DJ Jazzy Jeff was born Jeffrey Allen Townes on January 22nd, 1965, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, he has stated that he wanted to be a DJ from the age of 10. He has been highly praised for his skills on turntables, and is credited with making the ‘Transformer Scratch’ famous. After parting ways with Will Smith in 1994 he has written and produced for himself, and numerous other artists.

Will Smith who uses the stage name The Fresh Prince first met DJ Jazzy Jeff in 1985 when DJ Jazzy Jeff was performing at a house party only a few doors down from where Smith lived. Smith took the microphone and showed off his rapping skills, and the two decided to work together. Between 1987-1993 they released five studio Albums, and achieved four top 40 singles on Billboard, and six in the UK. In the states this song is their biggest hit, reaching Number 4, while in the UK, 1993’s’Boom! Shake the Room’ made Number 1.

‘Summertime’ is taken from the duo’s fourth studio Album ‘Homebase’ from 1991, and samples Kool & the Gang’s 1974 instrumental ‘Summer Madness,’ taken from their fifth studio Album ‘Light of Worlds.’ Smith and Townes both receive writing credit, along with eight members of Kool & the Gang, and Lamar ‘Hula’ Mahone, who would go on to find success as one half of The Outhere Brothers in the mid 1990’s. In recognition of the Kool & the Gang original, the last line of ‘Summertime’ as rapped by Will Smith is,’And this is the definition of Summer Madness.’

‘Leanin’ to the side, but you can’t speed through, two miles an hour, so everybody sees you.’

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


644-Aretha Franklin-I Say a Little Prayer.

1968-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 2.02. In the words of Green Gartside,’Each time I go to bed, I pray like Aretha Franklin.’ (see also best songs 554)

‘I Say a Little Prayer’ was written by the legendary songwriting team of Burt Bacharach (music,) and Hal David (1921-2012) (lyrics.) The song was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick (see also best songs 224) who took her version to Number 4 on Billboard in 1967. A year later the song was recorded by Aretha Franklin (see also best songs 366) for the ‘B’side of ‘The House That Jack Built,’ but ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ was favoured by radio stations and began receiving all of the air play. Franklin’s version reached Number 10 on Billboard, and also became, at that time her biggest UK hit, when making Number 4.

Both versions have the American R&B girl group ‘The Sweet Inspirations’ in common, as they were in on rehearsals when Warwick was recording her version, and can be heard performing backing vocals on Franklin’s recording. ‘The Sweet Inspirations’ (see also best songs 882) at that time were Cissy Houston, the mother of Whitney, Estelle Brown, Sylvia Shemwell, and Myrna Smith (1941-2010.) The song has also been a hit in the UK for two other artists. In 1988 Tim Simenon using his alias ‘Bomb the Bass’ took his electronic dance version, featuring the singer Maureen, to Number 10, and a reggae version by Diana King, which was featured prominently in the 1997 comedy film ‘My Best Friends Wedding,’ reached Number 17 in 1997.

Burt Bacharach (see also best songs 902-815-740 and 224) never wanted the Dionne Warwick version to be released, he has said,’I think I made the tempo a little too fast, I didn’t want the record to come out, but got overridden. I’m glad that I got overridden’.He has also stated that he much prefers the Aretha Franklin arrangement, and production of the song by Jerry Wexler. As for how the song was inspired, Hal David wrote the lyrics with the intention to convey a woman’s concern for her man who is serving in the Vietnam War.

‘The moment I wake up, before I put on my makeup, I say a little prayer for you.