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Posted by: In: Other 12 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


531-Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer-Give Me Everything.

2011-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.43. In Pop, musical snobbery runs rife, and know one is more guilty of that than me, but sometimes you just have to hold your hands up, and appreciate a song for all the joy it brings.

‘Give Me Everything’ has received more than it’s fare share of criticism, from it’s lyrical message about a one night stand, to, as the ‘NME’ wrote, it’s random components. The review said,’So, how many types of wrong is this? You’ve got the earnest vocal jibbering about living in the moment, you’ve got your cheap rave wibble, a high frequency irritation that buzzes like a fly trapped in jism.’ Even the use of the word ‘Kodak’ at the start of the song has been criticised, because Pitbull rhymed ‘Kodak’ with ‘Kodak,’ and did you know Pitbull was under contract to promote ‘Kodak’ at that time.

Pitbull (see also best songs 876) was born Armando Christian Perez on January 15th, 1981, in Miami, Florida, United States, to date he has sold over 25 million Albums, and 100 million singles. He has said he chose his stage name of Pitbull because the dogs ‘bite to lock.’ ‘The dog is too stupid to lose, and they’re outlawed in Dade County, they’re basically everything that I am, it’s been a constant fight.’To date, Pitbull has released 11 studio Albums between 2004-2019, as lead artist he has achieved 14 UK top 40 singles, and a further nine as a featured artist, with three songs that he has appeared on reaching the Number 1 spot.

‘Give Me Everything’ was taken from Pitbull’s sixth studio Album ‘Planet Pit,’ released in 2011, and has sold in excess of 8.2 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling singles of all time. The lyrics were co-written by Pitbull, and the songs other vocalist Ne-Yo, with the music being written by Afrojack (see also best songs 210) who also produced the track. The female vocals are provided by Nayer, who had also worked with Pitbull on some of his previous songs.

‘Tonight I want all of you tonight, give me everything tonight, for all we know we might not get tomorrow.’

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1981-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 3.28. It was an American vocalist imitating an Italian accent that stopped this song from being a Number 1 single, and initiating the most asked Pop quiz question ever. Which song stopped Vienna from getting to Number 1?

In 2012 the song was named the greatest ever single to peak at Number 2 in the UK, in a poll carried out by BBC Radio 2, and the official charts company.(I have to beg to differ, as there are several songs which reached Number 2, a lot higher placed in this countdown.)

Ultravox were formed in 1974, in London, England, originally calling themselves ‘Tiger Lily,’ before the name change to Ultravox! in 1976. The exclamation mark was in tribute to the German band ‘Neu!,’ but was later dropped. The original line up included John Foxx, who left to pursue a solo career in 1979, and guitarist Steve Shears, who left in 1978. The other three original members who were Billy Currie, (see also best songs 543) Warren Cann, and Chris Cross, were joined by Midge Ure (see also best songs 543 and 455) in 1979, to complete what is considered the bands classic line up. The group probably took their name from the Latin, ‘Ultra’ meaning ‘beyond’, and ‘Vox’ meaning ‘voice.’Ultravox were active until 1987, but have reformed with old, and new members on two occasions, before the band was finally retired in 2013. In total Ultravox released 11 studio Albums between 1977-2012, and achieved 17 UK top 40 singles.

‘Vienna’ was the third single released from the bands fourth studio Album also called ‘Vienna,’ the song had input from all four band members, and was produced by the quartet, and Konrad ‘Conny’ Plank (1940-1987) who had previously worked with, among many others, Kraftwerk (see also best songs 41) and Brian Eno.The songs lyrics were written by Midge Ure about a brief love affair in the city of Vienna. Bill Currie has said that Ure was hesitant about the classical romantic feel of the songs orchestration, and said,’This means nothing to me,’ to which Konrad Plank replied,’Well, sing that then.’ Midge Ure has said,’We wanted to take the song, and make it incredibly pompous in the middle, leaving it very sparse before, and after, but finishing with a typically over the top classical ending. Ure also said that inspiration for the song came from The Walker Brothers 1978 song ‘The Electrician.’

‘The feeling has gone, only you and I. It means nothing to me, this means nothing to me, oh Vienna.’

Posted by: In: Other 09 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


533-Rose Royce-Do Your Dance.

1977-Number 30 single.

Best Bit-At 1.56. The Rolls Royce of Funky Music.

Rose Royce started out life in the early 1970’s when members of several local bands from the Watts, and Inglewood areas of Los Angeles joined forces under the name ‘Total Concept Unlimited’. In 1973 they toured Europe, and Japan backing Edwin Starr,(1942-2003) (see also best songs 429) who later introduced them to Norman Whitfield. (1940-2008)

Whitfield (see also best songs 911-777-569-480-346 and 233) had spent the previous decade writing, and producing at Motown Records, and was now ready for a new challenge, setting up his own record label ‘Whitfield’ records.

While touring in Miami, Joe Harris of the band ‘Undisputed Truth’ was introduced to Gwen Dickey, who was then a member of a local group called ‘The Jewels.’Harris informed Whitfield of his find, and he signed Dickey to be lead vocalist of ‘Total Concept Unlimited.’In 1975 Whitfield was contacted by the film director Michael Schultz to write the music for his next film ‘Carwash.’ The soundtrack released in 1976 would become the debut Album by Rose Royce, with the band named after the movie’s automotive theme, and new lead singer Gwen Dickey now going by the stage name of Rose Norwalt. Rose Royce remain active, by still touring, in total they have released 10 studio Albums between 1976-1989, Gwen Dickey left the group to pursue a solo career in 1980.

‘Do Your Dance’ was taken from Rose Royce’s second studio Album ‘In Full Bloom’ from 1977,(see also best songs 233) and was co-written by Norman Whitfield, and Dwight Turner, Whitfield also produced the song. Turner had recorded an Album, and a few Soul singles in the 1960’s, including a cover of the Ben E King song ‘Stand By Me’, he was also a backing singer in the 1960’s for the Soul groups ‘The Stereophonics’ (no not the Welsh one) and ‘The Fabulous Counts.’

‘We gon’ start at midnight, party till the mornin’ light. You see, we can’t give up or stop, until we get it right.’ Ain’t that right, ain’t that right.’

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534-Evelyn Thomas-High Energy.

1984-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 2.15. You can’t get any higher than this,-legally.

Hi-NRG (pronounced ‘high energy’) is a genre of uptempo disco, or electric dance music (EDM) that originated during the late 1970’s, and early 1980’s. In 1977 Donna Summer was interviewed about her single ‘I Feel Love,’ which was a mostly electronic, high tempo disco song, she said,’This song became a hit because it has an high energy vibe.’ (see also best songs 11.)’High Energy’ was co-written, and co-produced by Ian Levine, and Fiachra Trench. Ian Levine was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, on June 22nd, 1953, he had been very influential in the ‘Northern Soul’ scene in the 1970’s, and then with Electronic Dance Music in the early 1980’s. The ‘High Energy’ music genre would prove very influential, with notably Stock Aitken and Waterman using the genre in a lot of their productions, and further down the line the genre would influence Techno, and Trance music of the early 1990’s. In 1989 Levine set up his own record label ‘Motorcity Records,’ with the idea of reintroducing some of the 1960’s Motown acts, such as Edwin Starr, and Levi Stubbs to a new generation. Some 850 songs were recorded by 108 artists, but Levine found distribution difficult, with many of the major labels reluctant to promote older artists, and many older Motown fans didn’t like the use of modern instrumentation backing their favourite Soul singers. The label went bankrupt and folded in 1992.

Fiachra Trench,the songs other co-writer, and co-producer was born on December 1st, 1941, in Dublin, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland. He has worked with many of the worlds top artists, and is credited with the string arrangements on the Boomtown Rats ‘I Don’t Like Mondays,’ and The Pogues ‘Fairytale of New York,’ (see also best songs 32.)Evelyn Thomas was born Ellen Lucille Evelyn Thomas on August 22nd, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Thomas had been discovered by Levine when he was scouting for talent in America in 1975. She released two singles in 1976 that had both been co-written by Levine, ‘Weak Spot,’ (UK Number 26) and ‘Doomsday’ (UK Number 41) which both became very popular with Northern Soul fans. In total Thomas has released four studio Albums between 1978-1986, and 25 singles between 1976-2008.

‘All the gold that’s in Fort Knox couldn’t buy this happiness. With your love I don’t need money, I don’t need success.

Posted by: In: Other 07 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


535-The Mills Brothers-You Always Hurt the One You Love.

1944-It has never charted in the UK. There was no UK chart until 1952.

Best Bit-At 1.16. Some song titles become so famous, that they actually become a cliche.

The Mills Brothers (see also best songs 960) originated from Piqua, Ohio, United States, and were active for 54 years between 1928-1982. The four brothers who made up the quartet, and whom had been born in to a family of nine were, Donald (1915-1999, lead tenor,) Herbert (1912-1999, tenor,) Harry (1913-1982, baritone,) and John Jr. (1910-1936, guitar, double bass, and vocals.)The Mills Brothers recorded over 2000 songs. and sold over 50 million records during their career, although in the UK, their only chart entry is ‘The Glow Worm,’ which reached Number 10 in 1952. It was a completely different story in America where they charted with 63 top 40 singles between 1931-1968, including five Number 1’s, one of which was this song. There have also been 58 official Album releases, including compilations, they also made 20 film appearances between 1932-1956.

‘You Always Hurt the One You Love’ was co-written by Allan Roberts (1905-1966) who wrote the lyrics, and Doris Fisher (1915-2003) who wrote the music. The song has been covered dozens of times down the years, with the first recording being this one by The Mills Brothers. Doris Fisher was the daughter of the German born songwriter, and Tin Pan Alley music publisher Fred Fisher (1875-1942) and the sister of Dan, and Marvin, who were also songwriters.

Doris Fisher and Allan Roberts collaborated on many songs together including ‘Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall,’ (see also best songs 702) and ‘That Ole Devil Called Love.’ In 1945 the pair were signed to a seven year contract with ‘Columbia Pictures,’ but after marrying and starting a family Fisher retired from music in 1947, with Roberts continuing with new partner Robert Allen (1927-2000,) to provide music for 20 films. Another song of note written by Doris Fisher, in collaboration with her father Fred, in 1940 was ‘Whispering Grass,’ which would become a UK Number 1 in 1975, when recorded by Windsor Davies and Don Estelle.

‘You always break the kindest heart with a hasty word you can’t recall, so if I broke your heart last night. it’s because I love you most of all.’

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536-Neil Diamond-Forever in Blue Jeans.

1979-Number 16 single.

Best Bit-At 1.27. As two other song writers also of great renown once wrote, ‘Money Can’t Buy Me Love.’

Neil Diamond was born on January 24th, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, United States. To date he has released 34 studio Albums, between 1966-2020. On Billboard he has achieved 37 top 40 singles, including the three Number 1’s, ‘Cracklin’ Rosie’ (1970,) ‘Song Sung Blue’ (1972,) and the duet with Barbra Streisand, ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ (1978.) In the UK his singles have reached the top 40 on 11 occasions, although two other of his songs,’I’m a Believer,’ (The Monkees) and ‘Red Red Wine,’ (UB40) both made Number 1 on both Billboard and in the UK charts.

‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ was taken from Neil Diamond’s 12th studio Album ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’ from 1978, this song, and the parent Album were produced by Bob Gaudio (see also best songs 1007-914-863-739-499-393-284-164-112 and 83.) Forever in Blue Jeans’ was co-written by Diamond, and Richard Bennett, who was born on July 22nd, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Bennett who is a guitarist played on 13 Neil Diamond Albums between 1971-2016, and also toured with him for 17 years. In 1994 he joined forces with Mark Knopfler, and has played on nine of his solo Albums between 1996-2018. Bennett has also released six of his own solo Albums between 2004-2018, as well as playing as a session musician for many other artists (see also best songs 923.)

‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ tells us that it is better to be loved by that special person, rather than have all the money in the world, and not know real happiness. The Blue Jeans are a symbol of a manual worker, who would not have lots of money. Neil Diamond (see also best songs 426 and 13) has said of the songs meaning,’The simple things are really the important things.’

‘Money talks, but it can’t sing and dance, and it can’t walk, and long as I can have you here with me, I’d much rather be forever in blue jeans, babe.’

Posted by: In: Other 05 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


537-UB40-Kingston Town.

1990-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 0.08. UB40 maybe brilliant when it comes to making music, but it appears they are rubbish when it comes to geography, surely they should know that Kingston is a city, not a town.

UB40 were formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978. The classic line up who recorded the debut Album ‘Signing Off’ in 1980 (see also best songs 173) were Ali Campbell (lead vocals,) Robin Campbell (lead guitar,) Earl Falconer (bass,) Norman Lamont Hassan (percussion,) Terence ‘Astro’ Wilson (vocals,) Jim Brown (drums,) Brian Travers (saxophone,) and Michael Virtue (keyboards.) This line up remained in place until Ali Campbell’s departure in 2008, he has since formed a new band ‘UB40 Reunited,’ with Astro, and Mickey Virtue. The remainder of the classic UB40 line up are still active with Ali, and Robin’s brother, Duncan Campbell, having now taken over as the bands new lead singer.

‘Kingston Town’ was the third single released from UB40’s ninth studio Album ‘Labour of Love 2,’ released in 1989. The song reached the top 40 in 10 European countries, including topping the charts in The Netherlands, and France, where with sales in that country of nearly 600,000 copies, it is at the time of writing the 426th best selling song of all time in France.The Album contains 14 cover versions,played in the Reggae genre, many based on the original versions arrangement, and some arranged by the band. ‘Kingston Town’ was originally written and recorded in 1970 by the Reggae artist Kentrick Patrick, who was known by the stage name Lord Creator. Patrick was born around 1940 in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, he is considered an important ‘outside’ influence on the early development of the Jamaican music scene.In 1962 Lord Creator recorded the song ‘Independent Jamaica’ which became the official song to mark Jamaica’s independence from the British Empire on August 6th, 1962, the song also became the first record released on Chris Blackwell’s newly founded ‘Island Records’ label (Island 001) in 1963.

‘And when I am king, surely I would need a queen, and a palace and everything,yeah. And now I am king, and my queen will come at dawn, she’ll be waiting in Kingston Town.

Posted by: In: Other 05 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


538-Meghan Trainor-All About That Bass.

2014-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.45. Lovin’ the ‘Phat Bass.’

The bass represents the fuller sound (the more curvy lady,) whereas the treble represents a lesser sound (those skinny b…..s.)Meghan Elizabeth Trainor was born on December 22nd, 1993, in Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States. To date she has released four studio Albums, between 2015-2020, and prior to finding fame, she recorded three independent Albums between 2009-2011.In America on Billboard she has achieved seven top 40 singles, while in the UK she has charted on six occasions, reaching Number 1 twice, the other song being as the featured artist on the Charlie Puth 2015 track ‘Marvin Gaye.’

Meghan Trainor initially had no ambition to be a performer, as she thought her body size would hold her back, with her not being the stereotypical looking thin female Pop singer. She was introduced to songwriter Kevin Kadish in 2013, who is 22 years her senior, but they found that musically they had a lot in common. Kadish had a song title written down (‘All About That Bass’) that he thought would make a great song, and Trainor got the idea of a song about body image from that.

‘All About That Bass’ is taken from Meghan Trainor’s debut studio Album from 2015, called ‘Title,’ after first appearing on her debut ‘EP’ also called ‘Title.’ from 2014. The song was co-written by Trainor, and Kadish, who was also the producer. After offering the song to other artists, who either turned out to be not suitable, or refused the song, Megan Trainor was advised to perform it herself.The song went on to spend eight weeks at Number 1 on Billboard, which is more than any other record on the ‘Epic’ label has ever done, it is currently (at the time of writing) the 65th best selling song in America ever, and the best selling song by a female artist in the 2010’s.

The song is not without controversy. Although the lyrics portray a positive body image message, saying that you should be proud of who you are, it does take a swipe at thin girls, leading some to suggest that the message of positivism isn’t aimed at everybody. Kadish has defended the song, saying,’What critics didn’t understand was that the song was a joke. We weren’t seriously calling people skinny bitches, but I don’t know any girl who hasn’t called another girl a skinny bitch.’

‘Yeah it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size 2, but I can shake it, shake it, like I’m supposed to do.’Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase, all the right junk in all the right places.’

Posted by: In: Other 05 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


539-Neil Sedaka-Next Door to an Angel.

1962-Number 29 single.

Best Bit-At 2.04. There are worse things you could live next door to, how about Alice for instance.Neil Sedaka was born on March 13th, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York City, United States. His success can be split into two eras, the early 1960’s, and his comeback in the the mid 1970’s. It was the changing sounds in Pop Music, with the emergence of the Beatles, and the ‘British Invasion,’ which primarily caused Sedaka to drop out of the limelight.Neil Sedaka started out in 1955 as a founding member of a ‘Doo-Wop’ style group, who would go on to become ‘The Tokens,’ having four top 40 hit singles after Sedaka had left in 1958, including the Billboard Number 1 ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ in 1961.For the majority of his career Sedaka has had songwriting partners, the first was the lyricist Howard Greenfield (1936-1986.) The two first met when Sedaka was 13, and Greenfield was 16, and both were employed in the late 1950’s as composers at the ‘Brill Building,’ in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

Arguably Sedaka found even greater success in the 1970’s, with the release of his 1972 Album ‘Solitaire.’ The Album had 11 tracks, with seven of them written by Sedaka, and his new writing partner Phil Cody. The four musicians on the Album playing alongside Sedaka would go on to form the very successful band 10CC (see also best songs 663 and 154.)

‘Next Door to an Angel’ was co-written by Neil Sedaka, and Howard Greenfield, and is one of his 21 Billboard top 40 hits between 1958-1980. The duo also had great success with songs they had written, being performed by other artists. In 1975 ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ was that years best selling song in America, when recorded by ‘The Captain & Tenille’, and in the UK in 2005 ‘Is This the Way to Amarillo’ which was recorded by Tony Christie, featuring Peter Kay, for ‘Comic Relief’, became the best selling song of the new millennium up to that point.

‘Since I saw her this morning I’m on cloud number nine. There’a a garden of Eden at the house next door to mine.’

Posted by: In: Other 02 Oct 2021 Comments: 0


540-Tom Tom Club-Wordy Rappinghood.

1981-Number 7 single.

Best Bit-At 2.23. Where would we be without words?Every song would be an instrumental.

Tom Tom Club were formed in 1981 by the the husband and wife duo of Tina Weymouth, and Chris Frantz. Both were members of the critically acclaimed band Talking Heads who were on hiatus at the time, so Tom Tom Club was considered a side project. They took the bands name from a dancehall in the Bahamas, where the pair had rehearsed in 1980. Weymouth and Franz continued working with both bands until 1991, when Talking Heads were disbanded, although there was a reunion in 2002, while Tom Tom Club remain active. Both bands have seen members come and go, with some playing in both. The Tom Tom Club have released six studio Albums between 1981-2012, along with two live Albums, and 13 singles, with ‘Genius of Love'(Billboard Number 31) being their most successful in America, and this song their biggest hit in the UK.

‘Wordy Rappinghood’ was the debut single by the Tom Tom Club, taken from their self titled debut Album, which also included ‘Genius of Love,’ and a cover of The Drifters ‘Under the Boardwalk,’ which would give then their only other UK hit single, when reaching Number 22, in 1982. ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ was co-written by Weymouth and Frantz, along with Weymouth’s sisters, Lani, and Laura, who also both sang backing vocals, and also the songs producer Steven Stanley.The lyrics question the true meaning of words, and how they can be manipulated for ones own benefit. Some of the lyrics are spoken in French, and part of the song uses the traditional Moroccan children’s song ‘A Ram Sam Sam,’ Other artists who have recorded ‘A Ram Sam Sam,’ include the British Folk group ‘The Spinners’ in 1964, and Rolf Harris in 1971, but the best known use of the tune, but with different lyrics, was made in 2003 by the ‘Fast Food Rockers,’ who took the ‘Fast Food Song’ to Number 2 in the UK.

‘Wordy Rappinghood’ was released only a few months after Debbie Harry and Blondie had taken ‘Rapture’ to Number 1 on Billboard, which like ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ was rapped by a white female vocalist, and although it had little in common with the new genre of ‘Rap Music’ that was emerging, it went a long way to bringing ‘Rap’ to the wider public.

‘Rushed words, sensible words, words that tell the truth. Cursed words, lying words, words missing the fruit of spirit.’