Providing Disco & Karaoke Since 19770113 266 8963 0113 266 8963
Posted by: In: Other 30 Nov 2021 Comments: 0


481-Elton John and Kiki Dee-Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

1976-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.53. Watching Elton’s dance moves in the iconic video, makes you realise why when performing in concert, he tends to spend most of his time sat at the piano.

‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ was co-written by Elton John, and his usual songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, but this time using the pseudonyms ‘Anna Orson’ (Elton John) and ‘Carte Blanche'( Bernie Taupin) (see also best songs 946-237 and 62.) Both were big fans of the ‘Motown’ style duet of the 1960’s, such as those performed by Marvin Gaye, and Tammi Terrell, and Kim Weston. At first the idea was to cover The Four Tops song ‘Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever,’ until they came up with this original gem. Elton had planned to record the duet with Dusty Springfield (see also best songs 882 and 171) but she had to withdraw because she was too ill at the time. The song went on to become the first UK Number 1 single for Elton John, although it would be a further 14 years until his first solo UK Number 1 ‘Sacrifice.’ In 1993 Elton John re-recorded the song in a Disco style with the drag queen RuPaul, for his duets Album, the song was produced by Giorgio Moroder (see also best songs 78 and 11,) and reached Number 3 in the UK.

Kiki Dee was born Pauline Matthews on March 6th, 1947, in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, it was the songwriter Mitch Murray who created her stage name. Her breakthrough occurred when signing with Fontana Records in 1963, releasing 11 non charting singles, and an Album in 1968. In 1970 she became the first British white artist to sign with ‘Motown’ records on its subsidiary ‘Rare Earth’ label, which was a short lived label dedicated to Rock music, played by white artists. She released one Album ‘Love Makes the World Go Round,’ for the label in 1970. It was her next move to ‘Rocket’ records co-owned by Elton John which saw her finally break into the charts when ‘Amoureuse’ reached Number 13 in the UK in 1973. In total Kiki Dee has recorded 12 studio Albums, and achieved nine top 40 singles.In 1993 Kiki Dee and Elton John once again joined forces, recording the 1956 Cole Porter song ‘True Love,’ for Elton’s ‘Duets’ Album, the song made Number 2 in the UK, and is to date Kiki Dee’s last appearance on the chart.

‘Nobody knows it, when I was down, I was your clown.Nobody knows it, right from the start, I gave you my heart.’

Posted by: In: Other 30 Nov 2021 Comments: 0


482-2Pac featuring Dr.Dre and Roger Troutman-California Love.

1996-Number 6 single.

Best Bit-At 2.18.Like so many other great Hip-Hop songs,this also uses many samples,but before some of you get on your musical high horses just remember that in Pop Music ‘NO’ song has ever been totally original,every new song is influenced by something that has gone before.

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born Lesane Parish Crooks on June 16th, 1971, in East Harlem, New York City, he died from internal bleeding after being shot four times, once in the arm, once in the thigh, and twice in the chest, in a drive by shooting on September 13th, 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, he was 25 years old.Both of Tupac’s parents were involved heavily in the ‘Black Panther Party,’ and he was renamed at the age of one year old in honour of Tupac Amaru (1738-1781) who led the ‘Andean uprising’ in 1780. He is considered to be one of the most influential rappers of all time, with record sales in excess of 70 million.He released four studio Albums during his life time, and there has been a further five posthumous Album releases between 1996-2006.

‘California Love’ was co-written by Dr. Dre, and Tupac Shakur, and produced by Dr. Dre (see also best songs 564-544-189-128 and 48.)The song was one of two tracks that Dre collaborated on with Tupac for his fourth studio Album ‘All Eyez on Me’ from 1996. The song samples the 1972 Joe Cocker song ‘Woman To Woman’ (a Number 1 song in Spain.) The chorus ‘California knows how to party,’ was performed by Roger Troutman (1951-1999) using his characteristic ‘Talk Box,’ and was taken from the 1982 song ‘West Coast Polock’ by Ronnie Hudson. In the song Troutman also sings ‘shake it, shake it baby,’ he first sang this line on his own 1982 song ‘Dance Floor,’ when performing with his band ‘Zapp.’Dr Dre performs the first verse, and Tupac, who it is said took 15 minutes to write his rap, performs the second verse, the song is a celebration of Californian life.

‘California Love’ was released as Tupac’s comeback single after his release from prison in 1995, and was also his first release on ‘Death Row Records.’ The labels owner Suge Knight had helped Tupac out of his worsening financial situation while in prison, in return for Tupac releasing music on his label. The gambol paid off as ‘California Love’ became a Billboard Number 1 single, and ‘All Eyez on Me’ sold in excess of 7 million copies worldwide.

‘Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin,’ Soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin.’ Flendin’ for money and alcohol, the life of a Westside player.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Nov 2021 Comments: 0


483-Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin-Don’t You Worry Child.

2012-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.07. In Electronic Dance Music this segment is known as a ‘Drop,’ and is one of the reasons why DJ’s love doing the job.

Prior to the forming of the Swedish House Mafia in 2008, the three founding members Axel Christofer Hedfors, (Axwell) Steven Fragogiannis (Steve Angello) and Sebastan Ingrosso, along with Eric Prydz, had worked as solo artists, as well as collaborating together on occasions. Prydz has stated that he preferred to work on his own, so declined the offer to join the other three. Axwell, and Ingrosso were both born in Sweden, while Angello was born in Greece, but lived in Sweden from an early age, it was when fans began nicknaming them the ‘Swedish House Mafia,’ that they decided to use the name on their formation (see also best songs 883.) They were active between 2008-2013, but reformed in 2018, after releasing music independently.To date they have issued two compilations ‘Until One’ in 2010, and ‘Until Now’ in 2012. They released their first studio Album ‘Paradise Again’ in 2021.

‘Don’t You Worry Child’ was the sixth, and final single release by the Swedish House Mafia, before they went on hiatus, and the sixth consecutive singe to reach the UK top 20. All three group members receive writing credits, as does the songs vocalist John Martin, and his songwriting partner Michel Zitron. John Martin is also a native of Sweden, and had previously co-written, and provided the vocals on the Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Save the World’ from 2011.Of his part on writing the song, Martin has said,’We had this discussion (with Michel Zitron) about our relationships with our dads. We started to play around with a loop, then this melody came out quickly, and we did it in one day. You have to touch the crying nerve in music, when you mix sad melodies with euphoric tracks, there is something that happens that really works.’

‘There was a time, I used to look into my fathers eyes. In a happy home, I was a king, I had a golden throne. Those days are gone, now the memories are on the wall, I hear the sounds from the places where I was born.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Nov 2021 Comments: 0


484-Lonnie Donegan-Rock Island Line.

1955-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 2.30. This is one of the most important songs in the development of Pop Music, as it influenced many of the next generations top musicians.

The genre of ‘Skiffle’ is Folk music, with influences of Jazz, and Blues, that developed in the early part of the 20th Century in America. Artists who performed Skiffle would use homemade, or improvised instruments such as the ‘washboard,’ ‘musical saw,’ and ‘comb and paper kazoos,’ by the 1940’s the term ‘Skiffle’ had disappeared from American music.

‘Skiffle’ was all but forgotten, until it’s revival in the mid 1950’s in the UK, by it’s main proponent Lonnie Donegan (1931-2002.) British teenagers saw that it was possible to form bands, and make music with a very low cost budget. Among those who were influenced was future ‘Beatle’ John Lennon, who formed the Skiffle group, the ‘Quarrymen’ in 1956. The English singer/songwriter Billy Bragg has compared the development of Skiffle in Britain in the 1950’s to ‘Punk Rock’ in the 1970’s, noting that Skiffle was a revolt by young people against the culture of their parents, and allowed them to create their own style of music without expensive equipment, or great musical virtuosity.

‘Rock Island Line’ is an American Folk song that was written in 1929 by Clarence Wilson, who was a member of the ‘Rock Island Colored Booster Quartet,’ a singing group which was made up of employees of the ‘Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad.’ The original lyrics bare little resemblance to later versions, including Donegan’s cover, as artists would develop the song in their own way over the years.Lonnie Donegan (see also best songs 136) was born Anthony James Donegan on April 29th, 1931, in Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland, he died on November 3rd, 2002 at the age of 71, after a heart attack, he had suffered with heart complications since 1976. Donegan got to know about the ‘Rock Island Line’ song after hearing it performed on record by the Blues performer ‘Lead Belly’ (1888-1949.) The song would go on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide, giving Donegan the first of his 29 UK top 40 singles between 1955-1962. Donegan is recognised as the most successful, and influential recording artists before the Beatles.

‘Well if you want to ride, you gotta ride it like you find it.Get your ticket at the station of the Rock Island Line. Well I maybe right, or I maybe wrong, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.’

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


485-Ike & Tina Turner-Nutbush City Limits.

1973-Number 4 single.Best Bit-At 0.01. Nutbush isn’t a city, it’s actually a ‘little old town in Tennessee.’ Apparently, a ‘one-horse town.’

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26th, 1939, in Brownsville, Tennessee, United States. During the war years Bullock was sent to live with her strict religious grandparents, who also lived in Nutbush, Tennessee, while her two sisters were relocated elsewhere, as her parents went to work for the war effort, in Knoxville, Tennessee.Bullock would spend the first 16 years of her life living in Nutbush, and this song is a celebration of her rural hometown.’Nutbush City Limits’ was also the title of Ike & Tina Turner’s 16th studio Album released in 1973, on which Tina Turner is credited with writing five of the 10 tracks, including this one. In the song Tina tells us about life growing up in a close knit community, as she reminisces about everyday life, and the places she knew as a child.When recalling her memories of Nutbush, Tina has said that she didn’t turn any heads, as she was too skinny, and ‘many women there had the goods.’

Tina Turner (see also best songs 752 and 192) has recorded the song on two further occasions for single release.In 1988 she released a live version, which had been recorded on her 1986-1987 ‘Break Every Rule Tour,’ but the single failed to chart. In 1991 for part of the promotion for her first solo greatest hits Album ‘Simply the Best,’ the song was reworked in a 1990’s dance style, and reached Number 23 in the UK.In Australia where the original 1973 version peaked at Number 14, the song has over the years become a staple of social occasions, and celebrations. ‘The ‘Nutbush’ is a line dance that is performed by people of all ages and genders, with it’s own dance moves. On July 16th, 2019, a new record of 2,330 people performed the ‘Nutbush’ at the ‘Big Red Bash’ breaking the previous years record.

In 2002 a segment of Tennessee State Route 19, near Nutbush, was named ‘Tina Turner Highway’ in her honour. Other notable residents of Nutbush include the Blues singers Hambone Willie Newbern, (1901-1965) Sleepy John Estes, (1899 or 1900-1977) and Noah Lewis (1891-1961.)

‘A church house, gin house, a school house, outhouse.On highway number 19 the people keep the city clean.’

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


486-Bob Lind-Elusive Butterfly.

1966-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 0.51. Don’t be concerned, this will not harm you, it’s just poetry in musical motion.

Robert Neale Lind was born on November 25th, 1942, in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.In 1965 he signed with ‘World Pacific Records,’ which was a subsidiary of ‘Liberty Records,’ recording his first two Albums there, in total he has released five studio Albums between 1966-2016. Although this song remains his only self recorded charting single, his body of work has been covered by more than 200 artists. Lind suffered from drug, and alcohol problems for many years, but has been clean and sober since 1977. Away from music he is the writer of five novels, and an award winning play, and a screenplay called ‘Refuge,’ He was also a regular contributor to weekly tabloid papers for many years. In 2004 Lind returned to music, performing live shows, and releasing new music.

‘Elusive Butterfly’ features on Bob Lind’s 1965 debut Album ‘Don’t Be Concerned,’ with a string arrangement by Jack Nitzsche. Lind has said he wrote the lyrics around sunrise, sometime in 1964. He credits the songs inspiration as coming from the W.B.Yeats (1865-1939) poem ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus,’ first printed in 1897.In the song Lind sees himself as a butterfly hunter, he is looking for romance, but he finds it as elusive as butterflies are to capture. The original version of the song is more of a ‘Folk’ guitar based acoustic recording, and is nearly six minutes long, with more verses, but after being introduced by this songs producer Richard Bock to Jack Nitzsche, (1937-2000) the track was transformed. Nitzsche added a lush string arrangement, thus making the song one of the first ‘Folk/Rock’ songs to feature a string section.

‘Elusive Butterfly’ was initially released as the ‘B’ side to Lind’s first single release ‘Cheryl’s Goin’ Home,’ because the record company thought it was too different from the types of music that were becoming hits at that time, to be successful, but when one of the DJ’s at the Miami radio station ‘WQAM’ began playing it, the track started to get requests from the listening audience. In America on Billboard the song reached Number five in 1966, while although peaking in the same position in the UK, it was stopped from going higher by a rival version from the Irish singer Val Doonican (1927-2015) whose version also stalled at Number 5.

‘Don’t be concerned, it will not harm you, it’s only me pursuing somethin’ I’m not sure of. Across my dreams with nets of wonder, I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love.’

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


487-Prince-Sign O’ the Times.

1987-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 1.47. This is one of the best examples of what Prince was capable of writing about, when he wasn’t just thinking about sex. According to the music engineer Susan Rogers who worked on the record with Prince, he wrote this song on a Sunday, because that was when he composed his most introspective songs.

‘Sign O’ the Times’ was the first single released off of Prince’s ninth studio Album of the same name in 1987. On this song, as well as writing and producing, he also provides all of the vocals, and plays every instrument, which included the use of a drum machine, and a ‘Fairlight’ sampling synthesizer, which was state of the art at that time.At around this time in his career, Prince (see also best songs 884-269-85 and 54) was a prolific creator of music, and had written enough material to release a triple CD Album, but his record company ‘Warner Brothers’ refuted the idea, and Prince eventually compromised to a double CD Album, but this was the start of his dispute with the label, eventually leading to him changing his name to a ‘squiggle,’ and having the word ‘slave’ written on his face.

The title of the song came from a magazine called ‘Signs of the Times’ which is a monthly religious publication, both of Prince’s parents were followers of Christianity. The song makes many social references to the state of the world in the mid 1980’s, including ‘AIDS.’ gang warfare, poverty, drug culture, the amount spent on the American space programme, and the imminent threat of nuclear war.At the very end of the song Prince is telling us to grab happiness while we can, and live for today.

The songs lyric video is an early example of the type of video that has become commonplace over the years.

‘Sign O’ the Times, mess with your mind, hurry up before it’s too late.Lets fall in love, get married, have a baby, we’ll call him Nate, if it’s a boy.’

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


488-Wilson Pickett-Land of 1000 Dances.

1966-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 0.12.The Pony, Chicken, Mashed Potato, Alligator, Watusi, Twist, Fly, Jerk, Tango ,Yo-Yo, Sweet Pea, Hand Jive, Slop, Bop, Fish, and the Popeye. I could mention the other 884 dances, but I would run out of room.

‘Land of 1000 Dances’ was originally written, and recorded by Chris Kenner (1929-1976.) He had his greatest success as a recording artist in 1961 when his co-write ‘I Like It Like That,’ with Allen Toussaint (1938-2015) reached Number 2 on Billboard.The song was covered by the English group ‘The Dave Clark Five’ in 1965, and made Number 7 on Billboard, but failed to chart in the UK. Kenner’s original version of ‘Land of 1000 Dances’ was inspired by an old ‘Spiritual Song’ called ‘Children Go Where I Send Thee,’with Kenner substituting places for dances, his recording stalled on Billboard at Number 77 in 1963.

The first top 40 version of the song was in 1965 by the Mexican/American band ‘Cannibal & the Headhunters’ who took the song to Number 30 on Billboard. This was the first time that the songs famous ‘na, na, na, na, na’ hook had been used, having been improvised by the bands lead singer Frankie ‘Cannibal’ Garcia. While performing the song Garcia’s microphone chord kept cutting out, and so to fill the gaps he chanted the ‘na, na.’ Probably all subsequent covers of the song now include the chant, including this most famous version by Wilson Pickett. In 1994 the Jamaican Reggae artist Ini Kamoze used the ‘na, na, na,’ in the chorus of his Billboard Number 1 single ‘Here Comes the Hotstepper.’

Wilson Pickett was born on March 18th, 1941, in Prattville, Alabama, United States, he died on January 19th, 2006, after suffering a heart attack at the age of 64. Pickett is considered a major figure in the development of Soul music, and after a grounding in Gospel music, joined the influential American R&B group ‘The Falcons’ in 1960 (see also best songs 828,) remaining a band member until pursing a solo career in 1963.Pickett recorded his version of ‘Land of 1000 Dances’ in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, at the ‘FAME’ studios using many of the top session players, and also members from the ‘Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.’ Pickett recorded 21 solo studio Albums between 1963-1999, and had 16 Billboard top 40 singles, with ‘Land of 1000 Dances’ achieving the highest chart placing when reaching Number 6 in 1966.

‘Dance with me honey, like Long Tall Sally.Twistin’ with Lucy,doin’ the Watusi. Gotta hold of your back, I like it like that, do the Jerk, watch me work.’

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


489-Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine-Sheriff Fatman.

1989-It didn’t chart on initial release, but when reissued in 1991 it made Number 23.

Best Bit-At 3.19. I don’t wish to start a lawsuit, but this bit here sounds awfully like The Waterboys song ‘The Whole of the Moon.'(see also best songs 755.)

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, or ‘Carter USM’ as they are also known were formed in 1987 by James Robert Morrison, known as ‘Jim Bob,’ and Leslie George Carter, known as ‘Fruitbat,’ they were active until 1998, but have reformed to perform live between 2007-2014. Prior to first playing together in the ‘Indie Pop’ band ‘Jamie Wednesday’ the duo had both plied their trade in other bands. When Jamie Wednesday disbanded after little success, Morrison, and Carter joined forces.In 1994 they added a drummer called ‘Wez,’ and the trio toured America, Japan, and Europe, and then in 1996,Wez’s brother Steve joined the band on guitar, and Ben Lambert was brought in as the keyboard player. Carter USM released six studio Albums between 1990-1998, including the 1992 ‘The Love Album,’ which reached Number 1 in the UK. They have also achieved 12 UK top 40 singles, with ‘The Only Living Boy In New Cross,’ being the highest charting, when reaching Number 7 in 1992.

‘Sheriff Fatman’ was co-written by Morrison, and Carter, and appears on their debut Album ‘101 Damnations’ from 1990. The song is about ‘Slum Landlords,’ and the way they manipulate their tenants with threats, and violence. There are notorious figures from the past name checked in the song including Nicolas Van Hoogstraten, who is referred to as ‘Nicholas Van what’s his face,’ Hoogstraten is a British businessman who became a convicted criminal over his property dealings.Also mentioned is Peter Rachman (1919-1962) who was a Polish born landlord who operated in Notting Hill, London, in the 1950’s, and 1960’s, he became infamous for his exploitation, and intimidation of his tenants.

‘There’s bats in the belfry, the windows are jammed, the toilets ain’t healthy, he don’t give a damn. Just chuckles and smiles, laughs like a madman,a born again Rachman, here comes Sheriff Fatman.’

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


490-James-Sit Down.

1991-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 3.03. It’s the second most popular song in the world ever for sitting on the floor to dance to.’Oops upside your head, say oops up side your head.’

‘James’ were formed in Whalley Range, Manchester, England, by the friends Jim Glennie, and Paul Gilbertson, and were soon joined by Gavan Whelan on drums. They met future lead singer Tim Booth at the University of Manchester in 1982, and after playing live under various names settled on ‘James,’ probably because of Jim Glennie. In total there have been 11 members come and go, with Glennie being the bands one constant. ‘James” have released 16 studio Albums between 1986-2021, and have achieved 19 UK top 40 singles (see also best songs 109.)

The original version of ‘Sit Down’ at 7.39 seconds was released in 1989 on ‘Rough Trade Records,’ but disappointingly only reached Number 77. ‘James’ still had faith in the song, and bought back the rights just before Rough Trade went bankrupt. When James signed with ‘Fontana Records,’ the label brought in the experienced producer Gil Norton, who along with James gave the song the overhaul we all know today. In 1998 the Electronic Rock group ‘Apollo 440’ did a remix of the track as part of the promotion for the 2002 ‘Commonwealth Games’ launch in Manchester, and that version reached Number 7 in the UK.

‘Sit Down’ is credited to Glennie, Booth, Whelan, and Larry Gott who had become a full time member of the band in 1985, but the lyrics are mainly, if not fully the work of Tim Booth. Booth was born on February 4th, 1960, in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.He remained with James as their lead singer until 2001, but rejoined the band again in 2007. Away from James, he has released two solo Albums in 2004, and 2011, and a further one with Angelo Badalamenti, called ‘Booth and the Bad Angel’ in 1996.

Booth has said that he wrote the song in 1988 at a time when he was feeling lonely and depressed. He credits the author Doris Lessing, (1919-2013) and the American Rock singer Patti Smith as his inspirations.’They both connected to me when I felt very alone and misunderstood. Throughout my teens, I’d had an undiagnosed illness and my skin was almost yellow. When I was 21 I’d almost died, so I was feeling pretty tortured in those days. He has also said,’Sit Down is about me feeling so alone in my 20’s, and reading books by a writer called Doris Lessing, which made me realise I wasn’t. It was about being awake at, and having no one to talk to.’

‘I sing myself to sleep, a song from the darkest hour. Secrets I can’t keep in sight of the day.Swing from high to deep, extremes of sweet and sour. Hope that God exists, I hope, I pray.’