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Posted by: In: Other 31 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


916-Earth, Wind & Fire-September.

1978-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 0.11. ‘Ba duda, ba duda, ba, badu.’ The songs co-writer Maurice White said,’Never let the lyric, get in the way of the groove.’

Earth, Wind & Fire were formed in 1969, in Chicago, Illinois, United States by Maurice White, who was born on December 19th, 1941, in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, he died in his sleep on February 4th, 2016, from the effects of Parkinson’s disease, at the age of 74. It was as a teenager that Maurice White first moved to Chicago, where he joined ‘The Jazzmen,’ a student Jazz trio, at ‘Crane Junior College,’ in Chicago. The trio became studio musicians at ‘Chess Records’ in Chicago, where White played on the recordings of such high profile artists as Chuck Berry, (1926-2017) and Etta James (1938-2012.) White is notable for playing the drums on ‘Rescue Me,’ (American Billboard Number 4-UK Number 11) for Fontella Bass, in 1965, and (‘Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,’ (American Billboard Number 6-UK Number 11) for Jackie Wilson, in 1967. In 1966 White left ‘Chess Records’ to join the the ‘Ramsey Lewis Trio,’ where he stayed until 1969, appearing on seven of their Albums, including drumming on the American Billboard 1966 Number 19 hit single ‘Wade in the Water’ (see also best songs 525.) White left the ‘Ramsey Lewis Trio’ in 1969, and then formed a new group with Wade Flemons, (1940-1993) and Don Whitehead, calling themselves the ‘Salty Peppers,’ who later on that year were re-named ‘Earth, Wind & Fire,’ the band’s new name reflecting the elements in his astrological chart. For the discography of ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’ see best songs 462.

‘September’ was co-written by Maurice White, Al McKay, and Allee Willis, (1947-2019) with the production being by White, and Charles Stepney (1931-1976.) ‘September’ was one of three brand new songs recorded to promote ‘The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1, which was the groups first greatest hits compilation, and has gone on to sell in excess of 5 million copies in the United States. Al McKay was a member of ‘Earth, Wind & Fire,’ but the songs other co-writer Allee Willis had been recommended to White by his brother Verdine. Willis has spoken about her initial reservations concerning White’s insistence on singing ‘Ba duda, ba duda, ba, badu.,’ she said,’I absolutely could not deal with lyrics that were nonsensical, or lines that weren’t complete sentences, and I’m exceedingly happy that I lost that attitude. I went, ‘You cannot leave bada-ya in the chorus, that has to mean something.’ Maurice said, ‘No, that feels great. That’s what people are going to remember. We’re leaving it.’ We did try other stuff, and it always sounded clunky – thank God. She has also added,’The main lesson I learned from ‘Earth, Wind & Fire,’ especially Maurice White, was never let a lyric get in the way of a groove. Ultimately it’s the feel that is the most important, and someone will feel what you’re saying if those words fit in there right.’ Willis would go on to write dozens of other songs including ‘Boogie Wonderland,’ ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’ a UK Number 2 hit in 1988 for the Pet Shop Boys featuring Dusty Springfield, and perhaps best known of all, the theme song from the American sitcom ‘Friends,’ in total her compositions have sold in excess of 60 million records worldwide.

There were many theories as to the significance of the date September 21st, which is the famous opening line of the song. Allee Willis said that White had told her that it had no real significance, and was chosen because it sang well phonetically, but in 2018 White’s widow Marilyn said that September 21st was the due date for their son, Kahbran, and that Maurice put that specific date into the song as a secret message.

Even though ‘September’ was a massive hit when initially released, I think it is fair to say that it has become more and more popular as the years have gone by. In 1999 a remix by the British ‘Dance Music’ duo ‘Phats and Small,’ took the song back in to the UK top 40, reaching Number 25, and in 2016, ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’ re-recorded the song with the American actress Anna Kendrick, and the American singer Justin Timberlake, (see also best songs 317) for the soundtrack of the film ‘Trolls.’

‘Do you remember the 21st night of September? Love was changing the minds of pretenders, while chasing the clouds away. Our hearts were ringing, in the key that our souls were singing, as we danced in the night, remember how the stars stole the night away.’

Posted by: In: Other 30 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


917-Killers-Mr. Brightside.

2004-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 0.58. ‘Always look on the (Mr.) Brightside of life.

The Killers were formed in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, after Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards, and bass) had answered an advertisement placed by Dave Keuning (lead guitar) in the entertainment newspaper the ‘Las Vegas Weekly.’ After the pair realised that they could work together, they were soon joined by Mark Stoermer, (bass) and Ronnie Vannucci, (drums) and the group became official in August 2002. Prior to settling on this line up three others had been members for a short period between 2001-2002. The bands name was derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the 2001 UK Number 8 hit single ‘Crystal,’ by the English Rock band New Order (see also best songs 885 and 619.)

The Killers are one of the best selling acts of the 21st Century, with sales in excess of 22 million records sold worldwide. To date they have released seven studio Albums between 2004-2021, and 38 singles between 2003-2022. In America on Billboard all of their Albums have made the top 10, with ‘Wonderful. Wonderful,’ (2017) reaching Number 1, while in the UK, all seven Albums have topped that chart. In America on Billboard on the Hot 100 singles chart, three of their songs have made the top 40 with ‘Mr. Brightside’ charting the highest at Number 10. In the UK, 13 of their singles have reached the top 40, with ‘When You Were Young,’ peaking the highest at Number 2 in 2006. Away from the Killers all four members have also been involved in other projects, with Brandon Flowers releasing two solo studio Albums in 2010 and 2015, as well as seven singles, which include ‘Crossfire,’ that made Number 8 in the UK in 2010. Dave Keuning has also issued two solo studio Albums, (2019 and 2021) while Ronnie Vannucci Jr. has released two Albums with his side project ‘Big Talk,’ in 2011, and 2015, and Mark Stoermer has issued three solo Albums, between 2011-2017.

‘Mr. Brightside’ was the debut single from the Killers, it was co-written by Brandon Flowers, and Dave Keuning, with the production credited to the Killers. ‘Mr. Brightside’ was first released in 2003 without success, but after the release of the Killers debut studio Album ‘Hot Fuss’ in September 2003, ‘Mr. Brightside’ was re-issued in 2004, and charted as high as Number 10 on both sides of the Atlantic. In total there were four singles released from that debut Album, which has gone on to sell in excess of 5 million copies worldwide.

When Keuning first met Flowers, Keuning had already written the music that would become ‘Mr. Brightside, and Flowers added the lyrics based on his own true life experience. ‘Mr. Brightside’ is a song about a man who suspects that 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 he also knows that when he comes out the other end, things will look brighter. Brandon Flowers has said,’Lyrically, it’s about an old girlfriend of mine. All the emotions in the song are real. When I was writing the lyrics, my wounds from it were still fresh. I am Mr. Brightside! But I think that’s the reason the song has persisted, because it’s real. People pick up on those things, and that goes all the way down to the production, we recorded it in a couple of hours, but it just sounds right, you know.’

‘Mr. Brightside’ can boast some pretty impressive statistics, especially for a song that has never charted above Number 10 in America or the UK. As of February 23rd, 2023, ‘Mr. Brightside’ had spent a staggering 349 weeks (6 years and 8 months) within the UK top 100 singles chart, which is far in excess of any other track. The explanation for this has to be that it is played at celebrations all over the country every week, leading to people continuously downloading it. Amazingly because of this, and even so it first came out in 2003, it officially became the 12th best selling song of the decade 2010-2019. Part of the songs structure, the (‘calling a cab’) section has both a musical and textual similarity to the middle section of the song ‘Queen Bitch,’ (1971) from David Bowie’s (1947-2016) album Hunky Dory. In turn Bowie would have been the first to admit that ‘Queen Bitch’ was heavily influenced by the ‘Velvet Underground,’ and in particular Lou Reed (1942-2013.)

‘Now I’m falling asleep, and she’s calling a cab. While he’s having a smoke,and she’s taking a drag. Now they’re going to bed, and my stomach is sick, and it’s all in my head, but she’s touching his chest now.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


918-Queen-Brighton Rock.

1974-It has never been released as a single in the UK.

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

‘Brighton Rock’ is the opening track from ‘Sheer Heart Attack,’ which is the third studio Album released by Queen, (see also best songs 615-208-126-47 and 3) from November 1974. The Album is seen as the transition of Queen from a ‘Progressive Rock’ outfit, into a ‘Hard Rock,’ and ‘Glam Rock’ band, and a step towards the ‘Classic Queen’ sound of the mid 1970’s. There were two singles issued from ‘Sheer Heart Attack,’ the first was ‘Killer Queen,’ which peaked at Number 2 in the UK, and Number 12 on Billboard in America, and the other was ‘Now I’m Here,’ which failed to chart in America, but reached Number 11 in the UK. ‘Brighton Rock’ was written by Brian May, with the production credited to Queen, and Roy Thomas Baker, in total Baker would work on five Queen Albums, including all of the first four, and the seventh ‘Jazz’ from 1978. Brian May had been working on ‘Brighton Rock’ during the sessions for Queen’s previous Album ‘Queen 2,’ but the song was not recorded at that time as the group felt that it would not fit in with the rest of that Album. As ‘Brighton Rock’ starts, if you listen carefully, you can hear someone whistling the 1907 ‘Music Hall’ song,’I Do Like To be Beside the Seaside.’ On Queen’s previous Album ‘Queen 2,’ the final track ‘Seven Seas of Rhye,’ (see also best songs 615) closes with a sung rendition of ‘I Do Like To be Beside the Seaside.’

‘Brighton Rock’ is considered by many to be Brian May’s finest composition, being borne out of many hours of studio experimentation. The song includes a three minute unaccompanied guitar solo interlude, which makes use of extensive ‘Delay,’ and an ‘Echoplex’ unit. The studio version of ‘Brighton Rock’ only contains one ‘echoed’ guitar for a short section, but May would pull out all of the stops when playing the song live, by splitting his guitar signal into one ‘main’ and two ‘echoed’ guitars, with each going to a separate bank of amplifiers. Usually the song would be played for somewhere between 9 to 13 minutes, stretching out the guitar solo, and often improvising other Queen tracks into the performance. A 12 minutes and 13 seconds recording of the song can be found on Queen’s 1979 double Album release ‘Live Killers.’ During a live performance Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) would top and tail the song with his vocals, while John Deacon would play bass, Brian May the electric guitar, and Roger Taylor the drums.

Roger Taylor was born Roger Meddows Taylor on July 26th, 1949, in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England, he has composed at least one track on every Queen Album, and is also credited as a co-writer of three Queen UK Number 1 singles. Taylor first met Brian May in 1968, when answering an add for a drummer for the band ‘Smile,’ which May was a member. In 1970 Taylor turned down the chance to become the drummer for ‘Genesis,’ (see also best songs 741) which led to Phil Collins joining instead. In 1971 Taylor was one of the three founding members of Queen, (named by Freddie Mercury) who were then shortly joined by John Deacon, to complete the line up. Away from Queen, Taylor has released six solo Albums between 1981-2021, and 21 singles between 1977-2021, with four of those singles reaching the UK top 40. In 1987 Taylor also formed the Rock Group ‘The Cross,’ with which he released three studio Albums between 1988-1991, and nine singles between 1987-1991.

‘Brighton Rock’ tells the tale of two people, who by chance meet in Brighton while on a day out, on a public holiday. The girl (Jenny) can’t relax because she is frightened that her mother will find out. Following the day out she writes everyday to the boy (Jimmy) who was eager on the day, but now responds by writing that he is afraid of discovery by ‘My lady.’ It is possible that ‘The Who,’ and their 1973 Album ‘Quadrophenia’ (see also best songs 265) could have been an inspiration for ‘Brighton Rock,’ as ‘Mods’ would travel to Brighton on Bank Holidays, and the lead character in ‘Quadrophenia’ was a character called Jimmy. ‘Brighton Rock’ is also the title of a low budget 1947 British movie, that was based on a novel by Graham Greene (1904-1991.) The film includes a romance of sorts, that is entirely one sided. ‘Rock’ is a confectionery that is often purchased at British seaside towns such a Brighton, and Brian May probably. and cleverly, was using a play on words, for this ‘Rock Classic.’

‘Jenny pines away, writes a letter everyday. We must ever be together, nothing can my love erase. Oh no I’m compromised, I must apologise, If my lady should discover how I spent my holidays.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


919-Dean Martin-Gentle on My Mind.

1969-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 1.54. These are 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 the ‘Folk,’ ‘Country,’ and ‘Bluegrass’ composer, and singer, John Hartford, who was born John Cowan Harford on December 30th, 1937, From the 1980’s onwards, Hartford had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he died of the disease at the Centennial Medical Centre, in Nashville, on June 4th, 2001, at the age 63. It was Hartford who recorded the first version of ‘Gentle on My Mind,’ for his second studio Album release ‘Earthwords & Music’ from 1967, and when it was issued as a single it peaked at Number 60 on the American Billboard Country Music chart. The best known version of the song in America was recorded by Glen Campbell, (1936-2017) (see also best songs 846 and 197) who after hearing the song on the radio went out and bought a copy, and re-worked the song in the studio with members of ‘The Wrecking Crew’ participating. Campbell said that he felt the song is ‘An essay on life,’ and went on to say that he was ‘Knocked out’ by the scenery it describes. When Campbell began hosting ‘The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,’ in 1969, a show that ran for 91 episodes, Campbell used ‘Gentle on My Mind’ as the theme song for the show. In the UK, the best known, and most successful recording of the song is by Dean Martin, whose version peaked at Number 2 in 1969.

Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7th, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio, United States, he was a lifelong heavy smoker, and died of acute respiratory failure resulting from emphysema on December 25th, 1995, at the age of 78. Martin first tasted success in 1946 when joining forces with the American comedian Jerry Lewis, (1926-2017) to form a singing and comedy variety act as ‘Martin and Lewis,’ that appeared on radio, television, and in films, through until Martin ending the partnership in 1956, in order to pursue a solo career. Dean Martin would go on to become one of the world’s most popular performers, and is probably best remembered as a member of the ‘Rat Pack,’ along with his fellow performers Frank Sinatra, (1915-1998) (see also best songs 877-567-469-120 and 73) and Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) (see also best songs 567.) In 1965 Martin began hosting ‘The Dean Martin Show,’ which ran for 264 episodes, through until 1974. Another notable television series was ‘The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast,’ which aired in America for 54 episodes between 1974-1984.Martin also has an extensive filmography, making his first appearance as an actor in 1946, and his last in 1984. The discography of Dean Martin includes 37 studio Albums issued between 1953-2005, and 108 singles released between 1946-2022, there are also 20 official compilations available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, 28 of those songs have reached the top 40, (not including ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! which has charted on a further five occasions since 2011) and he has had two Billboard Number 1 singles,’Memories Are Made of This,’ (1955) and ‘Everybody Loves Somebody.’ (1964) In the UK, he has charted within the top 40 on 17 occasions, with ‘Memories Are Made of This,’ being his only chart topper.

‘Gentle on My Mind’ is one of the most covered songs of all time, and when taking all the recordings in to account, it was totted up in 2001 that the song was the second most played song on American radio, in the later part of the 20th Century with 6 million plays, behind ‘Yesterday’ by the ‘Beatles’ (see also best songs 319.) John Hartford has said that he was inspired to write the song after seeing the 1965 film ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ although the songs subject has nothing to do with the films subject, Hartford said that after watching the film, he sat down and wrote the lyrics in about 15 minutes.

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 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.

‘Through cupped hands ’round the tin can I pretend to hold you to my breast, and find that you’re waiting from the back roads by the rivers of my memories, ever smilin,’ ever gentle on my mind.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


920-Stevie Wonder-Do I Do.

1982-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 7.46. Stevie Wonder’s attempt at Rapping, was more prankster, than gangster.

‘Do I Do’ was the first of four singles released from ‘Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I,’ which was a compilation Album issued by ‘Tamla Motown’ records in May 1982, in order to fill the gap between Stevie Wonder’s 1980 ‘Hotter Than July’ Album, and 1984’s ‘The Woman in Red.’ ‘Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I,’ collects together 11 previous top 40 1970’s, and 1980’s hit singles, five of his 1970’s Album tracks, and four brand new songs, including ‘Do I Do.’ The Album was issued as a double Album, with each sides last track being a brand new song,’Do I Do’ is the closing song on side 4 .

‘Do I Do’ was written and produced by Stevie Wonder, (see also best songs 843-834-682-570-503-366-205-152 and 65) and appears in all of it’s 10 minutes and 27 seconds on the Album version. The single edit at 5 minutes and 2 seconds cruelly omits the Dizzy Gillespie trumpet solo, and Stevie Wonder’s attempt at Rapping. Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) was a boyhood hero of Wonder’s, and along with other notable names such as Nathan Lamar Watts, (bass) Dennis Davis, (1949-2016) (drums) and Paul Riser, (string arrangements) they and others contributed to song.

Dizzy Gillespie was born John Birks Gillespie on October 21st, 1917, in Cheraw, South Carolina, United States, he died on January 6th, 1993, of pancreatic cancer, at the age of 75, it is said that he earned his nickname ‘Dizzy’ for his erratic, and mischievous behaviour. Gillespie is best remembered as a Jazz trumpeter, who in the 1940’s became a major figure in the development of ‘Bebop,’ and ‘Modern Jazz.’ ‘Bebop’ is a style of ‘Jazz’ that features compositions characterised by a fast tempo, which usually exceeds 200 BPM. ‘Bebop’ is also noted for it’s complex chord progressions, with rapid chord changes, and numerous changes of key, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure. There are several stories as to how the term ‘Bebop’ derived, with Dizzy Gillespie’s version stating that the audiences coined the name after hearing him ‘scat’ the then-nameless compositions to his players, and the press ultimately picked it up, using it as an official term. Gillespie has said,’People, when they’d wanna ask for those numbers and didn’t know the name, would ask for ‘Bebop.’

Other notable musicians on ‘Do I Do’ included Nathan Lamar Watts, who is a long term collaborator with Stevie Wonder, having played on all 10 Stevie Wonder studio Albums from ‘Songs in the Key of Life,’ (1976) through to ‘A Time To Love,’ (2005) His critically acclaimed bass playing has been singled out for plaudits on other tracks as well as ‘Do I Do,’ including ‘I Wish,’ (1976) (see also best songs 152) and ‘I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It’ (1980.) Watts whose musical education included attending rehearsals, and recordings of ‘The Funk Brothers’ (see also best songs 948-650-569-411-382-212-148 and 28) at ‘Motown’s Hitsville Studios,’ has also played on the Albums of dozens of other artists. The drummer on ‘Do I Do’ was Dennis Davis (1949-2016.) Davis who was born in New York, United States, was a session musician who is best remembered for playing on selected tracks over the course of 10 David Bowie (1947-2016) studio Albums, including on the Billboard Number 1 single ‘Fame,’ (1975) Davis died of cancer in 2016, at the age of 66.

Towards the end of ‘Do I Do,’ Stevie Wonder surprises us all when he lightheartedly starts ‘Rapping.’ Back in 1982 ‘Rap’ was still in it’s infancy, and somewhat of a novelty, and Stevie is obviously enjoying experimenting with this new musical genre. In 2001 the American Rapper ‘Ja Rule’ sampled ‘Do I Do’ for his Billboard Number 6, and UK Number 5 hit single ‘Livin’ It Up.’

‘Girl, I’ve got some chocolate kisses for your lovin’ baby, oh yea. 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 25 Mar 2023 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 1043 and 858) was born on October 24th, 1986, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His father who is an African-American, is a practising Catholic, who toured as a drummer for Jerry Lee Lewis, (1935-2022) (see also best songs 678-362 and 99) and his mother is a Jewish white Canadian, she made a cameo appearance in this songs official video. Drake has two very famous uncle’s, one is Larry Graham, a former member of ‘Sly and the Family Stone, (see also best songs 589) and founder of ‘Graham Central Station,’ and the other is Teenie Hodges, (1945-2014) who is best remembered for his work with Al Green, and Ann Peebles, as a songwriter and guitarist. 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 become the best selling ‘Rap’ artist of all time, with sales at the time of writing in excess of 170 million records sold worldwide. As well as being amongst the best selling artists of all time, Drake also holds many records, including, being the best selling artist of the 2010’s decade. He has had (at the time of writing) the most top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles, (67) and the most top 100 chart entry’s, (293) these are songs that Drake has appeared on as either lead, or as a featured artist. He additionally has the most Number 1 singles on the ‘R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay,’ ‘Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs,’ ‘Hot Rap Songs,’ and ‘Rhythmic Airplay’ charts, on Billboard in America. Drake has been cited as an influential figure in popularising the bringing together of both singing, and Rapping, in his fusing of ‘R&B,’ and ‘Hip-Hop’ music.

The extensive discography of Drake includes seven studio Albums released between 2010-2022, and seven Mixtapes that have been issued between 2006-2020. There are also three compilation Albums, released between 2009-2019, and one collaborative Album, ‘Her Loss,’ (with 21 Savage) which was issued in 2022. Drake has officially released 143 singles, as either the lead or featured artist at the time of writing, but he has also appeared on/or charted on dozens of other tracks by other artists, through either promotional release, digital downloads, or airplay. By the end of 2022, as the lead artist, in Canada, Drake has charted within the ‘Canadian Hot 100’ top 40 on 46 occasions, with eight of those tracks reaching Number 1. In America on the Billboard Hot 100, he has had 54 top 40 hits, and also reached the top spot on eight occasions, while in the UK, he has charted within the top 40 on 35 occasions, with five of those singles making Number 1. For more on the discography of Drake (see best songs 858.)

‘Started from the Bottom’ was the first of seven singles released from ‘Nothing Was the Same,’ the third studio Album by Drake from September 2013. The song was co-written by Drake, Mike Zombie, and Drake’s long term collaborator Noah ’40’ Shebib, with the production being by Zombie and Shebib. The songs backing track which was created by Zombie, features a sample of the 2008 Ambient piece ‘Ambessence Piano & Drones 1,’ by the Argentinian composer Bruno Sanfilippo. In the song Drake is telling us that to have got to this point in his life wasn’t easy, and there has been many obstacles to overcome. He wrote the song in response to other Rappers who had claimed that Drake’s upbringing was a lot easier than their own. Drake counters by saying that he also had problems to overcome in his youth, just different ones.

Commenting on his reasons for writing the songs lyrics Drake has said,’I feel sometimes that people don’t have enough information about my beginnings, and therefore they make up a life story for me that isn’t consistent with actual events. My family, and my second family, consisting of the best friends anybody could ever have, all struggled and worked extremely hard to make all this happen. I did not buy my way into this spot and it was the furthest thing from easy to achieve. I am proud of every part of my past, and I’m excited for this song to find a place in your life as well.’

‘We just want the credit where it’s due, I’ma worry ’bout me, give a f..k about you. N…a, just as a reminder to myself, I wear every single chain, even when I’m in the house.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Mar 2023 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. I think she needs a lay down.

Lil Louis was born Marvin Burns on May 13th, 1962, in Chicago, Illinois, United States, he has also worked under the stage names ‘Li’l Louis & the World,’ and ‘Li’l Louis & the Party.’ He is one of the many musicians name checked on the track ‘Teachers,’ on Daft Punk’s (see also best songs 140) 1997 Album ‘Homework.’ In January 2015, he suffered permanent sound-induced hearing loss in his left ear during a soundcheck in Manchester, England, when a compressed air horn was let off in close proximity to him. He is songwriter and producer of ‘House Music,’ (see also best songs 981) with his discography including two studio Albums released in 1989 and 1992. He has also released 11 singles between 1987-2001, with his only entry on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in America being ‘French Kiss,’ which reached a peak of Number 50, although three of his songs have made the Number 1 spot on the Billboard ‘Dance Club Songs’ chart. In the UK, Lil Louis has reached the top 40 on three occasions, with ‘I Called U (But You Weren’t There,’) reaching Number 16 in 1990, and ‘How’s Your Evening So Far?,’ with Josh Wink, making Number 23 in 2000.

‘French Kiss’ was co-written by Lil Louis and Kariana Johnson, with the production being by Lil Louis, and is track 4 on Lil Louis’ debut studio Album ‘From the Mind of Lil Louis,’ from 1989. Kariana Johnson receives songwriting credit for the ‘moaning vocals’ on the track, which she also performed. Initially ‘French Kiss’ wasn’t banned by radio stations, with many having their knuckles wrapped for playing it. In the UK, the ‘Home Secretary’ at that time ‘Jack Straw’ told the ‘Times’ newspaper that his nine year old son could not understand ‘Why so many people should buy a record of a woman panting, then groaning, interspersed with the occasional mumbled phrase.’

‘French Kiss’ has been critically acclaimed on many occasions, with the American ‘Electronic Dance Music’ producer Armand van Helden (see also best songs 645 and 138) saying,’This song is my first introduction to ‘Trance’ because, to me, it’s a serious ‘House’ track. It was for real House enthusiasts at the time. It’s a simple track which builds, it’s very Electronic. It’s full of Soul. It’s very sexual. It’s the first dance track I’ve known to date to change BPM’s drastically. I’ve never heard of an Electronic track that had the balls to do that.’ The British DJ and music producer Pete Tong has said,’It is one of the most important riffs ever written in House Music, and frequently imitated, but never bettered. You can hear its influence in almost 50% of House music that comes out in Europe.’ In 2015 the global magazine ‘Time Out’ included ‘French Kiss’ in it’s list of ‘The 20 Best House Tracks Ever,’ writing,’This number from Chicago’s Lil’ Louis was one of the first House tracks to enjoy both considerable commercial success and heavy club airplay on its release. Even one listen to its infectious, unrelenting groove and orgasmic tempo shifts is enough to understand why it got everyone so excited.

‘French Kiss’ was originally written as an instrumental, (apart from the moaning bit) but once the song took off in the clubs and in the charts, lyrics were written. There are many unreleased versions of the track, in the United States there are re-makes of the song with vocals provided by the American singer Shawn Christopher, while in Europe the vocals were provided by a female singer going by the name of ‘Pasquale.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


923-The Bellamy Brothers-Let Your Love Flow.

1976-Number 7 single. When re-issued in 2008, it reached Number 21.

Best Bit-At 0.44. Unlike the ‘Walker’s,’ and the ‘Righteous,’ and the ‘Beyond’s,’ these two are actually real brothers.

The Bellamy Brothers are the American ‘Pop,’ and ‘County’ duo of Homer Howard Bellamy, who was born on February 2nd, 1946, in Dade City, Florida, United States, and his younger brother David Milton Bellamy, who was born on September 16th, 1950, also in Dade City. The brothers first major breakthrough occurred in 1974 when they were introduced to the American singer/songwriter Jim Stafford. Together David Bellamy and Jim Stafford co-wrote ‘Spiders & Snakes,’ which would go on to make Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in America, and Number 14 in the UK, in 1974. Homer Bellamy who was now using his middle name ‘Howard’ as his stage name, took on the role of road manager to Stafford. In 1975 the duo were signed to the ‘Curb Records’ label, where David released an unsuccessful single called ‘Nothin’ Heavy,’ which was just prior to the big breakthrough hit,’Let Your Love Flow.’

The Discography of The Bellamy Brothers includes 37 studio Albums released between 1976-2021, and 85 singles that have been issued between 1976-2019, there are also 19 official compilation Albums available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100, they have charted twice within the top 40, with ‘Let Your Love Flow’ going all the way to Number 1, and ‘If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,’ reaching Number 39 in 1979. In the UK the same two songs remain their only chart entry’s, with ‘If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me,’ making Number 3. The Bellamy Brothers have found their greatest chart success on the American Billboard ‘Hot Country Songs’ chart where 35 of their singles have made that charts top 40, with 10 of those tracks reaching Number 1.

‘Let Your Love Flow’ was the debut single from The Bellamy Brothers, and also the title of their debut studio Album from 1976. ‘Let Your Love Flow’ was written by Larry E. Williams, and produced by Phil Gernhard, (1940-2008) (see also best songs 803) and Tony Scotti. The songs composer Larry Eugene Williams had been a roadie working for Neil Diamond (see also best songs 536-426 and 13) on his live shows. Williams offered the song to Diamond who turned it down, and then according to Howard Bellamy, the song was next offered to the American ‘Rockabilly’, and ‘Blue Eyed Soul’ singer Johnny Rivers who also passed it up, before Williams offered it to The Bellamy Brothers. ‘Let Your Love Flow’ was also recorded by the American ‘Pop/Folk’ singer Gene Cotton in the autumn of 1975 for single release, but it is unsure who actually recorded the first version.

Howard Bellamy has recalled how it paid off to be in the right place at the right time,’Around ’74, we moved from Florida to L.A. to kind of pursue a career. We’re from here in Central Florida in a little community called Darby, there is not much of a music scene here, to say the least. So we moved out there and met a lot of guys and met Neil Diamond’s band, became good friends with his band. And one day Neil’s drummer came over to our house and brought the demo of ‘Let Your Love Flow,’ and said, ‘Hey, this sounds like something you guys would do.’ So we went off to record that, and the rest is kind of history. It became not only the largest song of that year, it’s become somewhere in the area of one of the largest songs ever, as far as being played. And it’s become a standard, basically. I wish another one of those would come along.’ Bellamy has also gone on to say,’I would say the guy who wrote this song is the wealthiest roadie now that ever was.’

In 2008 ‘Let Your Love Flow’ was used in a television commercial to promote ‘Barclay’s Bank’s ‘Barclaycard’ in it’s contactless format, this brought the song to the attention of a whole new generation, and put it back in the UK top 40 again. David Bellamy said,’We had no idea the song ‘Let Your Love Flow’ had been licensed to Barclay for an advertisement until after the single started climbing the charts in England. Any artist is always thrilled when one of your signature songs has longevity like this because it was thirty-two years ago when we first released the tune.’

‘There’s a reason for the sunshine sky, and there’s a reason why I’m feelin’ so high. Must be the season when those love lights shine all around us. So let that feeling grab you deep inside, send you reeling where your love can’t hide, and then go stealing through the moonlit nights with your lover.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Mar 2023 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) also known as ‘The Special A.K.A’ were formed in Coventry, England, in 1977, the group remains active at the time of writing, with just the founding members Lynval Golding, and Horace Panter being the current line up. The Specials were the leading protagonists in what was to become known as ‘The Second Wave of Ska,’ which occurred in the late 1970’s, and into the early 1980’s, in the UK. The Specials music combines the danceable rhythms of ‘Ska’ and ‘Rocksteady,’ with the energy and attitude of ‘Punk.’ ‘Ska’ music was a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950’s, and was the precursor to ‘Rocksteady,’ and ‘Reggae.’ The Specials were also notable for their fashion, wearing ‘Mod-style’ 1960’s period ‘Rude Boy’ outfits, including pork pie hats, tonic and mohair suits, and loafers.’

‘Too Much Too Young’ first appeared on The Specials self titled debut studio Album from October 1979 in it’s full 6.06 version, the track and it’s parent Album were both produced by Elvis Costello (see also best songs 836.) The version I have chosen is the live version recorded in London, and issued as one of five tracks on The Specials 1980 live ‘EP,”The Special A.K.A. Live!’ Two of the tracks were recorded in London in 1979, and the other three recorded in Coventry, also in 1979, the other four tracks apart from ‘Two Much Too Young’ are all cover versions of 1960’s Jamaican Ska, and Reggae songs.

‘Too Much Too Young’ was written by The Specials founding member Jerry Dammers, with the live version also produced by Dammers, and long term Specials collaborator Dave Jordan. The song borrows the melody, (speeding it up) and also the subject matter of the 1969 Reggae song ‘Birth Control,’ by the Jamaican Reggae singer Lloyd Charmers (1938-2012.) Dammers has explained how a real life experience led him to write ‘Too Much Too Young,”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 that sort of rage and frustration of a young man. The song kind of got a happy ending because, obviously, the kid came first. So behind all that rage it’s actually quite nice, because we both walked away from it for the sake of the kid.’

The lead vocals on ‘Too Much Too Young’ were provided by Terry Hall who was born Terence Edward Hall on March 19th, 1959, in Coventry, Warwickshire, England, he died on December 18th, 2022, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 63. Hall has said that he suffered from lifelong depression after being abducted by a paedophile ring, and then having been sexually abused by them at the age of 12 while on a trip to France. In 2004 he attempted suicide, and following that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Terry Hall became the lead singer with The Specials in early 1979, and remained with the group through until the summer of 1981, when he and his band mates, Lynval Golding, and Neville Stalple, left to form the ‘Fun Boy Three.’ The discography of Terry Hall includes four studio Albums with ‘The Specials,’ two with the ‘Fun Boy Three,’ and a further two with ‘The Colourfield.’ He also released an Album as part of ‘Terry, Blair & Anouchka,’ and an Album with Dave Stewart, (see also best songs 562) ) as one half of the duo ‘Vegas.’ Hall also issued an Album with the English singer/songwriter ‘Mushtaq’ in 2003, and two solo Albums in 1994 and 1997.

‘Two Much Too Young’ topped the UK top 40 for two weeks in February 1980, becoming only the second ever ‘EP’ to reach Number 1, the first having been ‘The Roussos Phenomenon EP,’ from Demis Roussos (1946-2015) in 1976. ‘Too Much Too Young’ was also the first live recording to make Number 1 in the UK since Billy Connolly’s ‘D.I.V.O.R.C.E.’ in 1975, and at 2.04, it would go on to become the shortest song to top the UK chart in the 1980’s.

‘Too Much Too Young’ pulls no punches, it tells us 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 warns that when having sex, you must use protection.

‘Ain’t you heard of the starving millions, ain’t you heard of contraception. Do you really a program of sterilisation, state control of the population boom. It’s in your living room, keep a generation gap, try wearing a cap.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Mar 2023 Comments: 0


925-Prodigy-No Good (Start the Dance.)

1994-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 0.28. I suppose if you are one of the main innovators of new musical genres that are embraced by millions, then you are quite entitled to call yourselves, ‘Prodigy.’

The Prodigy (see also best songs 151) were formed in Braintree, Essex, England, in 1990, through a chance encounter the previous year, when Keith Flint (1969-2019) met Liam Howlett at a ‘Rave’ that Howlett was DJing. Flint was so impressed with Howlett’s performance, and after requesting, and receiving a ‘mixtape’ from Howlett, on a cassette, they decided to get together and form the band along with Flint’s friend, the keyboardist, and dancer Leeroy Thornhill, and the vocalist Maxim Reality. The original line up was completed by the female dancer and vocalist ‘Sharky. At the time of writing only Howlett and Maxim Reality remain as the current members of the Prodigy, as Sharky left the group in February 1991, just four months after becoming a member. Leeroy Thornhill stayed until 2000, appearing on the first three Prodigy Albums, and Keith Flint was still a member of the group when he was found dead on March 4th, 2019, at the age of 49. The Prodigy who have sold in excess of 25 million records worldwide took their name from the ‘Moog Prodigy’ synthesizer, which Howlett in his early youth had initially used to make music on.

The Prodigy released their debut single ‘Charly’ (UK Number 3) in August, 1991, which sampled dialogue from the ‘Charley Says’ series of animated films aimed at children, and produced and released by the ‘Central Office of Information,’ The song became a hit on the ‘Rave’ scene, leading to a spate of tracks mixing Dance and Rave tracks with cartoon samples, such as ‘A Trip to Trumpton,’ by Urban Hype (UK Number 6-1992) and ‘Sesame’s Treet,’ by Smart E’s,’ (UK Number 2-1992.) Although these songs were a hit with clubbers, and the general public, the fad was dismissed by music critics who called these songs ‘Kiddie Rave,’ and ‘Toytown Techno.’

The music produced by the Prodigy can be described as a mixture of ‘Techno,”Breakbeat Hardcore,”Hardcore Techno,’ and ‘Rave,’ The Prodigy, and mainly because of Liam Howlett, are considered to have pushed forward the boundaries of ‘Electronic Dance Music’ in it’s development, alongside other 1990’s Dance acts, including the Chemical Brothers, (see also best songs 300 and 53) and Fatboy Slim (see also best songs 950-760-387 and 95.) These three artists and others made ‘Big Beat’ Electronic Music.’Big Beat’ features heavy and distorted drum beats at tempos between 100, and 140 beats per minute, These tracks are often accompanied by ‘Punk’ style vocals, and sounds such as spoken word samples, and dialogue from film and television. ‘Big Beat’ tracks have distorted synthesizer basslines, with conventional Pop, House and Techno song structures, and sounds that includes ‘crescendos,’ ‘builds’, ‘drops,’ and extended ‘drum rolls.’

‘No Good (Start the Dance’) was the second of four singles released from the Prodigy’s second studio Album ‘Music for the Jilted Generation,’ from July 1994. ‘No Good (Start the Dance’) was written and produced by Liam Howlett, and features two prominent samples. One is the 1971 song ‘Funky Nassau’ from the Nassau, Bahamas based Funk group ‘The Beginning of the End,’ and the other is a vocal lift from the 1987 ‘House/Garage House’ track ‘You’re No Good for Me,’ by the American singer Kelly Charles. The vocal sample of ‘You’re No Good for Me’ has been used on numerous other songs over the years, including on hits for ‘Hithouse,’ with ‘Jack to the sound of the Underground,’ (UK Number 14-1988) and Oxide & Neutrino’ with ‘No Good 4 Me,’ (UK Number 6-2000.)

‘Come on, who can, who can, can hear the bass drum? You’re no good for me, I don’t need nobody, don’t need no one, that’s no good for me.’