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


803-Lobo-I’d Love You to Want Me.

1972-It did not chart in the UK until 1974, when it reached Number 5.

Best Bit-At 0.51. ‘Lobo’ is Spanish for Wolf, but I have no idea why he chose that as his stage name.

‘Lobo’ was born Roland Kent LaVoie, on July 31st, 1943, in Tallahassee, Florida, United States, he is a singer/songwriter, whose music covers the genres of ‘Country Pop,’ ‘Folk Rock,’ and ‘Soft Rock.’ Lobo began his music career in 1961 as a member of a local band called ‘The Rumours,’ whose members included the future music stars Gram Parsons, (1946-1973) and Jim Stafford. In 1964 Lobo, who was still performing under his birth name, first met the music producer Phil Gernhard, (1940-2008) together they would work on five Lobo studio Albums, when he began his solo career, and started calling himself ‘Lobo’ in 1971.

The discography of Lobo includes 16 Albums released between 1971-2022, and 34 singles that have been issued between 1964-1985, there are also 12 official compilation Albums available. Prior to the launch of his solo career, the first three singles he released in 1964, 1966, and 1969, were as ‘The Sugar Beats,’ ‘The Uglies,’ and as ‘Kent LaVoie. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Lobo has achieved eight top 40 hit singles, with ‘I’d Love You to Want Me,’ peaking the highest at Number 2, while in the UK, he has charted twice, with ‘Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,’ being the other hit, when reaching Number 4 in 1971.

‘I’d Love You to Want Me,’ was the second of three singles released from ‘Of a Simple Man,’ which was the second Album issued by Lobo in October 1972. All of the 12 tracks on the Album, were written by Lobo, and all 12 tracks were produced by Phil Gernhard, who was born Phillip Arnold Gernhard, on February 5th, 1940, in Evanston, Illinois, United States, he died of committing suicide by gunshot on February 22nd, 2008, after years of alcoholism, and drug misuse, at the age of 68. In 1959, Gernhard started a record label, called ‘Cole’ records, with his friend Vince Cole, and he also set up a production company called ‘Briarwood,’ with another of his friends, called Johnny McCullough. Their first big success was signing the American ‘Doo-Wop’/R&B’ vocal group ‘Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs,’ whose song ‘Stay,’ which was produced by Gernhard, became an American Number 1 single on Billboard in 1960, and also reached Number 14 in the UK. Other major successes for Gernhard include, co-writing and co-producing the 1966 Billboard Number 2, and UK Number 8 hit ‘Snoopy vs. The Red Baron,’ for the ‘The Royal Guardsmen,’ and producing the 1969 single ‘Abraham, Martin and John,’ which reached Number 4 on Billboard for the American singer Dion. It was Gernhard, and Lobo who kick started the career of Jim Stafford, and the pair co-produced both of his UK hits ‘Spiders & Snakes,’ and ‘My Girl Bill,’ they also produced his other Billboard top 10 hit ‘Wildwood Weed.’ Another significant production by Gernhard, is the 1976 Billboard Number 1, and UK Number 7 hit,’Let Your Love Flow,’ for ‘The Bellamy Brothers’ (see also best songs 923.)

In the UK ”I’d Love You to Want Me’ failed to chart on it’s initial release in 1972, but after receiving a re-release on Jonathan King’s ‘UK’ record label it finally matched it’s American success. Lobo has spoken about his inspiration for the song,’I wanted to write the big ballad. There was a conscious effort to do that. The premise behind that was what I imagined in school. I had a really pretty art teacher. I was a high school senior, and the teacher was 22, and she looked at me, and I looked at her, and there was a connection. That line, ‘The obligation that you made, for the title that they gave,’ was about that. It was the love you couldn’t have. You know?’

‘When I saw you standing there, about fell out my chair, and when you moved your mouth to speak, I felt the blood go to my feet. Now it took time for me to know, what you tried so not to show, now something in my soul just cries, I see the want in your blue eyes.’

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


804-Ben E. King-Stand by Me.

1961-Number 27 single. When it was re-released in 1987, it reached Number 1.

Best Bit-At 0.46. There are over 400 recorded cover versions of this song, with this, the original version, alone, earning it’s writers in royalties, in excess of £17 million, and counting.

Ben E. King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson, on September 28th, 1938, in Henderson, North California, United States, he died on April 30th, 2015, after a brief illness, at the age of 76. Ben E. King started singing in church choirs at an early age, before going on to form the ‘Four B’s,’ who were a ‘Doo-Wop’ group. In 1958 while still using his birth name, he joined a ‘Doo-Wop’ group called the ‘Five Crowns, with some of their members, including Ben E. King, being invited to join the ‘Drifters’ (see also best songs 568.) As a member of the Drifters he recorded 13 songs, on which on 11 of them he was the lead singer, including their debut hit on ‘Atlantic Records,’ ‘There Goes My Baby,’ in 1959, a song which he had also co-written. In May 1960, he left the Drifters to pursue a solo career, which was when he first began to go by the stage name ‘Ben E. King.’

As the lead singer with the Drifters, Ben E. King had five top 40 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in America, including ‘Save the Last Dance for Me,’ in 1960, which reached Number 1, while in the UK, three of his songs with the Drifters, on where he was lead vocalist reached the top 40, with ‘Save the Last Dance for Me,’ charting the highest at Number 2. As a solo artist Ben E. King has released 25 studio Albums between 1961-2010, and 59 singles between 1960-1992. On Billboard, five of those singles reached the top 40, with ‘Stand by Me’ charting the highest on it’s 1987 re-issue, when making Number 4, while in the UK, three of his singles have charted on the top 40, with ‘Stand by Me,’ reaching Number 1, also on it’s 1987 re-issue.

‘Stand by Me’ was co-written by Ben E. King, and the legendary songwriting duo of Jerry Leiber, (1933-2011) and Mike Stoller, (see also best songs 954-524-124 and 86) with the songs production credited to Leiber and Stoller. ‘Stand by Me’ was recorded by Ben E. King shortly after he had left the Drifters, with the royalties being split, 50% for Ben E. King, and 25% each to Leiber and Stoller. King had got the idea for the song from a 1905 Gospel hymn called ‘Stand by Me,’ which had been written by a Philadelphia minister called Charles Tindley, (1851-1933) the 1905 ‘Stand by Me,’ had been based on ‘Psalm 46,’ in the ‘King James Version’ of the Bible. Some of the words of the Psalm read,’Will not we fear, though the Earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.’ Mike Stoller has said,’Ben E. had the beginnings of a song, both words and music. He worked on the lyrics together with Jerry, and I added elements to the music, particularly the bass line. To some degree, it’s based on a gospel song called “Lord Stand By Me”. I have a feeling that Jerry and Ben E. were inspired by it. Ben, of course, had a strong background in church music.’ Charles Tindley who had composed the original hymn, was left off the composer credits, as it was considered that his work had been sufficiently transformed. This wasn’t the first time Tindley was omitted from the credits of a song that he had originated, as he also wrote ‘I’ll Overcome Someday,’ (1901) which eventually became ‘We Shall Overcome.’

In 1986 ‘Stand by Me’ was used in the American coming-of-age drama film of the same name, directed by Rob Reiner, which introduced the song to a whole new generation, but the real reason for the songs resurgence, was when it was chosen by ‘Levi Jeans,’ to be played on their 1987 advertising campaign, for their ‘Levi’s 501′ jeans. On Billboard in America,’Stand by Me’ has also been a top 40 hit for ‘Spyder Turner, (1967-Number 12) John Lennon. (1940-1980) (1975-Number 20) and Mickey Gilley (1936-2022) (1980-Number 22.) In the UK, ‘Stand by Me’ has also been a hit for John Lennon, (1975-Number 30) Kenny Lynch, (1938-2019) (1964-Number 39) and 4 The Cause (1998-Number 12.) In 2007 the American singer Sean Kingston heavily sampled ‘Stand by Me,’ for his song ‘Beautiful Girls,’ which went on to become a Billboard, and UK Number 1 single.

Of all the cover versions of ‘Stand by Me,’ Ben E. King has chosen the recording by John Lennon has his favourite, saying,’David Ruffin from the Temptations did a great version of it. And, of course, the one that held up in my head the most was John Lennon’s version. He took it and made it as if it should have been his song as opposed to mine. Now there’s a Dominican singer named Prince Royce, he has a version out there that I think is brilliant. And then there’s Sean Kingston, with ‘Beautiful Girls,’ that’s another one that did well. So many of them have done well. As a songwriter, it pleases me a lot, you don’t always have a chance to write a song that people can relate to.’

‘When the night has come, and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light we’ll see. No I won’t be afraid, oh I won’t be afraid, just as long as you stand, stand by me.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Jul 2023 Comments: 0


805-Jungle Brothers-I’ll House You.

1988-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 2.44. The world’s coolest landlords.

The Jungle Brothers were formed in New York City, United States, in 1987 by, Michael Small, (Mike Gee) Nathaniel Hall, (Afrika Baby Bam) and Sammy Burwell, (DJ Sammy B) and at the time of writing they remain active. The Jungle Brothers were very experimental with their music, and have been hailed as pioneers of the fusion of ‘Jazz,’ ‘Hip-Hop,’ and ‘House’ music, they were the first ‘Hip-Hop’ group to collaborate with a ‘Chicago House Music’ producer. which culminated with the release of this song. To date the Jungle Brothers have released eight studio Albums between 1988-2020, and 31 singles, as the lead artist, between 1987-2021, there is also one official greatest hits compilation Album called ‘This Is…,’ which was issued in 2005. The Jungle Brothers have never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in America, but they have had success on the Billboard ‘Dance,’ ‘R&B.’ and ‘Rap’ charts. In the UK, eight of their singles have reached the top 40, with ‘Jungle Brother (Urban Takeover Mix,’) from 1997, peaking the highest at Number 18.

‘I’ll House You’ is considered to be a ground breaking single. The music was written by Todd Terry, with the lyrics by the Jungle Brothers, and the songs production also credited to Terry. After ‘I’ll House You’ became successful, it was added to late 1988 reissues of the Jungle Brothers debut studio Album ‘Straight out the Jungle,’ it was the fourth of six singles released from that Album. So why is ‘I’ll House You’ considered ground breaking? The Jungle Brothers were the first ‘Hip-Hop’ group to work with a ‘Chicago House’ music producer, Todd Terry, and together they introduced a new genre of ‘Dance Music,’ that would become known as ‘Hip-House,’ with the Jungle Brothers adding samples and a ‘Rap,’ over Todd Terry’s ‘House Music’ beats.

Todd Norton Terry was born on April 18th, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York City, United States, much of his early work in the late 1980’s is considered a milestone in the development of ‘House’ and ‘Rave’ music. As well as mixing the genres of ‘House’ and ‘Hip-Hop’ with this track, Terry was also responsible for transforming the song ‘Missing,’ by ‘Everything but the Girl,’ (see also best songs 348) from a ‘Folk/Pop’ song, into a ‘Deep House,’/’Dance Pop’ song, which has been critically acclaimed, and led the way for many others to try to replicate. Todd Terry who has released music under several different names, including ‘Masters at Work,’ (see also best songs 631) and ‘The Todd Terry Project,’ has released one studio Album called ‘Ready for a New Day,’ in 1997, and 55 singles between 1988-2020, with his remix of ‘Missing,’ being his only top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching Number 2 in 1995. In the UK, he has achieved nine top 40 hits, with ‘Missing,’ peaking the highest at Number 3. Todd Terry also reached Number 14 in the UK, with his original version of ‘I’ll House You,’ from earlier on in 1988, which was titled ‘Can You Party,’ with Terry using the pseudonym ‘Royal House.’

The Jungle Brothers paved the way for other like minded ‘Hip-Hop’ artists such as ‘De La Soul,’ (see also best songs 444 and 246) and ‘A Tribe Called Quest,’ (see also best songs 850) to fuse the musical genres of ‘Jazz,’ ‘Hip-Hop,’ and ‘House Music.’ Together, these artists, and others, including Queen Latifah, and the British Rapper Monie Love, would form the ‘Native Tongues.’ The ‘Native Tongues’ were a collective of late 1980’s, and early 1990’s Hip-Hop artists, known for their positive-minded, and good-natured ‘Afrocentric’ lyrics, and also for pioneering the use of eclectic sampling, and Jazz-influenced beats. The collective was also closely tied to the ‘Universal Zulu Nation.’ (see also best songs 716.) The ‘Native Tongues’ are credited with expanding the ‘Hip-Hop’ genre, inspiring and enabling the future success of other artists, such as Kanye West, (see also best songs 1049-849-636-477 and 267) The Neptunes, and Tyler, The Creator.

‘When you’re in my hut, you know what’s up. Let your mind be free, relax your body. Jump, jump a little higher, jump, jump until you get tired. House your body, House your body.’

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


806-Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse-Valerie.

2007-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.08. The voice that proves she is a worthy member of the ’27 Club.’

Amy Jade Winehouse was born on September 14th, 1983, in Southgate, London, England, she died on July 23rd, 2011. Amy Winehouse was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, and died of alcohol poisoning, at the age of 27. She released two critically acclaimed Albums during her lifetime, ‘Frank’ in 2003, and ‘Back to Black’ in 2006, a posthumous collection of demos, and covers called ‘Lioness, Hidden Treasures,’ was released in December 2011. The discography of Amy Winehouse also includes those two studio Albums, one official compilation Album, and two live Albums, along with 14 singles, that have been issued between 2003-2012. In the UK, she has charted within the top 40 on nine occasions, with ‘Valerie,’ peaking the highest at Number 2, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, ‘Rehab,’ from 2006, is her only hit single on the top 40, when reaching Number 9.

Amy Winehouse is now a member of the ’27 Club,’ which commemorates artists who have died at that age. At one time it was thought that more Pop stars were dying at that age than any other, but research has repeatedly disproved this. Between 1969-1971, Brian Jones, (1942-1969) Jimi Hendrix, (1942-1970) Janis Joplin, (1943-1970) and Jim Morrison, (1943-1971) all died at that age, but it wasn’t until about two and a half decades later, with the death of Kurt Cobain, (1967-1994) that the idea of a ’27 Club’ began to catch on in public perception. In 2011, 17 years after Cobain’s death, Amy Winehouse died, she had three years earlier expressed her fear of dying at 27.

The original version of ‘Valerie’ was a Number 9 hit single for the English ‘Indie Rock’ band the ‘Zutons’ in 2006. It was primarily written by the bands lead singer Dave McCabe, but writing credits are given to all five band members at that time.The songs title, and subject refer to the celebrity makeup artist Valerie Star, who had visited McCabe when he was having a hard time, but she ended up being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and had her license suspended. McCabe has described how the song came about,’I could tell you I was inspired by gazing out across the Mersey, or walking past Macca’s old house, but the truth is I got the idea in a cab on the way to my mum’s. The whole song was written before I got there, so 20 minutes, max.’

Amy Winehouse had always been a fan of the song, and when Mark Ronson (see also best songs 40) asked her to sing something on his 2007 Album ‘Version,’ she chose ‘Valerie,’ which Ronson radically reworked, admitting it was influenced by the Jam’s 1982 Number 1 single ‘Town Called Malice (see also best songs 59.) The Album ‘Version,’ was the second studio Album released by Mark Ronson in April 2007, and is an Album of cover versions with a retro-inspired sound, that Mark Ronson considers to be reminiscent of the ‘Motown,’ and ‘Stax’ record labels releases. Four of the Albums 14 tracks were issued as singles, with ‘Valerie,’ being the third of them. Other artists who were asked, and consented to provide their vocals on the Album, include, Robbie Williams, on ‘The Only One I Know,’ and Lily Allen on ‘Oh My God.’ Around the same time Amy Winehouse recorded here uptempo version of ‘Valerie’ with Mark Ronson, she also performed a slower tempo version for ‘Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge’ show, on BBC Radio 1. This recording did chart in the UK at Number 37 in 2007, and can be found on the deluxe edition of ‘Back to Black,’ as a bonus track.

Mark Daniel Ronson was born on September 4th, 1975, in Notting Hill, London, England, he is a music producer and songwriter. Ronson was born in England, but raised in New York City, his step father is Mick Jones, (see also best songs 810) the co-founder of the American Rock band ‘Foreigner.’ Mark Ronson has at the time of writing released five studio Albums, between 2003-2019, and 22 singles, between 2003-2022, he has also released four singles with the American music producer ‘Diplo,’ (see also best songs 915 and 210) as part of the duo ‘Silk City.’ In the UK, Mark Ronson has achieved 11 top 40 hits, with ‘Uptown Funk,’ (see also best songs 40) reaching the Number 1 spot in 2014, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles chart, he is a ‘one hit wonder,’ because ‘Uptown Funk’ is to date his only chart entry, spending 14 weeks at Number 1.

”Cause since I’ve come on home, well, my body’s been a mess, and I’ve missed your ginger hair, and the way you like to dress. Won’t you come on over? Stop making a fool out of me, why don’t you come on over, Valerie.’

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


807-David Bowie-Drive-In Saturday.

1973-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 0.53. David Bowie wrote ‘Drive-In Saturday,’ with the intention of offering it to Mott The Hoople, (see also best songs 661 and 334) for the follow up to ‘All the Young Dudes,’ however they rejected it. Bowie was surprised at this rebuff, so drunkenly shaved his eyebrows in protest. Bowie said,’That taught them a lesson.’

‘Drive-In Saturday’ which was written by David Bowie, (see also best songs 440-334-302-209-186-118-47-31 and 5) (see also his production work 701-131 and 58) and produced by Bowie, and Ken Scott, (see also best songs 440-186 and 31) was the second of four singles released from Bowie’s sixth studio Album ‘Aladdin Sane,’ from April 1973. Bowie wrote ‘Drive-In Saturday’ while on tour in America, while travelling between venues by train. He was on a journey between Seattle, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona, at night, and the strange lights amidst the barren landscape got his imagination working overtime.

David Bowie first introduced ‘Drive-In Saturday’ in 1972, at a concert in Cleveland, Ohio, explaining to the audience what it is about. ‘It’s about a future where people have forgotten how to make love, so they go back onto video-films that they have kept from this century. This is after a catastrophe of some kind, and some people are living on the streets, and some people are living in domes, and they borrow from one another, and try to learn how to pick up the pieces.’ The story line to ‘Drive-In Saturday’ has been described as an example of Bowie’s ‘futuristic nostalgia,’ where the story is told from the perspective of an inhabitant of the future looking back in time. David Bowie has said that ‘Drive-In Saturday’ is set in the year 2033.

There are three famous people name checked in ‘Drive-In Saturday,’ including Mick Jagger, (see also best songs 933-662-452-160 and 77) (‘When people stared in Jagger’s eyes and scored’) and the English model ‘Twiggy,’ (‘She’d sigh like Twig the wonder kid.’) In 1973 Twiggy would feature on the front cover of David Bowie’s ‘Pin Ups’ Album. Also mentioned is the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Gustav Jung, (1875-1961) (‘Jung the foreman prayed at work.’) It has been suggested by the Australian artist ‘Tanja Stark,’ that the lyrics ‘Crashing out with Sylvian,’ is a cryptic reference to the ‘Sylvian Fissure’ in the brain, associated with visionary and hallucinatory experiences. David Batt, who was the co-founder of the ‘New Wave’ band ‘Japan’ in 1974, took his stage name ‘David Sylvian’ from these lyrics.

The musicians who played on ‘Drive-In Saturday’ were David Bowie, (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, tenor saxophone, and synthesizer,) along with his backing band of, Mick Ronson, (1946-1993) (guitar) (see also best songs 661-405 and 58) Trevor Bolder, (1950-2013) (bass) and Mick Woodmansey, (drums) who were known as the ‘Spiders from Mars,’ and played with Bowie on two other of his studio Albums,’Hunky Dory, (1971) and ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, (1972) they also played on the two live Albums,’Live Santa Monica ’72, (recorded 1972, released 2008) and ‘Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture (recorded 1973, released 1983.)

The other musician who played on ‘Drive-In Saturday,’ and it’s parent Album ‘Aladdin Sane,’ was Mike Garson, who played the piano parts. Mike Garson was born on July 29th, 1945, in New York City, New York, United States. Garson was David Bowie’s longest serving, and most frequently appearing band member. They performed together for both Bowie’s first, and last concerts in the United States, as well as around 1000 other concerts around the world in between. In total Garson worked on 12 of David Bowie’s studio Albums between 1973-2004, as well as a further 17 other live, and compilation releases between 1974-2021, Mike Garson has also released 17 solo Albums between 1979-2020, and has worked with many musicians of differing genres, including, the ‘Smashing Pumkins,’ ‘Nine Inch Nails,’ and ‘Stan Getz.’

‘His name was always buddy, and he’d shrug and ask to stay. She’d sigh like twig the wonder kid, and turn her face away. She’s uncertain if she likes him, but she knows she really loves him, it’s a crash course for the ravers, it’s a drive-in Saturday.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Jul 2023 Comments: 0


808-Glenn Miller-Moonlight Serenade.

1939-It couldn’t chart initially, because there was no UK chart until 1952. When it was re-issued in 1954 it peaked at Number 12, and then again, when it was re-issued in 1976, it made Number 13.

Best Bit-At 1.40. You say it best when you say nothing at all.

Glenn Miller was born Alton Glen Miller (see also best songs 321 and 146) on March 1st, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa, United States. On December 15th, 1944, Miller was due to fly from the town of Bedford, in England, to Paris, France, in order to make arrangements to move his entire band there to entertain the U.S. troops, in the near future. His aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel, the actual cause of the crash has never been confirmed, but it was probably that the planes carburettor froze in the cold weather. His disappearance was not made public until December 24th, 1944, Miller was 40 years old. In America on the Billboard chart, between 1939-1943, Glenn Miller achieved 69 top 10 hits, which was more than Elvis Presley, with 38, and the Beatles, who had 33.

Glen Miller added the second ‘N’ to Glenn while he was at high school, and like his father, and his two brothers and a sister, he went by his middle name. His name is engraved as ‘Alton G. Miller’ on the ‘Tablets of the Missing,’ at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, run by the American Battle Monuments Commission, in Cambridge, England. The names of Flight Officer John R. S. Morgan, who piloted the plane, and Lieutenant Colonel Norman Baessell, who was also on board, are also carved there. Many Americans who died in the Second World War in Europe are buried there.

Glenn Miller wrote the melody for ‘Moonlight Serenade’ as far back as 1935, when he was a trombonist player in the Ray Noble (1903-1978) Big Band. The American lyricist Eddie Heyman (1907-1981) added words, and the song was originally titled ‘As I Lay Me Down To Weep.’ Miller never recorded the song with those lyrics, but in 1938, he used the instrumental for his radio broadcasts, on the ‘NBC’ network in America. In 1939, the publisher ‘Robins Music’ bought the melody from Miller, and commissioned Mitchell Parish (1900-1993) to write a new set of lyrics. At the time Miller was recording another song called ‘Sunrise Serenade,’ and it was suggested by someone at ‘Robbins Music’ that Parish write something to compliment that song, as it was due for release as the ‘B’ side, so the title ‘Moonlight Serenade’ was chosen. ‘Moonlight Serenade’ soon became far more popular with the general public. and has gone on to become Glenn Miller’s ‘signature song.’

The lyrics to ‘Moonlight Serenade’ were written by Mitchell Parish, who was born on July 10th, 1900, in Lithuania, which was part of the Russian Empire at that time, he died on March 31st, 1993, at the age of 92. Other notable songs co-written by Parish include ‘Stardust,’ (1927) and ‘Deep Purple, (1938.) Glenn Miller rarely performed ‘Moonlight Serenade’ with a vocalist, but artists who have recorded the song as vocalists include, Frank Sinatra, (1915-1998) who recorded his version for his 1966 Album ‘Moonlight Sinatra.’ In 1959, the American ‘Doo-Wop’ group ‘The Rivieras,’ charted at Number 47 on Billboard with their version, and in 1978, the American singer Booby Vinton, took his rendition to Number 97 also on Billboard. In the UK, in 1939, ‘Moonlight Serenade’ was released as the ‘A’ side of a ’78’ disc, on the ‘His Master’s Voice’ record label, with ‘American Patrol,’ as the ‘B’ side. When re-issued, the recording reached number 12, in March 1954, staying on the chart for one week. In January 1976 a maxi single with ‘Little Brown Jug,’ ‘In the Mood,’ and ‘Moonlight Serenade,’ reached number 13 on the UK chart.

‘Moonlight Serenade’ was recorded on April 4th, 1939, at the RCA’s studios, in New York City, while the Glenn Miller Orchestra were on a seven week live engagement at the ‘Meadowbrook Ballroom,’ in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. The musicians who performed on ‘Moonlight Serenade,’ were Wilbur Schwartz, (1918-1990) who played the clarinet solo. The trumpeters were Clyde Hurley, (1916-1963) Dale McMickle, (1907-1985) Leigh Knowles, (–) and Johnny Best, (1913-2003) with Hal McIntyre (1914-1959) on Alto Sax, and Tex Beneke, (1914-2000) Al Klink, (1915-1991) and Jimmy Abato (1919-2008) on Tenor, and baritone Sax. The guitar was played by Richard Fisher, (–) and the bass by Rowland Bundock, (–) with Maurice Purtill (1916-1994) on drums, and Chummy MacGregor (1903-1973) on the piano.

Posted by: In: Other 24 Jul 2023 Comments: 0


809-Montell Jordan-This Is How We Do It.

1995-Number 11 single.

Best Bit-At 0.12. Since recording this song Montell Jordan has become a born again Christian, so he probably doesn’t do it, like he used to do it.

Montell Jordan was born Montell Du’Sean Barnett Jordan, on December 3rd, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, United States. He was born in to a Baptist family, and as a child he attended his local church, where both of his parents worked as Deacons. After getting a bachelor’s degree in communications, at the ‘ Pepperdine University,’ in Malibu, California, in the mid 1980’s, he started work, helping to make commercials for a television company, and in an attempt to promote his career as a musician, he used the facilities, which led to him recording a ‘mixtape,’ which would eventually bring him to the attention of Russell Simmons, at ‘Def Jam Records.’ In the mid 2000’s Montell Jordan became a Baptist minister, he said he was told by God to quit the music industry. He can be seen regularly at the ‘Victory World Church,’ in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives, and worships, with the church collective called,’Victory World Music,’ who in 2011 released an Album of Christian music.

The discography of Montell Jordan includes eight studio Albums released between 1995-2019, and 14 singles issued within the same time period. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, all eight of his first single releases made the top 40, with ‘This Is How We Do It,’ spending seven weeks at Number 1, while in the UK, he has charted within the top 40 on five occasions, with ‘This Is How We Do It,’ peaking the highest at Number 11. In 2015, the Dutch music producer Joe Stone remixed ‘This Is How We Do It,’ as a ‘House’ track, with Jordan providing the vocals, and that version charted in the UK, reaching Number 17. In 2002, the British R&B girl group ‘Mis-Teeq’ released ‘This Is How We Do It,’ as a double ‘A’ side with ‘Roll On,’ which made Number 7 in the UK.

‘This Is How We Do It,’ was the debut single by Montell Jordan, and the first of three singles released from his debut studio Album of the same name from April 1995. ‘This Is How We Do It’ was co-written by Montell Jordan, Oji Pierce, and Ricky Walters, who is better known by his stage name ‘Slick Rick. The track was co-produced by Jordan, and Oji Pierce (1960-2006.) ‘This Is How We Do It’ samples the 1988 ‘Hip-Hop’ song ‘Children’s Story,’ by the ‘Rap’ artist Slick Rick,’ which in turn had sampled the 1974 instrumental ‘Nautilus,’ by the Jazz musician Bob James, because of this Slick Rick, (Ricky Walters) is given a songwriting credit.

Speaking about the songs initial success, and it’s longevity, Motell Jordan has said,’If you’re in China, this is how they do it here. If you’re from the ghetto, this is how they do it. If you’re from New York, you do it like this. I think the reason the song was such a big smash with everybody, was because everyone from different countries, gay, straight, whatever colour, everybody has their individual way of doing what they do.’ Jordan has also said,’You don’t have to be going to the club on Friday night to get your groove on to this song. This refers to whatever it is that you do,that could mean working out, fishing, anything that lights your fire.’

‘This Is How We Do It,’ is filed under the genres of ‘Hip-Hop Soul,’ ‘R&B,’ and ‘New Jack Swing.’ ‘New Jack Swing’ is a fusion genre of the rhythms and production techniques of ‘Hip-Hop,’ and ‘Dance-Pop,’ and the urban contemporary sound of ‘R&B,’ which was at it’s most popular between the late 1980’s, to the early 1990’s.The term ‘New Jack Swing’ (see also best songs 694 and 236) was coined in an October 18th, 1987, article in the American news and culture paper, the ‘Village Voice,’ in a profile of Teddy Riley, by the American writer Barry Michael Cooper. ‘New Jack’ is a slang term meaning, ‘Johnny-come-lately,’ which had been used in a song by the American Rapper ‘Grandmaster Caz,’ (see also best songs 17) of the ‘Cold Crush Brothers,’ and ‘Swing,’ was intended by Cooper to draw an ‘Analogy between the music played at the speakeasies (an illicit establishment that sells alcoholic beverages,) of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s (1896-1940) time, to the crack houses (a residence used in the illegal drug trade) of Teddy Riley’s time.The term ‘New Jack Swing’ describes the sound produced, and engineered by the ‘R&B,’ and ‘Hip-Hop’ artist, and producer Teddy Riley, (see also best songs 48) who is considered to be the inventor of the genre.

‘This is how we do it, it’s Friday night, and I feel alright. The party’s here on the West Side, so I reach for my 40 and I turn it up. Designated driver take the keys to my truck.’

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


810-Billy Joel-We Didn’t Start the Fire.

1989-Number 7 single.

Best Bit-At 3.38. When the music career comes to an end, he can always become a history teacher.

Billy Joel was born William Martin Joel (see also best songs 215) on May 9th, 1949, in New York City, New York, United States, he is nicknamed the ‘Piano Man,’ after his 1973 signature song of the same name. At his mothers insistence, he started playing the piano at the age of four, but it was as a teenager, after seeing the ‘Beatles’ (see also best songs 599-456-319-238-218-141-80-51-10 and 6) on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show,’ that changed his life forever, Joel has said,’That one performance changed my life. Up to that moment I’d never considered playing Rock as a career. And when I saw four guys who didn’t look like they’d come out of the Hollywood star mill, who played their own songs and instruments, and especially because you could see this look in John Lennon’s face, and he looked like he was always saying: ‘F— you!’ I said, ‘I know these guys, I can relate to these guys, I am these guys. This is what I’m going to do, play in a Rock band.’

‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ was written by Billy Joel, and produced by Joel, and Mick Jones, it was the first of seven singles released from Billy Joel’s 11th studio Album ‘Storm Front,’ from October 1989. We Didn’t Start the Fire’ gave Billy Joel his third and final Number 1 single on Billboard, after ‘It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,’ (1980) and ‘Tell Her About It’ (1983.) Mick Jones who co-produced ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire,’ and it’s parent Album ‘Storm Front,’ was born Michael Leslie Jones, on December 27th, 1944, in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Jones is best known as the co-founder of the American Rock band ‘Foreigner,’ who have been active since 1976. Jones who is the bands one constant, has co-produced all nine ‘Foreigner,’ studio Albums, and is the writer of the majority of their songs, which include the Billboard Number 1 single, and UK Number 2 hit, ‘I Want to Know What Love Is,’ from 1984. Mick Jones has also released one solo studio Album, called ‘Mick Jones,’ in 1989.

Billy Joel conceived the idea for ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ shortly after his 40th birthday. He was in a recording studio, and a friend of John Lennon’s son, Sean Lennon, who was present with Sean, happened to comment,’It’s a terrible time to be 21,’ to which Joel replied,’Yeah, I remember when I was 21, I thought it was an awful time, and we had Vietnam, and y’know, drug problems, and civil rights problems, and everything seemed to be awful.’ The friend replied,’Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s different for you. You were a kid in the fifties, and everybody knows that nothing happened in the fifties.’ To which Joel said,’Wait a minute, didn’t you hear of the Korean War, or the Suez Canal Crisis?’

Billy Joel who had always been mad keen on historical events, put pen to paper, and listed in (almost) chronological order, several significant people, and events from the time of his birth, through to that present day. Joel has said,’I started with Harry Truman, because in 1949, the year I was born, Harry Truman was president. From there it kind of wrote itself.’ In total there are 119 different people, and events mentioned, spanning the years 1949-1989. Billy Joel has stated that he has no plans to make a follow up, covering 1990 onwards. In fact Billy Joel has a very low opinion of ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire,’ saying,’It’s like a mosquito buzzing around your head.’ Joel has said that he wrote the lyrics first, ‘Which is something I rarely do, and that is why it has no melody.’ Joel has also said that when performing the song live, he often has a hard time remembering all the words, and has looked to audience members mouthing the lyrics, to help him out.

‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ is a ‘list song.’ A ‘list song,’ is a song based wholly or in part on a list. List songs typically develop by working through a series of information, often humorous or comical, articulating their images additively, and sometimes using items of escalating absurdity. There are several songs in this ‘Best 1000 Songs’ that are considered ‘list songs,’ most notably Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues,’ (see also best songs 792) and ‘R.E.M.’s ‘”It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine’) (see also best songs 710.)

‘Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide. Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz. Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law, Rock and roller Cola wars, I can’t take it anymore.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Jul 2023 Comments: 0


811-Jan and Dean-Surf City.

1963-Number 26 single.

Best Bit-At 1.22. Some say three’s a crowd, but not in this case.

Jan and Dean were the American Rock duo of William Jan Berry, (1941-2004) and Dean Ormsby Torence, who formed in 1958, in Los Angeles, California, United States, they were active together until 1968, then got back together in 1973, for a re-union concert, before touring officially again from 1976, until Jan Berry’s death from a seizure in 2004. Jan and Dean first met while both were students at the ‘Emerson Junior High School,’ in Westwood, Los Angeles, where their first musical collaboration was helping to form a ‘Doo-Wop’ group called ‘The Barons,’ with Jan Berry singing bass, and Dean Torrence providing falsetto. In 1958 Dean Torrence was conscripted into the United States Army Reserve, so Jan Berry teamed up with Arnie Ginsburg, who had also been a member of ‘The Barons,’ to form ‘Jan & Arnie,’ together the duo released four singles between 1958-1960, with their debut single ‘Jennie Lee,’ reaching Number 8 on the American Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Dean Torrence returned to civilian life in 1959, after a compulsory six months stint in the ‘US Army Reserve,’ and once again began to make music as ‘Jan and Dean.’ Their first single release together was ‘Baby Talk,’ which was co-produced by Lou Adler, and Herb Alpert, (see also best songs 815) and reached Number 10 on Billboard in 1959. The discography of Jan and Dean includes 16 studio Albums issued between 1960-2017, and 48 singles released between 1959-1987. On Billboard, 13 of those singles made the top 40, with ‘Surf City’ making Number 1 in 1963, while in the UK, two of their singles have reached the top 40, with ‘Heart And Soul,’ from 1961, being their other, (and biggest hit) when peaking at Number 24. Jan Berry has also issued nine solo singles, between 1960-1984, and Dean Torrence has released four, between 1965-2014.)

‘Surf City’ was the first of two singles released from Jan and Dean’s third studio Album ‘Surf City and Other Swingin’ Cities,’ from July 1963, it was co-written by Brian Wilson, and Jan Berry, with the production credited to Berry. As a member of the ‘Beach Boys,’ (see also best songs 930-180 and 74) Brian Wilson had toured on the same bill as Jan and Dean, and they had got to know each other well. Wilson told Jan Berry about a song he was struggling to complete with the working title ‘Goody Connie Won’t You Come Back Home,’ saying that he was losing interest in it. Jan Berry helped Wilson complete the song, that was to become ‘Surf City,’ with Dean Torrence contributing several phrases, but insisting that he wouldn’t be given writing credit. It is said that Brian Wilson’s father, Murry Wilson, (1917-1973) who was also the manager of the Beach Boys at that time, was furious with his son, believing that Brian had wasted a Number 1 record, by letting someone else record it instead of his group the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson has said,’I was proud of the fact that another group had had a Number 1 track with a song I had written, but dad would hear none of it. He called Jan a ‘record pirate.”

‘Surf City’ should be filed under ‘Surf Vocal,’ which a sub genre of ‘Surf Music,’ associated with surf culture, particularly as found in Southern California. ‘Surf Music’ was at it’s height between 1958-1964, and can be split in to two major forms, the first being ‘Instrumental Surf,’ which is distinguished by reverb-heavy electric guitars, played to evoke the sound of crashing waves, largely pioneered by Dick Dale (1937-2019) and the Del-Tones. The second is ‘Surf Vocal,’ which took elements of the original surf sound, and added vocal harmonies, a movement led by the Beach Boys. Dick Dale didn’t like ‘Surf Vocal,’ and said,’They were surfing sounds with surfing lyrics, in other words, the music wasn’t surfing music. The words made them surfing songs, that was the difference. The real surfing music is instrumental.’ Brian Wilson has said,’It wasn’t a conscious thing to build our music around surfing. We just want to be identified with the interests of young kids. I hate so-called ‘Surfin’ music. It’s a name that people slap on any sound from California. Our music is rightfully the Beach Boy sound, if one has to label it.’

‘I bought a ’30 Ford wagon and we call it a woodie. You know it’s not very cherry, it’s an oldie but a goodie. Well, it ain’t got a back set or a rear window, but it still gets me where I wanna go. And we’re goin’ to Surf City, ’cause it’s two to one, you know we’re goin’ to Surf City, gonna have some fun.’

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


812-Michael Jackson-Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.

1979-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 2.56. A tip for those who choose this as their karaoke song. There are two ‘ooh’s’ at 4.27, as opposed to just the one at 2.18. You must also work your way through the minefield of vocal tics, and hiccups, and occasional grunts.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29th, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, United States, he died on June 25th, 2009, from cardiac arrest, caused by a Propofol and Benzodiazepine overdose, administered to him by Conrad Murray, his personal physician. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death for having inadvertently overdosed him with a powerful surgical anesthetic, Propofol, which was being improperly used as a bedtime sleep agent. Murray served roughly two years out of his original four-year prison sentence.

With record sales in excess of 400 million copies, Michael Jackson (see also best songs 511-249-191 and 137) is amongst the very elite best selling artists of all time, and he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th Century, he is fondly referred to as the ‘King of Pop.’ The discography of Michael Jackson as a solo artist includes 10 studio Albums released between 1972-2001, of which the first four were on ‘Motown’ records, and 77 singles issued as either the lead or featured artist between 1971-2023, his first 14 solo singles were all released on ‘Motown’ records, between 1971-1978. There are also 19 official compilation Albums, and one soundtrack Album available. In America on Billboard, and also in the UK, all of his last five Album releases reached Number 1, with his 1982 Album ‘Thriller,’ with sales in excess of 70 million copies worldwide, being the best selling Album of all time. On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Michael Jackson has had 40 top 40 hits, with 13 of those tracks making Number 1, including ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,’ while in the UK, as a solo artist he has charted within the top 40 on 54 occasions, with seven of those tracks reaching the Number 1 spot. For the discography of The Jackson 5, and the Jacksons, see best songs 137.

‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ was the first of five singles released from Michael Jackson’s fifth solo studio Album ‘Off the Wall,’ from August 1979, the song was written by Michael Jackson, and co-produced by Jackson, and Quincy Jones (see also best songs 1022-889-703-511-357 and 191.) ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,’ and it’s parent Album ‘Off the Wall,’ are a defining moment in the career of Michael Jackson, as it was the first time in over a decade of recording that he had full creative control over his own output. Michael Jackson had met Quincy Jones in 1978, when both had been working on the film ‘The Wiz,’ where Jackson was playing the part of the ‘Scarecrow,’ and Jones was serving as the musical supervisor, and music producer. It was there that Jackson asked Jones if he could recommend anyone to work alongside him on his future solo career. Jones would work with Jackson on his next three studio Albums,’Off the Wall, (1979) ‘Thriller,’ (1982) and ‘Bad’ (1987.)

The musicians who appeared on ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,’ include Jim Gilstrap on backing vocals, Louis Johnson, (1955-2015) (see also best songs 1022 and 889) on bass, and Sheila E. (see also best songs 1045) on percussion. Also playing synthesizers, was Greg Phillinganes, who would go on to work with Michael Jackson on his next three studio Albums, he also worked on dozens of other major artists records as well. Greg Phillinganes claims that he made significant contributions to the development of ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,’ and that it was agreed that he would receive 10% of the royalties, however he was later informed that his contribution would merely be considered as an arrangement of the song. Quincy Jones has backed Phillinganes, saying,’He wrote the C section, Michael should’ve given him 10% of the song. Wouldn’t do it.’

It is said that when Jackson’s mother, Katherine, who is a devout ‘Jehovah’s Witness,’ first heard ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,’ she was shocked by the lyrical content, and felt that the title could be misconstrued as pertaining to sexual activity. Jackson reassured her that the song was not a reference to sex, but could mean whatever people wanted it to.

‘Lovely is the feelin’ now, fever, temperatures risin’ now. Power (oh power) is the force the vow, that makes it happen. It asks no questions why, (ooh) so get closer (closer now) to my body now. Just love me ’til you don’t know how (ooh.’)