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


678-Jerry Lee Lewis-Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.

1957-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 2.27. If I was Jerry Lee Lewis’ piano, I think I would be feeling abused.

Jerry Lee Lewis (see also best songs 362 and 99) was born on September 29th, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana, United States, on February 28th, 2019, he had a minor stroke, which caused him to cancel several appearances. He died on October 28th, 2022, at the age of 87. Jerry Lee Lewis was the last surviving member of the legendary ‘Million Dollar Quartet,’ who recorded for the ‘Sun Record’ label. On December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley (1935-1977) (see also best songs 954-664-442 and 194) dropped in on Sam Phillips, (1923-2003) the founder of ‘Sun Records,’ to pay a social visit while Carl Perkins (1932-1998) (see also best songs 664) was in the studio cutting new tracks with Jerry Lee Lewis, who was backing him on piano. Johnny Cash (1932-2003) (see also best songs 857 and 428) was also there watching Perkins. The four then started an impromptu jam session, and Sam Phillips left the tape running. These recordings were not made available until 1981, of which almost half were Gospel songs, and were released on CD as the ‘Million Dollar Quartet.’ These tracks also include Elvis Presley’s ‘Don’t Be Cruel,’ and ‘Paralyzed,’ and cover versions of Chuck Berry’s ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man,’ and Pat Boone’s ‘Don’t Forbid Me.’

‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ was probably co-written by Dave ‘Curlee’ Williams, and James Faye ‘Roy’ Hall (1922-1984,) but it has always been open to dispute, as both have been solely named on various recordings. The reason probably being that Hall had to sign over the royalties from the song to his ex-wife, so legalities probably played a big part. The inspiration for ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ came about when both were on vacation, Hall has said, ’We were down in Paokee, on Lake Okeechobee, out on a damn pond, fishin,’ and milkin’ snakes. This guy down there had a big bell that he’s ring to get us all to come in to dinner, an’ I’d call over and say, ’What’s goin’ on?’ Coloured guy said, ’We got twen’y-one drums, we got an old bass horn, an’ they even keepin’ time on a ding-ding,; see, that was the big bell they’d ring to get us t’come in.’

‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ was first recorded on March 21st, 1955, by the American R&B singer Big Maybelle, (1924-1972) on the ‘Okeh Record’ label, with the track being conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones. James Faye ‘Roy’ Hall recorded ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ himself in September 1955, for ‘Decca Records,’ saying at the time that he had written it, and had secured the legal copyright as co-writer, under the pseudonym of ‘Sunny David.’

‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ was the second single released by Jerry Lee Lewis, from April 1957, it was issued as a stand alone single, before appearing on his compilation Album ‘Original Golden Hits, Vol. 1,’ in 1969. The song was issued on ‘Sun Records,’ with the writing credited to both Dave ‘Curlee’ Williams, and James Faye ‘Roy’ Hall. The production was by Jack Clement, (1931-2013) who produced for many of the legendary names on the ‘Sun Record’ label.

Jerry Lee Lewis had been performing ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ for quite a while in his stage act before recording a studio version. Lewis radically changed the style of the song from how it was originally conceived, by adding ‘boogie piano,’ played by Lewis himself. The other performers on the track were J.M. Van Eaton, who played the drums, and Roland James, (1933-2013) who played the guitar. Jerry Lee Lewis who added some new suggestive lyrics, has said,’I knew it was a hit when I cut it. Sam Phillips thought it was gonna be too risqué, it couldn’t make it. If that’s risqué, well, I’m sorry.’

Jerry Lee Lewis is recognised as one of the first ‘Rock N’ Roll’ stars, and ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ is recognised as one of the first ‘Rock N’ Roll’ breakthrough hits. Lewis and the song were propelled to stardom after Lewis’ ‘wild’ performance on the American variety television programme broadcast by ‘NBC,’ ‘The Steve Allen Show,’ in 1957. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ peaked at Number 3, and Number 1 on the magazine’s R&B record chart, it also reached Number 1 on the Billboard ‘Hot Country Songs’ chart.

‘Well, I said come on over baby, we got chicken in the barn. Come on over baby, I got the bull by the horns. We ain’t fakin, a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.’

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


679-Janet Jackson-When I Think of You.

1986-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 3.19. ‘BREAK.’ Be careful we don’t want another wardrobe malfunction, do we.

Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16th, 1966, in Gary, Indiana, United States, she is the youngest of the 10 Jackson siblings, (see also best songs 812-570-511-249-191 and 137) she has two sisters, and seven brothers, Marlon’s twin Brandon, died shortly after birth. Prior to finding success in music, Janet was a regular in the American television sitcoms ‘Good Times,’ between 1977-1979, and ‘Diff’rent Strokes,’ between 1980-1984, she was also a member of the cast of the American musical drama ‘Fame,’ between 1984-1985. With worldwide record sales in excess of 100 million, Janet Jackson is one of the best selling artists of all time. In 1986 when,’When I Think of You’ reached Number 1 on Billboard, it made Janet Jackson at the age of 20, the youngest artist to have had a chart topper in America since Stevie Wonder at the age of 13, with ‘Fingertips,’ in 1963. Also due to that song reaching Number 1, it made Janet, and her brother Michael, (1958-2009) the only brother and sister to have had separate Number 1 singles on Billboard.

On February 1st, 2004, at the ‘Super Bowl XXXVIII’ halftime show, which was broadcast live from Houston, Texas, on the CBS television network, while Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake (see also best songs 317) were performing the half-time show, Janet Jackson’s right breast which was adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake to the viewing public. The incident, sometimes referred to as ‘Nipplegate,’ or ‘Janetgate,’ led to an immediate crackdown, and widespread discourse on perceived indecency in broadcasting. Although Jackson unreservedly apologised for the incident, blaming it on a ‘wardrobe malfunction,’ it did effect her future music career, with reduced airplay, televised promotions, and a drop in record sales.

The discography of Janet Jackson includes 11 studio Albums released between 1982-2015, and 70 singles released between 1982-2018, there are also four official compilation Albums, and two remix Albums available. In America on Billboard seven of her studio Albums have reached the Number 1 position, while in the UK, only ‘Janet’ from 1993 has topped that chart. Janet Jackson has had 30 top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and a further four as either the featured artist, or unaccredited artist. 10 of her singles, all as the only credited artist on the track, have reached Number 1 on Billboard. In the UK Janet Jackson has achieved 34 top 40 hits, with a further three as either the featured artist, or unaccredited artist, with both ‘The Best Things in Life Are Free,’
with Luther Vandross, featuring Bell Biv DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant, (1992) and ‘That’s the Way Love Goes,’ (1993) both charting the highest, at Number 2.

‘When I Think of You’ was the second of seven singles released from Janet Jackson’s third studio Album ‘Control,’ from February 1986, the first five singles issued off the Album all reached the top 5 on Billboard, making Janet Jackson the first female artist to achieve that fete. Prior to the release of ‘Control,’ Jackson had issued two Albums that had both been commercial failures, and it was the teaming up with the songwriting and production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis that changed her fortunes. ‘When I Think of You’ which was co-written, and co-produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, was just the start of their collaboration with Janet Jackson, as together they would work on seven Janet Jackson Albums between 1986-2006. Jimmy ‘Jam’ Harris has reminisced about his and Terry Lewis’ early working days with Janet Jackson. ‘Terry Lewis became more than a producer and songwriter for Jackson, he became her personal chef. Terry cooked her some home cooked meals because she was sick of eating hotel food. This was actually part of a tactic to help Jackson get comfortable with the team. We spent a week getting her to open up to us. With artists you sometimes have to be a psychologist, a counsellor, a masseuse – anything.’

James Samuel Harris III was born on June 6th, 1959, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, and Terry Steven Lewis was born on November 24th, 1956, in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The pair first met while attending a ‘TRIO Upward Bound’ program on the University of Minnesota campus. Prior to working with Janet Jackson the duo formed the ‘Funk’ band ‘The Time,’ with others, and toured with ‘Prince’ (1958-2016) during 1981. In 1982 they were introduced to Leon Sylvers III (see also best songs 581) who took them under his wing. It was Dina R. Andrews who was then employed at ‘SOLAR Records’ who shopped the duo around, leading to them working with artists including Alexander O’Neal, and the ‘S. O. S. Band.’ Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at the time of writing have written or produced 41 American Billboard top 10 hits, of which 16, including nine for Janet Jackson, have made Number 1, while in the UK, the duo have achieved 31 top 10 hits.

‘Ooh, baby, anytime my world gets crazy, all I have to do to calm it, is just think of you. ‘BASS.”

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


680-Gilbert Bécaud-A Little Love and Understanding.

1975-Number 10 single.

Best Bit-At 2.58. Bon Chanson.

Gilbert Bécaud was born François Gilbert Léopold Silly, on October 24th, 1927, in Toulon, France, he died of lung cancer, on December 18th, 2001, at the age of 74. Gilbert Bécaud is one of France’s most celebrated artists, who during his 53 year career, was a singer, composer, pianist, and actor, who because of his energetic on stage performances, earned himself the nickname ‘Monsieur 100,000 Volts.’ Prior to pursuing a music career, and after leaving school in 1942, Gilbert Bécaud joined the ‘French Resistance,’ for the duration of World War II. He first began songwriting in 1948, working under the wing of Maurice Vidalin, (1924-1986) the pair began writing for the French actress and singer Marie Bizet, (1905-1998) and together they became a successful trio, through until 1950. It was while on tour as a pianist with the actor and singer Jacques Pills, (1906-1970) that Gilbert Bécaud was introduced to Edith Piaf, (1915-1963)(see also best songs 178) the then wife of Pills, and it was on Edith Piaf’s recommendation, that Gilbert Bécaud took up singing.

Gilbert Bécaud would go on to release 23 studio Albums between 1953-1999, and 15 live Albums, which were all recorded at his favourite venue, the ‘Paris Olympia,’ between 1955-2002. He also issued 13 official compilation Albums between 1959-2012, along with two soundtrack Albums, and seven Albums of music that he co-wrote for Operas, and musical comedies. Gilbert Bécaud appeared in nine films between 1953-1995, two of which were made for television, including the 1995 French TV series ‘Navarro as Sarkis.’

Gilbert Bécaud has had great success as a songwriter, both at home and abroad. His first hit in the English speaking world was the 1958 UK Number 1 single ‘The Day the Rains Came,’ which was performed by Jane Morgan, and was a cover version of Le jour où la pluie viendra,’ with English lyrics written by Carl Sigman (1909-2000.) Other notable songs written by Gilbert Bécaud include, ‘Et maintenant,’ which when re-written with English lyrics, once again by Carl Sigman, would become ‘What Now, My Love?’ (1961) which has gone on to become one of the most covered songs of all time. In 1980 Gilbert Bécaud joined forces with Neil Diamond, (see also best songs 536-426 and 13) to co-write five songs for the musical drama film ‘The Jazz Singer,’ including ‘Love on the Rocks,’ which when issued as a single, reached Number 2 on Billboard in America, and Number 17 in the UK.

‘A Little Love and Understanding’ was originally recorded by Gilbert Bécaud in 1972 as ‘Un peu d’amour et d’amitié,’ with the melody being written by Gilbert Bécaud, and the French lyrics by Louis Amade (1915-1992.) The song would become Gilbert Bécaud’s only international hit single in 1975, when it was re-written with English lyrics by Marcel Stellman (1925-2021.) Another of Marcel Stellman’s claims to fame was introducing the French television show ‘Des chffres et des lettres’ to the UK as ‘Countdown,’ in 1982. A Little Love and Understanding’ would go on to peak at Number 10 in the UK, but achieved it’s greatest success in Australia, where it spent three weeks at Number 1.

In ‘A Little Love and Understanding,’ the narrator is singing about how his partner is feeling alone. He tells his partner to leave their problems behind, and enjoy what they have in the present moment. The narrator reassures his partner that in time they will find peace of mind.

‘Your room is like a desert isle, you often filled with silent tears, So grab your coat, put on a smile, go out and buy yourself some cheer. Why sit there thinking of the past, recounting empty days gone by? Ah-ah, when you should make each moment last, it isn’t hard to do, just try.’

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


681-Ice Cube-It Was a Good Day.

1993-Number 27 single.

Best Bit-At 4.16. We all have our own idea of the perfect day, this is Ice Cube’s.

Ice Cube was born O’Shea Jackson, on June 15th, 1969, in Los Angeles, California, United States. Evidently his stage name has nothing to do with him trying to portray a ‘cool’ gangster persona, Ice Cube has explained that it was down to his elder brother, ‘He threatened to slam me into a freezer, and pull me out when I was an ice cube. I just started using that name, and it just caught on.’ Ice Cube began his music career by rapping in the Los Angeles ‘Hip-Hop’ group ‘C.I.A.’ before quickly moving on to join the Compton ‘Hip-Hop’ group ‘N. W. A.’ (see also best songs 564 and 128) in 1987. Ice Cube would remain a member of ‘N.W.A.’ through until 1989, writing the majority of the many controversial lyrics for ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ the debut studio Album by ‘N. W. A.’ By writing ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ Ice Cube is considered to be one of the main protagonists in bringing the then new genre of ‘Gangsta Rap’ to California, and the world.

Since 1990 Ice Cube has had a solo recording career run concurrently with an acting, and film producing career. From 1991, and up until the time of writing, Ice Cube has either directed, produced, was the screenwriter, or acted in 42 films, some of which have been critically acclaimed, including ‘Tresspass,’ (1992) and ‘Three Kings’ (1999.) The solo discography of Ice Cube includes 11 studio Albums released between 1990-2018, and 27 singles released between 1990-2021, there are also 12 soundtrack Albums, and six official compilation Albums available. In America on the Billboard Album chart, his 1992 Album ‘The Predator’ went to Number 1, and is his best seller, with sales in excess of 2 million copies sold in America. On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, six of his singles have made the top 40, with ‘It Was a Good Day’ charting the highest at Number 15 in 1993. In the UK, Ice Cube has reached the top 40 on four occasions, with the 1999 re-issue of ‘You Can Do It,’ featuring Mack 10 and Ms. Toi,’ peaking the highest at Number 2.

‘It Was a Good Day’ was the second of three singles released from Ice Cube’s third studio Album ‘The Predator,’ from November 1992, the song was written by Ice Cube, with the production being by ‘DJ Pooh,’ who was born Mark Jordan, on June 29th, 1969, in Los Angeles, California, United States. ‘DJ Pooh’ is best known in America for his acting role as ‘Red’ in the first ‘Friday’ movie (1995) with Ice Cube, DJ Pooh co-wrote ‘Friday,’ and also helped with the character development. ‘DJ Pooh’ is one one of the most successful, and influential ‘Hip-Hop’ music producers of all time, working on some of that genres most critically acclaimed Albums, including, ‘LL Cool J’s second Album, ‘Bigger and Deffer,’ (1987) He also produced 2Pac’s ‘All Eyez on Me,’ (1995) and provided the bulk of the production for Snoop Dogg’s second album, ‘Tha Doggfather’ (1996.)

‘It Was a Good Day’ heavily samples the 1977 song ‘Footsteps in the Dark, Parts. 1 & 2,’ by The Isley Brothers, (see also best songs 823-508-382 and 176) from their Album ‘Go For Your Guns,’ and to a lesser extent the 1973 track ‘Sexy Mama,’ by The Moments (see also best songs 466.) Ice Cube has explained his inspiration behind the songs lyrics, ‘It was the summer of ’92, and I was in a hotel room, really in a state of euphoria. I had all the money I had dreamed of. I was in a good frame of mind, and I remember thinking, ‘Okay, there’s been the riots, people know I will deal with that. That’s a given. But I rap all this gangsta stuff, what about all the good days I had?’

‘It Was a Good Day’ ends on a negative note, as reality hits home, and Ice Cube comes back down to earth with a bump. Ice Cube has said that ‘It Was a Good Day’ is not about one particular day, but is a composite of many memories, from many days, all thrown in together.

‘Ay, wait, wait a minute Pooh, stop this s..t. What the f..k I’m thinking about?’

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


682-Stevie Wonder-Boogie On Reggae Woman.

1975-Number 12 single.

Best Bit-At 1.52. We may all have that fantasy of seeing you ‘In the raw under the stars above,’ but I bet Stevie wishes for it even more.

Stevie Wonder (see also best songs 920-843-834-670-503-366-205-152 and 65) was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, on May 13th, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, United States, when signing with ‘Motown’ records in 1961, he officially changed his name to Stevland Hardaway Morris, Morris being a family name. It is not totally clear who gave him his original stage name, ‘Little Stevie Wonder,’ but it was either Motown supremo Bery Gordy, or Clarence Paul, (1928-1995) who was Stevie’s mentor, and main producer, during Wonder’s teenage years. Stevie Wonder who has been blind since shortly after his birth, was born six weeks premature, which, along with the oxygen rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in ‘retinopathy of prematurity,’ a disease that aborts eye growth, and often causes the retinas to detach, resulting in blindness.

‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’ was the second of two singles released from ‘Fulfillingness’ First Finale,’ which was the 17th studio Album from Stevie Wonder, who at the time was still only 23 years old, from July 1974. The first track released off the Album was the politically aware ‘You Haven’t Done Nothin” featuring ‘The Jackson 5’ on backing vocals, which reached Number 1 on Billboard in America, and Number 30 in the UK. ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’ which is a playful song about lust, peaked at Number 3 on Billboard, and Number 12 in the UK. ‘Fulfillingness’ First Finale’ is one of five consecutive Album releases from the 1970’s that are considered to be Stevie Wonder’s ‘classic period.’ The other Albums are ‘Music of My Mind,’ (1972) ‘Talking Book,’ (1972) ‘Innervisions,’ (1973) and ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ (1976.) By 1975 Stevie Wonder had won two consecutive ‘Grammy Awards,’ for Album of the year. In 1976 when Paul Simon won Album of the year for ‘Still Crazy After All These Years,’ he said,’I’d like to thank Stevie Wonder, who didn’t make an Album this year.’

‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’ was written and produced by Stevie Wonder, with his long term collaborators Robert Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil (1937-2021) (mainly during the classic period) working as associate producers. On ‘Boogie On Reggae Woman,’ Stevie Wonder sings all of the vocals, and plays all of the instruments, which are ‘Fender Rhodes’ piano, harmonica, drums, and ‘Moog’ bass, the only other musician on the track is Rocky Dzidzornu, (1932-1993) who played the congas. Kwasi ‘Rocky’ Dzidzornu was born on February 28th, 1932, in the British Gold Coast colony, Africa, which in 1947 would become the Republic of Ghana. he died on March 13th, 1993, at the age of 61. Rocky Dzidzornu was one of the main go to percussionists in the late 1960’s, and during the 1970’s. Other artists who employed him on their Albums include Nick Drake, (1948-1974) Taj Mahal, and most notably ‘The Rolling Stones,’ with whom he played on three of their studio Albums, including the song ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ from The Rolling Stones 1968 Album ‘Beggars Banquet.’ The music historian Ned Sublette has written that the addition of his conga drumming on ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ transformed the song from ‘A dirge, and a dull one at that…making it come alive.’

Malcolm Cecil (1937-2021) and Robert Margouleff who worked closely with Stevie Wonder on his classic Albums, had formed as a duo in the early 1970’s as ‘Tonto’s Expanding Head Band.’ The duo were influential in the development of ‘Electronic Music,’ and helped bring the synthesizer to the mainstream, through session and production work for other musicians, including The Isley Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, and Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011.) The ‘TONTO’ synthesizer is an acronym for ‘The Original New Timbral Orchestra,’ the first, and still the largest, multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer in the world, designed and constructed over several years by Malcolm Cecil who has said, ‘I wanted to create an instrument that would be the first multitimbral polyphonic synthesizer. Multitimbral polyphony is different than the type of polyphony provided by most of today’s synthesizers, on which you turn to a string patch, and everything under your fingers is strings. In my book ‘multitimbral’ means each note you play has a different tone quality, as if the notes come from separate instruments. I wanted to be able to play live multitimbral polyphonic music using as many fingers and feet as I had.’ It was the development of this synthesizer which attracted Stevie Wonder, and led to him creating many of his classic 1970’s songs.

‘I’d like to see both of us fall deeply in love. I’d like to see you na under the stars above, yes I would. I’d like to see both of us fall deeply in love, yeah. I’d like to see you in the raw, under the stars above.’

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


683-Max Romeo-Wet Dream.

1968-It didn’t chart in the UK until 1969, when it reached Number 10.

Best Bit-At 1.52. A rough guide to ‘the birds and the bees.’

Max Romeo was born Maxwell Livingston Smith, on November 22nd, 1944, in St. D’Acre, St. Ann, Jamaica. In 1962 at the age of 18, he won a local talent competition, which gave him the encouragement to move to Kingston, Jamaica, to embark on a career in music. He first found success as one third of ‘The Emotions,’ joining up with Kenneth Knight, and Lloyd Shakespeare, together the trio had several local hit singles between 1966-1968. Maxwell Smith who was now using the stage name ‘Max Romeo,’ left ‘The Emotions’ in 1968 in order to pursue a solo career. The discography of Max Romeo includes 28 Albums released between 1969-2020, and 74 singles issued between 1967-2022, there are also 10 official compilation Albums available. ‘Wet Dream’ remains his only international hit, but his 1976 song ‘I Chase the Devil,’ has been covered and sampled on many occasions, including by the British Electronic Dance Music group ‘The Prodigy,’ for their 1992 UK Number 5 hit single ‘Out of Space.’ In 1980 Max Romeo appeared as a backing vocalist on the track ‘Dance,’ from ‘The Rolling Stones’ Album ‘Emotional Rescue.’ In 1981 Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones returned the favour by co-producing, and playing on Max Romeo’s Album ‘Holding Out My Love to You,’ in an unsuccessful attempt to break into the North American market. More recently in 2014, Max Romeo released the Album ‘Father and Sons,’ which is a collaboration with his sons Ronaldo, and Romario, who perform under the stage name of ‘Rominal.’ Max Romeo’s daughter Azana Smith is also a recording artist, going by the name of Xana Romeo. Over the course of his career Max Romeo’s songs have covered the subjects of sex, politics, and religion.

‘Wet Dream’ was the first of two singles released from Max Romeo’s debut studio Album ‘A Dream,’ from 1969, with the production, according to the singles release, being by Harry Robinson, and Junior Smith, although those two receive no production credits on the Album, as the production there is credited to Bunny Lee, (1941-2020) Derrick Morgan, and Harry Dee. ‘Wet Dream’ was one of the first Reggae songs to come to the attention of the wider general public. Max Romeo originally offered the song to the Jamaican artist Derrick Morgan, but he shied away from the suggestive nature of the lyrics, as did fellow Reggae artists John Holt, (1947-2014) and Slim Smith (1948-1972.) Eventually Max Romeo recorded the song himself, while Derrick Morgan, who uses different lyrics, but the same melody, (riddim) released his version, which was called ‘Hold You Jack.’

‘Wet Dream’ was banned by the media due to it’s explicit sexual nature. In the UK it had been played twice by the national BBC Radio 1 music station, and after banning it, the stations DJ’s were instructed to refer to the song as ‘A record by Max Romeo,’ with no mention of the songs title, while broadcasting that weeks current top 40 countdown. Despite the ban, ‘Wet Dream’ still managed to reach Number 10 in the UK, the song was also a hit in the Netherlands, where it peaked at Number 11, under the title of ‘The Dream.’ Initially Max Romeo tried to con the media to try to get airplay, by claiming that the song was about a leaky roof, even so the lyrics contained the line,’Give the fanny to me,’ but in 2007 he more or less came clean by saying that he had started the ‘sexual revolution,’ and when asked why he wrote the song he replied,’The Devil made me do it.’

A ‘Wet Dream’ is a slang term for a ‘nocturnal emission,’ which happens after stressful dreams in ‘REM’ sleep, which activate the sympathetic nervous system, hence leading to ejaculation, which occurs in both male and females. ‘Nocturnal emissions’ generally start happening during the early teenage years, but as you age, they tend to become much more infrequent.

You in your small corner, I stand in mine, throw all the punch you want to, I can take them all. Lie down girl, let me push it up, push it up, lie down.’

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


684-Lionel Richie-Truly.

1982-Number 6 single.

Best Bit-At 2.08. The Argentinian football player Lionel Messi is named after Lionel Richie, you learn something new everyday.

Lionel Richie was born Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. on June 20th, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States, with record sales estimated to be around 100 million, he is one of the best selling artists of all time. Prior to choosing a life in music, Lionel Richie was a talented tennis player, and had considered pursuing that as a career, he had also considered becoming a priest, but ultimately decided he was not ‘priest material.’ In 1968 he became a co-founder of the American Soul, and Funk group the ‘Commodores,’ as a singer and saxophonist. After recording one song with ‘Atlantic Records’ they moved on to ‘Motown Records,’ initially as a support act to ‘The Jackson 5’ (see also best songs 249 and 137.) The Commodores eventually found success at ‘Motown,’ initially with uptempo ‘Funk’ tracks, but they achieved their greatest commercial success in the latter half of the 1970’s, with the ballads written and sung by Lionel Richie. Richie would stay a member of the ‘Commodores’ until leaving to pursue a solo career in 1982.

The solo discography of Lionel Richie includes 11 studio Albums released between 1982-2012, and 42 singles issued between 1981-2012, there are also six official compilation Albums, and four live Albums available. In America on Billboard, two of his studio Albums have reached Number 1, including his 1983 Album ‘Can’t Slow Down,’ which has now sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide. Lionel Richie has achieved 16 American Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits, with five of those tracks making Number 1, including ‘Truly.’ In the UK, he has had 20 top 40 hits, with ‘Hello,’ reaching Number 1 in 1984. Other notable songs written by Lionel Richie include the Billboard Number 1 hit,’Endless Love,’ his 1981 duet with Diana Ross. He also wrote ‘Lady,’ which when recorded by the American Country singer Kenny Rogers, (1938-2020) topped the Billboard chart in 1980, and at the time of writing is the 60th best selling single of all time on that chart. As a songwriter Lionel Richie’s greatest success came in 1985 when he co-wrote the charity single ‘We Are the World’ with Michael Jackson, (1958-2009) which has gone on to sell in excess of 20 million copies, and at the time of writing is the eighth-best-selling physical single of all time.

‘Truly’ was the debut solo single from Lionel Richie, and was the first of three singles released from his self titled debut solo Album from October 1982. ‘Truly’ was written by Lionel Richie, and co-produced by Richie, and his long term collaborator James Anthony Carmichael. ‘Truly’ is a ballad in much the same style as ‘Three Times a Lady,’ (1978-Billboard & UK Number 1) and ‘Still,’ (1979-Billboard Number 1 & UK Number 4) which he and Carmichael had written and produced for the ‘Commodores.’

James Anthony Carmichael was born on September 14th, 1941, in Gadsden, Alabama, United States, since the early 1960’s he has worked as an arranger, and music producer. Carmichael’s work in the 1960’s included collaborating with the American singing duo of ‘Bob & Earl,’ (see also best songs 696) and alongside Fred ‘Sledge’ Smith (1933-2005) at ‘Mirwood Records,’ they arranged and produced the 1967 Bill Cosby Billboard Number 4 hit ‘Little Ole Man (Uptight, Everything’s Alright.’) In the late 1960’s Carmichael began working on a freelance basis with ‘Motown’ artists in Los Angeles, which included the Four Tops, the Miracles, and the Supremes. In 1974 he was approached by the ‘Commodores,’ and agreed to work with them, after receiving assurances that he would be given production responsibilities on their recordings. Carmichael stayed with the ‘Commodores’ for the next seven years, before leaving them to join forces with Lionel Richie and his burgeoning solo career.

‘Because I’m truly, truly in love with you, girl. I’m truly head over heels with your love. I need you, and with your love, I’m free, and truly, you know you’re alright, with me.’

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


685-Public Domain-Operation Blade (Bass in the Place.)

2000-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 1.12. ‘Everybody in the house make some noise,’ or, ‘I want everyone in the house to say ‘Ho.” There’s a couple of crowd-pleasers for you party DJ’s to add to your repertoire.

Public Domain were formed in Ayr, Scotland, in 1999, by Mark Sherry, James Allan, and Alistair MacIsaac, prior to the release of ‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place’) the trio were joined by Mallorca Lee, and David Forbes. After the success of their first three singles, both Mallorca Lee, and David Forbes left the group, with Neil Skinner joining shortly after, at the time of writing, with Mark Sherry being the groups driving force, they remain active, although there has been no new music issued under the ‘Public Domain’ name since 2004.

Public Domain are an Electronic Music group who record in the genres of ‘Acid House,’ ‘Happy Hardcore,’ ‘Hard Techno,’ and ‘Hard Trance.’ They have released one studio Album to date, which was ‘Hard Hop Superstars,’ in 2001, which charted in the top 40 in New Zealand, the only territory where it found top 40 commercial success, peaking at Number 24, although it did also reach Number 65 in Australia. Public Domain have released five singles between 2000-2004, with the first three of those tracks making the UK top 40, with ‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place’) peaking the highest at Number 5. Their other two top 40 entries are ‘Rock da Funky Beats,’
featuring Chuck D, of the American ‘Hip-Hop’ group ‘Public Enemy,’ (see also best songs 578 and 37) which reached Number 19 in 2001, and the double ‘A’ sided single, ‘Too Many MCs’/’Let Me Clear My Throat,’ which peaked at Number 34 in 2002.

‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place’) which is also unofficially known as ‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place London’) was the first of three singles released from Public Domain’s only studio Album ‘Hard Hop Superstars,’ from 2001. The song was co-written and co-produced by Mark Sherry, Alistair MacIsaac, and James Allan, and can be filed under the musical genres of ‘Acid House,’ and Hard Trance.’ In 2003 the song was re-issued after being remixed by the German music producers Reinhard Raith, and Tommy Serano, who are better known as ‘VooDoo & Serano.’ The track was released as a double ‘A’ sided single, with the ‘VooDoo & Serano’ written track ‘Blood Is Pumpin,’ which in it’s original form had peaked at Number 19 in the UK in 2001. The new remix of ‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place’) stalled at Number 77.

‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place’) which was also issued again in 2006 as the ‘XXX’ remix, heavily samples the ‘Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix’ of the 1995 remix of the 1983 UK Number 12 single ‘Confusion,’ by the British Rock group ‘New Order.’ ‘Confusion,’ and the ‘Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix’ were co-written by Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner of the British group ‘New Order,’ (see also best songs 885 and 619) along with the American music producer Arthur Baker, (see also best songs 825 and 716) although none of New Order, or Arthur Baker receive writing credits on ‘Operation Blade (Bass in the Place.’)

The New Order ‘Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix’ can be heard playing over the memorable opening scene of the 1998 American superhero film ‘Blade,’ starring Wesley Snipes, hence the songs title ‘Operation Blade.’ Other songs to sample the ‘Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix’ include, ‘Phatt Bass,’ by the ‘Warp Bros,’ and ‘Play It Louder,’ by ‘Randy Katana.’

Bass to the place, London. Everybody in the house do now make some noise. I wanna hear everybody in the place say ho, ho. Public Domain kickin’ it to you man.’

Posted by: In: Other 20 Dec 2023 Comments: 0


686-Suzi Quatro-Can the Can.

1973-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.40. Many Pop stars need to choose a cool stage name in order to appear cool, ‘Suzi Q’ was born with hers.

Susan Kay Quatro was born on June 3rd, 1950, in Detroit, Michigan, United States, she has said that her earliest music influence, at the age of six, was seeing Elvis Presley (1935-1977) (see also best songs 954-6643-442 and 194) perform on television. She has stated that she had no direct female role models in music, but was inspired by Billie Holiday, (1915-1959) (see also best songs 624) and liked the dress sense of Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las, (see also best songs 331) ‘Because she wore tight trousers, and a waistcoat on top. She looked hot.’ In 1964 Suzi Quatro joined the all girl group ‘The Pleasure Seekers,’ whom had been formed by her sister Patti Quatro, who would later in 1974 join the all female American Rock band ‘Fanny.’ With ‘The Pleasure Seekers,’ Suzi Quatro released two commercially unsuccessful singles in 1965, and 1968, before leaving the group in 1969. It was Suzi’s brother Michael Quatro, who at that time was an independent entertainment executive, who persuaded Mickie Most (1938-2003) (see also best songs 851) the music producer, and founder of ‘RAK Records,’ to watch Suzi Quatro perform when he was in Detroit. This led to Most signing Suzi to ‘RAK Records,’ and her being introduced to the songwriters and music producers Nicky Chin, and Mike Chapman (see also best songs 860 and 773 and 402.) Suzi Quatro led and others followed, she was the first female bass guitar player to front a ‘Rock’ group, influencing many future ladies of ‘Rock,’ including Joan Jett, The Runaways, and Girlschool. In America where her music was far less commercially successful than in other parts of the world, she is best known for playing the character ‘Leather Tuscadero,’ in the television sitcom ‘Happy Days.’

The discography of Suzi Quatro, who has sold in excess of 50 million records worldwide, includes, 18 studio Albums released between 1973-2023, and 63 singles issued between 1966-2021, there are also 20 official compilation Albums, and two live Albums available. In America on Billboard, only her 1978 Album ‘If You Knew Suzi…’ has charted within the top 40, when reaching Number 37, while on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, none of her solo singles reached the top 40, although her 1978 duet with Chris Norman, ‘Stumblin’ In,’ did make Number 4. In the UK, Suzi Quatro has had 11 top 40 singles, with both ‘Can the Can,’ (1973) and ‘Devil Gate Drive,’ (1974) both reaching the Number 1 spot.

‘Can the Can’ was the second solo single release from Suzi Quatro, the first single called ‘Rolling Stone,’ which had been co-written by Suzi, with Errol Brown, (1943-2015) (see also best songs 864) and Phil Dennys, had failed to chart, except for in Portugal, where it had made Number 1, ‘Can the Can’ which was later added to Suzi Quatro’s self titled debut solo studio Album from 1973, was co-written, and co-produced by Mike Chapman, and Nicky Chinn. While working with Chinn and Chapman the agreement was that they would write all of Suzi Quatro’s singles, while Quatro would write the Album tracks, and ‘B’ sides.

When ‘Can the Can’ went to Number 1 in 1973 in the UK, it made Suzi Quatro the first solo female artist since Mary Hopkin in 1968 with ‘Those Were the Days,’ (see also best songs 692) to top the chart. ‘Can the Can’ was a major success, even so no one knew what the songs subject was about, Nicky Chinn has since explained,’It means something that is pretty impossible, you can’t get one can inside another if they are the same size, so we’re saying you can’t put your man in the can if he is out there and not willing to commit. The phrase sounded good, and we didn’t mind if the public didn’t get the meaning of it.’ Suzi Quatro has said,’I can hear a record for the first time and know whether it will be a hit, and I knew as soon as we had finished recording that we had a big hit on our hands.’

Well you call your mamma tiger, and we all know you are lying, and your boyfriend’s name is eagle, and he lives up in the sky. Watch out the tiger don’t go claw the eagle’s eye, but let the eagle take the tiger by surprise, scratch out her eyes. So make a stand for your man, honey, try to can the can.’

Posted by: In: Other 18 Dec 2023 Comments: 0


687-The Platters-Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

1958-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.09. Jerome Kern’s widow disliked The Platters recording so much, she considered taking legal action, she thought the song was ‘Too Rock ‘N Roll.’

Jerome David Kern was born on January 27th, 1885, in New York City, New York, United States, six days before his death he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, and died on November 11th, 1945, at the age of 60. At the time of his death Oscar Hammerstein II, (1895-1960) (see also best songs 842-82 and 60) was at his bedside when Kern’s breathing stopped. Hammerstein hummed or sang the song ‘I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star,’ from ‘Music in the Air,’ which was a personal favourite of Kern’s in to his ear, after receiving no response, Hammerstein realised Kern had died. Jerome Kern is considered to be one of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th Century, having written more than 700 songs that were used in over 100 stage works, including classics such as ‘Ol’ Man River,’ (1927) ‘Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,’ (1927) ‘A Fine Romance,’ (1936) and ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ (1936.) Jerome Kern created dozens of Broadway Musicals, and Hollywood films, over the course of four decades, working alongside the leading lyricists of the era, including Oscar Hammerstein II, (1895-1960) Johnny Mercer, (1909-1976) Ira Gershwin, (1896-1983) and Yip Harburg, (1896-1981) who all have songs featured in this ‘1000 Best Songs’ list.

‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ was written for the 1933 musical ‘Roberta,’ by Jerome Kern, who composed the music, and Otto Harbach, (1873-1963) who wrote the lyrics. ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ was first sung in the Broadway show of ‘Roberta’ by the Russian singer and actress Tamara Drasin, (1905-1943) and first recorded by the American singer and actress Gertrude Niesen, (1911-1975) in 1933. Four different versions of ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ reached the American Billboard chart in 1934, with the most successful being by the American bandleader Paul Whiteman, (1890-1967) whose recording reached Number 1. The song has been covered over several decades by many of the worlds top artists, and in the UK has been a top 40 hit on four occasions, by The Platters, (1959-Number 1) Blue Haze, (1972-Number 32) Bryan Ferry, (1974-Number 17) and John Alford (1996-Number 13.)

The version of ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ which has become the definitive, is this one by The Platters, which topped the Billboard and UK singles chart in 1959. The Platters recorded the song for their 1958 Album ‘Remember When?’ with the songs production being by Samuel ‘Buck’ Ram,’ (1907-1991) who was also the groups manager. The Platters were formed in Los Angeles, California, United States, in 1952, taking their name from the ‘turntable’ of an old 1940’s era phonograph machine, and the ‘platter’ that spun the vinyl records. The Platters were one of the most successful vocal groups of the early ‘Rock N’ Roll’ era, with their distinctive sound bridging the gap between previous acts such as ‘The Mills Brothers,’ (see also best songs 960 and 535) and the ‘Ink Spots,’ (see also best songs 702 and 266) with those to follow, such as the ‘Temptations’ (see also best songs 1031-1001-777 and 569.) None of the original line up of The Platters (1952-1953) are still alive, and none of the accepted classic line up (1955-1959) are either. Herb Reed who had named the group, (1928-2012) was also the official groups one constant, having sung lead or backing on all 400 plus recordings, and it was Tony Williams (1928-1992) from the classic line up, who sang the lead vocals on ”Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.’ After the group began to splinter around 1970, legal battles ensued as past members sought the right to use the name ‘The Platters,’ leading to them being branded ‘Many Voices One Name.’ In total there were 11 official members come and go, and at the time of writing ‘The Platters’ still tour with four current members.

The discography of The Platters includes 54 singles released between 1953-1968, of which 22 have reached the American Billboard Hot 100 top 40, with ‘The Great Pretender, (1955) ‘My Prayer,’ (1956) ‘Twilight Time,’ (1958) and ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,’ (1958) all reaching Number 1. In the UK, The Platters have had 10 top 40 hits, with ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,’ peaking the highest at Number 1.

‘They asked me how I knew, my true love was true, I of course replied, something here inside, cannot be denied. They said, someday you’ll find, all who love are blind, when your heart’s on fire, you must realise, smoke gets in your eyes.’