Easy Listening

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It’s been awhile since I’ve heard anything from Herbie Hancock. The song “Stars in Your Eyes,” released in 1973, and then re-released digitally in 1980. I’d say the song was a moderate hit in my neighborhood. Not a super-favorite, however, it’s a great chill-out song to play for small get together with others, if you’re in that Black nostalgic mood. The song highest peak was #8 across internet streaming platforms. Check it out!

Spotify, Spotifythrowbacks, Case, Foxy Brown,  Mary J. Blige, "Touch Me Tease Me"

There aren’t too many hip hop songs from back in the day, where I considered them one of my most favorites. However, this song happens to be one of them. “Teach Me, Tease Me,” by Foxy Brown, Case and Mary J. was legendary in my opinion. I don’t know if I can say the song was the greatest of all times, but, certainly I feel it’s a song worthy of adding to any musicophile’s playlist. It peaked #14 on the Hot 100 Billboard Chart. I can’t stand Foxy Brown, but, I got to admit, her voice worked for this song. Then again, there were two other talented artist on the song that sort of made up for her lack of vocal talent. Just my opinion guys. It’s an easy listening type of hip hop that most can enjoy!

Oh man, I found a beauty of a gem here! This is a relatively young band called “The Fightnrs.” I never heard of them before to be honest. However, I stumbled upon a cover they did called “I’d rather Go Blind. I’m not sure who originally sang this, but I first heard this song, it was song by the late, legendary Etta James. I loved the way she sung this song! This reggae cover is smooth, and I really appreciate the fact that they kept the old ska feel to the music. This song sounded so authentically classic, I was in disbelief that these young dudes came up with a musical interpretation I could jive to.

These talented young men are from Queens, New York. But their music travels in time to Jamaica, in the Rock Steady, 60s era. I enjoyed their cover so much! I don’t mean to sound like I’m putting down other artist that do old covers; but at the same time, it’s incredibly rare that young artists/bands keep the spirit of the original songs they’re doing. Everyone wants to do something “different for a change.” Whatever the hell that means. Look them up, I think you’ll enjoy their music too (that is if you love reggae).

Céline Dion, Celine Dion, album, greatest hits, spotify, spotifythrowbacks, throwbacks

It’s sort of troubling to me, when I think about just how fast music streaming is moving (including YouTube). Between the fast movements of social media/streaming services verses the old folk who simply isn’t interested in tapping in to what streaming has to offer; I realize it’s very hard to measure the level of appreciation we still have for classic music. Classic music such as one of Celine Dion’s album “The Colour Of My Love (1993).” It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve heard anything of Celine on either mainstream radio or radio streaming. It’s a shame because she’s had many, many hits. But, I suppose with America’s culture shifts, if there are people who still do remember Celine, would be mostly likely associated with her Titanic theme song.

One of my favorite hits from this album, is her cover of Jennifer Rush’s “The Power Of Love.” I feel that both artists have done an amazing job with this song. I’m not sure if I like one over the other. “The Power Of Love,” is definitely one of those “made for females” romantic songs. We don’t talk about it much, but woman can make romantic music too. Another amazing song from this album is her cover of “When I Fall In Love,” featuring Clive Griffin. If you are a fairly good singer, I can’t see how anyone could screw this song up! It’s a simple love song, with easy notes that almost anyone can carry. Check out this classic album, and add it to your favorite streaming service.

 

Queen Latifah, Spotify, spotifythrowbacks

Do you remember this album? Did any of you hip hop fans even knew this existed? This was Queen’s first jazz album! I had mixed feelings about this album (but neither one of my feelings were negative tho..) I guess it’s because Queen took such a 360 degree turn, it made me do a double take. Let me say this, Queen was one of the very few artists from back in the day that could actually sing! And was one of the very few hip hop artists that could have pull that off. Probably the only other person I can think of that was pure hip hop that could have pulled this off was Lauryn Hill. But, not even then, because she would have turned her album into a jazz/beats project.. I know for most of you youngin’, this album is perhaps too mellow for you liking, but it’s really a good album. Although her album is called “The Dana Owens Album,” the album is really filled with a bunch of cover songs which she performed quite well. I liked her cover of “I Put A Spell On You,” she sounded like a mellowed down version of Nina Simone. I also really liked “Simply Beautiful,” and “California Dreamin’. This may not be the album many of you would add to your daily music consumption, but it’s a nice album for relax time. Check it out..

 

Boyz II Men - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: End Of The Road

Group: Boyz II Men

Album: Cooley High Harmony (1991)

Genre: Slow Jams

Wow.. Talk about forgotten talent. In my opinion, arguably Boyz II Men were one of the biggest and most talented male groups of the nineties! I mean, in terms of male groups of color, the only other group I loved equally as much was Dru-Hill (who also fell off the face of the earth). Now again….. I know I’ve said the same thing multiple times about quite a few artist I write about, but it’s true…. Back in the day, you could not turn on the radio without first hearing at least one of Boyz II Men’s music first! And if you didn’t hear their music first, guaranteed it will be heard no more than three songs later ?.  That was how popular Boyz II Men were.

To Date: 173.5M Plays, Yet The Song Was Released Before The Popularity Of Streaming!





Boyz II Men - SpotifyThrowbacks.com 

Classic music, Oldies, soul music, black soul, best male groups, the 90s

Now, today, I would imagine it would be a little difficult to understand the magnitude of a classic group’s popularity if we look at streaming numbers. Why? Because when it comes to streaming, we have more than quadrupled our music consumption. So, relatively speaking, Boyz II Men’s biggest hit was “End Of The Road (1991)” received well over 173M plays on Spotify alone. If we take in to account when the song was released, and the fact that streaming wasn’t even a thing yet back then, those numbers are a huge accomplishment. However, by today’s standards, you don’t have a hit song unless your song is streaming by the billions of plays.

Michael McCary, Single Handedly Brought Young Romance To The Group’s Music





Michael McCary - Spotifythrowbacks.com

Boyz II Men, male groups, classic music, oldies, old school music, easy listening, soul music, black music,

Michael McCary was like the equivalent of a young 20’s version of an older Barry White. I mean, he had such a strong bass in his voice, that when we heard it on radio, or on a record, the speakers just vibrated. Just made you feel like OMG! Take me! Just take me now! ? Unfortunately, McCary had to eventually leave his very famous group due to early stages of MS. Check out some of my other favorite hits by them, such as “One Sweet Day,” “I’ll Make Love To You,” “Motownphilly,” and “Water Runs Dry.”

Playlist: 37 Awesome Reggae Covers! - Spotifythrowbacks.com

Song: Playlist

Artist: Various

Album: Playlist: 37 Awesome Reggae Covers (2021)

Genre: Sweet Reggae

This was probably my most difficult handpicked playlist yet!! ? I know it seems like I say that all the time, but it really is true. These days, it’s really hard to find a good cover song. Because either the artist’s voice don’t fit the song, or the musical arrangements are just terrible. I much prefer the 80s covers and older. I know a lot of artist feel like they can sing and do anything the want. However, as a fan of music I beg to disagree. I think a true artist is honest enough to know when a song doesn’t suit them, and if you try to force sing it, it only makes it sound worse. I think the most problem I usually have is with the musical arrangements, particularly today’s cover songs from certain countries. Many cover songs today (both Reggae and some American songs) appear to have a distinct sound; tunes that sound as though the artist purchased their first Yamaha keyboard (earlier models) with artificial drum beats and other electronic “push button” flat sounds that try to mimic other natural instruments. These kind of equipment makes the end product sound outdated, karaoke*ish, and sometimes like an amateurish live performance. Therefor, I’m extremely particular about the covers I listen to.

I’m Extremely Particular About The Covers I Listen To!





So, now that I’ve aired out my pet-peeve, I’d like to draw your attention to a great female reggae artist known by one name, Fiona. Fiona recorded a few covers, but my most favorite cover she did is a song called “You Don’t Know My Name,” which was recorded by Alicia Keys. It was upsetting to know this got so little plays on the streaming platforms, because in my opinion this song is freakin’ amazing! So much great music overlooked. I guess the young people aren’t interested in true love songs anymore; they’re only interested in what they can jiggle their ass to. Another amazing cover I highly recommend you check out, is a female artist known as Natty Bong. She released a cover called “Royals,” which was written and performed by Lords. Natty Bong’s cover got over 5.5M plays from just Spotify alone. It’s a really great song! Check it out!

Enjoyable Cover Songs Are Harder To Find These Days!





Let’s go back a little further in time. 1961 to be exact, when the late Peter Tosh released his cover of a song called “Here Comes The Sun.” The late Peter Tosh recorded this song with the legendary reggae band, The Wailers. “Here Comes The Sun,” was originally written and performed by The Beatles (if I’m not mistaken). I’m shocked as to how many reggae musicians done so many covers by them. Then again, I forget that their are a LOT of British reggae performers.

The Most Shocking Was Bob Marley’s Cover!





Bob Marley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I have to say, I think the most shocking cover I ever heard was by the late Bob Marley, when he recorded a song called “Sugar Sugar,” which is the original theme song for the 1968 TV cartoon, The Archie’s. The reason why Bob’s cover shocked me was because, of all the diverse American covers made in to reggae, I just never pictured someone like Bob Marley to do this kind of music. Perhaps it’s because my mind associated his music with political messages, and cartoon themes just wasn’t on my radar. Today, I could see it, but not then. Check out my playlist, I have plenty more surprises in it. I hope you enjoy!

Tracy Chapman - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Song: Fast Car

Artist: Tracy Chapman

Album: Tracy Chapman (1988)

Genre: Modern Folk

I’m pretty sure that anyone under 20 years of age has never heard of Tracy Chapman. As far as I’m concerned, I most definitely consider her a classic music legend. I also consider a huge legend of the LGBT community as well. For someone of the LGBT community to receive such a positive and accepting  response globally was and is still very rare. Only a handful of LGBT icons have reached mainstream level. Perhaps the most widely known are Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, K.D. Lang, and Boy George. They’ve all made music that is literally timeless! We can listen to this kind of music in any point and time, and never feel their music sounds “dated.” Artists today just don’t have that kind of skill anymore. This is what happens when your career is purely driven by money, and not by the art of music.

I Always Thought She Was A Handsome Young Man! LOL





I was about 21 years old when her album called “Tracy Chapman (1988)” came out. I think I heard her smash hit on the radio “Fast Car,” then I went around begging my friends to tell me who that person was singing on the radio. Back then, cassettes was still the preferred way to consume music. When I first saw her picture on cassette, I said to myself “wow, that’s a cute guy.” Now, keep in mind, guys still had “Tracy” as a first-name, and sometimes both guys and girls would spell it the same way. So I still had no idea he was actually a she at first. LOL I really didn’t care to be honest, I was just digging her music. “Fast Car,” reached #6 on the billboard charts. Pretty impressive for a new LGBT artist on the scene at the time.

It’s Unfortunate That Her Peak Success Only Lasted Her Second Album!





Tracy Chapman - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Although only one song from this album was a hit, the entire album is quite good! I consider her music a “modern folk” type music. I haven’t enjoyed good folk music like that since Jim Croce. The entire album is relaxing, and it is playable from beginning to end. This is one of those “coming to age,” type albums. Come to think of it, that kind of music was very common for the 80s. You should check out “Across The Lines,” and “Baby Can I Hold You,” are two of my favorite songs from the album. Her next huge hit would be a song called “Give Me One Reason,” from her “New Beginning (1995)” album. The song shot up to #3 on the Top 100.

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