Artist: Michael Sembello
Album: Flashdance (1983)
Wow! Talk about a ?hot? & hairy muscle bear! *Cough* *Cough* Anyway…. The 80s were filled with all types of muscle bears everywhere, and they were not afraid to show-off their hairy chest ?. Today, it appears that hairy chests are viewed as “unsightly,” and many men are encouraged to shave their chest hairs off ?. Could you imagine? Being made to feel ashamed of part of what makes a guy a man? Oh, brother! I digress! Anywayzzz.. When you think of the 80s…….. Does anyone think of Michael Sembello anymore? In terms of music, Michael Sembello was a “jack of all trades! Not only does he play several instruments, he is an incredible songwriter!
His Music Instantly Takes Me Back To The Dance Movie Craze Of The 80s!
Unfortunately, despite Michael’s talents, he was a “1 hit wonder” I have to say. It’s so disappointing when you hear the talent in an artist, and they just don’t get the overall recognition they deserve. Although, in Michael’s case, in my opinion he unfortunately fell in to a producer’s box that many talents are put in by the music industry. In other words, when Michael gave us his first and only massive hit, “Maniac (1983),” (by the way, he also co-wrote) the industry expected him to give us that same type of hits. “Maniac,” reached #1 in the U.S., #2 in Australia, and #6 in Germany. “Maniac,” was one of many songs selected to be on the “Flashdance Sound Track.” I think that the combination of “Maniac,” and Irene Cara’s “What A Feeling,” made the movie even more popular. Although, the entire album was great from beginning to end.
Was Michael Musically Typecasted?! ?
You know, sometimes I wonder if it’s possible to be “musically typecasted,” in the same way that many actors have been? It must hit musicians harder (I would imagine), because at least if you’re a well known actor, most have acquired the power to say no to certain roles. However, when you’re a songwriter, it’s impossible to know if something will become a hit, and if that hit could cause the industry to pigeonhole you into category of songwriters. The good thing is tho….. According to Spotify, he has roughly a little over 3M listeners a month. Not sure what the other streaming services are pulling in for him. But, that’s pretty good for a one hit wonder, and considering the fact that no one really speaks his name anymore. Have you heard of Baggallini bags before? They’re a little on the expensive side, but their really nicely designed. Check them out here.
Song: Various Songs
Artist: Various Artists
Wow, I didn’t realize it’s been ages since I’ve put together a playlist for you guys. Well, this album was pretty much inspired by “The Big Chill Movie Sound Track.” Remember that movie? Let me tell you, “The Big Chill (1983),” not only became a cult classic, the sound track was amazing! The sound track was jammed packed with the most popular classic sounds!! The music that was chosen for this movie was so good, when I first watched this movie, I almost couldn’t pay attention to the movie, cause all I could think about was the music I didn’t hear for a long time! ?
I have the original sound track on cassette, but I didn’t know about what appears to be some sort of second “extended” album? It’s called “More Songs From The Original Soundtrack Of The Big Chill 15th Anniversary (1984).” Keep in mind that the Internet wasn’t even widely known about back then. So, as far as I knew, I had the one and only sound track on cassette. By the way, there are a lot of great hits on that album as well!
Many of the songs on today’s featured album are truly indeed obscure by today’s standards I guess. However, to people from my age group this music still feels like yesterday! In total, my playlist consists of 12 amazing original recordings. Unfortunately, about half of these Motown recordings have been forgotten. However, in this particular case, I think they’ve been forgotten not because the music was mediocre; I actually think it was because other huge hits these same artists had over shadowed the music on this album.
Some of those forgotten gems include “The Happening,” by The Supremes. To my understanding this was actually #1 Top 100 Chart in 1967. Another forgotten gem is by Mary Wells, called “You Beat Me To The Punch.” That was an amazing song by her, unfortunately, I think her other hit “My Guy” was so huge, it just destroyed people’s memory of “You Beat Me To The Punch.” And then there’s “Hitch Hike (1963),” by Marvin Gaye. When it comes to Marvin Gaye’s music, “Hitch Hike” is as obscure as it comes. I doubt a whole lot of people remember it. Well, I hope you guys enjoy this playlist. it’s one of my favorite classic albums. Just FYI, one of the songs on this sound track was not by Motown. Can you guess which ones? ? If you want to hear the first original sound track, it’s here.
Artist: Nell Carter
Album: Not Found (On YouTube)
Genre: Pop Music
Again, this is one of those moments were it’s hard to believe a certain artist have become obscured. I really try to be mindful and not sound like a broken record. I just hope that at least some of my readers can understand, it’s not until you’re older that we really have a concept of just how fast time moves. Then, the next thing you know, you’re talking to a generation of people who don’t have a clue as to who you’re talking about. The late Nell Carter was a phenomenal actress and comedian, who also happened to be a phenomenal singer too!
Her Work Extended Beyond Her Hit TV Show!
If you ask an 80s baby, most will probably tell you that they only remember Nell Carter (if any) for her popular hit 80s TV show “Give Me A Break (1981-1987).” The theme song was so catchy, it was impossible to not at least be aware of Nell Carter, even if you never watched the show. Personally, I’ve watched quite a few episodes growing up, and I found it quite enjoyable too. Dealt with all kinds of subject matter, the kinds of subject matter that today’s writers would probably see as too politically incorrect or controversial for young children/family to watch. Nell really had a gift of acting. She knew how to deliver a joke right. But I really would have like to have seen her really expand her vocal career.
long before her hit show “Give Me A Break,” she was made famous for another hit. But, it wasn’t a TV show. It was actually a play. A musical play called “Ain’t No Misbehavin’.” I believe the play was first opened in 1978. She started as a featured actress, and the phenomenal performance she gave landed her a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award! Check out her live performance of a song called “If I Can’t Sell It (I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It),” from the play “Ain’t No Misbehavin’ (1999).” I also discovered that she was also in the Broadway play called “Annie,” around the very late 1990s close to 2000. Unfortunately, there are very, very few recordings of Nell singing. They’re almost non existent if you ask me. She had such a unique voice that was unmistakably hers.
She Appeared On Many Shows!
I didn’t realize just how many special TV appearances she’s made! That includes “227,” “Amen,” and “Ally McBeal.” She even had a small role on one of the day-time soap operas called “Ryan’s Hope” back in the day. It’s so hard to believe that Nell started out singing in coffee shops, to then become a superstar! She was a great person, and humanitarian woman to my understanding. Such a shame that her name has drifted away from the lips of most American people. Nell Carter 1948-2003.
In celebration of it’s final season, I thought it would be a great idea to share Spotify’s playlist. I’m not quite sure if these songs are actually on the final season, or they’ve been inspired by the upcoming final season. I’m pretty sure since everything has been so hush hush about the show, it’s inspired music rather than the actual soundtrack. In any event, here it is the Game Of Thrones playlist. Enjoy.
Nope! Not the car Rose Royce! Today, I’m writing about the legendary R&B group called Rose Royce! As popular as this group was back in the day, I sincerely doubt that any young person under the age of 25 knows who they were! Talk about forgotten history! This saddens me, because it’s not like it was over a century ago since they rocked the charts! It was in my lifetime! That is a disgraceful shame, a damn shame! This is precisely why most people have no clue about good music, or music diversity for that matter.
Best Known For Their Iconic Soundtrack!
Out of all the albums this band has recorded, they’re best remembered for their first masterpiece album, “Car Wash (1976).” Not only was this album a masterpiece, the album was also a soundtrack to the movie with the same name, “Car Wash (1976),” starring the late Richard Prior, the legendary Antonio Vargas, the late comedian George Carlin, and many others! A great cult classic! This first album not only literally catapulted their career in to stardom, but immortalized them, at least in terms of Black music history.
All their most memorable hits were literally on this one album. Including of course, “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next To You,” “You’re On My Mind,” and “I’m Going Down.” Now, there were other hits outside of this album that ranked pretty high on the R&B charts, such as “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” which by the way, was covered by Madonna in 1984. Another song that scored high was “Ooh Boy.”
Immediately off the back, let me start off by saying I have NOT seen the new movie “A Star Is Born (2018).” However, IMDB has a rating of 8.2, and Rotten Tomatoes has an audience score of 81! That’s quite impressive. I was in total shock when I saw those ratings. Well, what do you expect? I’m someone who grew up in a particular era, and I’m not highly fond of most of today’s remakes. When you’ve seen so many bad ones as I, people like me aren’t immediately enthusiastic about spending $20+ for any remake. Especially for a love story such as this one. Thank Goodness for IMDB and RT!!
IMDB Has A 8.2 Rating!
Now that I know the movie got positive responses, I’ll just have to add this movie to my IMDB list. Although, I do find it curious… Technically, since Streisand’s “A Star Is Born (1976)” actually ranked lower in comparison to Gaga’s; it does bring a little concern that younger kids are rating it higher just because Lady Gaga is in the movie. But I do know, Lady Gaga has the windpipes to pull it off!! Now before I veer off topic ? let’s talk about the sound track to the movie.
Lady Gaga Has Windpipes
There are some songs on the sound track I really liked. Gaga tore up “La Vie En Rose.” It just amazes me how a talent like that can sing a song in any language, and still convey the emotion in that song. That is not an easy thing to do with some languages, because they don’t always translate in the same way. I also love “Look What I’ve Found.” That’s a really fun song.
Bradley Cooper’s Voice
Bradley Cooper’s voice is nice too. However, I prefer listening to the songs he sang that has a folk tempo to them, such as “Maybe It’s Time.” I also loved his guitar solo called “Out Of time.” I think it’s safe to say that Bradley is a music new comer. So far the only songs I saw from him are the songs from the “Star Is Born” sound track. I hope I hear more music from him later on.
The Duets between them were pretty cool too. “Diggin’ My Grave” is a good one. Never expected that song to be so up beat, but I didn’t see the movie yet, so I don’t know it’s context. The last duet “I’ll Never Love Again” was pretty powerful. All in all, I think it is a pretty decent album. The music is pretty diverse, well written, and a lot of emotion. Check out “A Star Is Born” sound track on Spotify.