Album: Half Nelson (1982)
Genre: Easy Listening
This is why I am a blogger! It’s a beautiful thing when you have a good enough memory that you can share a piece of history with others. You better continue to visit my blog, because I can assure you, you will not “discover” half the stuff I blog about on YouTube! Just because it may be uploaded, doesn’t mean it will show up on anyone’s playlist, or radio playlist. Let me tell you, these two men… Again, unless your family is cultural enough to still play this kind of music, if you’re younger than 20-25 years of age, I doubt you have any idea of their music.
Julio Iglesias Was Sexy As F**k!
I’m not gonna lie, I thought Julio Iglesias was sexy as hell when he was young. Even in the picture about he still looked good around the age of 42 (which indirectly added to the success of the song (I think)). The duet with country singer Willie Nelson proved to be the most successful move in Julio’s career. “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before,” hit #5 on the Top 100 Chart, and hit #1 on the Country Charts. Now, this isn’t to say Julio didn’t have any other #1 hits, they’re just in the Latin categories, whereas the Top 100 is more broad.
You know, it was interesting because, this song in particular seemed to have transcend not only across music cultures, but age as well. I mean, I’ve seen str8 women go bananas when they heard this song come on the radio! Then again, Julio had a kind of voice where, he could have been singing about taking a dump in the toilet, and still sound sexy as hell. 😂 Such a shame father time was not kind to Julio. I absolutely can’t believe it’s the same person now. Today, he looks so much like Mickey Rourke now. I wonder if Julio had plastic surgery too?
Song: Come Into My Life
Artist: Joyce Sims
Genre: Dance Music
WOWOWOWOW!!! Talk about old school! Talk about nostalgia!!! And talk about the now obscure! You know, maybe my readers might be tired of me saying this, but……. Damn! It’s really a shame that great artist like her are allowed to literally fall in to obscurity! It’s just not right! Where are all those that claim “they’re into all kinds of music?” What a bunch of bullshitters! That’s what they are. 😂 I laugh, but, it’s sad, for real.
This Song Was So Popular, At Times It Felt Like A Joyce Sims Marathon On The Radio!
Let me tell you guys something. Her song “Come Into My Life” was such a hit in the 80s! At one time it felt like various radio stations literally had a Joyce Sims Marathon, almost on that one song! In 1987, “Come Into My Life” hit #10 on the R&B US Charts, and #7 on the U.K. Charts. The entire album itself reached #5 in the U.K. However, in the US, it only reached #22 on the R&B category. But, that’s alright, because her song had already made its fierce mark on music fans everywhere.
It was hard for me to categorize her music, because her style fluctuated quite a bit. There are times when she’s all about standard club music, then other times she leans more towards freestyle. Her strong soul vocals made her music sound very unique. Her music was something that we didn’t hear everyday, and in my opinion it was quite refreshing. I also remember one more very popular dance song she sang; however, it doesn’t seem like I can locate any stats on it right now. The song is called “All And All (1986).” Do you guys remember this song? Personally, I don’t think it was in the Top 10 range, however, I’m sure it registered somewhere on the American Billboard. Maybe in the range of #50(ish) (I’m guessing, but hell if I know LOL)
I’m sorry to say that in my opinion, her label did not make the best use of her talents. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the two hits she gave us, but at the same time (overall) the type of voice she had was best suited for traditional R&B. That’s just my opinion. I mean Listen to her greatest hits album, and compare that with her album called “All About Love LP (2008).” I think that, hands down, “All About Love” was a much better album. Now, I do acknowledge that this album is still “freestyle(ish),” but the beats and tempo has changed to sound more closer to R&B. Think so? I don’t know, that’s what I hear when I listen to it. There were no hits from this album, but, it was the best example I could think of. LOL.
Song: Mystic Man
Artist: Peter Tosh
Album: Mystic Man (1979)
Not too many American people know about Peter Tosh, however, in my opinion, I’d say he was a legend. Although Spotify indicates that Tosh’s album “Mystic Man” was released on 2002, that was the digital release. The actual release of the album was 1979. All of the songs on this digital album have been remastered, and additional songs have been added. You guys know how I feel about remastered songs. I’ve heard far too many “remastered” hit songs that sound like they’ve been recorded from a karaoke bar. But, in this case, I’m happy to say that the sound engineers have kept the album as close to the original sound as possible! I’m so grateful for that.
Digital Album Has Bonous Material.
Now, I have to be honest, this wasn’t my most favorite album of Peter Tosh, but it has some nice grooves on it. Like many reggae artist of his era, many of his albums (including this one) were very political. This isn’t an album you can use to twerk to. In my opinion, the golden song on this album is “Mystic Man.” In essence, this song is basically list of things he didn’t do anymore, in order to stay on a clear bath. The only other song that got some brownie points from me was “Crystal Ball.” Like I said, this wasn’t my favorite album, but for nostalgic purposes, it was great listening to this album again.
Having said that, that doesn’t mean that Peter was not a legend in his own right. He managed to get two songs registered on Billboard’s Top 100 Chart, they were “(You Got To Walk And) Don’t Look Back (1978),” which reached #81, and “Johnny B. Goode (1983),” which reached #84. I didn’t care too much for “Johnny B. Goode,” because I felt it was similar to Eddie Grant’s music, in that Tosh produced “American safe” song. Then again, I guess the reality was, we really couldn’t blame them. There wasn’t really a whole lot musicians could’ve done, when the music labels could literally tell you how to perform your art under contract back in the day.
When I think about situations like that, I always think back to Bob Marley. He really paved the way for reggae in America. If it wasn’t for Bob, I think the vast majority of Americans, perhaps the world, would have heard very little of reggae music and it’s culture. Anyway, some of my favorite Tosh songs I’d like you to check out are “Legalize It,” he probably was high when he sang this song! As a child I thought it was hilarious, personally. Check out “Downpressor,” “Oh Bumbo Klaat,” which is another hilarious song, maybe it’s because I remember my late grandpa saying that on a few occasions. 😂 Two more you should check out is, “400 Years,” and “Hammer.”
Song: You’re The One For Me
How many of my readers remember D Train? As a classic music blogger, I think it’s safe to say that they are on that borderline of being obscure. Most of his biggest hits were on the Dance and R&B charts. And in my opinion, the one song I heard people play the most growing up (including myself) was his hit called “You’re The One For Me (1982).” This song hit #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. This song was like an anthem in the Black community.
This Song Was Barbecue Worthy!
Black folk know what I’m talking about when I say this… Back in the day, in the 70s throughout the 80s, there were songs that we played that where compulsory of any Black barbecue; then there were those other songs that were worthy, and we still enjoyed. “You’re The One For Me” was one of those songs! 😂 I’m I right!?! You all know I’m right. 😃
You know, when I first heard this song, for a long time I thought Rick Ashley sang background vocals. You guys remember Rick Ashley right? The lead singer, James Williams, sounded so much like him (in my opinion). Needless to say I was shocked when I finally had money to purchase his 12 inch vinyl. It’s a damn shame that I haven’t heard anyone play his music past the 90s. And mind you, I listen to a LOT of DJ stations and internet radio.
Both James & Hurbert Mastered Funk Infused Dance Music!
The amazing duo consisted of James (D-Train) Williams, & Hurbert Eaves. Now, unless you were already a huge D-Train’s fan, you may not be aware of some of his other popular songs. Check out his dance cover of Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By,” also check out “Trying To Get Over,” and “Music.” All four are my favorite from D-Train. If you like funk/dance 80s music, I think D-Train is worth investigating!
Song: Love Is A Battlefield
Artist: Luke Evans
Album: At Last (2019)
Do you remember the incredibly handsome & gorgeous Luke Evans? He’s the guy I think is probably best known for “Dracula, Untold (2014),” and “Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013).” I highly recommend both these movies, he’s a wonderful actor. He can practically play anything, and the movie winds up being a hit. Well!!!!! Let me tell you guys something! Not sure if any of my readers know about it, or have even been paying attention. This hunk of a man just came out with his first single a couple of days ago.
Actor Turned Singer? Hmmmm.
To be honest, I’m still feeling my way through his album. I guess if I’m taking this long to figure out whether I like it or not, it’s probably all that. Yet, it’s also true that I’ve only been familiar with him as an actor; so it could be an issue of trying to adjust. Immediately I’ve noticed that he’s got quite a bit of covers on his new album.
You know, now that I think about it… I think the one thing that appears to be throwing me off is the style of music on the album itself. Personally, without knowing anything about Luke’s tastes in music genres, I would have imagined his album would have been closer to either modern rock or pop music. However, after listening to his album, it definitely has a movie soundtrack feel to it. I’m not sure if this is the type of music he’s into, or this is what he was musically trained in.
The Album Has A Soundtrack Feel To It!
His cover of Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield” sounds pretty good though. I honestly never thought that it could be possible that a man would pull that off! Thank goodness he changed the tempo of the cover; I think it would have sounded really bad (given the texture of his voice) trying to keep up with the way Pat Benatar sang it.
My least favorite on this album is his cover of Etta James’s hit “At Last.” You know, in my opinion, this is a very delicate song. Not everyone can sing this song, it’s very difficult. I didn’t even liked the way Beyoncé sang it!! Sorry gay people, I’m over 50, it should be expected that I’m not gonna like many redoes made by much younger artists. For real, he should have left this song alone. This album is definitely an acquired taste. It’s not a bad album, on the other hand, a certain crowd will gravitate toward this album. I have a funny feeling I’m gonna enjoy him more as an actor than a singer. One thing’s for sure, if his album flops, he has his acting career to fallback on.
Song: That’s Amore
Artist: Dean Martin
Genre: Jazz Vocalist
I’ve never considered myself a Dean Martin fan at all. I thought to myself, I think I only ever liked one song from him. However, as I quickly skimmed through some research notes, I remembered 2 more songs he sang I’ve enjoyed as a kid. I still don’t favor him, at least not enough to listen to him on a regular basis. Dean had one of those Bing Crosby type of music and voice that I just didn’t connect with.
Dean’s Music Was An Acquired Taste.
Honestly, I think the only reason why I enjoyed “That’s Amore,” was because it had an addictive catchy tune, and it reminded me of Bugs Bunny cartoons. 😂 If it doesn’t remind you of some cartoon from back in the day; it will make you feel you’re having dinner with a huge Italian family! I’m just giving you a forward warning, once you listen to this song, it will be ringing in your head for a day or two! It’s that catchy! LOL It’s crazy that this tune did not register anywhere on the Top 100 Charts! Holy cow!
How funny is it that the song I considered to be one of his most boring songs, “Everybody Loves Somebody,” hit #1 in 1964! Eeerrr, the song is OK, but, I really have to be in the mood to listen to that. Don’t recommend listening to it if you’re depressed on any given day 😂. The second, and only song I ever liked from Dean Martin (other than “That’s Amore”) was a song called “Volare” which peaked at #15 in 1958. All his other songs will put you to sleep! LOL Sorry! Even as an actor, I didn’t really like him. The ONLY reason I would watch a movie with him in it, was unless Jerry Lewis was in it. And even then, I didn’t like him that much because Jerry was almost always the brunt of his jokes. The “Dean & Lewis” scripts was specifically crafted to make Dean look good. It was quite obvious, and it was a turn off to me. 😠
Song: Blue Velvet
Artist: The Clovers
In my opinion, The Clovers were a very underrated DooWop group. In many ways, their sound reminds me a lot of The Coasters. I think the only differences were that The Coasters were more on the R&B side. I discovered something interesting. As a young boy, when I first heard “Blue Velvet” on the radio, I only remembered hearing Bobby Vinton’s version (which by the way hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts in 1963). But, much to my surprise, I discovered that this song was originally performed by a famous jazz vocalist named Tony Bennett. His version of “Blue Velvet (1951),” reached up to #20.
In My Opinion, The Clovers Were A Very Underrated Group!
According to some sources I’ve read, The Clovers’s version of “Blue Velvet (1955)” reached #14 on the Billboard’s R&B charts. However, when I tried verifying that, I could not find it on Billboard’s website. Now, perhaps there were so many changes within the group, there are no stable search criteria that could be used? I’m thinking. The song did not appear to register anywhere on the Top 100/200 Charts (as far as I can tell). This is one of the many perfect examples of how artists and their music become obscure & erased from our memories.
I loved how The Clovers performed this song. Perhaps they sang the song too mellow to attract the tastes of most music goers in the Black community. I say this because by the time the 60s came along, Black music appeared to have made a 360° turn around. Our music became more soulful and grooveable. Well, you may not remember The Clovers for their cover of “Blue Velvet,” perhaps you’ll remember them for their one and only popular hit called “Love Potion No. 9 (1959).” The song only reached #23 on the charts, but it was extremely popular, and covered by many other artists.
Song: Troubled Mind
Artist: Everything But The Girl
Genre: Easy Listening
“Everything But The Girl.” What a name for a group huh? I actually discovered these guys way back when I was on Napster. The moment I heard the song “Troubled Mind,” I loved it! The song and composition is just perfect with her voice. Really really relaxing music. A lot of their music really should be put in a “Modern Folk” category, but I’m not sure if that’s an official genre? Well, music has evolved so much (culturally) in the last 50-60 years, we can literally place music in any number of categories. Even hip hop has so many sub-genres it can get quite confusing if you ask me.
I Thought I Never Heard Of This Group Before!
If Joan Baez was in her 20s again, I think this is what her music would sound a lot like, “Trouble Mind” today. I played this song so much, and at first, I really thought I never heard of Tracy Thorn & Ben Watt before. But I was wrong. They’ve actually been around since the early 1980s. Not only that, they had another hit song I was totally unaware was them! The song was called “Missing (1994).” That song took this London singing duo to #2 on the American Top 100 Charts! Also, for whatever reason, it was strange that I didn’t remember hearing the original hit (or radio edit). The only version I remember hearing of the song was the legendary DJ Todd Terry’s remix of “Missing.”
Looks like I’ve really took these guys for granted. Sometimes that does happen when all of a sudden you have access to almost the world’s entire music collection on your smartphone it seams! It just never occurred to me at the time to seek out more of their music. Now, according to some sources, I’ve read that they stopped performing in 2000, but I saw a couple of albums re-released. Not sure what that means. Sometimes when albums get re-released it means a reunion shortly after. So far, it doesn’t appear that they’re doing anything (at least in the US). I’m going to flip through more of their music soon. Check out this nice smooth house mix they have called “Wrong.”