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SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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Richard Marx - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Unfortunately, although Richard Marx is an incredible performer and talented songwriter, I only really loved one song he recorded (so far in his career). Not that Richard didn’t have hits, he had many. I just only connected with one song. Now, before I reveal my favorite song, allow me to share with you some of his accomplishments. Richard started his career in the early eighties, and performs adult contemporary and pop music for the most part.

Richard Marx - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Marx collaborated with many artists, including NSYNC and the late Luther Vandross. I haven’t heard anything new by him in like over 2 decades, but homeboy has a lot of faithful fans. I’m pleased to discover that he’s still performing. In fact, he’s playing in Carnegie Hall next week. If he managed to fill-up Carnegie Hall, homeboy has got it goin’ on!

Richard Marx - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

His first self-titled album, released in 1987 I believe, yielded about 3 hits. “Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Endless Summer Nights,” “Hold On To The Nights,” and oh yeah, I guess there was a forth one called “Should’ve Known Better.” Despite these hits, I still wasn’t particularly drawn to his music, until I hard a song from his 1989 “Repeat Offender,” and the song was called “Right Here Waiting.” “Right Here Waiting” is a very romantic soft rock song that hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, and has been used on many movies and television shows, such as “The Good Place (2018),” and “The Bachelorette (2018).”

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Lately I’ve been on an instrumental music kick 😃, I guess it’s because I had not listened to them in a while maybe. Today, I randomly chose a really OLD  group, and I’m sure almost no one reading this post would know who they are, or perhaps remember until you listen to some of their music. Today, I’m sharing with you music from a forgotten group called “El Chicano.” They are a Mexican American 70s rock group.

It’s Difficult To Explain Their Music




It’s funny, I dug a lot of their music growing up. Now that I’m older I can’t even explain what it is. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to listen to it yourself. This is no doubt a very eccentric band. Although in general, they were categorized as a rock group; however, in my opinion they really were not. Most of their works were infused with so many different styles of music, that at times it seemed experimental. Then there are other works from them that clearly sound psychedelic, which doesn’t surprise me because a lot of people were still into that kind of music in the 70s.

El Chicano - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Personally, I much preferred to listen to their traditional Latin jazz. In many ways some of their jazz music was reminiscent of Santana I think. One example of that is my favorite cover they done of Gerald Wilson’s “Viva Tirado (1970).” Now unfortunately, Viva Tirado only reached #28 on the Top 100 Charts. If I’m not mistaken, it was their only closest thing to a hit record. But, this is where the charts get complicated. Because, while the song had a moderate peak, it was hugely popular in New York City. I heard this all the time! I tell you, the more I blog, the more I realize these charts don’t always tell a true story.

El Chicano - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

However, on their 1998 album called “Painting The Moment,” there is a song I really like as well called “Ron Con Con.” It’s a shame this didn’t turn out to be a hit, because most definitely this song will make you move your body in any party. Listening to them perform this, was like Tito Puente himself came back to say “this is how you do it my brotha!” Although most of the original members are either now deceased, or moved on to other projects, the band is still performing.

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SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Ok guys, I don’t remember if I’ve written about The Spinners yet on my old blog. But The Spinners, if you don’t know it yet, is one of my FAVORITE talented groups since the mid sixties to the mid eighties. I wanted to share with you a remix I came across last night. It’s a rework of their song “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love.” Now, I love the group so much it’s really hard to pick an ultimate favorite, but this song is up there in the high five range.

It’s Damn Near Impossible To Mess Up This Song!




“Couldn’t Be I’m Falling In Love,” is a song that is so perfect; in lyrics, medley and overall composition. In my opinion, it would be pretty difficult to mess up a cover of this song, unless you don’t have any musical talent. I’m serious! 😂 Now, I’ll get to the reason I said that in the following paragraph. In the mean time, listen to “Henry Street Mix” version of the song. Now, I felt it was a decent remix; not good enough to save in my library, but I thought it was good enough to be acknowledged. It just reminded me of the 80s, when I met a lot of guys in to music, and they made all their recordings from a single Yamaha keyboard. 😂 You know what I’m talking about! Don’t even front! 🤣

The Spinners - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Now, this reminded me of an awesome deep remix of the song I downloaded eons ago. No one seems to have it (even YouTube). Then I also thought about checking SoundCloud, where all the talented DJs post their stuff. Well, let me tell you, SoundCloud doesn’t seem like it was before. It appears that half the site is turning in to one big karaoke streaming service! Holy cow!! I’m not kidding! Some of those guys sounded like they were singing over their kitchen table, rather than a professional studio. 👎

The legendary Spinners - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Needless to say, I was very disappointed. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t find any mixes I felt was hot! Check out “MOZAIC Rework” version. I also found a real nice club/disco version on YouTube by “Groovefunkel.” There’s also a beautiful jazz version on Spotify by Peter White. Lastly, check out the Jon Tomes edit below. I think it’s my favorite of all the remixes I’ve heard today.





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SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Wow! Just look at how handsome these young men were back in the day!! Booker T. & The M.G.’s were shit! I mean, if after you listened to there music, and you were not inspired to at least shake your booty a little bit, you probably was one boring person. If you’re in my age group, I doubt you can call yourself a true music lover, and not know who these men were! From top left to right; Al Jackson jr, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, and last but not least on the bottom is Booker T. Jones. Four talented men, who earned the right to be inducted in the Rock Hall Of Fame in 1992.

They Were A House Band For The Stax & Volt Labels




Much to my surprise, these talented men were a part of a house band for both the Stax & Volt labels; similar the the way MFSB was to Philadelphia Records. However, their sound and style were entirely different. MFSB sounds came from Philadelphia; however, Booker T. & MG’s sound came from Memphis. BTMG’s sound clearly has heavier drumbeats, with pronounced organs that eventually became one of the group’s signatures.

Booker T. & The MG's - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

So, allow me to share with you some of my favorite hits from this wonderful band. First, I love “Time Is Tight (1969),” “Green Onions (1962),” and “Hip Hug-Her (1967),” and “Melting Pot (1971),” Melting Pot still remains my most favorite, the beat if freakin’ hot! “Soul Limbo (1968),” is another nice one. Oh, I almost forgot, check out his “Tic Tac Toe (1965),” I think this has a funky Memphis beat as well. I think you’ll think it’s hot too. I encourage you to research more of their music, they’ve also produced some nice covers of other songs, purely instrumental. By the way, the MG in their name cleverly stands for Memphis Group! 😃

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Lionel Richie's Greatest Hits - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Today, I’d like to celebrate the great works of Lionel Richie. He’s not forgotten about, but his name doesn’t rollout from hour tongues either. I’m not sure if there is any single word out there, that can describe all of Lionel Richie’s talents! Literally, there is no one else like Lionel; from his unique voice to his song writing skills. I mean, this man can sing anything! And you know what else? You may not consider his music on the same level as “baby making music,” such as works from Barry White (for example). However, there is no doubt that Lionel has produced some of the most heart-felt romantic songs the world has ever heard; and that’s with and without The Commodores!

The Commodores - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I think the first romantic song I heard Lionel sing, which became one of my many favorites, was a song called “Zoom (1977).” I was only 10 years old when the Commodores album came out. My grandfather used to play that song all the time. I’d be walking around grandpa’s house doin’ whatever. If I heard that song I would just stop, listen, and just enjoy Lionel’s voice. Despite my young age, I was that connected to music. Sometimes I don’t understand how is it that I didn’t become a musician.

Lionel Richie - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

It’s interesting, Richie has done mostly funk/R&B, but he could have easily gone country. Actually, I think his music probably would not have sounded that different 😂 Unfortunately, Richie has not made an album since 2012 I believe. Even then, his last album called “Tuskegee (2012),” is pretty much his old music reinterpreted by other various artists. Let’s face it, Lionel doesn’t have to work anymore. He’s kind of like Barbra Streisand; she doesn’t have to work, she just makes albums to have something to do. I put together an amazing Lionel Richie playlist, with 39 of his most popular rare music! Right here on Spotify! Enjoy!

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SpotifyThrowbacks.com

To be honest, I really didn’t know what the hell I was going to call today’s article. But, I’ve been thinking of a subject I find interesting (kind of). For those of us older folk who decided to live in the 21st century (in regards to entertainment), how has music streaming changed (if any) your personal relationships with others? For instance; has creating a digital playlist, instead of making a cassette tape/CD for a “significant other,” indirectly made love feel a bit impersonal? On a deeper level, it’s not just about “the old days,” right? When someone made you a cassette tape (especially if it was a 90 minute tape), you knew that person spent all day deciding the right music to express his or her love to you. Then there’s the work of actually digging up all their albums and putting their final choices on the cassette with your name on it. Nowadays, your new mate can just have iTunes do it 10 seconds, and they will tell you “I’ve made a playlist just for you!” 🤣 😂

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I’ve realized, while music streaming is the best thing that could have ever happen to mankind, it also can be the absolute worst for mankind. There are times I wish we could go back to the old business model. Although we couldn’t afford music, when we could we purchased music we appreciated, and were also able to physically archive them. I think that the unlimited access to music has somehow made this generation of music consumers even less diverse. And I now that there are many factors for that. Don’t get me wrong, I still keep in mind that not every young listener is closed minded to listening to other music genres, but at the same time they are a very very small minority. Also, the flip side to that is we now have a plethora of music history on streaming platforms that the average older folk refuse to learn, or too intimidated.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Music isn’t just about “changing someone’s mood.” The type of music we listen to, is often linked to the kinds of personalities we all have. With so many of the young generation almost exclusively listening to pop or hip hop, I often wonder what their social life would look like for these same individuals in their 60s? Or even 70s. I also wonder whether this can signify a lack of social growth? Not having parents that are musically diverse has really killed a lot of our culture, and no one seems to care, or willing to take responsibility. Then again, why would they? If you don’t understand the impact, they’re not going to give a rat’s ass.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Of course, it is also true that the future could surprise all of us and take a completely different direction. Naturally, as we get older (musically speaking), for many of us at some point we’ll start looking for different music as the old genres get repetitive. My only concern is that the algorithms are based one the artists we listen too overall. It will not be so easy to change those algorithms. I think this may mean we still need traditional radio. I know I’ve thrown a lot of different things in this article, but that was what I was thinking today. Some food for thought! Thanks for reading.

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Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Let me tell you guys something. You couldn’t mess with Martha Reeves and The Vandellas! They were one of the hottest girl groups at the time (next to the Supremes). This amazing girl group started around 1957. What I didn’t realize was that the group was first called “The Vandellas,” and Martha Reeves was not included in the group until a few years later. Eventually she ended up lead singer.

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

These legendary Motown girls had many classic hits we all know and love. Songs like “Dancing In The Streets (1964),” “Heatwave (1963),” “Nowhere To Run (1966),” and of course we all know “Jimmy Mack (1967).”

But There Is A Forgotten Song You Need To Hear!




There is an outstanding song that Martha performed with the Vandellas called “Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) (1966).” Martha ripped this song to shreds! This song gave me a whole new respect for Martha as a singer. Unfortunately, the song only hit #70 on the Top 100 Chart, and only #22 on the R&B Chart. Are you kidding me? This song was amazing! My opinion is that compared to all their other songs, this should have been on at least the top 10 list.

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Owen Grey - SpotifyThrowbvacks.com

Ok reggae fans out there! Do you remember legendary Owen Grey? Mr. Owen was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He grew up to be one of Jamaica’s most beloved vocal artists. The passion Owen has for all kinds of music shows in the variety of genres he played. From R&B to ska to gospel, I think it’s safe to say he just about did it all (with the exception of disco LOL).

His Biggest Hit Undocumented As Far As I’m Concerned!!




And of course, I’m already aggravated, because I can’t find any official stats on his biggest hit (U.S.) in 1996. “Don’t Turn Around,” with Dianne Warren singing background, was one of the most popular reggae hits from the mid 90s in the US. What’s even worse, I am dumbfounded that as popular as this song was, YouTube has very low streams for  this song. However, collectively speaking his music streamed well on YouTube (considering no one plays really his music anymore as a whole). Billboard was absolutely useless to me 😠 . This is a damn shame! All I can do at this point, is share with you my memories.

Owen Grey - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Owen started his career at the age of 9, when he performed on his first talent show. People in the reggae industry took noticed, and his career eventually skyrocketed. From about 1958 until present, he’s produced a LOT of albums. I’d like to recommend some of my favorites. A cover of BJ Thomas’s “Always On My Mind,” “Confidential To You,” “The Game Has Just Begun,” a cover of Nat King Cole’s (written by Ivory Deek Watson)  “Sentimental Reasons,” and finally a song called “Let’s Start All Over.” Enjoy!

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