SpotifyThrowbacks.com

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Carlton Jumel Smith - SpotifyThrowback.com

It’s been a long time since I was able to say, I truly “love this entire album.” I’m now able to say that this morning! There’s an old artist I’ve discovered a couple of days ago named Carlton Jumel Smith; and he has a phenomenal new album out! Musically speaking this guy has got it going on! His voice, his rhythm, this entire album is perfect! When I examine his background music, his style reminds me a lot of my favorite independent artist Curtis Harding. You have no idea how much I love this style of music. I wish more people would be open to listening to it.

Carlton J. Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

According to some articles I’ve read, Carlton has been making music for well over 40 years. It appears he’s been the jack of all trades. He has his own label, and performed a lot of house and techno music. Which probably means it’s more than likely I’ve already heard his work, and I just don’t remember. He also worked with a few bands singing lead. But this album is shocking, in the sense that most people don’t just switch to entirely different genres, and do well. That’s like Barbra Streisand deciding she now want to try her hand in hip hop! Very risky thing to do these days. 

Carlton J. Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Is it possible that because he’s from Harlem, NYC he was able to easily transition from one genre to a genre completely different? Who knows? The first song that got my attention was “Woman You Made Me.” In my opinion, this is the best kind of romance music. Why? The lyrics are genuine, and it’s not all about a quest of getting in her pants. Another song I want you to check out is called “I’d Better.” This song has lyrics you just don’t hear, even back in the day. In essence, he sings about being so impressed with someone of quality, that he decides to make positive changes in his self to win the interest of that person. Love the rhythm to this song. When you get a chance, check out his new album “1634 Lexington Avenue.”

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Rupert Holmes - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Another guy that didn’t fit the stereotype at first glance! Once again, we can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Even myself. As diverse as my taste in music is, even I have to be reminded sometimes. Then again, I grew at a time where there was no music streaming. You had to either buy a whole album, or hoped and prayed that a friend had the same album so you can listen to it. Or better yet, ask your friend to make a cassette tape for you! 🤣🤣 But seriously though. He looked something like my 4th grade math teacher.

Rupert Holmes - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

No way did I perceive Rupert Holmes as a singer! Never in my wildest of dreams would I have thought that Rupert would produce one of the most popular pop songs to end the 70s with. In 1979, Rupert wrote and recorded a song called “Escape (The Pina Colada Song).” A song pretty much about a guy who’s bored with his girl, and decides to hook up with a stranger. This song not only shot up to #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed #1 for 3 weeks! That was huge in the vinyl era. It almost seemed like he written this song while he was on a tropical vacation or something! He had another song called “Him” that peaked at #6. I wasn’t impressed, but people liked it. The only other song I liked from Rupert was “Get Outta Yourself.” Unfortunately, it appears that song did not register on the Billboard Charts. Shame.


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Free - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I have to tell yah……… The group “Free,” in my opinion, was one of the many most underrated rock bands in history. As someone who’s in to all kinds of music, I really felt that these guys could sing as a solid rock band. In London, 4 guys decided to come together and form phenomenal rock band; Paul Kossoff, Simon Kirke, Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraiser. In 1968, these 4 guys became “Free.” It’s sad that they broke up within 5 years of getting together. It is unclear exactly why they broke up. I could only imagine it was probably about creative differences.

Free - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I guess in the end, it really didn’t matter, as two of the four members died as a result of poor health and drug issues (typical). Free struck gold, with their massive mega rock hit “All Right Now (1970).” The song peaked at #4 on the Top 100 Charts. The song was so popular, it not only made it’s way to a Burger King commercial, it also made Wrigley’s Gum commercial too. Interesting interview I’ve read with drummer Simon Kirke. He shared that “All Right Now,” was actually a song written after a bad gig one night. It was then that the group decided they must increase their tempo. Out of that meeting “All Right Now” was born.

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Peter Brown - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I’m saddened to say that this incredibly handsome guy had only 2 big hit to his name 😞. This is Peter Brown. At the age of only about 24 years old, this guy was smoking ♨️hot♨️ in the late 70s disco scene. His first 12 inch hit sold for over a million copies in 1977. That song was called “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me,” off his album “A Fantasy Love Affair.” Not to be confused with Sylvester’s 1982 mega hit “Do Ya Wanna Funk.” Now, unfortunately, although “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me” peaked at #18, I wasn’t particularly feeling this song at all. I was shocked to find out that he sold that many copies to be honest.

However, I did not go completely bananas until I heard his smash hit “Dance With Me (1977).” This was actually on the same album, but the song wasn’t a hit until mid 1978. This song was the shit back in the day. Even though I was too young to go out clubbing, when my mom or grandparents had their house parties I remember sweating to this song. This 12 inch was all dance!! I mean Studio 54 dance music! The song only peaked to #4 on the Hot Dance Charts.

Other than the two songs I’ve just shared with you, I really wasn’t feeling any other of his songs. Although there was another song called “They Only Come Out At Night (1984),” that hit #1 on the Dance Club Charts, I just didn’t like it. I think the problem was that his music started to sound like novelty. You know, like all his music were from specific 80s soundtracks; similar to “The Last Dragon (1985),” or that similar to Rockwell’s music. Such a shame his voice was phenomenal!

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David Garfield - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

This very talented gentlemen is jazz musician David Garfield (man… He has a strong Steven Seagal look about him, doesn’t he?). I wasn’t really familiar with his work to be honest. I recently discovered him sometime early this year. He released an absolutely amazing jazz cover of The Police’s 1978 “Roxanne.” Wow! Wow! I love it! This reinterpretation is amazing in so many ways. First, I think when you redo a song that was incredibly popular and successful, people subconsciously expect that song to somewhat sound close to the original (in my opinion). I just think that’s something inherent in most humans.

David Garfield - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Second, he just didn’t cover the song, he changed the way our minds interprets the song entirely. David basically took his version of “Roxanne,” a song that was in essence about a man in love with a hooker, and made that song sexy with his jazz style. I think that’s deep 🤣. Now, it appears he’s a pure instrumentalist, so I’m not really sure who exactly the lead singer of this song. There were several people involved on this single release. If I find out, I’ll update this post. Now, I have to be honest, other than his Roxanne cover, I wasn’t too impressed with his music. That’s not to say he isn’t talented, he is.. It’s just not enough to cause me to save in a playlist (other than Roxanne).

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Kenny G - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Oh, my goodness! How’s this for back in the day nostalgia? I love me some Kenny G. It’s funny, if I didn’t know who Kenny was, and I was blindly looking for a good instrumental album to purchase, judging from this album cover I don’t think I would have picked up this one. Which always reminds me of that ol’ saying, “never judge a book by it’s cover.” This same album happens to have one of my favorite Kenny G pieces called “Silhouette (1988).” Kenny seems to have this strange and unique ability, to almost make his instruments romantically sing to you! If that make sense.

Kenny G - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Another great tune from this same album is called “All In One Night (1988).” In my opinion, Kenny G is one of the very few instrumental artists that not only managed to break through mainstream music, but continued to keep the interest of a wide range of music lovers. That’s pretty impressive, considering that most people today are  very picky with their musical tastes.

Kenny G & the late Miles Davis

Kenny’s musical writing, and performing style is like no other.I think my ultimate favorite came from his first or second album. The piece was called  “Songbird (1986).” Do you guys remember this one? Tell me this is not one of the most romantic saxophone sounds you’ve ever heard? Songbird hit #4 on the Top 100 Charts. Another beautiful piece I recommend you should check out is “Forever In Love (1992).” Absolutely a beautiful (in my opinion). This is a perfect song to have dinner with someone special. Definitely! Kenny has been around a long time, since ’73 to be exact, and he’s still performing all around the world. Even if we don’t hear his music anymore, he’s still a very accomplished musician.


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Johnny Maestro & The Crests - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The Crests were probably the most respected and revered doo-wop group by the end of the 1950s. In fact, they were hailed, as not only the first integrated musical group, but the first successful interracial music group. The group’s faces changed frequently shortly after the 60s. However, when the group originally started, there were a two African American males, one Puerto Rican, one Italian, and one African American female. Wow, I had absolutely no idea a woman was in the group 😨.

The Crests - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

For many of my younger readers, the group’s name will not “ring a bell.” Perhaps maybe my older readers too, as they have fell in to the realm of obscurity. However, I think you’ll remember their single big hit that cemented their careers once you hear it. The song that put them on the American Billboard map was called “16 Candles!” Then Italian lead singer, Johnny Maestro, took this song to #2 on Top 100 Charts in 1959. You may also remember the song from the movie “16 Candles (1984).” However, it was not sung by The Crests, it was actually covered by a rock group called “The Stray Cats.”

The Crests - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The group’s song “16 Candles” was played and used everywhere. In fact, I’m pretty certain I heard it on one or two episodes of “Happy Days (1974),” which was an extremely popular TV show, that dealt with a lot of normal teenage issues. The Crests had other hits as well. “Step By Step (1960),” “Trouble In Paradise (1960),” and “Six Nights A Week (1959).” However, “16 Candles” remained their biggest and most memorable hit.

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Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrwobacks.com

I really do wish I discovered this guy earlier. Have my readers ever heard of Charles Bradley? Honestly I don’t ever recall listening to his music until about a couple of years ago. I really loved his soulfully funk sound. I was devastated to find out that he had died of stomach cancer shortly after I discovered who he was and his music 😢. He was 68.

Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

This man (who I feel in many ways has a striking resemblance to the late Nipsey Russell btw), sung his ass off!! Oh my goodness, when Bradley sung a song, all his emotion emanated from each and every performance. His type of performances are just not seen anymore (relatively speaking). To hear his music, or to see him perform on video, was not only breathtaking at times, it was also refreshing to see real blues music performed like that, then in 2016.

The late Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The first album I heard by Bradley, was “Changes (2016).” I think this entire album is awesome to be quite honest. This album is so authentically 70s, that there is absolutely no hint of modern flair I could detect. I think most blues fans would like at least half of the songs on this album. If I were forced to pick a favorite song, I would have to go with “Things We Do For Love.” My goodness. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said this was recorded in the old Motown Studio or something.

Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

There’s another album I think you should check out. It’s called “Black Velvet (2018).” I really liked the song called “Can’t Fight The Feeling.” I haven’t found a whole lot of juicy information on Bradley, which leads me to believe that either Bradley started his musical career late, or he was discovered late. Having said that, I’m kind of insecure as to the actual copyright dates to his songs. Often times when someone dies, the music label often re-releases music of a popular artist, and you wind up with a new copyright/release date. In any event, I think that Bradley’s music is worth exploring if you’re a blues/funk fan. I recommend that you watch his very short, but powerful interview on YouTube. Very humbling.


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