Song: In The Midnight Hour
Artist: The Silvertones
The song “In The Midnight Hour,” was another one of many reggae favorites of my late grandfather and I. It was released in 1968, I believe in the U.K. It was a cover of Wilson Pickett’s 1965 version of “Midnight Hour.” Wilson’s version hit #21 on the Top 100. Despite Wilson’s song being almost 55 years old now, Spotify alone has it registered at over 34M plays. Grandpa and I used to listen to both versions all the time. I don’t believe he ever owned a Silvertone album, however, I remember hearing him play their song on his big reel2reel player. Back in the day, poor folk saved soooooo much money on music by taping each others albums. I don’t know what the stats are for Silvertones’s “In The Midnight Hour,” but streaming appears to be less than 60k plays. It certainly was a hit in my house growing up. Lost reggae legends indeed. Check out another favorite of mine, “Young At Heart.”
Artist: Janet Jackson
Album: Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)
We all know that Janet comes from a family where talent is in their genes. I think it’s safe to say that, there’s no question, for most people, at least half of Janet’s music we love. She’s done house, pop, romance, you name it! Janet has done just about every kind of music except country (that I’m aware of LOL). I’m so glad I hadn’t heard any country songs from her; because back in the day, once a known pop artist come out with a country album, usually it’s a bad sign that your career is dying. Not sure if that’s still true today but… Just sayin’… Out of all my many favorites, “Alright” has been on the top of my list. It may also be because of her music video, the whole “film noir” setting. One thing I’ve always loved about both Janet and Micheal, they always pay tribute (in someway) to classic film. “Alright (1989)” hit #4 on the Hot 100 charts! The entire Rhythm Nation album in my opinion is number one. I think both her Control & Rhythm Nation is her best work. Unfortunately, this single remix album is out of print. However, you can find it on Discogs.FragranceNet.com’s Best Selling Men’s Fragrances
Artist: The Manhattan Transfer
Album: Extensions (1979)
Genre: Pop Dance
Boy!! Talk about a forgotten group!!! I actually haven’t heard anything from these guys since a long time. These guys produced one of my favorite pop dance tunes (well technically, it’s more disco now that I think about it) of the 80s. I don’t know how many of my readers know, but are you aware that the cult classic TV show “The Twilight Zone” had it’s own disco theme? Yup!! And The Manhattan Transfer, performed this classic. According to a source I’ve read, the song hit #30 on the US Hot 100 chart. But, this song had to have been bigger than that; because by the time I was old enough to go to clubs (about 5 years after it’s original release date), this song was still being played. I’ve heard so many different versions of this song growing up, it wasn’t even funny. Recently a remix of the song was made. Check out the new remix of Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone.
Song: Close To You
Artist: Maxi Priest
Album: Bonafide (1990)
This is one reggae artist that should not be forgotten. Maxi Priest is so underrated in my opinion. He is a great singer and a phenomenal songwriter. His rise to fame came when he released his massive hit “Close To You” in 1990. The song hit #1 and stayed number one for a week. It’s important to remember reggae artists like him, because he’s one of the few reggae artists that hit number one (at least once) on the American charts. This means their music appeals to a wider audience. In the 90s, Americans played a LOT of Jamaican music, but I can count on one hand artists that registered anywhere on the American Billboard charts. I encourage you to seek out some of his older music. Another well known hit he produced was called “Wild World,” from his album “The Best Of Me (1991),” featuring John Gallon. This was actually a cover of Cat Steven’s Wild World released in 1970. Maxi did a wonderful job reinterpreting this song!
Artist: Spandau Ballet
Album: True (1983)
Genre: Pop Ballads
Ok, ok. If you told me that you never heard this song before; I would have said you’re lying (unless you’re under the age of 25-30)! This song was such a massive hit in the 80’s. It was a love song of all love songs back then. No matter if you were young, old, Black, White, everyone was singing this tune. This English group named, Spandau Ballet, took this song to #1 not just in the United Kingdom, but #1 in America (Adult Contemporary), #1 in Ireland, and #1 in Canada! Other countries such as France & Germany, the song was in the Top 10 range. “True,” remains to be one of my most favorite romantic songs ever! The song practically immortalized this group forever. This was their only massive hit of their career. Of all their works after the “True” album, only one song, “Gold,” made its highest peak at #29 in 1984.Vices Reserve
Song: You Wear It Well
Album: Rhythm Of The Night (1985)
Genre: Pop Music
I’m taking you back to 1985, with one of my favorite groups, DeBarge!! These guys were sooooo talented. I’m really saddened that their lives took such a negative turn. They were one of the few groups, where I always looked forward to hearing their next albums. As far as I can tell, only El is still performing (still sounds wonderful by the way), and Chico is still performing as well (has two great solo albums of his own). Bobby DeBarge is deceased.
There were to huge hits from this album. The first song everyone in my age group instantly remembers from the movie sound track “The Last Dragon (1985),” the song is called “Rhythm Of The Night (1985).” I loved this song. It was one of those happy songs that almost made you dance out in the streets. The second catchy tune from this album was called “You Wear It Well.” I will bet almost any amount of money that half (if not most) people forgot this song! This was a really cute song in my opinion. I just love that distinct 80s sound, it never gets old for me!
Song: Perfect Match
Artist: Lauryn Hill
Album: A Perfect Match (2019)
Genre: Hip Hop
Wow guys!! Maybe I was totally oblivious, but I don’t think I’ve heard anything new (or major) from Lauryn, since her iconic 1998 album called “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill (1998)!” Ever since that scandal broke out, about her stealing music for “The Miseducation” album, if you haven’t heard about it, you can read it in this Rolling Stones article, despite albums released after that, it kind of felt she was missing in action. I was hoping her daughter wasn’t gonna follow her footsteps, but so far, so good (I guess). “A Perfect Match” is released as a single. She doesn’t come hard like she did on her first album, but the essence of what she represented back in the day, still there. It’s a sweet romantic love song, and I think it really works for her voice. All the tones, tempos, and inflections we heard on her first and only iconic album is undoubtedly present in this song. Only difference is that it’s more laid back.Battery Heated Jackets, Hoodies, and Gloves
Song: Between The Sheets
Artist: The Isley Brothers
Album: Between The Sheets (1983)
Oh shit!! Could those pants have been any tighter?! 🤣 The material that was used for many “stylish” clothes for men back in the day, was so uncomfortable and non-flexible. Just trying to sit down was a problem for me. Honestly, I don’t know how I made it through the 70s 😜 Anyway, I was gonna pick a dance song, until I came across these legends. Surely a forgotten group, as far as I can tell. They’ve had more hits than I can think of. “Between The Sheets” hit #3 on the R&B charts, and has gained the status of “baby makin’ music” in the Black community. If I’m not mistaken, “It’s Your Thing (1969)” was their biggest hit of their career, landing at #2 on the Top 100 Chart. Although, if someone said to me “off the top of your head, think of an Isley song,” I’d probably think of “Between The Sheets” first.