Song: The Air That I Breath
Artist: Simply Red
Album: Blue [Expanded] (1998)
Genre: Slow Pop
I absolutely love me some Simply Red. In my opinion, this is a really talented group, and lead singer Mick Hucknull is a true blue “blue eyed soulster.” I mean, based on his look, when you see Mick, you’d never think such power and feeling would come out of his mouth. I’ve always been a huge fan ever since they came out with “Holding Back The Years (1986),” and “Money$ Too Tight (To Mention) (1986).” The first time I discovered them was when I was watching MTV late one night. At that time, I was hypnotized because I just never heard any other White guy sing like that (other than Tom Jones, but his music was totally different). “The Air That I Breath” is a 1974 cover song from a group called the “Hollies.” I feel that Mick has done such a wonderful job, I didn’t even realize it was him, because it sounded just like I was listening to a remix of the Hollies and their song. Check it out.
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: 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: Do Your Thing
Album: Together (1968)
Ok, I’m really taking it back now! A guy by the name of Charles Wright had an awesome band called “The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band!” What a hell of a long name right? The bulk of their music has been mostly funk, and perhaps a little bit of R&B. I liked a lot of their music growing up. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble finding Billboard information on their music. However, I remember two of their major hits that were burning up the radio stations. The first was a song called “Do Your Thing (1968).” This song was the bomb back in the day. It was hilarious to see adults get down to this song. I mean to watch my elders dance to the point they were down on the floor was a sight to see. This was a song that pretty much allowed you to dance in anyway you like, and not feel awkward or out of place. Simple and steady beats allowed everyone from any age to dance to its music. The second song was called “Express Yourself (1970).” Again, I’m having trouble finding chart information, but from what I remember as a child, it seems that “Do Your Thing” was the biggest hit of their career. Ah, the good ol’ days.
Song: Love Overboard
Artist: Gladys Knight & The Pips
Album: All Our Love (1987)
Genre: Pop Music
I think the last generation took for granted just how many hits Gladys Knight & The Pips actually had (beyond their “Imagination (1973)” album) back in the day. Fans immediately zero in on their iconic songs like “Midnight Train To Georgia,” and “If I Were Your Woman.” However, “Love Overboard” was the sh*t too back in the day. The song peaked at #13 on the Top 100 charts. This was the perfect dance love song. At the time, this song was huge, because it was their first top 40 hit in quite a few years.
Song: Pick Up The Pieces
Artist: Average White Band
Album: Average White Band (1975)
Let me tell you…. This was no ordinary Average White Band 🤣 😜. These guys had more funk and soulful feeling in their music, than any other blue-eyed soul band I can think of at the moment. I mean, when I was a kid, I thought they were all Black when I was listening to their music. Actually, I dare to say they’re probably more diverse as a group than “Heatwave.” They really made some good music back in the day. Having said that, once again, I am blown away about the low ranking for their (arguably the most popular) songs “Pick Up The Pieces.” When it came to groove music, this hit the spot. This became another “must have” in many barbecue gatherings when I was growing up. Yet it only reached #45 in Adult Contemporary. WTF??? 😠 BTW, I couldn’t resist in thinking, if this band would have came out today, the politically extreme left would have crucified the band for their chosen name.AU: Shop Women’s Fashion at Bally!
Song: Boogie Oogie Oogie
Artist: Taste Of Honey
Album: A Taste Of Honey (1978)
I’m pretty sure most people under the age of 40 barely remember (if any at all) the group Taste Of Honey. Let me tell you, these women were some badass bitches (in a good way)! To watch them perform, be it live or on TV, was a sight to see. There are very, very few female musicians who could pick a guitar like these women. The only other Black female (long before this group) I can remember off hand that could beat the hell out of a guitar like that was Rosetta Tharpe. Unfortunately, as talented as this group was, they only produced two major hits (although iconic). The first was “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” which hit number #1 on the Top 100, and “Sukiyaki (1981),” which hit #3. Also check out “Rescue Me (1980).” Does the beat sound familiar to you? I’ll give you a hint “I Got A Man (1992)!”