This was very difficult for me to put together, because as I looked through my collection, the song list kept piling up. However, I was strict on myself, and narrowed them down to only six songs. In my opinion, my six picks are most likely considered obscure in the hip hop world. I’m pretty sure anyone under 20 years of age hasn’t heard any of them, or most of them. These are what I consider some of the best rap songs I heard growing up. Of course there are more, but for the purpose of keeping things simple, I chose these six extremely rare songs. Enjoy.
Artist: Melba Moore
This awesome song actually came out in 1982, and was digitally remastered in 2010. I love “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” because it reminds me of the same kinds of rhythms that Evelyn “Champagne” King used to perform. In fact, in many ways it sounds almost identical to the T. Then again, Melba also had that same kind of voice; and as I’ve mentioned earlier, record companies were about finding that “formula” for making millions. I highly recommend that you research Melba Moore’s store. It’s pretty inspirational. She gone from being a huge success, to suddenly having no money to the point of applying for welfare/food stamps. She picked herself back up, and successfully rebooted her career. I consider her a very underrated talent. Although she didn’t have big hit’s on the Top 100, she did had a few top hits on the dance charts, including “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” which reached #2, and another song I loved a lot called “You Stepped In To My Life,” which reached #5 in 1978.
Genre: Sweet Reggae
This may sound very arrogant…. But…. In this day and age, the only people who can probably appreciate an album like this, are Jamaicans and West-Indians in my age group. Very few Americans would know anything about this album; unless perhaps you’ve dated someone for many years who happened to be from the island. One of the things I miss most from my childhood growing up was, in my neighborhood, we had one of the only record shops dedicated to 100% reggae! Both full albums and 12 inch reggae; many if not all were imported. All in a very short walking distance. I remembered this album being one of many my mom purchased there. I think this was when I fell in love with Toots and The Maytels’s music for the first time.
The first song I heard was “Bam-Bam” by Toots & The Maytels. I loved this song so much. I don’t know what was it that I loved it so much. Maybe it was his unique voice? Maybe it was his soul that came through his music? Or maybe it was his passion for political change I heard in his music? I played that song so many times. The second song I fell in love with was “Pomps & Pride.” Very catchy tune, and you can’t help but to move your hips just a little bit when you hear it. I was really surprised to find out that Spotify has the entire entire album. The album has various artists, which includes Desmond Dekker (which is another talented favorite of mine.Save $10 On Any Purchase & Get Free Shipping On All Orders At MaddaFella.com! Use Code: MADDA10!
Song: Will You Still Love Me
Artist: Slim Smith
Genre: Sweet Reggae
This is a very nice reggae cover of an old 1960s song, originally first recorded by a girl group called “The Shirelles.” The very popular group Shirelles took this song to #1, and has been covered by many people after that. But very few are aware of this reggae gem. Born in Jamaica, Slim Smith has done a wonderful job with this legendary classic. Unfortunately, early in Smith’s reggae career, he accidentally killed himself. He died in 1973 from subsequent injuries. I cannot find the year he actually released this recording. I’m going to make an assumption it was a couple of years before his death.AU: Gifts at Bally!
Yesterday, I found one of my old favorite Barry Manilow cassettes. Yay!!! You know, I can’t imagine anyone walking around with a cassette player these days; if someone did, I’m pretty sure that most people around them would be in shocked and puzzled 😄. I consider Barry Manilow the king of love ballads! This little Jewish guy was a hit machine in his prime. However, he really hasn’t made any big hits since the 80s. Tho, it’s wonderful to see that there are millions that still love him and remember him. I decided to create a 19 song playlist of my most favorite hits!
What’s in my new Barry playlist? How about his massive 1978, 12 inch disco hit “Copacabana!” How about his ballad “I’ve Made It Through The Rain (1980),” I loved this song!! That song was like my late grandfather’s personal anthem, he used to hmm this song ALL the time 😄. Another great song he produced was a song called “Bandstand Boogie,” which later on became the theme song to Dick Clark’s show “American Bandstand” some in c. 1976 I believe. Many more memorable songs this awesome playlist.
Today, I’d like to write about one of the biggest forgotten reggae legends! His name? The late John Holt. This man has made a lot of smooth reggae. Sweet, sweet reggae. He also used to be one of many Jamaican artists that loved to reinterpret American music; and let me tell you, many of them were really nice in my opinion. I didn’t like all his remakes, sometimes it sounded like his voice didn’t fit some of the songs he sang. But, there was one cover he did that I remember my grandfather listening to a lot on his reel2reel (I loved it too). This song was co-written by the late Brook Benton (along with two others), and recorded by the late Nat King Cole. The song was called “Looking Back (1958).” The song hit #2 on the R&B Charts.
However, John Holt’s version of “Looking Back 1972),” took the song to a whole different level. I LOVED how he put together that organ intro; it almost made the song immediately recognizable. It’s a beautiful song that talks about a man realizing his bad mistakes toward the one he loves, and he learned not to do them again. You know, I was saddened to discover that Holt’s cover version wasn’t even mentioned anywhere on Wikipedia. If I didn’t know it existed growing up, it would not be on my blog. I digress.. I tried adding him on Wiki, not sure if they’re going to approve it or not. I want you to check out two more amazing Holt songs. “A Love I Can Feel (1971),” and “If It Don’t Work Out,” also released in 1971. “If It Don’t Work Out,” is actually a cover of the Casinos’s song “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (1967).”Save an Extra 10% on Guitar Cases and Guitar Gig Bags: Use Code TOURGUITAR
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.
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.Eye Lash + Brow Serum – Get 5% off! use coupon code BEAU5 – Shop YelloowBeauty.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!