Album: Half Nelson (1982)
Genre: Easy Listening
This is why I am a blogger! It’s a beautiful thing when you have a good enough memory that you can share a piece of history with others. You better continue to visit my blog, because I can assure you, you will not “discover” half the stuff I blog about on YouTube! Just because it may be uploaded, doesn’t mean it will show up on anyone’s playlist, or radio playlist. Let me tell you, these two men… Again, unless your family is cultural enough to still play this kind of music, if you’re younger than 20-25 years of age, I doubt you have any idea of their music.
Julio Iglesias Was Sexy As F**k!
I’m not gonna lie, I thought Julio Iglesias was sexy as hell when he was young. Even in the picture about he still looked good around the age of 42 (which indirectly added to the success of the song (I think)). The duet with country singer Willie Nelson proved to be the most successful move in Julio’s career. “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before,” hit #5 on the Top 100 Chart, and hit #1 on the Country Charts. Now, this isn’t to say Julio didn’t have any other #1 hits, they’re just in the Latin categories, whereas the Top 100 is more broad.
You know, it was interesting because, this song in particular seemed to have transcend not only across music cultures, but age as well. I mean, I’ve seen str8 women go bananas when they heard this song come on the radio! Then again, Julio had a kind of voice where, he could have been singing about taking a dump in the toilet, and still sound sexy as hell. 😂 Such a shame father time was not kind to Julio. I absolutely can’t believe it’s the same person now. Today, he looks so much like Mickey Rourke now. I wonder if Julio had plastic surgery too?
Song: Come Into My Life
Artist: Joyce Sims
Genre: Dance Music
WOWOWOWOW!!! Talk about old school! Talk about nostalgia!!! And talk about the now obscure! You know, maybe my readers might be tired of me saying this, but……. Damn! It’s really a shame that great artist like her are allowed to literally fall in to obscurity! It’s just not right! Where are all those that claim “they’re into all kinds of music?” What a bunch of bullshitters! That’s what they are. 😂 I laugh, but, it’s sad, for real.
This Song Was So Popular, At Times It Felt Like A Joyce Sims Marathon On The Radio!
Let me tell you guys something. Her song “Come Into My Life” was such a hit in the 80s! At one time it felt like various radio stations literally had a Joyce Sims Marathon, almost on that one song! In 1987, “Come Into My Life” hit #10 on the R&B US Charts, and #7 on the U.K. Charts. The entire album itself reached #5 in the U.K. However, in the US, it only reached #22 on the R&B category. But, that’s alright, because her song had already made its fierce mark on music fans everywhere.
It was hard for me to categorize her music, because her style fluctuated quite a bit. There are times when she’s all about standard club music, then other times she leans more towards freestyle. Her strong soul vocals made her music sound very unique. Her music was something that we didn’t hear everyday, and in my opinion it was quite refreshing. I also remember one more very popular dance song she sang; however, it doesn’t seem like I can locate any stats on it right now. The song is called “All And All (1986).” Do you guys remember this song? Personally, I don’t think it was in the Top 10 range, however, I’m sure it registered somewhere on the American Billboard. Maybe in the range of #50(ish) (I’m guessing, but hell if I know LOL)
I’m sorry to say that in my opinion, her label did not make the best use of her talents. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the two hits she gave us, but at the same time (overall) the type of voice she had was best suited for traditional R&B. That’s just my opinion. I mean Listen to her greatest hits album, and compare that with her album called “All About Love LP (2008).” I think that, hands down, “All About Love” was a much better album. Now, I do acknowledge that this album is still “freestyle(ish),” but the beats and tempo has changed to sound more closer to R&B. Think so? I don’t know, that’s what I hear when I listen to it. There were no hits from this album, but, it was the best example I could think of. LOL.
Song: Mystic Man
Artist: Peter Tosh
Album: Mystic Man (1979)
Not too many American people know about Peter Tosh, however, in my opinion, I’d say he was a legend. Although Spotify indicates that Tosh’s album “Mystic Man” was released on 2002, that was the digital release. The actual release of the album was 1979. All of the songs on this digital album have been remastered, and additional songs have been added. You guys know how I feel about remastered songs. I’ve heard far too many “remastered” hit songs that sound like they’ve been recorded from a karaoke bar. But, in this case, I’m happy to say that the sound engineers have kept the album as close to the original sound as possible! I’m so grateful for that.
Digital Album Has Bonous Material.
Now, I have to be honest, this wasn’t my most favorite album of Peter Tosh, but it has some nice grooves on it. Like many reggae artist of his era, many of his albums (including this one) were very political. This isn’t an album you can use to twerk to. In my opinion, the golden song on this album is “Mystic Man.” In essence, this song is basically list of things he didn’t do anymore, in order to stay on a clear bath. The only other song that got some brownie points from me was “Crystal Ball.” Like I said, this wasn’t my favorite album, but for nostalgic purposes, it was great listening to this album again.
Having said that, that doesn’t mean that Peter was not a legend in his own right. He managed to get two songs registered on Billboard’s Top 100 Chart, they were “(You Got To Walk And) Don’t Look Back (1978),” which reached #81, and “Johnny B. Goode (1983),” which reached #84. I didn’t care too much for “Johnny B. Goode,” because I felt it was similar to Eddie Grant’s music, in that Tosh produced “American safe” song. Then again, I guess the reality was, we really couldn’t blame them. There wasn’t really a whole lot musicians could’ve done, when the music labels could literally tell you how to perform your art under contract back in the day.
When I think about situations like that, I always think back to Bob Marley. He really paved the way for reggae in America. If it wasn’t for Bob, I think the vast majority of Americans, perhaps the world, would have heard very little of reggae music and it’s culture. Anyway, some of my favorite Tosh songs I’d like you to check out are “Legalize It,” he probably was high when he sang this song! As a child I thought it was hilarious, personally. Check out “Downpressor,” “Oh Bumbo Klaat,” which is another hilarious song, maybe it’s because I remember my late grandpa saying that on a few occasions. 😂 Two more you should check out is, “400 Years,” and “Hammer.”
Song: You’re The One For Me
How many of my readers remember D Train? As a classic music blogger, I think it’s safe to say that they are on that borderline of being obscure. Most of his biggest hits were on the Dance and R&B charts. And in my opinion, the one song I heard people play the most growing up (including myself) was his hit called “You’re The One For Me (1982).” This song hit #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. This song was like an anthem in the Black community.
This Song Was Barbecue Worthy!
Black folk know what I’m talking about when I say this… Back in the day, in the 70s throughout the 80s, there were songs that we played that where compulsory of any Black barbecue; then there were those other songs that were worthy, and we still enjoyed. “You’re The One For Me” was one of those songs! 😂 I’m I right!?! You all know I’m right. 😃
You know, when I first heard this song, for a long time I thought Rick Ashley sang background vocals. You guys remember Rick Ashley right? The lead singer, James Williams, sounded so much like him (in my opinion). Needless to say I was shocked when I finally had money to purchase his 12 inch vinyl. It’s a damn shame that I haven’t heard anyone play his music past the 90s. And mind you, I listen to a LOT of DJ stations and internet radio.
Both James & Hurbert Mastered Funk Infused Dance Music!
The amazing duo consisted of James (D-Train) Williams, & Hurbert Eaves. Now, unless you were already a huge D-Train’s fan, you may not be aware of some of his other popular songs. Check out his dance cover of Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By,” also check out “Trying To Get Over,” and “Music.” All four are my favorite from D-Train. If you like funk/dance 80s music, I think D-Train is worth investigating!
Song: Too Blind To See It
Artist: Kym Sims
Album: Too Blind To See It (1992)
You know what? I don’t think I even have to ask, I KNOW that most of you dance queens (and kings) completely forgotten about this artist. In my opinion, as far as dance music is concern, this song is really obscure. It’s been decades since I’ve heard this song on any radio. Damn! Twenty six years ago this song was released! Can you believe it? Sometimes it still feels like only yesterday to me.
This Song Was #1 In All Dance Clubs!
Everybody loved this song. It was in heavy rotation, inside both straight (perhaps in more Latino clubs more so) and gay dance clubs. Although it only reached #38 on the Hot 100 Charts, it didn’t matter, because it shot up to #1 on the Dance Singles Chart, and stayed their for about a week. That digital keyboard organ sound some how gave its uniqueness I think. We didn’t hear that many club music using digital organ sounds. Although, I’m sure there are those who’d disagree, because it’s easy to just shove this song in the synth dance category. Technically they’d by right. However, synth dance music had a distinct sound back then. I just can’t put this song in that same category.Alibris has over 175 million books!
Song: My Eyes Adored You
Artist: Frankie Valli
Album: Closeup (1975)
Genre: Easy Listening
What a shame! Kids today never even heard of the great Frankie Valli! Not only that, I doubt they ever heard of The Four Seasons either! Frankie Valli was a massive hit maker, yet, not even internet radio is playing their music (and let me tell you, I’ve heard some pretty obscure music on internet radio). Shame on any parent who has not introduced their kids at some point to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons! The Four Seasons sounded as though they were meant to be an A cappella group instead a pop band. Frankie had such a distinctive voice (still has). Nobody in my opinion could sing their music as good as The Four Seasons. The songs were simply made for them.
In my opinion, they sang some of the most romantic music of their time, be it an actual ballad or a pop song. It was not always about the voice either, it was about the lyrics. “My Eyes Adored You,” is a perfect song to play at any wedding or reception. The song was also another major favorite of my late grandfather. I remember any time this song came on the radio or something; it didn’t matter what my grandma was doing; my she could have been in the middle of preparing dinner; my grandpa made her stop what she was doing to dance with him to this song. Definitely, men don’t come like that anymore.
Looking For Special Romantic Music For Your Partner? Choose Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons!
There are just too many of their great music to list all of them. So, I’m going to share with you some of my ultimate favorites I remember growing up! In addition to listening to “My Eyes Adored You,” I also recommend songs such as, “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Let’s Hang On,” “Grease,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “Swearin’ To God,” “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!),” and “Searching Wind.” Those are my most favorite childhood songs from Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.
Song: Soul Makossa
Artist: Manu Dibango
Album: Soul Makossa (1972)
Genre: African Jazz
If you are lucky enough to own this album, you own a part of Africa’s forgotten history. This is my favorite album of all times from Manu Dibango! And in my opinion, this is his greatest master piece! You will play from beginning to end! Depending on where you go, there appears to be digital variations of this album. This may or may not be because the album was released in many parts of the world, including Japan, Brazil, and France. And from what I observed in situations like this, quite often I’ve noticed slight edits to original music for different countries. If you cannot open your heart to this kind of music, you can’t call yourself cultural, or even diverse.
Americans never heard of Manu before, much less his music. But that all changed in 1972 when he released “Soul Makossa,” from his 1972 album called (you’ve guessed it) “Soul Makossa.” This song (well mostly instrumental) was a huge international hit! Although it reached only #35 on the Top 100 Charts (I still consider that a huge accomplishment, since most Americans were not listening to this kind of music (let’s be real about that)), it hit #11 on the American R&B Charts. Just imagine how huge that was! This incredibly talented, badass saxophonist from Cameroon, located in Central Africa, managed to rattle many music cultures around the world with his brilliance! While at the same time, forcing people to listen to music they would have never listened to otherwise. That’s deep.
However, today’s featured album is called “Gone Clear (1980),” which has a piece called “Reggae Makossa,” which is a remix of his original afro-beat hit “Soul Makossa.” It’s just a more smoother dance groove. In my opinion, this album is worth searching for, especially if you’re in my age group from the Island. I know you’ll enjoy it. Spotify doesn’t have the original album, but they do have the original songs scattered through out his other albums. My very top favorites from this album are “Doctor Bird,” “Goro City,” and “Full Up.” Manu is now about 85 years young, and much to my surprise, he is still performing! That is a man that loves music. Very few people are this dedicated. Off the top of my head, I can only count on one hand artist with that level of dedication. Celia Cruz, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Roy Orbison, and Tito Puente, all of those people practically performed until their last breath.
Song: Light My Fire
Artist: Jackie Wilson
Album: Do Your Thing (1968)
Ok.. Jackie Wilson is another perfect example of what I call a musically complicated singer. Care must be taken for artists like Jackie (in regards to music choices), because he doesn’t have a common singing voice. I liken his voice similar to singers such as Boz Scaggs, or actually, his voice probably sounds closest to Chubby Checker. In fact, when I was little, I used to confuse their voices quite a lot because they were so similar.
This Song Did Not Fit His Voice
Don’t get me wrong, Jackie had a phenomenal voice that allowed him to produce quite a few successful hits! However, at the same time, he had one of those voices that sounded like he was sort of singing from the back of his neck. The problem with that was, if the right song wasn’t picked for him, he can easily windup sounding like Warner Bros.’s Marvin The Martian. 🤣 It may sound a little petty, but, I’m very particular about the quality of music I listen to.
Now, “Light My Fire, (if you don’t know)” was originally recorded by a legendary rock group called “The Doors” sometime in 1966. It seemed as though every artist on the planet covered this song. In 1967, The Doors not only took this song to #1, it stayed number one for a whopping weeks! So, I never really liked Jackie’s voice on this song, I just never thought it was a good fit for him. However, I decided to share this song with you guys anyway, because in terms of the musical background arrangements, I think it’s hot!! They literally converted this rock song in to a heavy soul beat. I would have played the sh*t out of this if it were only instrumental.