80s City Pop for long hot days on the beach, skating down the boulevard under a blue sky, and driving into the sunset on an infinite highway…
City Pop Summer Edition just dropped. It is most excellent.
Playlist posted by Van Paugam. He’s done a number of other City Pop collections, give them a listen.
♪ Track List (with associated anime clips):
♪OFF SHORE – 角松敏生Toshiki Kadomatsu (0:00) Waves gif from Neon Genesis Evangelion followed by Maron from Dragon Ball Z”
♪土曜の夜はパラダイス – エポEPO (5:11) “?”
♪RIDE ON TIME – 山下達郎Tatsuro Yamashita (9:18) “City Hunter”
♪HIGHWAY OF THE SUN – パイパーPiper (14:46) “Creamy Mami”
♪Dancing Tonight – 国分友里恵Yurie Kokubo (19:06) “Akira”
♪Streets Are Hot – 藤原美穂Miho Fujiwara (22:04) “Megazone 23”
♪Paradise Island – 中原めいこMeiko Nakahara (25:50) “Bubblegum Crisis”
♪Sky High – 松原正樹Masaki Matsubara (30:37) “Dragon Ball Z”
♪TRANSIT IN SUMMER – 杉山清貴&オメガトライブKiyotaka Sugiyama & Omega Tribe (34:10) “?”
♪そよ風のエアメール – 石川秀美Hidemi Ishikawa (38:26)
♪DEAR BREEZE – 杉山清貴&オメガトライブKiyotaka Sugiyama & Omega Tribe (42:42) “?”
♪Summer Connection – 大貫妙子Taeko Onuki (46:35) “Cowboy Bebop”
♪あこがれのSundown – 桑名晴子Haruko Kuwana (51:00) “Sailor Moon”
So I saw a headline that said Joe Jackson is recovering from a car accident. Turns out it’s not the Joe Jackson I was thinking of, but rather, Michael Jackson’s dad.
Well, glad he’s ok and all that, but who cares? Of much greater interest is the pianist Joe Jackson.
He released his first single in 1978, titled “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” I’m sure every guy has been able to relate to that at least once in his life.
A fun live version from 1980 can be heard here.
When asked about the origins of the song, Jackson stated –
Now, that is just one of those songs that started with the title. I heard that phrase somewhere and I thought that could be a kind of funny song about gorgeous girls going out with monsters. It just started from there. It was just a funny song, or supposed to be funny. It was a great surprise to me when some people interpreted it as being angry.
The full interview is worth reading, and can be found here, which ranges from his tribute album to Duke Ellington to the pointlessness of restricting 16 oz. sodas.
Another well known Jackson song is “You Can’t Get What You Want (Til You Know What You Want) –
Rumor has it that he recorded the song because record contracts at the time stipulated every artist must record at lease one song with Rock Parentheses in the title.
Jackson was touring as recently as last year. This isn’t the best sound quality, but it’s still pretty good.
The first song of his I ever recall hearing back in the early 80s – and one of the earliest music videos I ever saw – was “Steppin’ Out,” which is undisputably a timeless classic. It was on the radio constantly back then. You can’t listen to this song and not want to go out for a night on the town in style. The video is absolutely pitch perfect, allowing anyone to see their story reflected in it.
In this age of sampled, looped, AutoTuned empty beats, not only doesn’t anyone make music like that anymore, I’m not sure anyone even tries.
So a while back, Pharrel Williams teamed up with Daft Punk (and movie score composer Hans Zimmer!), among others, to record an album. One of the singles released was “Gust Of Wind,” which is a fun, upbeat tune with some real depth to it –
The song has become so popular that the internet is saturated with people doing their own covers of it. A few of them are surprisingly good… and sometimes surprisingly different.
Stephen Jerzak did a guitar based cover which sounds pretty good. But watch his buddy Joel in the background…
At around the 3:05 point, Joel is playing three instruments at once.
Morgane & Waxx do a more low-key version, but it still has its appeal –
Valter Kabas brings the funk in an instrumental version, with some heavy awesome bass –
He’s got quite a pile of videos, there’s some terrific stuff. Especially if you’re a Jamiroquai fan.
Finally, Grace Rodgers and her band take a spin. Her version take s a minute to get used to, but once they set their groove, it works very well.
I would love to hear this group do more covers.
Heard any excellent cover songs lately? Post ’em in a comment.
Have some music to rock out the old year and ring in the new!
See you in 2017!
This one’s heavy on video, yo. But it’s smooth.
In 1978, the Doobie Brothers released their album Minute By Minute, containing the song “What A Fool Believes”….
…and, of course, it became a hit. So smooth.
Comare and contrast with Robbie Dupree’s 1980 single titled “Steal Away”…
…which seems to be exactly what happened here. Very suspiciously similar.
According to this site, Dupree’s song also was, uh, inspired by Eddie Money’s 1977 song “Baby Hold On.” I can kind of hear it.
Doobie Bro Michael McDonald had this happen with another song, 1982’s “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” –
The song was sampled in 1994 by Warren G and Nate Dogg in “Regulate” [mildly NSFW]-
A completely and totally 100% absolutely true and smooth account of how this came about was related on the internet series Yacht Rock [also a bit NSFW]. And “Hollywood Steve,” the host of the show, is a real life music critic.
However, “I Keep Forgettin'” itself is heavily inspired by Chuck Jackson’s 1963 song titled, amazingly, “I Keep Forgettin'” –
McDonald’s version is sometimes listed as a cover of Jackson’s song, but there are differences. Although sharing credit with the writers of Jackson’s song, McDonald does get a songwriting credit on his version.
Michael’s old friends in Steely Dan had their own run-in with this sort of thing. From 1977, their song “Black Cow” –
…which got sampled in 1997 by Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz for their single “Uptown Baby” [you know it’s NSFW]-
The opening of the song features another sample, Amores Como El Nuestro by Jerry Rivera.
Turns out The Dan weren’t happy with Tariq and Gunz sampling the song and causing Walter and Donald some difficulties. Peter Gunz discusses it here (a little NSFW language in there).
Not long after that, Tatyana Ali released her 1998 single “Daydreamin'” (lots of apostrophes in music, apparently), where Tariq and Gunz sampled themselves sampling “Black Cow” in some kind of recursive loop and rapped on it –
“I heard Steely Dan “Black Cow” and went wild!”
Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen completes and reverses the Mobius Circuit by sampling “Uptown Baby” over “Black Cow” –
Everyone knows Thomas Dolby’s classic song, “She Blinded Me With Science!” But he’s had quite a career since that song. A couple of his songs appeared in last weekend’s “No Static At All” post, “Radio Silence” and a live version of “Commercial Breakup.” Go give them a listen.
Before releasing his first album, The Golden Age Of Wireless, Dolby did synthesizer arrangements on Foreigner’s songs”Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “Urgent,” the latter also featuring saxophone by Junior Walker. Walker later recorded his own (Dolby-less)version of the song with his All-Stars, which can be heard here.
Kicking off this Studio proper is a 1983 “Live Wireless” concert in its entirety –
In 1985, he appeared onstage at the Grammy Awards with Units 1,2, and 4 in a synthesizer showdown –
“…the big surprise was I didn’t expect Thomas Dolby to come out in that amazing wig and tuxedo — which is so him, you know, and brilliant. And that tiny little keyboard!” – Howard Jones, who also explains why some of the performance was prerecorded.
A lot of it was prerecorded stuff that we’d already done in the studio because of the ambition of it, because it was using that amount of technology. I don’t think anybody would have been brave enough to play everything live! So we played some things over the top of it, and then the rest of it was pre-done in studio. I think that’s the only way to have achieved it for the Grammys. I think it would have been very risky otherwise!
Dig those keytars!
More recently, Dolby was involved with “The Toadlickers,” combining techno, bluegrass, and parkour –
He also worked on an online multiplayer game which coincided with his album of the same name, Map Of The Floating City, set in an alternate history. As he described it, “The Floating City is set against a dystopian vision of the 1940s that might have existed had WWII turned out a lot differently.”
Map of the Floating City playlist –
Finally, we finish with Dolby performing his signature song “She Blinded Me With Science!” at Moogfest in 2012, with some commentary about Magnus Pyke and the San Francisco Giants –
Extra sugar, extra salt, extra oil and MSG with a few bad words if you’re delicate like that.
Shut up and eat!
Sixteen years ago, one day*
I was walking down the street
I was looking for music
You know what I mean?
And I picked up this CD
I kinda want to know her more
Are you made or broken by the birthday cake?
2 for 1, but 3 For 2!
She talks like American, she walks like Egyptian
*Ok, it might have been 15 years ago. Somewhere around there I picked up Viva! La Woman at a used CD place.
By request, here’s some Liphlich for Wdydfae, whose site you really should check out. I have no idea what the hell the deal is with this band, they’re almost like a collision of Glam Rock and Lounge Style with some Scandinavian metal thrown in over a disco beat. Or something.
Skam Life –
Move every Zig for Great Nonsense –
Whatever happened to that Manic Pixie that you used to know?
Some live Liphlich, not the greatest video quality but good enough –
Thanks to Wdydfae for making this an easy one.
Rocktober begins again, bringing the rain today after a stretch of nice weather, just in time for a Saturday Night Special Studio with Shirley Manson and Garbage –
The band is probably best known for two songs – the above and the radio mainstay “Stupid Girl” –
Shirley doesn’t hesitate to let people know where they stand, does she?
Have an entire concert from 20 years ago, when they were just starting out.