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” –
Time to put the needle on the record. No sucker Djs, just two turntables and a microphone on the avenue by Radio City with a transistor.
Wdydfae commented on the last post about his memories of radio –
My inchoate fragments of radio memories don’t coalesce into a particular story. Radio wasn’t a big part of my childhood, as far as I can remember, unless I was riding in someone’s car and it happened to be playing.
…Then it moves into adulthood, and radio was in another country and language. Basically, lousy radio selection–just not a radio culture. Then I realized the radio riches I had left behind, with at least a channel for just about any genre you could want. So, belatedly I appreciated that the radio world of the States is vibrant–lot of stuff out there, and a whole way of talking, presenting yourself, presenting sound, pacing things.
Read the full comment here.
Kicking off with Steely Dan’s classic”FM” in spectacular style…. From the YouTube channel of the Empire State Building, followed by a big block of tunes to crank up to 11 –
“On October 29, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the installation of a Master FM Antenna on the top of the Empire State Building, the global landmark synchronized its world-famous tower lights to Steely Dan’s 1978 smash ‘FM (No Static At All).'”
Bonus points if you saw a young Geordi La Forge or maybe Tom & Jerry in there.
Hope you enjoyed the music.
They say nothing changes on New Year’s Day. But this past year has me reeling. Remember when Bill Cosby was the family man and America’s Dad, and Steely Dan were the shady freaks singing about Bad Things instead of grocery store Muzak?
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your Black Friday! Try not to get killed by crazed shoppers.
Bonus: A full set of The Dan in Cincinnati from 2008 –
I just found this and haven’t had time to watch much but it sounds good so far.
Bonus Studio on what seems to be turning into J-Pop night. Sort of.
From The Weekly Constitutional –
If you are anything like me, you have more than once found yourself sitting alone in your room listening to Steely Dan cover bands while lamenting:
“If only a group of chinamen would form a group devoted to doing spot on covers (except for the accent) of the Steely Dan classics…”
Well friends, your wait is over… Coming at you from Japan, here’s Steely Shodan…
Rather surreal hearing him sing “the shine in your Japan, the sparkle in your China.”
Here’s their version of “Kid Charlemagne” –
Donald Fagen of Steely Dan hears them for the first time –
And here’s some balls-out awesome –
No flies on them.
The band is a near perfect replica with a slight Japanese twist, and the singer looks like a streets-of-Chiba pimp or one of the gangsters in Black Rain, making him perfect for the, uh, less than cheery lyrics that Walt and Don are notorious for. It’s like Steely Dan crossed with Blade Runner.
Today is a format change – Night Sky Radio changes over to Black Friday Radio! Click to listen.
Gonna do just what I please
Gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do
But catch all the sales and deals
When Black Friday falls you know it’s got to be…
To paraphrase Morrissey, Wal-Mart shoppers of the world unite!
It started with this post, and led to an argument on CNN about white gay males stealing the culture of black women.
It’s amusing to me how gender is a social construct, and can be changed and transformed at will from one to another (or to made-up ones) but culture and political orientation are hardwired by biology. This neatly sidesteps the issue of whether cultural behaviors can have bad effects, since one can only act according to the culture defined by their color. Anyone imitating a culture outside their race is inauthentic at best and mocking at worst.
I don’t seem to remember Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, or Gloria Gaynor(!) being too upset about gay males buying their albums. Diana Ross even did a song, “I’m Coming Out,” written for her gay fanbase.
Makes ya wonder if Notorious B.I.G., P. Diddy, and Ma$e knew they were sampling a “gay song” when they released “”Mo Money Mo Problems,” or just wanted a catchy beat. Speaking of which, Diddy and Ma$e sure looked like they were borrowing from white culture in the opening of that song’s video. Were they mocking white culture? Or does Diddy just like playing golf?
Ma$e appropriated white culture in his video for “Welcome Back,” borrowing from “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” and using a sample of the theme song from “Welcome Back Kotter.” Ma$e and Diddy also sampled Latin music culture with “Feel So Good” which used the chorus from Miami Sound Machine’s “Bad Boy.” The song also brags of taking “hits from the 80s.” I think the 80s should sue.
This rabbit hole has no bottom. Where does the line get drawn? Is Eminem a cultural criminal for his plan – in his own words – “To do black music so selfishly / And use it to get myself wealthy”? Dr. Dre didn’t seem to mind too much. What about black rappers who sampled white music? Peter Gunz and Lord Tariq sampled the white boys of Steely Dan (badly) for their song “Déjà Vu (Uptown Baby).” But Steely Dan was influenced by black jazz musicians. Are the black session players who tour with The Dan race traitors? Tariq and Gunz crossed the Latin border when they sampled, in the same song listed above, Latin performer Jerry Rivera’s song “Amores Como El Nuestro” And isn’t “Peter Gunz” a riff on the old TV show with a legendary theme written by a white dude?
I told my wife about the dustup that led off this post. Her response was “Oh, minority victim war.” There are far worse problems facing the black female community than whether Miley Cyrus or gay males are twerking. But that doesn’t get you on CNN.
H/T to Andrew Klavan
Now that I’ve shamelessly appropriated undue credit…
What Do You Do For An Encore? has reached 100 posts. Pretty quickly, too. His focus is primarily on music, ranging from funk to progressive to jazz to J-Pop and a couple things I don’t know what they are. I’ve discovered some great stuff there, such as Kimiko Kasai covering Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly (I had never heard either one, as far as I recall), the utter surreality of Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, and something called alley shrines. And sometimes he just goes nuts. I suspect heavy drinking is involved, but he says no.
Go check it out and get some learnin’ about all kinds of music and maybe a little about Japanese culture, too.