Happy Belated Anniversary…to me
So apparently I missed my own anniversary. My very first music column ran way back on 5/31/03. Of course back then it wasn’t a weekly column, I simply wrote columns when I felt like it. It was a much more haphazard era of writing.
Anyway last year I missed my anniversary because my computer crashed. I had grand plans for the column that were never realized. I figured that I could use the idea for the next anniversary. Well that anniversary too has come and gone, and again my idea is squandered.
Maybe next year my concept will come to fruition. But more likely than not I’ll probably be having computer problems again.
Our Feature Presentation
Back in my Baltimore days when I was flush with cash I picked up a boxed set on one of my trips to The Soundgarden. That set was Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992 and it’s an amazing listen.
But at four discs it’s kind of along listen. So I decided to distill it into 70 minutes and 58 seconds worth of solid great tunes. What follows are the songs that made the cut.
Rick James – Super Freak Pt. 1
This classic song is the perfect leadoff for the mix. It’s a dirty funky ditty by a master of the genre. It’s a shame that he’s going to be remembered more for his exploits and someone performing a caricature of him, rather than for his contribution to music. I just wish I had an opportunity to read a new wave magazine.
Commodores – Brick House
Yet another hit that is perfect to follow Super Freak. This track just makes you want to get sweaty, be it through dancing or something else. I so wish I was old enough to have memories to this song, because I’m sure they’d be remarkable. Not even Foxy Brown could mess up this song.
Jackson 5 – Dancing Machine
This song makes the cut mostly because I’ve seen footage of them performing it. The fros are huge and Michael Jackson does a mean robot. But the song bumps on it’s own.
Eddie Kendricks – Keep On Truckin’ Pt 1
Dope song. I really wish this phrase were still around. In fact I’m trying to bring it back, I’ve just got to google it because I’m not 100% sure I know what it means. Anyway Kendricks does a fine job with the solo thing. Plus it’s provided the backbone for some great Hip Hop songs.
Rick James – Give It To Me Baby
Great song, even better video. You’ve got to respect a guy who comes home intoxicated and beefs with his wiz because she won’t “give it” to him. He comes home from having a good time and wants to have an even better time. But women don’t dig that, which is one reason for my sobriety.
Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me
If there’s one bit of knowledge to be gleamed from this gem is that nepotism rocks. An assist by the white hot Michael Jackson didn’t hurt this song a bit. But I wouldn’t really call what Rockwell does “singing” he’s more of just a narrator. But he does rock well.
Commodores – Lady (You Bring Me Up)
This is a great up-tempo track about a lady and the effect she has a man. It’s refreshing in the fact that it’s not vulgar. It’s much better than a song with a similar theme; Next’s Too Close. I’m really digging the horns, which in my opinion are underused in today’s musical climate.
Diana Ross – Love Hangover
I’ve never tasted alcohol, but from what I understand hangovers aren’t pleasant. Yet Ross makes them sound positively enticing. And I don’t care what anyone says; disco rocks.
Marvin Gaye – I Want You
The man was a genius. The way he sings those lyrics in such a seductive manner. I’m saying, I’m not gay but…
Smokey Robinson – Crusin’
Smooth song. Robinson’s silky cooing is like nothing else to the ear. D’angelo’s version actually does it justice, and comes just a hair shy of touching it. This song makes me regret being single…and not knowing how to drive.
Michael Jackson – Got To Be There
This is just a great song. It’s clear to see how MJ was such a huge cross generational success he was in the 80’s, given his work on this song. You’ve got a kid singing about such a mature topic. It’s nutty, but it works wonderfully.
Valerie Simpson – Silly Wasn’t I
Brief cut, but emotional one as well. She imbues the song with such heartache that it’s amazing the song is less than two and a half minutes long. It’s a great song, on the low.
Dynamic Superiors – Shoe Shoe Shine
I’m not going to like to you; this song made the cut because of the groups name. “Dynamic Superiors?” How dope is that? It practically blows my mind even conceptualizing something that is both dynamic and superior, much less it being manifested an a group of people. When I become famous I’m going to steal the name for my obligatory side project band or my superhero group.
Commodores – Easy
Had I made this mix today, this song wouldn’t have made the cut. That stupid commercial that utilizes a cover of this song irritates me. But this song rocks because it’s got that hint of country. This song is just a classic, that no one should ever try to cover.
Smokey Robinson – One Heartbeat
Sure the music is that 80’s synthesized nonsense, but the lyrics are pure Smokey. He’s a master poet, who doesn’t get the credit or respect that he deserves from modern audiences.
Commodores – Nightshift
I didn’t realize how much I dug the Commodores until I picked up this set. But it’s undeniable; they’ve got some jams on their resume. I really dig this song because it’s paying respect to the past. I liked the beat when I was kid, but now that I’m older I can appreciate the art of the lyrics.
Commodores – Sail On
Again the Commodores come through with a more pronounced country influence (peep Lionel’s twang) in this somber track. It’s kind of a depressing song, but is just sounds so damn good; it had to make the cut.
Four Tops – A Simple Game
You can’t have a Motown mix without the Tops. This track has an incredible build up. The track is evocative and almost haunting. And when have the Tops ever stumbled vocally? They deliver here yet again.
Boys – Dial My Heart
Not exactly the best follow up to A Simple Game, but it’s a great way to close out the mix. I’ve no clue what happened to these four siblings, but this song is a classic, in the late 80’s sense of the word. I deny you to not like this song.
And there you have it. Those of some dope Motown songs from the labels L.A. years. It was a very interesting era.
By now I’m sure that you’ve heard rumblings about changes going on here at InsidePulse. They’re all true. Furthermore there are going to be sweeping changes. Matthew Michaels has instituted a new policy for every single columnist.
Affected By The Change
Aaron is limited to one Oz reference a month. Furthermore, he can no longer reference The Simpsons and has to save his race baiting for Moodspins. He’s also got to loan Nick to Gloomchen.
Jeff has been forced to soften his stance on both Puffy and Avril (both of whom Matthew is on a first name basis with). Hey, politics is politics.
Kyle David Paul (my favorite read this week) has to drop one of his first names or make one of his names more “last namey”. I’m suggesting “Davidson” or “Pauley.”
Gloomchen is required to post her Junior High NKOTB fan fiction at least once a month. I’m sorry, thems the rules.
Tom needs to show more of his sensitive side, by posting one of his favorite slow jams every week.
Sweeping change, you heard it here first.
Not Affected By The Change
Ian starts off with bad news, but quickly turns things around with a little help from Johnny Cash.
Phil comments on Em’s retirement, the importance of sample clearing and A Tribe Called Quest getting some attention.
Five Favorite Songs About Abuse
1. Elliot Smith – Needle in the Hay
2. De La Soul – Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa
3. Mobb Deep – Drink Away the Pain (Situations)
4. Cardigans – And Then You Kissed Me
5. Beanie Sigel feat. Bun B – Purple Rain