Showing posts from August, 2015

Groovy, Sexy & Soulful Part 53 Romantic Edition

A few love making grooves, combined with a couple of romantic West Coast pop and new wave songs. One of them is ‘Breakfast’ by The Associates. They were Billy Mackenzie (‘William’ in ‘William, it was really nothing’ by The Smiths) and Ian Rankine. After a few singles and two albums, 1982's ‘Sulk’, was the group's definitive statement that sold very well and it was named album of the year in Melody Maker. Following the LP's success, a promotion tour and a record deal was set up in the US, but Mckenzie cancelled it all at the very last moment. Rankine went mad and left the group for a solo career. Mackenzie kept the name 'Associates' and booked a studio with producer Martin Rushent to record an album, but the final result never saw the light of day. A few of the tracks later appeared re-recorded on 1985's ‘Perhaps’. One of the tracks on the album is the closing track of this mix, ‘Breakfast’. In the 1990s the career of Billy Mckenzie went downhill. After the deat…

Soulful West Coast Classics (AOR On The Radio Series)

West Coast pop (not to be confused with nineties hip hop) is some kind of a melting pot of soul, disco, funk, jazz, folk, psychedelic, AOR and all the (sub) genres in between. It was preceded by the early seventies West Coast singer/songwriters (like James Taylor and Carole King) and became popular from approximately the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties. West Coast pop is well-crafted, soft-focused music that was mainly made and played in California. A few big names are The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac and Steve Miller Band. This sub-genre differs from soft rock or rock ballads, played by heavier stadium rock bands, like Def Leppard, Whitesnake or Loverboy, but you can discuss about some acts, like Toto and Boston.

Because of the coastal area, where West Coast pop was originated and its often nautical themes, it is called ‘yacht rock’ sometimes as well (although that term emphasizes the campy side of it). Listeners were meant to nod their heads to the beat and not to move their l…

Love Making Grooves From The Crates

Last Friday I was at a wedding and the DJ played a song by Barry White, of course. The ‘walrus of love’ is the master of love making grooves. He was a disco pioneer by making ‘Love’s theme’ with his Love Unlimited Orchestra (probably the first ‘cocktail disco’ track) and many solo records in the mid-seventies. When disco reached its peak at the end of the decade, White’s popularity was already declining. His typical ‘slow disco’ sound was copied countless times at that point, so he was not that unique anymore. He was rediscovered in the nineties, when R&B and hip hop artists began to sample his work extensively. Barry White died on Friday the 4th of July, 2003, after a lengthy battle with numerous health problems, at the age of 58. White's career took him from the ghetto to international success with 106 gold and 41 platinum albums, 20 gold and 10 platinum singles, with worldwide sales in excess of 100 million. By the time of his death, Barry White had achieved a near-universa…

Smooth Sailing: Latin Soul & Cocktail Disco

Dimitri From Paris gives his definition of ‘cocktail disco’ on his compilation album with the same name:

“One of many sub genres I grew up to love over the years, is a type of Disco that I could best describe as Cocktail Disco. I believe this style was called Sleaze back in its days, from roughly 1976 to 1979. There were even DJs specialized in the Sleaze sound which was usually played after hours, in spots with a strong sex oriented drive. Cocktail Disco has that ubiquitous 4/4 beat and flying open high hat, complemented by rich orchestrations, campy over the top vocals, and an often tropical Latin vibe.”

‘Only a fool’ from 'Calypso King' Mighty Sparrow touches me, every time when I hear it. The lyrics are about a guy who can't let go. It's a heart breaking love story, sung very emotionally. But the funny thing is that the singer wasn't that unlucky in love himself. Fact is that he has so many children that he lost count... 'Only a fool' was in the Dutch c…

Funk Factory

Let's go to our job in the funk factory! The Ohio Players were formed in Detroit in 1959, but became most succesful in the mid-seventies, when they were influenced by Sly & the Familty Stone. Their 1974 Mercury debut, 'Skin Tight' launched the hit title track. Its follow-up, 'Fire', remains the Players' masterpiece. The album topped the charts and the super funky title cut reached top ten in the Netherlands. 1975's 'Honey', which featured perhaps the Players' most controversial and erotic cover, was another monster, generating the chart-topping masterpiece 'Love Rollercoaster' in addition to the hits 'Sweet Sticky Thing' and 'Fopp'. Their funk smash 'Who'd She Coo?' from 1976's 'Contradiction', was the Players' last number one R&B hit. 'O-H-I-O' from 1977's 'Angel', was their last major hit on any chart, and as the 1970s drew to a close, the band's fortunes conti…