Showing posts from January, 2016

The Smooth Operators Present Mellow Morning Moods

Good morning! ;-) The Smooth Operators (Martijn Soetens and I) pay tribute to the heyday of the 1970s FM radio sound with our series Mellow Moods. Enjoy this new chapter: Mellow Morning Moods! In this edition we try to make the morning pass as gentle as possible.

‘S-s-s Single Bed’ by Fox (and written by Kenny Young) was in the charts almost 40 years ago. It reached #10 in the Netherlands. A tribute to a "one solitary lonesome single bed":

"Oh but all I got
Is a s-single bed
Ain't no room
For your sweet head
Now ain't it a shame
You missed the last train
Coz all I got is a s-single bed... "

The closing track is 'Give up your guns' by The Buoys. It was written by Rupert Holmes (famous for his 'Pina Colada Song'). The song reached #5 in the Dutch Top 40 in 1972 and after its re-release in 1979 it became a top ten hit again. 'Timothy' (written by Rupert Holmes too) went to #17 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Their first and only album…

Soul & Jazz Grooves From The Crates

Enjoy these deeply dug Soul & Jazz Grooves From The Crates! The track by Stanton Davis is from a brand new compilation album called ‘The Boston Creative Jazz Scene 1970-1983’, which is out on Cultures of Soul. The music on this album is culled from rare private press Jazz LPs that were pressed in small quantities of a few hundred for members of the band and the local jazz community at the time. The music here runs the gamut of funky jazz from Arnie Cheatham’s ‘Thing’ to the deep free jazz of the Phill Musra Group or the spoken word brilliance of Worlds, to the complex metric structures of Stanton Davis’ ‘Play Sleep’.

Produced by Ron Trent and Jonesy, ‘Nicci’ by Jared Hines, aka A Band Called Flash, is a stunning exploration of all things early 1980s. It sounds “like a long lost collaboration between a hip New York post-punk band and a cool downtown jazz funk ensemble” (Juno Download). It features loose grooves, subtle Fender Rhodes keys and spacey synths. His EP 'Mother Confes…

Lost in Music: Serious Disco & Synthesized Funk

With three disco classics in the middle, the mix flows slowly from electro pop into some serious disco and synthesized funk, built upon heavy electro beats. Electro (short for either electro-funk or electro-boogie) is a genre of electronic music and early hip hop directly influenced by the use of TR-808 drum machines, and funk sampling. Records in the genre typically feature drum machines and heavy electronic sounds, usually without vocals, although if vocals are present they are delivered in a deadpan manner, often through electronic distortion such as vocoding and talkboxing. Electro started around 1980 with bands like Zapp and ended by the end of the decade, when it split into swingbeat, house and hip hop, but the sound is still used in popular music (Ronika, Miami Horror).

About electro origins dj pioneer Greg Wilson says:

“It was all about stretching the boundaries that had begun to stifle black music, and its influences lay not only with German technopop wizards Kraftwerk, the ac…

Mellow Moods Forgotten Gems

The Smooth Operators pay tribute to the heyday of the FM radio sound with Mellow Moods. Enjoy this new chapter: Forgotten Gems! One of the first successful female singer/songwriters in England, Lynsey de Paul (born Lynsey Rubin) had an illustrious career. When she started as a vocalist, she immediately scored with ‘Sugar me’, which reached the number five spot on the British pop charts. Other successes were ‘My man and me’, ‘Won't somebody dance with me’ and ‘Rock bottom’. The latter was recorded with British vocalist Mike Moran and it became second in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977. Between 1972 and 1977, Lynsey de Paul wrote 14 British Top 40 hits. In 1981 she released ‘Strange changes’ after being in California with actor James Coburn for three years, but the song and the accompanying album didn't sell well. She then had a successful career as a composer, actress and television celebrity. On October 1, 2014, she suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage and died later that da…

Smooth Sunday Morning Selection (AOR On The Radio)

Enjoy this new 'morning radio' episode of AOR On The Radio! Probably the best space track ever is ‘Starship 109’ by Mistral. It’s such a good song! Mistral was a space disco project from Dutchman Robbie van Leeuwen. He wrote ‘Venus’ for Shocking Blue, a number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970 and for Bananarama in 1986. And it was also on the Stars on 45 Medley that reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981. You can hear Van Leeuwen play guitar on ‘Starship 109’ as well. The track is on 'Paradise Goulash', a new mixed compilation by Prins Thomas. "The music contained within is a willfully diverse collection of music that I hope you'll find pleasing to your ears," Prins Thomas says.
"Much like a bowl of goulash, not all the ingredients might be to your liking. It is undeniably more rustic roadside tavern than refined dining but I hope you already trust me behind the pots and pans."
The parents of Don and Dick Addrisi were part of a …

Funk, Soul & Jazz From The Capitol Vaults

This cloudcast contains funk, soul and jazz from the legendary Capitol label (founded in 1942) and affiliated labels, like Blue Note, Stateside, TK, Liberty and United Artists. But this mix is most of all a tribute to Natalie Cole, who passed away last Thursday. She made her most impressive records on Capitol in the mid-seventies. I selected three of her songs from that period. After years of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album ‘Everlasting’ and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's ‘Pink Cadillac’. In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father Nat King Cole, resulting in her biggest success, ‘Unforgettable... with Love’, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide. The cause of her death was reportedly congestive heart failure. A physically weakened Cole was forced to cancel a string of concert performances over the last th…