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MIKE'S DAILY JUKEBOX

MIKE'S DAILY JUKEBOX: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned: Mary J Blige, Pretty Reckless, Aretha Franklin

"NOT GON' CRY"    MARY J BLIGE
If you saw "Waiting To Exhale", you remember Angela Bassett's character caught her husband lying and cheating.  Payback is a bitch!  She filled his BMW with all of his belongings, poured gasoline on the car, and flicked her cigarette into the car and poof!  As the car ignited, she confidently strutted away!  A woman in Detroit recently copied this stunt after her man messed around.   Unlike the movie, she was sent to jail and faces up to five years for arson. The movie's outcome seemed better.   Mary J. Blige sums it up in the best song from the film.

"MAKES ME WANNA DIE"  PRETTY RECKLESS
TV actress, Taylor Momsen, heads the alternative rock band, Pretty Reckless.   Unlike her clean Gossip Girl TV image, the band is post-grunge with a dark sound similar to Nirvana mixed with Oasis.   "Makes Me Wanna Die" is their biggest hit and a favorite on the Warped Tour.  The song is played over the end credits of "Kick Ass" where a young teenage girl turns out to be the toughest vigilante ever taking out every villian in the film.   Chloe Grace Moretz played Hit-Girl and has since starred in everything from Hugo, Let Me In, 500 Days Of Summer, and one of the leads in Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows.

"ANOTHER NIGHT"    ARETHA FRANKLIN
The mid-80's comeback for the Queen Of Soul was unexpected.   The greatest female soul voice of the 60's got lost in the 70's decade of singer-songwriters and disco.    She jumped on the "Freeway Of Love" in her "Pink Cadillac" and became a legitimate R&B chart topper in 1985.   "Another Night" is epic, Aretha's voice is pure, the beat is slamming, and the "don't mess with me again" attitude has got to make you smile!    Check out how she puts her loser boyfriend in check during the song :)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Whitney Houston's New Song! Whitney Houston with Jordan Sparks, Boyz II Men, Chamillionaire with Ne-Yo

"CELEBRATE"    WHITNEY HOUSTON with JORDAN SPARKS
This summer the motion picture, "Sparkle" starring Whitney Houston, Cee-Lo Green, Jordan Sparks, and Mike Epps will be released.  The movie is a remake of the 70's musical depicting the rise of a Supremes-type girl group.   Whitney plays Jordan's mom and they recorded the lead single just before her untimely death.   Her voice is vintage Whitney and the R. Kelly produced song is a upbeat celebration of life.

"WHEN YA ON"   CHAMILLIONAIRE and NE-YO
In 2005, urban radio stations couldn't resist playing Houston rapper, Chamillionaire's smash hits, "Turn It Up" with Lil' Flip and "Ridin" with Krayzie Bone.   He's famous for his legendary mixtapes and he's back with a new hard hitting jam.   Chamillionaire's style is clean but still maintains street cred.   "They only love you when you're on, the other time is when you're gone".    Hot track!   He's currently looking for a new record label after getting out of his Universal Records contract.

"DOING JUST FINE"   BOYZ II MEN
Life after a break-up, some people can easily move forward, I can't say it's been that easy for me.  Music has always inspired me in so many ways and this song has helped me in the past.  It came from their 1997 CD, Evolution, which was a commercial disappointment after the mega-selling discs,  Cooleyhighharmony and Boyz II Men II.   But record sales don't always translate to the quality of their work.  On this CD came some of the band's best ballads, "Dear God", "A Song For Mama" and my video pick were timeless R&B songs.   "Doing Just Fine" feels like a code phrase for  "I haven't moved on" and Wanya's vocals are perfection on this sad track.
   

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Metallica In 3D: Bruce Springsteen, Pop Evil, Metallica

"ENTER SANDMAN"   METALLICA in 3-D!
August 24th in Vancouver, Canada, Metallica will be producing a 3-D concert film shot on a 360 degree stage.    Metallica is not new to making movies as their therapy documentary, "Some Kind Of Monster" depicted the band as dysfunctional and losing their metal attitude we grew up loving.   The stage for this historic concert is 140' by 50 feet and will end their three week summer run of shows.   The promoters are asking the audience to bring your "craziest Metalli-self to the show"!   This video is shot in 3D so it will look weird but you will be able to see it for all its metal glory this summer!


"ROCKY GROUND"   BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
The second single from Bruce's 2012 "Wrecking Ball" CD was just released.   "Rocky Ground" is quite a departure for Bruce.   His concerts have almost felt like going to church with Deacon Springsteen bringing the congregation to their feet.    Well, Bruce has upped the ante here with a song featuring a gospel choir, religious imagery to describe urban breakdown, and there is RAPPING on a Springsteen song.    It sounds crazy but the song is incredible and a highlight of Bruce's current tour (I was so lucky to catch him this Spring in Tampa!)

"BOSS'S DAUGHTER"   POP EVIL
First heard of Pop Evil with a song called "100 in a 55" that reminded me of Royal Bliss and Black Stone Cherry, two bands that I think should be household names soon!   Michigan's Pop Evil are back with a new single and video featuring a Playboy Playmate, Mick Mars of Motley Crue and a hard rockin' chorus of "hell on heels" that can't be contained.    It's pure sex and rock and roll!!   I dare you not to turn this one up!
  

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day! Billy Joel, Kid Rock, Billy Ray Cyrus

"WARRIOR"     KID ROCK
How do you sell joining the military to young American males?   Make a rock video, show things getting blown up, add a NASCAR superstar, and make it look like a video game come to life!  Nothing subtle about Kid Rock here.  In a video that includes NASCAR hero, Dale Earnhardt Jr and a cast of American soldiers, "Warrior" was released as a free single for the National Guard.   Every military cliche is here including, "Freedom ain't so free when you breathe red, white and blue".   Kid Rock has always supported the troops and this song adds a new dimension to his dedication.



"GOODNIGHT SAIGON"    BILLY JOEL
Taken from the Billy Joel album, "Nylon Curtain" in 1982, here's an unforgettable tribute to the Vietnam vets.   Documenting their mindset from their arrival for training at Paris Island to their mental and physical struggles serving their country in Vietnam.  It's a powerful piece of art that Billy including in his concert to close Shea Stadium.  Reminding everyone of 9/11, firefighters, police, and military personnel, all dressed in their uniforms, sang the emotional chorus, "We said we'll all go down together". 


"SOME GAVE ALL"   BILLY RAY CYRUS
Long before Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus had the biggest song on the planet.   Copies of "Achy Breaky Heart" can be found in flea market discount bins along with some MC Hammer parachute pants and copies of Vanilla Ice's CD, "To The Extreme".   But the title track of that Billy Ray Cyrus CD, "Some Gave All" is a colossal tribute to the soldiers who made a commitment to protect their country and loved ones.   Billy sold millions of copies of his country line dance #1 hit  but this tribute song will be his crowning legacy.   "All gave some, some gave all"
 
 

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Michael Jackson Discography: Favorite Song On Each Solo CD

1980 - "ROCK WITH YOU"  from OFF THE WALL
So iconic, Michael in the glitter suit dancing with the lasers behind him.   Name a better 80's R&B jam!    This was the old Michael Jackson everyone loved.   He looked "black", sounded natural featuring Quincy Jones best soul music production, and a timeless collection of MJ's best.   "Don't Stop Till".... "She's Out Of My Life"... "Burn This Disco".... "Working Day and Night".....as strong of a dance record ever produced.


1983 - "BEAT IT"  from Thriller
Michael did a number of rock songs including "Dirty Diana" with Steve Stevens and "Give In To Me" with Slash but his collaboration with guitar hero, Eddie Van Halen is his greatest rock moment.    A favorite memory of this song was seeing 5 guys doing this in karaoke, then during the middle, two of their friends did a pretend knife fight during the song!   Amazing!   This video changed everything.   Big budgets, choreographed dance routines (remember Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield"?), and videos that told a story, Michael changed MTV in so many ways.
 

1986 - "MAN IN THE MIRROR" from Bad
"Make That Change" - this song helped inspire me to make my move from Wisconsin to Florida.  Those introspective lyrics and the video of people actually changing the world is such a powerful combination.   This video should be required viewing in history classes in school.   Seeing heroes like Martin Luther King, Lech Walesa, Gandhi, and  John Lennon vs. the ignorance of the KKK, Hitler, and the Ethopian famine deaths creates life-altering images that show that music videos can be educational while they entertain.


1991 - "IN THE CLOSET" from Dangerous
Madonna was originally going to be in this video and part of the song.  She asked if Michael knew what "in the closet" meant, he naively said he did.    Michael meant a secret love affair, but the rumors took off.  Unfortunate title but Naomi Campbell's presence in this video makes it one of the sexiest videos of all-time.  My biggest complaint, why didn't he kiss Naomi in the desert!!


  
1995 - "THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT US" from HIStory
Like "Man In The Mirror", this is a song about social injustice, police brutality, and hate.  Michael vehemently wants us to take a stand.  The clapping and Brazilian drum beat create a lively chant.   Ironically this song about equality was banned as racist for the original Anti-Semitic lyric causing Michael to re-record it.  

2001 - "BREAK OF DAWN" from INVINCIBLE
The 14 minute video for "You Rock My World" with Chris Tucker is incredible but the slow jam, "Break Of Dawn" was the crowning moment of Michael's last official CD.    The song conjures up the melody of "The Lady In My Life" from Thriller and while the disc got little commercial and critic respect, there are some shining moments including "Whatever Happens" recently featuring on my Santana blog. 

2011 - "HOLLYWOOD TONIGHT" from MICHAEL
"Hold My Hand" featuring Akon was originally going to be released in 2008 but Michael said it wasn't ready yet.   He wrote in his estate, this was the next song he wanted released.  The video with Akon is beautiful and inspiring.  I love the club inspired jam, "Hollywood Tonight" and the accompanying video with a twist (reminds me of Flashdance).
  

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kelly Clarkson Japanese B-Side : Samantha Fox (DJ Alligator), Rascal Flatts, Kelly Clarkson, ir Charles Jones,

"TOUCH ME NOW"   SAMANTHA FOX (Dance Mix with DJ Alligator)
When I went to Ireland a couple of years ago, I ran across The Star, the tenth largest newspaper in circulation in the world.  European attitudes are so different from us in the States.  Much to my surprise, I turned to "Page 3", famous for their pin-up girl pictures often topless!  Imagine that in the Wall Street Journal daily!  Samantha Fox first gained her fame for her famous pictures then exploded onto the pop music scene with songs like "Touch Me" and "Naughty Girls Need Love Too".   Here's a techno remix with  Gunther and DJ Alligator.

"MY WISH"  (Guitar Mix)   RASCAL FLATTS
Gary LeVox (great name for a lead singer!) and his band, Rascal Flatts, were signed to the Disney Music Group, Lyric Street Records.   Fittingly, the band has the most wholesome, All-American image, and have huge appeal with the youngest country music fans.   Their concerts are extravaganzas with lasers, special effects, and audience interaction.   "My Wish" has such a feel-good positive message that you can only "wish" that someone would dedicate these words to you one day.

"CAN WE GO BACK"   KELLY CLARKSON
Kelly's CD "All I Ever Wanted" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album charts and continued selling copies  spurred on by the big hits, "I Don't Hook Up" and "My Life Would Suck Without You".    Three of the better songs didn't make the final version, the rocker "The Day We Fell Apart", the acoustic "Don't Ever Give Up On Me" (one of her all-time best!), and "Can We Go Back".    The latter song has massive hit appeal, if you missed it, enjoy!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Wish Me Well (Go To Hell): Ronan Keating, Bouncing Souls, Kenny Wayne Shepherd

"SHE BELIEVES IN ME"    RONAN KEATING
Yes, it's a cover of Kenny Rogers.  Yes, the original is as corny and sentimental as anything laid to vinyl in the 70's but Ronan Keating's version feels "fresh", original yet nostalgic, soulful.   Ronan Keating is Irish and best known for his song "When You Say Nothing At All" from the Julia Roberts film, Notting Hill.    Ronan is one of those artists who's a huge U.K. star (a host on X-Factor, multi-award winner, former boyband member) who is virtually unknown in the U.S.  You can find this song  on his 2003 "Turn It On" CD.


"WISH ME WELL (GO TO HELL)"   BOUNCING SOULS
One of the greatest kiss-off songs of all-time!    The interchange between guest vocalist Kara Weathington and Greg Attonito are hysterical! Here's one exchange:  "Love is supposed to make us happy, supposed to make us grow, but I just wanna punch you in your face, I Love You, I guess I needed space, Oh well, another time, another place".   Incidentally, Bouncing Souls refers to their Doc Martens shoes.

"BLUE ON BLACK"   KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD
The longest running CD on the Billboard Blues chart of all-time, 1995's Kenny Wayne Shepherd CD, "Trouble Is".   Think of all of the amazing blues artists who he surpassed!   "Blue On Black" is his masterpiece, his legacy.   The song was voted the #1 rock song on 1998 and the slide guitar requires you to crank up the volume and play air guitar along with Kenny.   It's a breakup song but Kenny realizing what's done is done, time to move on. 

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

True Blood Returns Sunday June 10: Mick Jagger (solo), Third Eye Blind, Cobra Verde

"PLAY WITH FIRE"   COBRA VERDE

I'm addicted to HBO's True Blood.   The love triangle with Sookie Stackhouse and the battle between the two Alpha-male vampires, Bill and Eric is one of the most creative love stories ever.   Cajun blues music, unexpected plot twists, great humor mixed with the gore, brilliant writing!   The new season starts back on Sunday, June 10th.   The return of Russell Edgington (last seen getting buried in a pit of plaster) and three new female vampires should change the dynamics.  Add in Rikki, described as a "dirty-beautiful werewolf" in her 20's and J.D. (a large Marine-type werewolf) and the plot thickens.   Jason gets back together with Jessica in the first episode, can't wait!   I'll have to sign up for HBO again for the summer.


"JUST ANOTHER NIGHT"   MICK JAGGER
What a flashback watching this video again today!!   Rae Dawn Chong and the coolest man on the planet, Mick Jagger, in an action-packed rock video.   "Just Another Night" was the lead single off of Mick's first solo CD, 1985's "She's The Boss".   The song went right to #1 and spawned dance remixes reminiscent of the Stones late 70's work.   Niles Rodgers of Chic contributes a funk rock fusion guitar solo to "Just Another Night" that drives the beat even harder.  It's hysterical watching Mick put on her coat and makeup then jumping on stage, classic Jagger!




"MOTORCYCLE DRIVE BY"   THIRD EYE BLIND
If you're a big fan of any band or artist, you tend to like their lesser-known album tracks better than the singles that everyone in the world can sing   along with.   Third Eye Blind's breakthrough debut CD had 5 Top 10 singles but songs like "Motorcycle Drive By" inspired their hardcore fans.   Watch as the crowd takes over Stephan Jenkins vocals on this amazing record about heading to the beach enthralled by reminders of a love that will never leave your mind and heart.   

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

R&B Cover Of The Eagles "I Can't Tell You Why": JoJo, Howard Hewett, Diddy Dirty Money

"CAN'T BELIEVE IT"    JO-JO
The summer of 2008 was dominated by Lil Wayne and the Autotune master, T-Pain.   Their biggest collaboration, "Can't Believe It" was covered by JoJo a couple of years later.    Due to her age, she's quickly linked and compared to Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears but JoJo has some serious vocal skills that deserve stronger comparisons.   She is the youngest solo artist to ever have a #1 Billboard hit (age 13).  Hearing a woman sing a song like "Can't Believe It" gives the lyrics a whole new spin.
   
"I CAN'T TELL YOU WHY"   HOWARD HEWETT
Timothy B. Schmidt of The Eagles didn't sing lead vocals on too many of their greatest hits.   But who can forget this classic from their 1980 CD, "The Long Run".   The silky smooth vocals of Shalamar's Howard Hewett turn this rock classic into a late night quiet storm masterpiece.

"LAST NIGHT (Part 2)"  DIDDY DIRTY MONEY
One of the most surprising CD's released last year was Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy aka P. Diddy aka Diddy Dirty Money with a REALLY strong collection of great collaborations.   Dawn Richards (Danity Kane) and Krayzie Bone are featured on this Prince-influenced jam.   Other artists who contributed to "Last Train To Paris" include Chris Brown, Nelly,  Justin Timberlake, Drake, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, T.I., and even Grace Jones!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Snow White And The Huntsmen, This Is No Fairy Tale: Florence and The Machine, DJ Pauly D, and Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, Flaming Lips

"BREATH OF LIFE"   FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
"Snow White and the Huntsmen" is going to be released June 1st.  Charlize Theron looks incredible as Queen Ravenna, intense, vicious, and deadly.    Ravenna recruits the Huntsmen, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) to kill Snow White (Twilight's Kristen Stewart).   The film looks like it's full of action, suspense, and the tagline is "This Is No Fairy Tale".   You can see some of the movie along with a powerful theatrical theme song sung by critic darling's Florence & The Machine.


"NIGHT OF MY LIFE"   DJ PAULY D and DASH
Let's add a trendy Italian reality TV star with a singer using AutoTune set to maximum, throw in a very familiar techno beat and highly repetitive lyrics and what do you get?    Pauly D's first big hit single!    Haters gonna hate, the song isn't going to win any awards but check out the crowd, fists pumping, smiling faces, everyone's having a blast.  I've watched his solo MTV spinoff show and you can tell that he loves being a DJ more than being a reality star, best of luck to his music career.   Hopefully he takes some chances with his future music releases.

"DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL"  DANGER MOUSE, SPARKLEHORSE, and THE FLAMING LIPS
Caught this song being played in the background of the new CBS show "Person Of Interest".   Danger Mouse produced this beautiful track.   Memories refuse to let our loves disappear from our lives even when they've been gone for years.   This song has such a trance-inducing vibe to it, love it!!
 

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Give It Enough Time, Something Old Becomes Something New: Chickenfoot, Judas Priest, and Adelita's Way

"SOMETHING GOING WRONG"    CHICKENFOOT
Give something old enough time and it becomes new again.   The Supergroup creation of Joe Satriani and Sammy Hagar bring some sweet reminders of how rock music used to sound but add a modern rock fury to the mix.   "Something Going Wrong" is one of the best songs on their latest CD, Chickenfoot III.   Sammy Hagar's charm and visceral screams combined with Joe's brilliant guitar solos here blend perfectly.  Hearing Chad Smith and Michael Anthony's pounding rhythm section keeping pace generate a "classic rock" sound lacking on recent rock records.

"HEADING OUT TO THE HIGHWAY"   JUDAS PRIEST
Speaking of classic rock and screams, no one can match up to the legendary Metal God, Rob Halford.   This is hard driving, petal to the metal, weekend music.    Taken from "Point Of Entry", Judas Priest went a little less metal but more hard rock on this album that didn't explode like "Screaming For Vengeance" but remains one of my personal favorite JP albums.   Their sound is less "dated" here than some of their bigger hits (Living After Midnight, Breaking The Law).
      
"LAST STAND"   ADELITA'S WAY
This Las Vegas alternative metal band hasn't been around too long.   Releasing their debut CD in 2009, their sound is urgent and reminds me of Three Days Grace and Daughtry.   "Last Stand" has a big video with the band performing in a warehouse while a big screen flashes memories of his ex-girlfriend.    "Closer To You" is another great song on their debut CD.   Their 2011 follow-up Home School Valedictorian was very commercial and weaker than their debut in my opinion.   Hoping they come back big in 2012 with a harder rock sound next time out.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Freestyle Dance Party: Lil Suzy, Expose, Nice & Wild, La Bouche, George LaMond

Sunday Dance Party:   Love Live Freestyle!

The late 80's to the mid 90's was the "freestyle dance" era.   Synthesizers, latin rhythms, heavy bass from drum machines filled dance floors provided some of the best "escape" beats offering freedom of mind and spirit.   

Often imitated, rarely duplicated, the techno-inspired dance music of today's Jersey Shore wanna-be club kids lose some of the "heart" felt in these earlier freestyle jams.   Here's 5 sentimental favorites:

"DIAMOND GIRL"    NICE & WILD

"SWEET DREAMS"  LA BOUCHE

"POINT OF NO RETURN"  EXPOSE'
"LOOK INTO MY EYES"   GEORGE LaMOND
"TAKE ME IN YOUR ARMS"  LIL SUZY    

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Your Makeup Looks Like Alice Cooper, "Who Is She, Is She Cute?" A Day To Remember, Alice Cooper, Sugarland

"OUT OF TIME"   A DAY TO REMEMBER
Warped Tour favorite, A Day To Remember, gets better with each CD.    A punk band that sings of real relationship issues balancing power chords and youthful intensity with deeply personal lyrics.    "Out Of Time" comes from the CD, "What Separates Me From You".   The song is a powerhouse, two people heading in opposite directions but wanting to make it work, intense lyrics.

"I NEVER CRY"    ALICE COOPER
Vincent Furnier, a.k.a. Alice Cooper, became one of the leading influences of shock rock adding theatrical themes to his live concerts.    An Alice Cooper concert was an spectacle and life-altering event.   Guillotines, boa constrictors, baby doll heads, guys wearing makeup all the while playing a combination of garage rock and heavy metal.   An early favorite of mine was the ultimate 70's slow jam, "I Never Cry" that had to catch everyone off guard discovering it was coming from rocker Alice Cooper.   "My hearts a virgin, it's never been tried"
"TAKE ME AS I AM"   SUGARLAND
Jennifer Nettles is a rocker at heart.   Before joining Sugarland, she released three rock CD's as the Jennifer Nettles Band.   "Take Me As I Am" flat out ROCKS, it's a roll down the windows and crank it up country music song.   "Slow to trust but quick to love,  I push too hard, give too much.  I ain't saying I'm perfect but I promise I'm worth it" = LOVE THESE LYRICS!!!








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Friday, May 18, 2012

Donna Summer: The Queen Of Disco Lost To Cancer; 5/17/12

Donna Summer, The Queen Of Disco, lost her fight with cancer on Thursday, May 17, 2012.   Like Whitney Houston and Adam Yauch, Donna's music defined her genre.   Her voice and style became the standard for R&B/disco singers that followed her lead.  Donna Summer songs like "Last Dance", "Bad Girls", and "She Works Hard For the Money" became the soundtrack of the lives of her fans.     Here are some special Donna Summer videos.
"HOT STUFF"  
Disco with big rock guitars!   The Rolling Stones, Queen, and Rod Stewart quickly released similar rock themed disco hits.  This song features Jeff Baxter from the Doobie Brothers on lead guitar and this song is on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest ROCK songs ever.


"ON THE RADIO"  (Long Version)   
This version finishes the story that the original single hints at.   Play it from start to finish to get the full impact.   Powerful diva vocals, great love story song with a hot dance beat.   Jennifer Lopez covered this song in 2010, produced by Boy George.

"FORGIVE ME"
Being a disco artist brought Donna a lot of popularity with the gay community.   Donna was a devout Christian and made some comments about AIDS being a punishment that branded her as anti-gay and almost killed her career.   She vehemently denied the claims and apologized for the confusion.   "Forgive Me" is one of the finest modern gospel-tinged songs of the 80's.


"LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY"   
Reportedly 22 orgasmic moments in this legendary disco song produced by Giorgio Moroder (Flashdance).   Donna's erotic moans fueled one of the first extended version disco hits and got the song banned in multiple countries.

"I BELIEVE IN JESUS"

Released in the early 80's on "The Wanderer", Donna wasn't afraid to take risks and put a religious themed song on her pop/dance album.   You've got to love the rousing inspirational choir added to the chorus.   R.I.P. Donna!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

What Artist Links Michael Jackson, Chester Bennington, Seal, and Jennifer Lopez?


Carlos Santana got introduced to the world when his band played a legendary set in 1969 at Woodstock before they had even released their first album!   "Evil Ways" and "Soul Sacrifice" brought Santana international success.   Yet, it wasn't until 1999 when Carlos Santana achieved his greatest commercial success with the multi-Grammy winning CD, Supernatural.    Rolling Stone recently named him #15 on their all-time greatest guitar slingers.

Since 1999, he has played with everyone from Lauryn Hill, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Wyclef Jean, Mary J Blige, Nickelback, Michelle Branch, Eric Clapton, and on and on.    Here are four special  guest appearances from the past 13 years.

"WHATEVER HAPPENS"   MICHAEL JACKSON 


"RIDERS ON THE STORM"  SANTANA with CHESTER BENNINGTON (Linkin Park), RAY MANZAREK (The Doors)

"YOU ARE MY KIND"      SEAL


"THIS BOY'S FIRE"   JENNIFER LOPEZ

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

C.R.E.A.M. Cash Rules Everything Around Me: Joe, Cherrelle, and Wu-Tang Clan

"YOU LOOK GOOD TO ME"   CHERELLE
The soulful voice of Cherrelle mixed with the old-school masculine R&B vocals of Alexander O'Neal created the perfect blend of voices not heard since Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in the 60's.    Cherelle is the cousin of Pebbles ("Mercedes Boy) and Cherelle's first 3 cd's were produced by the dream team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (a friend of mine back in the day).  "You Look Good To Me" packs a R&B punch from the opening notes, enjoy!

"MAKE YOU MY BABY"   JOE
R. Kelly covered this song on his "Loveland" bootleg CD after working with Joe on the song so you may recognize the hook.   Joe (yes, he only goes by the one name) Thomas has been a favorite relative unknown by me for years.  He's been popular but hasn't broken through big time.  He did a hit song with N'Sync  and a remix with Mariah Carey that got him a little airplay but he deserves so more attention.   "My Name Is Joe" is an incredible R&B CD, download it if you haven't already experienced it.

"C.R.E.A.M."    WU-TANG CLAN
Staten Island's foremost hardcore rap group invented mafioso rap.  They influenced the hip hop culture in such a variety of ways, no only with their music, consider their style, martial arts fascination, and their movies.    How many of the band members can you name?  RZA, Redman, GZA, Ghostface Killa, Method Man, Raekwon, Old Dirty Bastard, Masta Killa, and U-God were a force on their earliest CD's.   C.R.E.A.M. (cash rules everything around me) was their first taste at commercial success when released in 1993 on their debut "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)".

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Juliet Simms Before She Was On "The Voice": Automatic Loveletter, Maroon 5 With Wiz Khalifa, Blake Shelton and Jermaine Paul

"STORY OF MY LIFE"   AUTOMATIC LOVELETTER and "IT'S A MAN's, MAN's WORLD" - JULIET SIMMS
Juliet Simms (from Clearwater, FL!) rocked NBC's Season II of "The Voice".   She got the judges to turn around for her version of the Beatles "Oh Darling!", mesmerized the world with her version of "Roxanne", and then came her shining moment when she slayed James Brown's "It's A Mans, Mans World".   She was originally the lead singer for a band named Automatic Loveletter who released three CD's.    Here's a taste of her earlier sound, "Story Of My Life".



"SOUL MAN"  BLAKE SHELTON and JERMAINE PAUL
Juliet was "The Voice" this season but you had to root for Jermaine Paul.   A session singer and backup singer for years for Alicia Keys.   He's a big guy with an even bigger heart, trying to fight the overwhelming emotions of seeing his career dream reach reality.    Jermaine was the best performer on the last night and deserved the win based on that night's songs.    Here's his soulful side singing the Sam & Dave chestnut with his coach, Blake Shelton.

"PAYPHONE"   MAROON 5 with WIZ KHALIFA
Concluding "The Voice" theme, Adam Levine's band is back with a Top 5 single that throws a few surprises at us.   First surprise is adding Wiz Khalifa's rap to their pop song, it definitely adds a "cool factor" to their single.    Second surprise is the explicit language with frequent F-bombs dropped by Wiz AND Adam.    Maroon 5 comes across as so soft, this single is edgier than anything they've released and I think it's a great move!    The action movie, bank robbery/chase scenes don't make a lot of sense but the video is a lot of fun like any good Saturday afternoon popcorn movie!
 

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