Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope you all enjoy spending quality time with your families, and y'all get what you want!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
For my final day of the week of my Old School Video Focus, what better artist to finish off than with the King of Pop? Honestly, when picking a MJ video, it's hard to pick my favorite. Picking Michael Jackson videos is like trying to pick my favorite Ken Griffey Jr. catch, or my favorite Miles Davis album, in that it's hard to pick a favorite because they are all so great. I decided on "Rock With You", because it is my favorite MJ song off my favorite album of his. It's not necessarily his best video, per se (that would more likely go to "Thriller"), but it brings a smile to my face every time I watch this. Gotta love the sparkled outfit and the boots! Written by Rod Temperton (the great songwriter from Heatwave...I plan on featuring a post solely on his songs in the near future), here is "Rock With You".
Thursday, December 15, 2011
"Old School Video Focus" is turning into "Old School Hip Hop Video Focus", as I'm slowly realizing that a lot of my favorite videos are of the late 70's/early 80's hip hop variety. Today, I'm featuring Super-Wolf, and the track "Super-Wolf Can Do It". Say what you want about Sugar Hill Records (and there have been a lot of negative press regarding how the Robinson's treated their artists, but that's a whole other story), they had an ear for music, an eye for talent, and a vision on how to market their product. Sugar Hill Records helped bring hip hop to the masses. Before the Robinson's and Sugar Hill Records, hip hop was just an underground street/NYC thing, but songs like Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", and Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" helped bring the genre of hip hop into the public eye, and for that, Sugar Hill Records should be commended. Anyway, I don't know anything of the artist Super-Wolf, but I dig the song, of which I first heard it after buying The Sugar Hill Records Story box set. Check it out! Super-Wolf Can Do It!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
R.I.P. Heavy D.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
|Kool & The Gang|
|Earth, Wind, & Fire|
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
|Blurred snapshot of a portion of my cd collection|
|Blurred snapshot of a small selection of my 45's|
The first track is the title track off of jazz drummer Billy Cobham's 1975 release A Funky Thide of Sings. Great funky jazz, with some crazy synths and guitars included, the title track would've sounded perfect on a film straight from the 70's.
I'm a big Roy Ayers fan, so I was excited when I stumbled upon Cincinnati's own RAMP, and their only release, Come Into Knowledge. Come Into Knowledge was released in 1977, and Ayers produced this album, and wrote some of the songs as well. "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" is one of my favorite tracks by RAMP.
I picked up a classic hip hop album by Oakland's Souls of Mischief, 93 'Til Infinity. Released in 1993, I don't know how I slept on those cats for so long, when I have most of the essential hip hop releases from the 90's. Somehow, 93 'Til Infinity has been on my list to buy for years but have never gotten the chance to do so. I decided to scoop it up and glad I did, as it's one of those staples of 90's essential hip hop albums, well worth picking up. Here's the track and video for "Never No More".
Lastly, I felt like including a James Brown track off of Black Caesar, which I actually picked up over a week ago while visiting Portland for the weekend. JB released his soundtrack to the blaxploitation flick Black Caesar in 1973. It seems as though every major soul artist was creating a soundtrack to a blaxploitation film during this time (Curtis Mayfield Superfly, Isaac Hayes Shaft, Marvin Gaye Trouble Man, Willie Hutch The Mack, and Edwin Starr Hell Up in Harlem, to name a few of the best), and Brown doesn't disappoint with this soundtrack. I have about a dozen James Brown albums, and have always wanted to pick up Black Caesar, so I was stoked to find this for $5. Very groove-heavy instrumentals, as much of James Brown's albums were during this time. Good stuff, though in terms of James Brown's 70's albums, I like The Payback, and In The Jungle Groove better.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Soul Excursions household is a big fan of anything Michael Jackson related, so anything by Jackson 5 (the first five albums up through Lookin' Through The Windows), The Jacksons (everything, with the exception of Victory), and early Michael Jackson (the Motown solo years through Thriller) is played anytime, and often. "Ben" is the track off of Michael's second solo album, and is played often in my household, as it is the song that helps soothe my 1 1/2 year old son to sleep. However, one of my favorite tracks from The Jacksons is "Blame it on the Boogie" off of Destiny. You can tell MJ and company were beginning to perfect that disco-soul sound, and "Blame it on the Boogie" doesn't disappoint. Somewhat of a precursor to "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" off of Off The Wall, released one year after The Jacksons Destiny album. Love the video too, as MJ always succeeded in his videos, from The Jacksons through his solo albums.
Regarding Eddie Holman's "Hey There, Lonely Girl", what else can I say about it other than it is perfect soul perfection, one of those perfect singles. The falsettos, the oohs and aahs backing vocals, and the lovely accompanying orchestration make this such a treat. Holman didn't record any other songs nearly as sublime as this.
Finally, I wanted to throw out something modern, which I rarely do these days. Recently dove into Jersey's own The One & Nines, as I recently listened to their recent 45 release "Tell Me/Make It Easy". Released in October 2011, The One & Nines almost sound as if they stumbled out of a Stax Records session in Memphis, which is partially true, as this 45 was recorded in Memphis. Stax influenced (I hear the keys come in on "Tell Me" and I'm reminded of Booker T and the MGs), yet also at the same time it also reminds me of Junior Walker (may be the driving horns), both "Tell Me" and "Make It Easy" work on a level where it appeals to the 60's/70's soul fan, yet they make it sound modern and original enough that it's interesting, and not the least bit retro-boring. Hopefully they make their way to Seattle in the near future! In the meantime, here's a youtube clip of them peforming "Tell Me" live.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
It's interesting to hear Leon Ware's version of it, later released on the remastered version of Musical Massage. Minnie Riperton sings with him on the track. I don't like it as much, even though I like both Ware and Riperton (together and individually as soul singers), mainly because nothing tops Marvin Gaye.
Here, My Dear is a brilliant Marvin Gaye album, possibly my second favorite of his behind What's Going On. Released in 1978, this album was released after the messy divorce from his first wife, Anna Gordy (Motown founder Berry Gordy's sister). In the divorce proceedings, the judge ordered Gaye to give the profits of his new album to his ex-wife. Hence, the title Here, My Dear. It's lyrically almost painfully too direct, while also bitter, sad, and tormented. However, the album also has moments where Gaye is getting as funky as he's ever been. Listen to "Anger", with the driven, funky percussion and guitar. It probably sounded somewhat out-of-place when released among the swirling sounds of disco on the radio during that time, as the funk of "Anger" almost sounds like an underground funk band from the early 70's. Good stuff!
I also love both of the albums Marvin Gaye recorded with Tammi Terrell, as well as some of his early singles from the 1960's, and even Trouble Man is a solid sountrack that Gaye released after What's Going On (his answer to Superfly and Shaft?) and is very underrated as well.
Monday, October 31, 2011
|Best Music Video Ever!|
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
|This was my jam at age 4, and still is to this day!|
Here's a clip off of his 1966 release, The George Benson Cookbook. Track is called "Slow Scene".
"JH Bossa Nova" is taken off of Benson's mid-60's release It's Uptown.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
One of my favorite Jazz organists is Jimmy McGriff. I featured him on an earlier post regarding the album Electric Funk. While I love that album, my favorite McGriff album is this:
I really dig Lonnie Liston Smith's organ work as well, and have some albums of his that I enjoy, like Expansions. However, some of my favorite organ work of Smith is off of Lou Donaldson's Alligator Bogaloo album.
Alligator Bogaloo is a great album, and truly an all-star affair that features Lonnie Liston Smith on organ, and a young George Benson on guitar. Released in 1967, here is the classic cut "Alligator Bogaloo" which shows Smith at his best on the organ. Of course, Lou Donaldson is in top form with his saxophone on this cut as well.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
|The Fat Boys in their hayday|
I'll contribute a more lengthy post later in the week when I have the time and energy, but in the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite videos of all time. Always a riot, The Fat Boys were the inspiration for my horribly attempted beatboxing back in the day as an impressionable 12 year old after seeing them for the first time on Yo! MTV Raps! many, many years ago. I still pull out the occasional Fat Boys track on a rare occasion...
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
|Dennis Coffey...One of the Funkiest White Boys Ever|
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I've been pulling out the soul 45's recently, and thought I'd feature three in particular that I have been playing on repeat for the past few weeks.
Friday, August 26, 2011
|Bruce Haack kickin' it with Mr. Rogers|
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Of course I can't include "Pais Tropical" without including the original by one of Brazil's finest, Jorge Ben:
I will probably feature a future post on Jorge Ben, who is one of my favorite singer-songwriters from the 60's and 70's, but wanted to conclude this post with another solid track off of the Rabbits & Carrots Soul Latino album, titled "Romeo y Julieta". Has this track been sampled by someone before? It sounded so familiar to me the first time I heard it, but couldn't recall. Anyway, good stuff!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I have a bunch of Baden Powell albums that are well worth listening to, especially from his On Guitar series, like Images on Guitar, Canto, or Tristeza, but Os Afro Sambas, is the masterpiece in Powell's catalog. Highly recommended!