Content tagged 'R&B'
"What's Love Got To Do With It" (Album of the Day)
Songwriters Terry Britten and Graham Lyle had offered “What's Love Got To Do With It” to singers including Cliff Richard, Donna Summer and Phyllis Hyman, but it's impossible to imagine anyone doing half of what Tina Turner did with it. In her hands, it was an anthem of survival and reinvention, embodying Tina's emergence from the shadow of Ike Turner and into the spotlight of MTV as a solo star. Released in May 1984, the track became the 44-year-old performer's first No.1 hit and earned three Grammy Awards, including Record and Song of the Year. Sparking a comeback that included the multi-platinum PRIVATE DANCER album and a Hollywood biopic that drew its name from the iconic single, Tina Turner's “What's Love Got To Do With It” will endure for as long as hearts can be broken.
The Boy Is Mine (Album of the Day)
A Jerry Springer Show episode about love triangles that Brandy saw on TV helped plant the seed for “The Boy Is Mine.” The singer had initially planned to cut the song of competitive romance as a solo recording before taking a cue from the 1982 collaboration between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. Fellow R&B hitmaker Monica signed on, creating a single (and video, costarring actor Mekhi Phifer) that ruled the airwaves in 1998. The track shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed there for a phenomenal 13 weeks - the first No.1 hit for either Brandy or Monica. The double-platinum duet was also a success with the critics; “The Boy Is Mine” earned three Grammy nominations including a win for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.
1999 (Album of the Day)
When Prince issued his first double album, he was far from a household name – but 1999 helped turn him into one. The breakthrough Warner Bros. set (the performer's fifth) made both his ambition and craftsmanship undeniable; while it featured extended tracks and wide-ranging lyrical concerns relative to previous releases, the collection also included hook-filled singles like “Delirious” and “Little Red Corvette,” which became the Purple One's first Top 10 single on this day in 1983. And though we're well past the year that the hit title song predicted would mean “party over,” the set's synth-driven electro-funk still runs at full power. Prince would soon go on to scale even greater heights, but 1999 assured his place in the music history books.
We Are Family (Album of the Day)
Sister Sledge already had a couple of studio sets under their belts when they released WE ARE FAMILY, but it was on that Cotillion collection that the quartet truly hit it out of the park. Thanks partially to its use as the theme song to the Pittsburgh Pirates' successful World Series run, the title track became a No.2 hit; and opener “He's the Greatest Dancer” also reached the Top Ten; the album itself went platinum on this day in 1979. Philadelphia siblings Kathy, Debbie, Joni and Kim Sledge harmonize like angels and each gets a chance to sing lead, and the sisters get a huge assist from Chic's Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, who wrote and produced these 8 tracks. Rodgers once declared that “pound for pound, I think WE ARE FAMILY is our best album hands down,” and it stands as not just Sister Sledge's finest, but one of the greatest long-players of the disco era.
Dock of The Bay Sessions (Album of the Day)
Soul great Otis Redding was on top of the world in 1967, and when he entered Memphis' Stax studio in the fall, he began to explore new musical directions. Tragically, those sessions were cut short after only a few weeks when the singer died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, leaving his vision for the album unrealized. Now in stores, Rhino's DOCK OF THE BAY SESSIONS is the first collection to show what could have been. Compiled with the Redding family's full endorsement by Roger Armstrong of Ace Records and Otis biographer Jonathan Gould, these 12 songs range from the driving R&B of “Hard To Handle” and “Love Man” to such heart-stopping ballads as “I've Got Dreams To Remember” and the title classic. Although the individual tracks have been previously released across posthumous compilations, they have a cumulative power on DOCK OF THE BAY SESSIONS, which captures the first indication of a new Otis Redding, one that wowed European audiences and brought the house down at the Monterey International Pop Festival.
Everything is Everything (Mono) (Album of the Day)
Donny Hathaway had established a reputation as a talented session pianist and arranger before he got the chance to cut his own album in 1970 – and it turned out he had a wonderful voice, too. Hathaway had grown up singing gospel and spent time working for Curtis Mayfield, and EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING displays both of those influences in Donny's moving performances and choice of material. The nine selections on the album are split between inspiring covers of songs like Nina Simone's “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” and such socially aware originals as “Tryin' Times” and “The Ghetto” (both co-written with Leroy Hutson, Mayfield's replacement in The Impressions). Donny Hathaway cut many fine records in his all-too-brief career, but this debut disc may well be his best.
SONG OF THE DAY - "Respect" (Album of the Day)
It took quite a singer to upstage Otis Redding, but Aretha Franklin managed to do it. Redding had written “Respect,” scoring a Top 40 single with it in 1965, but it was the Queen of Soul who transformed the song into an anthem two years later. Where the original was a plea from a tired working man, Aretha's version – with some subtle changes in lyrics and arrangement - was a demand for R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and became a rallying cry for both the civil rights and women's rights movements. Her iconic performance of “Respect” became a Billboard No.1 hit and has been named to both the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry; more recently it was given an orchestral setting on Franklin's A BRAND NEW ME album. In honor of African American Music Month, it's our Song Of The Day!
Ruth Brown (Album of the Day)
When Atlantic Records was called “the house that Ruth built,” it was not in tribute to the Yankee home-run hitter but to Ruth Brown, whose success was instrumental in establishing the New York-based label. The vocalist scored such R&B chart-toppers as “Teardrops from My Eyes,” “5-10-15 Hours,” “Oh What a Dream” and the immortal “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean” - all of which can be heard on RUTH BROWN. The 1957 album gathers 14 single sides waxed by Brown over the preceding eight years, making it something of a greatest hits set. The performer's brassy and occasionally bawdy singing is complemented by the swingin' sounds of some of Atlantic's top instrumentalists (including pianist John Lewis and guitarist Mickey Baker), and this music still delivers a knockout punch. Today we turn to Rock and Roll Hall of Famer RUTH BROWN to help us celebrate African American Music Month.
Soul Searching (Album of the Day)
Among the most unlikely exponents of funk in the 1970s, the Average White Band formed in Dundee, Scotland, and scored three Top 10 albums, the last of which was SOUL SEARCHING. The 1976 Atlantic set was produced by Arif Mardin, the label's master of sophisticated R&B, and features 11 originals including singles “Queen Of My Soul,” “A Love Of Your Own” and the title track. While none of them soared as high on the chart as “Pick Up The Pieces,” the collection is cited by many fans as their favorite, expanding on the group's trademark sound with some truly inspired improvisation. AWB co-founder Alan Gorrie celebrates a birthday today, and we'll wish him a happy one with SOUL SEARCHING.
SONG OF THE DAY - "Feel Like Makin' Love" (Album of the Day)
With a foot in both the '70s soul and singer-songwriter camps, Roberta Flack was among the decade's most popular and distinctive artists, and in 1974 “Feel Like Makin' Love” became the performer's third No.1 hit in as many years. Penned by Eugene McDaniels and produced by Flack under the pseudonym Rubina Flake, the Atlantic single became the title track of Roberta's fifth solo album and earned three Grammy nominations (Record of the Year among them) as well as an R.I.A.A. Gold sales certification. The romantic ballad has been covered numerous times, by artists including D'Angelo and George Benson, but Flack's simmering original remains definitive, and it's our Song of the Day.