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Genki Hikari

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Member since: Sat Sep 24, 2022, 01:06 AM
Number of posts: 1,766

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Luckiest Music Generation: Seals & Croft - Hummingbird

I'm having a bad diabetes day, so this will be a short post.

Today's song is about some B'nai Brith religious icon, but, despite that, it's still a gorgeous tune. Try getting something like this playing on a modern Top 40 station today.

Won't happen.

Luckiest Music Generation: Santana - Oye Como Va

It speaks for itself:

And, just because it wasn't a top 40 tune, but is still my favorite Santana song and performance, I'll throw in this bonus video, with the FULL Michael Shreve drum solo.




And he was all of, what, 20, 21 at the time?

Edited to add the correct video. Don't know how I got the wrong one in there.

Luckiest Music Generation: Bruce Hornsby - The Way It Is

Because it's as relevant today as it was in 1986:

Luckiest Music Generation: Curtis Mayfield - Get Down

One of the weird things about growing up as a dumb white kid in the South is that we actually have good access to black culture, if we're willing to make the effort to appreciate what's right there.

I don't know about now, but, back in the day, most middling Southern towns had a "black" station that played all the cool stuff that was popular in the black community, but somehow stuck in the lower reaches of the usual Billboard Top 100. So kinda popular with white people...but not.

Yet we dumb hicks could get what was burning up the R&B charts, without even having to live in an urban area.

Curtis Mayfield in the early 70s, when I was really getting into music, was one of THE big stars on the old black AM station in my town. Most white people only knew him for "Freddy's Dead," but then there was the rest of his catalog that sorta got ignored outside of the black community. Incredible stuff like this amazing, funky tune that could have been huge on Top 40, if given better air play:

Bonus: The line dance to "Get Down" on a memorable episode of Soul Train:

You can tell this is 1971 by the hot pants and shortness of the women's dresses. And holy cow, but Don Cornelius's jacket is EVERYTHING that was so-bad-it's-good 70s fashion.

Luckiest Music Generation: Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter

The song that turned out to be a signal that the 60s were, if not dead, then getting there in a hurry. It sums up how just plain tired everyone was from long years of war, protest and chaos--they wanted shelter from the storm. Literally.

"Gimme Shelter" also has the all-time greatest guest vocal from Merry Clayton, who got hauled out of bed in the middle of the night--curlers in her hair and 4 months pregnant, to do a last-minute recording session. Even her voice cracking twice only makes the intensity and desperation in the lyrics downright harrowing, driving home the song's message with electrifying power. She took a good RS song into the land of the epic with her bravura performance.

I had to include Ms Clayton's look back on her achievement:

That's from the documentary film, Twenty Feet from Stardom, focusing on legendary backup singers. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? Get it and watch it. NOW.

Luckiest Music Generation: The Miracles - (I'm Just a) Love Machine

Yeah, it's silly and not terribly deep, but the harmonies are dang good. Not bad dance moves, either.

I also needed the laugh, and the hot pink suits and tacky 70s decor of this video always does that for me.

Luckiest Music Generation: England Dan & John Ford Coley - Love Is the Answer

Todd Rundgren composed the song. England Dan & John Ford Coley threw in a gospel-esque choral bridge, performed by the Jim Gilstrap Singers, and took it somewhere entirely new and epic.

A good cover of an already-lovely Rundgren tune.

Luckiest Music Generation: Chicago - Just You and Me

I'm afraid to say much on DU these days, after getting dinged for telling the truth, and being called a peddler of right wing smears on top of it. When I did no such thing.

So I'll just leave this here, and let people say whatever they want about it.

Luckiest Music Generation: Fleetwood Mac - Tusk

A song that needs a good sound system or headphones to pick up all its nuances. Getting high to it adds another dimension to the experience.

For about a three month stretch in 1979-1980, my brother's live-in girlfriend would start her weekend by putting the album on the record player, donning her headphones, and firing up a doobie. Not sure why that album every Friday, but that was her thing.


And for those who find such things interesting, the original music video for Tusk:

Sound quality isn't bad. Just not all that great.

Luckiest Music Generation: INXS - The One Thing

So I'm at home one Saturday morning in 1983, I wake up hungover from a party the night before, and not sure if I'm alive or dead. The only positive is that it's Saturday, and, for once, I'm not scheduled for my retail hell job. I decide that since it's noon or close to it, maybe I need to get with the living. I brew up some coffee, fire up a Marlboro 100 (I know, nasty habit), and turn on the TV in my bedroom. American Bandstand is on. Crap--Not this nonsense. Wait. It's Rate-a-Record, and I need the laugh of seeing if the cliche tradition of the "can't dance to it" standard would hold.

I don't remember if it were the first or second song played, but one of the Rate-a-Record tunes that day was "The One Thing" by INXS, an entirely unknown group at the time, at least in the US. I thought the song was better than anything AB usually played during this era, but of course the two nitwit raters hated it and gave it super-low marks. "Can't dance to it" scored again!

Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and I was again sitting before my TV hungover with a smoke and a cup of coffee, but this time as I took a few minutes' breather before having to go to work. AB is on again, and, lo and behold, what comes on during the regular part of the show was this tune. Dick Clark had the decency to announce that the song had tanked on Rate-a-Record, but was now burning its way up the Top 40. Best laugh I had all month.

Still like the song. Still love Tim Farris's iconic guitar riff. Still ADORE the sex on two legs that was Michael Hutchence (RIP). Still appreciate the video's blatant tribute to the eating-as-foreplay scene from the 1963 film, Tom Jones.

What's not to love, still?

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