Disco took another hit this week with the death of Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, one of the biggest Disco acts of all time. He passed away yesterday due to cancer at the age of 62. The Bee Gees are known for their impeccable harmonies and accessible brand of Disco. They have sold over 100 million records and in a 2 year span in the late 70s racked up 6 consecutive #1 singles.
Some of their hits include “You Should Be Dancing”, “Stayin’ Alive”, “More Than A Woman”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Emotion” and more. Some of those hits come from the 70s Disco film “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta. The soundtrack for the movie won Album of the Year at the Grammys in 1979. They also starred in the 1978 film adaptation of the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, which had a little “Abbey Road” thrown in for good measure.
As I write this post I am listening to the Bee Gees and realizing how many great hits they had and how Disco got a really bad wrap over the years. Between the death of Donna Summers and now Robin Gibb, I’ve been listening to more Disco than usual and it’s hard to not get caught up in these awesome, funky Disco grooves. What can I say, I got Disco fever!!! A lot of us did at some point and that is due in large part to the Bee Gees and Donna Summer, of which we have been dealt two loses from in one week. R.I.P. Robin Gibb.
And my #1 favorite album out of my 50 favorite albums of the 00’s is of course the double album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” by OutKast.
I wanted to share two lesser known songs from the albums, “Ghettomusick” from “Speakerboxxx” and “Prototype” from “The Love Below”. I have said it many times before but, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” is one of the most expansive, catchy, creative and easily one of my favorite albums of all time. It was wildly popular, successful and well reviewed. It sold over 10 million copies and won Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2004, making it only one of two Hip-Hop albums to ever win that honor. The other being Lauryn Hill with “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. These two songs may not have been as popular as their other hits from the albums, “Hey Ya!”, “The Way You Move” & “Roses”, but they are equal in quality as is every other song off the albums. Do you have a favorite song from the albums that wasn’t a single? Please share.
So I’ve been meaning to share this song for a while now, since I did my top 5 Rappers of all time countdown, a few weeks back. If you don’t already know, The Dungeon Family is a supergroup that consists of OutKast, Goodie Mob, Sleepy Brown and many other awesome southern Rappers and Producers. This group of Rappers, Singers and Producers are all legends in their own right. They formed back in the early 90s and changed the face of southern Rap as well as music in general. The most notable members from The Dungeon Family are of course, Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast and Cee-Lo of Goodie Mob, who is now a coach of the hit TV show, The Voice. They have numerous awards between them, including many Grammys. I’m not sure how many, but I’m sure its at least a dozen, including one for Album of the Year in 2004 for OutKast’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”. The song of the day, “Trans DF Express” is the single from their awesome collaborative album, “Even In Darkness” that came out just over 10 years ago, back in 2001. So grab your ticket and hop on the Trans DF Express!!!
Every once in a while, for whatever reason, old songs/artists that you haven’t heard from in a long time, reemerge out of the blue and all of a sudden you start hearing them and seeing them wherever you go. I’ve been hearing Alanis Morissette songs on the radio a lot lately and oddly enough soon after that she became a guest vocal coach on the hit singing TV show, The Voice. Isn’t that ironic? Don’t you think? In particular, I’ve been hearing her song “Ironic” from her Grammy for Album of the Year winning album, “Jagged Little Pill”. Which I also ironically enough listened to in the last month (before I started hearing her on the radio again and before she ever popped up on The Voice) because I was building up to last months Grammy Awards by listened to every Grammy winning album for Album of the Year, save a few that I couldn’t get via Spotify and/or didn’t own myself. A little toooooo ironic. Yeah, I really do think. So today’s song of the day is, what do you know, Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”.
Number 3 on my top 5 favorite rappers of all time is Kanye West. The song of the day is his debut single “Through The Wire”, which is still one of my favorite songs of his. Say what you want about him and his antics, but he’s SUPER talented and yes, a musical genius. He probably deserved one of those Grammys for Album of the Year for one of his three albums that were nominated too. He produces all of his own music as well as the music of many other artists and he also has a crazy, sick flow, to boot!!! He is one of the few music artists, in general (not just in Rap) that is making real music, with feeling, from his soul and actually has something of value to say. He’s also willing to take risks and be different, which, to me, is one of the most valuable characteristics an artists can have. Check back tomorrow for my #2 Rapper of all time.
As I said yesterday I originally didn’t want to post a Whitney Houston video, as to not be another outlet adding to the barrage of Whitney coverage and music, but I think that she was a great talent and deserves to be showcased on Volume 11. So today’s song of the day is her song “Run To You” from her hit film and Grammy winning album “The Bodyguard”. The album won Album of the Year in 1994. This is a beautiful song with a video consisting almost exclusively of a beautiful close up of her and a pretty fitting scene, now that she has passed away, of her running in the clouds. R.I.P. Whitney.
I had A LOT of trouble deciding what to make today’s song of the day. Originally I was gonna post a Gnarls Barkley song and ended up surfing Youtube for Pussycat Dolls songs because Cee-Lo wrote and sings background vocals in their hit song, “Dont Cha” and the video suggester in Youtube lead me to that, from Gnarls Barkley, which then led me to listen to the will.i.am produced and featured track “Beep” also by the Pussycat Dolls, which led me to Spotify to listen to one more Pussycat Dolls song. Yea, I know, it’s pretty shameful how much Pussycat Dolls I just listened too, but I always say, I listen to EVERYTHING. Then I was going to post a Whitney Houston song, because I realized that with my Grammy series of songs of the day last week, I never got a chance to do that, but then I got worried that maybe it might be overkill with all the news and radio play she’s gotten in the last week. Although it’s all deserving. Now I’m thinking I should share my favorite song by her. You know what? I’ll do that tomrrow. But with all the confusion over what song to share today, I just said screw it, I’m gonna share one of my own songs. I recorded this song “Just Like That” about 5 years ago when I used to rap. I rapped it over a Chromeo instrumental track. My Rap name was DanMar and this is the last song I ever recorded. Although I’m working on getting back on my musical path and learning to play guitar and make my own music, not really rap anymore, but write and sing my own songs. This is one of my favorites of mine and one of my most fun and upbeat songs. What do you guys think it?
Today’s song(s) of the day (a threefer, if you will) and the final 2012 Grammy performance I’d like to share is Paul McCartney’s Abbey Road Medley which consists of “Golden Slumbers”, “Carry That Weight” and “The End”. I’ve seen him perform this live and boy was it amazing!!! This was another great performance of it. I can never get enough of The Beatle’s Abbey Road, especially not the second half of the album that includes these songs. I very much enjoyed everyone from Dave Grohl to Bruce Springsteen trading guitar licks at the end on “The End”. And it doesn’t get any better than the final line. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
I had trouble again finding just the right video to share of another of the great performances from Sunday night’s Grammys for today’s song of the day. I wanted just the song “Princess of China” at first, but realized I couldn’t just get that, so I tried to get the full performance with Rihanna performing her song “We Found Love” then leading into RiRi (Rihanna) and Coldplay performing “Princess of China” together and finally closing with just Coldplay playing “Paradise”, but I couldn’t find that video either. I did however find “Princess of China” and “Paradise” in one video for a dual song of the day. I’m not much of a fan of RiRi, but I am a big fan of Coldplay and I thought this was a pretty good performance. It wasn’t over the top. It was simple, yet colorful and well executed by both Rihanna and Coldplay. Check it out.
In continuing with the 5 days of 2012 Grammys performances, I would like to share Jennifer Hudson’s performance and Whitney Houston tribute of “I Will Always Love You” as today’s song of the day. Jennifer Hudson did a beautiful job. The performance was heartfelt and moving. It was simple, which was good because it allowed everyone to reflex upon the lose the music world had felt only the day prior. Whitney Houston was such a talented vocalist and it’s very hard to top her performance of “I will Always Love You”, but Jennifer Hudson did a great job. R.I.P. Whitney Houston.