Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 1-31-24

The first artist fan club I ever joined was that of KC and the Sunshine Band. I received a membership card and a Christmas card from the band when that holiday I don’t celebrate came around. I don’t think there was more to it. I joined Olivia Newton-John’s fan club a year or two later, and received a membership card and a folio filled with photos of Livvy pressed on cardboard of various sizes. Years later I joined the R.E.M. and Pearl Jam fan clubs, which came with 45 rpm records and stickers and a calendar and a VHS tape and some other fun stuff. 

Are any of y’alls in an artist’s fan club? Is it worth the price of entry? 

KC was born Harry Wayne Casey on this date in 1951. A handful of his group’s songs are included on today’s playlist. Also included is his first number one single – as a songwriter with fellow Sunshine Band member Rick Finch on George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby.”

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 1985

The year 1985 was a remarkable one for music, as it showcased a variety of genres, styles, and influences. From pop to rock, from synth to soul, from rap to reggae, the music of 1985 reflected the diversity and creativity of the artists and the listeners. Whether it was the catchy melodies, the powerful lyrics, or the innovative sounds, the music of 1985 had something for everyone.

One of the most notable trends of 1985 was the emergence of new wave and synth-pop, which dominated the charts and the airwaves. Artists like Tears for Fears, a-Ha, Simple Minds, and The Cure blended synthesizers, guitars, and drums to create catchy and memorable songs that captured the mood and the spirit of the times. Songs like “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, “Take On Me”, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, and “Close to Me” became anthems for a generation that was looking for fun, freedom, and adventure.

Another trend of 1985 was the influence of dance and disco, which brought energy and excitement to the music scene. Artists like Madonna, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, and Sade combined dance beats, catchy hooks, and sensual vocals to create songs that made people want to move and groove. Songs like “Into the Groove”, “Relax”, “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”, and “Smooth Operator” became hits that defined the style and the attitude of the era.

A third trend of 1985 was the resurgence of rock and roll, which showed the diversity and the versatility of the genre. Artists like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Dire Straits, and The Smiths demonstrated their musical skills, their lyrical talents, and their artistic visions. Songs like “Born In The U.S.A.”, “Raspberry Beret”, “Money For Nothing”, and “How Soon Is Now” became classics that showcased the range and the depth of rock music.

A fourth trend of 1985 was the rise of social awareness and activism, which inspired many artists to use their music as a platform for change and charity. Artists took part in USA For Africa and Band Aid to raise funds and awareness for famine relief.

The music of 1985 was a year of diversity and innovation, as it offered a wide range of musical experiences and expressions. The playlist below features some of the best songs of 1985, which represent the different trends and influences of the year. Enjoy the music and relive the memories of 1985!

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Tunes Du Jour Presents Power Pop

If you’re looking for a genre of music that combines catchy melodies, energetic guitars, and irresistible hooks, look no further than power pop. Power pop is a style of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s, influenced by the British Invasion, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys. Power pop songs are typically short, upbeat, and radio-friendly, with lyrics that often deal with love, romance, and youth.

In this playlist, I’ve compiled some of the best examples of power pop from different decades and countries, featuring both classic and modern bands. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or just curious, I hope you’ll enjoy these tunes as much as I do.

## The Pioneers

The oldest track on the playlist is “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles, one of the earliest and most influential power pop songs. The Beatles were a huge inspiration for many power pop bands, especially with their use of harmonies, guitar riffs, and catchy choruses. Other tracks from this era include “Go All the Way” by Raspberries, “Day After Day” by Badfinger, and “September Gurls” by Big Star, all of which showcase the power pop sound of the 1970s.

## The Revival

Also on the playlist are some of the bands that revived the power pop genre in the late 1970s and early 1980s, adding elements of new wave, punk, and glam rock. Some of the highlights are “My Sharona” by the Knack, “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick, “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors, and “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. These songs are full of energy, attitude, and fun, and they still sound fresh today.

## The Moderns

The last part of the playlist brings us closer to the present day, with some of the contemporary bands that have kept the power pop spirit alive. These include “Buddy Holly” by Weezer, “Bohemian Like You” by the Dandy Warhols, “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne, and “California” by Phantom Planet. These bands have added their own twists to the power pop formula, incorporating influences from alternative rock, indie pop, and grunge.

## The Conclusion

Power pop is a genre that has endured for over 50 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a genre that celebrates the joy of music, the thrill of love, and the excitement of life. It’s a genre that makes you want to sing along, dance, and smile. It’s a genre that I love, and I hope you do too.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 1-22-24

“I’ll give you a million dollars to go and record another album. This is not happening, this is shit.”-         The initial reaction of Doug Morris, then-president of Atlantic Records, after listening to what became INXS’s Kick album 

The late Michael Hutchence of INXS was born on this date in 1960. A handful of the group’s songs are included on today’s playlist.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 2002

The year 2002 was a turbulent one for the world, marked by wars, terrorism, scandals, and natural disasters. But it was also a year of creativity, innovation, and diversity in music. From hip-hop to rock, from pop to indie, from dance to folk, the music of 2002 reflected the mood and spirit of the times, offering both escapism and commentary, both nostalgia and novelty, both challenge and comfort.

One of the most dominant genres of the year was hip-hop, which reached new heights of popularity and influence. Eminem’s Lose Yourself became an anthem of determination and resilience, while Missy Elliott’s Work It showcased her inventive and playful style. Nelly’s Hot in Herre was a summer smash, while Clipse’s Grindin’ introduced a minimalist and gritty sound. Tweet and Missy Elliott’s Oops (Oh My) was a sensual and empowering ode to self-love, while Truth Hurts and Rakim’s Addictive sampled a Bollywood song and sparked a controversy. Cam’ron’s Oh Boy featured a catchy sample of Rose Royce’s I’m Going Down, while Khia’s My Neck, My Back (Lick It) was a raunchy and explicit hit.

Rock music also had a strong presence in 2002, with a variety of styles and sounds. Elvis Presley’s A Little Less Conversation (JXL Edit) was a remix of a 1968 song that became a worldwide hit, thanks to its inclusion in a Nike commercial. Avril Lavigne’s Complicated was a pop-rock anthem for the rebellious and misunderstood youth, while Coldplay’s In My Place was a melancholic and soaring ballad. The Strokes’ Hard to Explain was a garage rock revival, while Wilco’s Jesus, Etc. was a country-rock masterpiece. Interpol’s Obstacle 1 was a post-punk gem, while Spoon’s The Way We Get By was a catchy and quirky indie rock tune. The Libertines’ What a Waster was a punk rock blast, while Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising was a tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11.

Pop music also had its share of hits and surprises in 2002, with some old and new faces. Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty was a provocative and edgy reinvention, while Beyonce’s Work It Out was a funky and soulful solo debut. Brandy’s What About Us was a futuristic and sleek R&B track, while No Doubt’s Hella Good was a disco and rock fusion. Bjork’s Pagan Poetry was a haunting and experimental song, while Las Ketchup’s Asereje was a catchy and silly novelty. Alanis Morissette’s Hands Clean was a confessional and catchy pop-rock song, while Rufus Wainwright’s Across the Universe was a beautiful and faithful cover of the Beatles classic.

Some of the most memorable songs of 2002 were not easily categorized, but rather blended genres and styles. Sugababes’ Freak Like Me was a mash-up of Adina Howard’s Freak Like Me and Gary Numan’s Are ‘Friends’ Electric?, creating a pop and electro masterpiece. The Flaming Lips’ Do You Realize?? was a psychedelic and uplifting song, while X-Press 2’s Lazy was a house and spoken word collaboration with David Byrne. The Streets’ Weak Become Heroes was a rap and piano tribute to rave culture, while Doves’ There Goes The Fear was a rock and electronic epic.

The music of 2002 was a reflection of the year itself: diverse, unpredictable, exciting, and sometimes challenging. It was a year of contrasts and surprises, of highs and lows, of old and new. It was a year that gave us some of the most memorable songs of the 21st century, and a year that we can revisit through this playlist. Enjoy!

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Tunes Du Jour Presents The Everly Brothers

Don and Phil Everly were rock and roll pioneers, combining elements of different musical traditions and creating a distinctive sound that inspired generations of artists. Their songs are timeless classics, full of emotion and harmony.

The Everly Brothers started their musical career singing with their parents on the radio in the 1940s. They learned the art of close harmony singing from their father, Ike, who was a master of the thumbpicking guitar style of western Kentucky. They also absorbed influences from the folk, country, and blues music of their region, as well as from the pop and R&B hits of the day. They began writing and recording their own songs in 1956, and soon caught the attention of Chet Atkins, who helped them get a deal with Cadence Records. Their first hit, “Bye Bye Love”, written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, was released in 1957 and reached No. 1 on the country and pop charts. It was followed by a string of hits, many of them also written by the Bryants, such as “Wake Up Little Susie”, “All I Have to Do Is Dream”, and “Bird Dog”. The Everly Brothers’ songs captured the joys and sorrows of teenage life, with catchy hooks, witty lyrics, and expressive vocals.

In 1960, the Everly Brothers moved to Warner Bros. Records, where they had more creative freedom and control. They wrote some of their own songs, such as “Cathy’s Clown” and “When Will I Be Loved?”, and also recorded songs by other writers, such as “Let It Be Me” and “Crying in the Rain,” the latter being the third top ten pop songwriting credit for Carole King. They experimented with different sounds and styles, incorporating elements of rockabilly, country, and pop. The Everly Brothers’ music was influential to many artists, especially in the 1960s, when the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, and many others cited them as an inspiration.

The Everly Brothers’ legacy is undeniable and enduring. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Musicians Hall of Fame. They have received numerous awards and honors, such as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Trustees Award, and the BMI Icon Award. They have sold over 80 million records worldwide, and have had over 30 top 40 hits.

If you are a fan of the Everly Brothers, or if you want to discover their music for the first time, I invite you to listen to this playlist that I have curated. It includes some of their most popular and memorable songs, as well as some of their lesser-known gems. I hope you enjoy the Everly Brothers’ harmony and history, and appreciate their contribution to music.