Ringo + Lizards

It’s Black Friday And I Need To Dance!

What do people want more than anything else? Love, perhaps. When songwriter/Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. asked “What do people want most?,” his writing partner Janie Bradford answered “Money. That’s what I want.”

A song was born, a classic that became the first hit for Gordy’s Motown Records, with singer Barrett Strong taking “Money (That’s What I Want)” to #23 in 1960.

Ringo + Lizards
Twenty years after Strong hit with it, UK band The Flying Lizards took a cover of “Money” to #50 on the US pop chart. Their version also made the dance chart. It kicks off Tunes du Jour’s weekly dance party.


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It’s Pete Shelley’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

In 1981, Pete Shelley reached #14 on the US Dance chart with “Homosapien,” a keyboard-centric single that sounded much different than his work as the lead singer of punk band The Buzzcocks.

“Homosapien” did not get much airplay in Shelley’s native England, as the BBC took exception to the lyric “Homo superior in my interior.” Shelley said the song was not intended as a “gay song;” rather, it’s about homosapiens falling in love with other homosapiens. That may be so, but the opening line is “I’m the shy boy, you’re the coy boy / And you know we’re homosapien, too,” so there is more than a little homo in this sapien.

Shelley lives as the homosapien of his song, eschewing labels because “there doesn’t seem to be a word for ‘having relationships with people,’” regardless of gender, which is where Shelley sees himself.

It’s Friday and I need to dance! It’s also Pete Shelley’s birthday (he’s 60), so we’ll kick off our dance party with “Homosapien.”

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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

“I go through stages of intense dislike for ‘Blue Monday,’ which I’m sure every group does when they get one song they’re synonymous with, but the way it keeps getting reinvented is wonderful. It seems to be one of those tracks that’s timeless, which is amazing. We were using technology which could have dated like other ’80s stuff, but somehow we managed to swerve it. Was that deliberate? No, everything we do is by accident. The fact that for two years no one spotted that the sleeves cost more to make than the records confirms this. I honestly thought ‘Thieves Like Us,’ the single after ‘Blue Monday,’ was far superior. ‘Blue Monday’’s not a song, it’s a feeling, but once people hear that drum riff they’re off. People used to go mad when we didn’t play it. We had a fight onstage with a DJ in Nottingham once because we wouldn’t play it – which was a very New Order thing to do. As you get older and mellower you appreciate what got you where you are. We play it now because people love it.” – Peter Hook of New Order, 2003, in Q magazine, which named “Blue Monday” one of the best songs ever

Peter Hook turns 59 today. Tunes du Jour kicks off our weekly dance party with “Blue Monday.”

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It’s Friday and I Need To Dance!

I love to dance. I also love to eat and to sleep, but I really love to dance. It is my favorite activity. Yes, I like it even more than swimming. If the music is right I can go for hours at a time. In the early nineties, while living in New York City, I would go dancing almost every weekend. Those weekends when I wasn’t at a club I’d be dancing in my living room. Being that I lived in a 200 square foot apartment, my living room also served as my bedroom, den, and dance studio.

Every Friday, Tunes Du Jour will publish a dance playlist. Play it loud and get down, whether in your living room, bedroom, den, dance studio, on a bus, in the waiting room of your ophthalmologist’s office or at the dog park. It’s a great way to welcome the weekend.

Being today is the birthday of Tina Weymouth, a founding member of both Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, we will spotlight some of her work. Our party kicks off with “Wordy Rappinghood,” a UK million-seller that topped the dance chart in the US in early 1982.