Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-12-22

Today’s playlist celebrates the October 12 birthdays of The Temptations’ Melvin Franklin, The Damned’s Dave Vanian, Sam & Dave’s Sam Moore, The Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio, Jane Siberry, Luciano Pavarotti, and New Boyz’ Dominic “Legacy” Thomas; and the October 13 birthdays of Simon & Garfunkel’s Paul Simon, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, Chicago’s Robert Lamm, Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna, BTS’s Jimin, John Ford Coley, Lumidee, Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar, Dorothy Moore, Cherrelle, The Joy Formidable’s Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan, Marie Osmond, Ashanti, New Boyz’ Ben J, and Joe Dolce.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 8-24-22

Today’s playlist celebrates the August 24 birthdays of The Shamen’s Colin Angus, King Krule, Jackie Brenston, Wynonie Harris, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Mason Williams, and Jimmy Soul; and the August 25 birthdays of Elvis Costello, Public Enemy’s Terminator X, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Kiss’s Gene Simmons, The O’Jays’ Walter Williams, Weather Report’s Wayne Shorter, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Digital Underground’s Shock G, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Korgis’ James Warren, Felix da Housecat, Jan Delay, Willy DeVille, composer Leonard Bernstein, K7, and John Savage.

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A Public Enemy Playlist

In some ways Public Enemy’s Chuck D is the Eric Clapton of hip hop. Both are very talented guys who espoused bigoted points of view and spread hatred toward those of populations different than theirs. Eric Clapton said “Get the coons out. Keep Britain white.” Chuck D said about gay people “I think they’re a little confused” and supports the anti-Semitism espoused by his fellow Public Enemy member Professor Griff and Louis Farrakhan. (For more on the Clapton’s racism, check out http://www.tunesdujour.com/eric-clapton-england-is-for-white-people/. For more on Chuck D’s homophobia and anti-Semitism, check out http://www.tunesdujour.com/public-enemy-dont-tell-me-that-you-understand-until-you-hear-the-men/.) In his autobiography Clapton wrote that the lesson he learned after all the pushback he received on his comments was “Since then I have learned to keep my opinions to myself.” Two things about that: 1) I think there was a bigger lesson for him to learn, and 2) He made the news in 2021 by speaking out AGAINST measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Chuck D went on to co-host a morning show on satellite radio alongside Rachel Maddow. I don’t know if that counts as a mea culpa. Though I have a low opinion of Chuck D (and anybody from an oppressed population that seeks to further oppress those from other oppressed populations), I do enjoy Public Enemy’s first four albums. Hear highlights of their career below. I completely understand if you don’t wish for someone who said such horrible things to make money from your music streaming. I rationalized this for myself by acknowledging that Spotify pays hardly anything per stream and my blog playlists don’t get much traffic.

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A Martin Luther King Day Playlist

“You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963

“He had a dream now it’s up to you to see it through, to make it come true” – “King Holiday”

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Throwback Thursday: 1988

Nineteen eighty eight was, on the US pop music chart, one of those in-between years. The “New Wave” British invasion had greatly subsided and England wasn’t as much of a presence on the charts as it was a few years earlier. Rap was increasing in popularity and hitting the top 40 more frequently, though it was still a far cry from the dominant position it holds today. Of the hip hop song’s on today’s playlist, only two made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 – LL Cool J’s “Goin’ Back to Cali,” which peaked at #31, despite selling a million copies, and Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two,” which peaked at #36, despite selling two million copies. Alternative music lived up to its genre name as an alternative to the music on the pop chart, so if you wanted to hear Sonic Youth or The Dead Milkmen or The Primitives, you had to tune into college radio or the stations on the left side of your FM dial. Those artists, alongside U2, R.E.M. and INXS, could be found on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart, which premiered in September of 1988. New Jack Swing tracks from artists such as Keith Sweat remained popular on Black radio and crossed over, while Black artists such as Tracy Chapman and Living Colour failed to make much of an impression on Black radio. So-called Hair Metal was a presence on the pop chart; grunge would help fix that in a few years. Configuration-wise, CDs outsold vinyl LPs for the first time in 1988, though cassettes outsold both.

Here are thirty of 1988’s finest:

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