Tag Archives: Stevie Nicks

20 Duets

Duets. Twenty of ’em.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Throwback Thursday – 1980

Winston + Blondie
In 1979, Giorgio Moroder, famous mostly for his production work on Donna Summer records, composed the score for the film American Gigolo. He asked Stevie Nicks to sing the movie’s theme song, for which Moroder wrote the music, but she had to decline for contractual reasons. He next turned to Deborah Harry of Blondie.

Harry write the lyrics to the song that became “Call Me,” the second #1 single for her band. Of her experience with Moroder, she told Billboard “He’s very nice to work with, very easy, (but) I don’t think he has a lot of patience with people who fool around or don’t take what they do seriously. I think he’s very serious about what he does and he’s intense and he’s a perfectionist and he’s very talented, so I think that people who are less talented or less concentrated bore him quickly…you really have to pay attention.”

Said Moroder of working with Blondie, “There were always fights. I was supposed to do an album with them after that. We went to the studio, and the guitarist was fighting with the keyboard player. I called their manager and quit.”

Moroder did end up working with Deborah Harry again years later on another soundtrack song, producing “Rush Rush” from Scarface, and in 2004 remixed Blondie’s single “Good Boys.”

Tunes du Jour’s Throwback Thursday playlist this week spotlights the best of 1980, kicking off with Blondie’s “Call Me.”

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Throwback Thursday – 1982

As a songwriter, Gloria Jones charted with Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “If I Were Your Woman,” the Four Tops’ “Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life),” and Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross’ “My Mistake (Was to Love You).” As a producer, Gloria Jones hit the top ten on the disco chart with Gonzalez’s “Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet.” But as a lead singer, Jones failed to make the pop, r&b or dance charts.

In 1973, while on a trip to the United States, British DJ Richard Searling purchased a copy of a Gloria Jones single from 1965. The A-side was a song called “My Bad Boy’s Comin’ Home,” but it was the B-side that really got Searling’s attention.

Northern soul music (uptempo American soul music in a sixties Motown vein yet without commercial success) had a large cult following in the northern England at that time, and Searling played the Gloria Jones b-side during his sets.

Northern soul fan David Ball loved the song. When he and his musical partner, Mark Almond, who together comprised the duo Soft Cell, were looking for a song to cover, they went with the Jones song, thinking it would be interesting for a synth band to cover a soul tune. Their record label asked them to add guitar, bass and drums to the track, but the duo refused. Despite this, the label put out the singer. Almond told Rolling Stone magazine “We thought if we were really lucky, we’d scrape into the top 75 in Britain. We didn’t think anything would happen over here [in the US].”

Soft Cell’s recording of “Tainted Love” became a smash worldwide. In the US, it spent 43 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, a record at that time. Said Gloria Jones of the Soft Cell recording “Their version was far better than mine.”

Winston + Soft Cell
This week, Tunes du Jour celebrates Throwback Thursday with twenty great tunes from 1982, kicking off with Soft Cell’s version of “Tainted Love,” but first, check out Gloria Jones’ original:

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Fleetwood Mac’s Twin Songs

The first single from Fleetwood Mac’s mega-smash album Rumours was “Go Your Own Way,” written by band guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The song is about Buckingham’s relationship and break-up with fellow Mac member Stevie Nicks.

While Nicks was not angry with Buckingham writing about their relationship, there was one lyric she wanted Lindsey to remove. She told Rolling Stone magazine “I very much resented him telling the world that ‘packing up, shacking up’ with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing that he said. Every time those words would come onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him. He knew it, so he really pushed my buttons through that. It was like, ‘I’ll make you suffer for leaving me.’ And I did.”

“Go Your Own Way” hit #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. For a follow-up single, the group released “Dreams,” Stevie Nicks’ take on her relationship with Lindsey. In the liner notes to the 2013 reissue of Rumours, Nicks writes “Even though “Go Your Own Way” was a little angry, it was also honest. So then I wrote ‘Dreams,” and because I’m the chiffony chick who believes in fairies and angels, and Lindsey is a hardcore guy, it comes out differently. Lindsey is saying go ahead and date other men and go live your crappy life, and Stevie is singing about the rain washing you clean. We were coming at it from opposite angles, but we were really saying the same exact thing.”

Today Lindsey Buckingham, then man who wrote Fleetwood Mac’s first top ten single (“Go Your Own Way”) and inspired their first #1 single (“Dreams”), turns 66 years old. Tunes du Jour presents twenty of his finest moments.

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Throwback Thursday – 1981

me before promThe blogger in 1981, before heading to the senior prom

For this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, we revisit 1981. The 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year went to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. The Best New Artist was Shena Easton. Record of the Year and Song of the Year went to “Bette Davis Eyes,” performed by Kim Carnes. Both Carnes and Easton were nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, along with Olivia Newton-John for “Physical” and Juice Newton for “Angel of the Morning,” but those ladies lost to Lena Horne for “WTF?”. Rick Springfield won Best Rock Performance, Male (naturally) for “Jessie’s Girl.” “Just the Two of Us,” the Grover Washington, Jr./Bill Withers hit, took home the trophy for Best Rhythm & Blues Song.

Here are some of 1981’s biggest hits:

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It’s Sheila E’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Prince wrote the song “The Glamorous Life” for the Apollonia 6 album. According to Apollonia, he wrote the song about her. Per Nilsen, who has written a couple of book about Prince, quotes Apollonia as saying “He used to make all these stupid jokes, ‘You’re the kind of chick who would wear a mink coat in the summertime.’ To this day I don’t have my own mink coat!”

Prince ended up giving the song to Sheila E. for her debut solo album. Prior to meeting Prince Sheila worked with Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Billy Cobham, Jeffrey Osborne, Con Funk Shun, and her dad, Pete Escovedo.

In 1984 “The Glamorous Life” hit #7 on the pop chart, #9 on the r&b chart, and #1 on the dance chart.

Ringo + Sheila E
Today Sheila E. turns 57 years old. We kick off our weekly dance party with her first hit single.

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It’s Tom Petty’s Birthday

Winston + Tom Petty
I recall reading an item about Tom Petty back in the early eighties that has stuck with me all these years. He and his wife were at a Florida park to have a picnic. They saw a gay group in the park. The group was being harassed by anti-gay folks. Tom Petty and his wife joined the gay picnic to show their solidarity.

I’ve spent the last hour scouring the internet for the details of this story, but I’ve had no luck. I’m confident my memory is correct of this having happened.

A couple of weeks ago I saw the movie Pride. Based on true events, the movie tells the story of a small group of gay rights activists who in England in 1984 raised money to help striking working-class miners. For a while many of the miners didn’t want to take “gay” money, just as many gay people didn’t want to donate to the miners’ cause, feeling their charity money should go to gay causes such as fighting AIDS and discriminatory laws.

I’m not going to get preachy and explain the lessons to be learned from these stories. Go see Pride. It’s a very good movie. And listen to Tom Petty, who turns 64 today.

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Celebrating Prince

Prince is second to The Beatles on my list of all-time favorite music artists. From the first time I heard “1999” on the radio in my dorm room at Brandeis University, I became obsessed and started collecting his albums and singles. Here are ten items from my Prince collection:

Prince memorabilia - I Wanna Be“I Wanna Be Your Lover” was Prince’s first US Top 40 hit, reaching #11 in 1980.

Prince memorabilia - Still Waiting“Still Waiting” is a track that appears on Prince’s self-titled second album, the same record that spawned “I Wanna be Your Lover.” It’s not his best track, but how cool is it that I have a promotional 12-inch single from Prince’s pre-superstar days?

me wearing t-shirtPrince’s 1999 album was released in October 1982, one month prior to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I remember taking the train to Harvard Square and buying both albums at the university bookstore. Shortly thereafter I bought a 1999 t-shirt, which I still have. Though I wear it regularly, its color hasn’t faded at all, there are no tears, and it fits me perfectly. Back then they made t-shirts of better quality. Kids today don’t know what good t-shirts are.

Prince memorabilia - Little Red CorvettePrince first US Top Ten single was 1983’s “Little Red Corvette.” The song is from his 1999 album, presently at #36 in my Top 100 Albums of All Time list. The song inspired Stevie Nicks to write “Stand Back,” on which Prince played keyboard.

Prince memorabilia - Delirious“Delirious,” also from 1999, was the follow-up to “Little Red Corvette” and also hit the top ten. The 45 came wrapped in a poster of Prince which had a calendar of the year 1999 on the other side.

Prince memorabilia - Purple Rain singles“When Doves Cry” was the first single released from the Purple Rain soundtrack, my #4 Album of All-Time. It became Prince’s first #1 single. It holds the distinction of being the only track without a bassline to go to #1 on the Dance Club chart. Like the album’s title track, the 45 was pressed on purple vinyl.

Me as PrinceMy Halloween costume in 1987 was Prince, inspired by his Parade: Music From The Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon period. That album, #38 on my Top Albums list, includes Prince’s third #1 pop single, “Kiss.” He wrote the song for the band Mazarati, who were signed to his Paisley Park label. When he heard what the band did with the song, he took it back, replacing the group’s lead vocals with his and adding a guitar lick. Some more trivia – the week “Kiss” went to #1, the #2 song in the US was “Manic Monday” by Bangles. Per that record, the writer of that song was “Christopher.” In actuality, Christopher was a pseudonym for Prince, who also wrote under the names Jamie Starr (The Time’s “Jungle Love”) and Alexander Nevermind (Sheena Easton’s “Sugar Walls”).

Prince memorabilia - autographOne afternoon in 1988 Prince did an impromptu autograph signing at the Sam Goodys a block away from my office. I told my boss I’d be right back and I wormed my way to the front of the line. He was there to promote his Lovesexy album, which includes “Alphabet St.” I already had the album (on its first day of release, of course!), so he signed a piece of stationery I took from my office.

Prince memorabilia - Batman“Batdance” was Prince’s fourth #1 single. It appears on his Batman soundtrack though was not used in the film. The CD of the Batman soundtrack was released in a tin case.

Prince memorabilia - Most BeautifulDuring one of his fights with Warner Bros. Records, Prince self-released a single of “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” which was available by mail order in an oversized greeting card.

Today, the seventh day of Black Music Month, Prince turns 56. I don’t think he celebrates his birthday due to his religious beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t. Here are twenty of his finest.


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In Which I Try To Look Like Stevie Nicks

Back in the good old days, Rhino Entertainment celebrated Halloween by ending the work day at 3 o’clock, at which time we would go to a karaoke bar for costume and singing contests. I aced both the year I went as Britney Spears. I think the snake I pulled out during “I’m a Slave 4 U” clinched it for me.

I reused the wig I bought for my Britney costume the following Halloween when I dressed up as Stevie Nicks. I found an inexpensive black lace skirt at the thrift shop near my home. I wore a large measuring spoon around my neck and applied some lipstick and called it a costume.

Not being a professional crossdresser (these were my only two times in drag; I can’t explain the other photos of my doing karaoke with wigs on), I paid no attention to things like makeup. I didn’t look in the mirror until hours after I got dressed. It was disappointing to see I looked nothing like Stevie Nicks. Nobody could figure out who I was supposed to be or if in fact I was in costume until we got to the karaoke portion of our day, when I killed “Gypsy” and “Stand Back.”

Nancy is upset because she looks like Stevie Nicks…

StevieI’m upset because I don’t.

Today the inspiring Stevie Nicks turns 66. Here is some of her best.

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#1 In Glenn’s Ten On This Day Throughout History

Today’s playlist is made up of songs that were at #1 in Glenn’s Ten on this day, in chronological order. A few of the songs are not on Spotify, so I’ll give you YouTube links so you may experience them.

Originally intended to be the b-side of a George Harrison single entitled “This Is Love,” supergroup Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle With Care” was my #1 on this day on 1988. Per the liner notes of this album’s reissue in 2007, the word “wilbury” came from a remark George Harrison made to producer Jeff Lynne about errors made while recording – “We’ll bury ’em in the mix.”

Despite referencing Santa in its title and being a December #1 in 1991, De La Soul’s “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa” in not a Christmas song. It’s about a girl seeking revenge on a sexually-abusive parent.

“I Got My Education” performed by New York house duo Uncanny Alliance was my #1 this day in 1992. It hit #2 on Billboard‘s dance chart. The duo released one album and neither member was ever heard from again.

My #1 on this day in 2005 was The White Stripes’ “Walking with a Ghost,” a cover of a song released just a few months earlier by Tegan and Sara.

Here are the other #1s from this day in Glenn’s Ten history, except for 1985’s entry, as I cannot locate the book where I maintained that year’s lists.

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