Tag Archives: The Time

It’s Keith Sweat and George Clinton’s Birthday Today And I Need To Dance!

IMAG0652

I received a message from a guy on OKCupid
He needed to tell me my screen name is stupid

He objected to my handle including the word “cute”
I looked at his photos; he isn’t a beaut

He ended his note with “Have a nice day”
And for a brief moment, I was done being gay

I chose to ignore his unsolicited advice
Me listen to you? Uh uh, no dice

Am I supposed to believe he’s an expert who knows?
The man is 45 and posing in Speedos

Will I now change my name? No way! Not a chance!
On another note, it’s Friday, and I need to dance!

Today’s the 55th birthday of Mr. Keith Sweat
“I Want Her”’s the tune that kicks off this set

It’s also the 75th birthday of the legend George Clinton
No relation to Hillary, who I’m voting for because Donald Trump is a fucking nightmare.


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It’s Draw A Bird Day And I Need To Dance!

From the Draw a Bird Day website:
In 1943, Dorie Cooper was a 7 year old living in England. Her mother took her to a hospital in to visit her uncle who was wounded in the war. While they were there, Dorie’s uncle was very distraught, having lost his right leg to a land mine. In an attempt to cheer him up, she asked him “Draw a bird for me, please” Even though he was unwell, he decided to do as Dorie asked. He looked out his window and drew a picture of a robin.

After seeing her uncle’s bird picture, Dorie laughed out loud and proclaimed that he was not a very good artist, but that she would hang the picture in her room nonetheless. Her uncle’s spirits were lifted by his niece’s complete honesty and acceptance. Several other wounded soldiers also had their day brightened by the event and every time Dorie came to visit thereafter, they held drawing contests to see who could produce the best bird pictures. Within several months, the entire ward’s walls were decorated by bird drawings.

3 years later, Dorie was killed after being struck by a car. At her funeral, her coffin was filled with bird images that had been made by soldiers, nurses and doctors from the ward where her uncle had been. Ever since then, those men and women remembered the little girl that brought hope to the ward by drawing birds on her birthday, April 8th.

Draw a Bird Day was never declared an official holiday, but it grew through those soldiers and medical personnel and their families. Today, it is celebrated world wide as a way to express joy in the very simplest of things in life and as a way to help soldiers everywhere forget war and suffering even if only for a short time.

bird001This blogger’s drawing of a bird

After you draw your bird, continue expressing joy through dance. Tunes du Jour’s weekly dance party kicks off with The Time.


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It’s Ricky Bell’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

Parents often say the following expressions to their children as life lessons: “If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.” “You can get more with honey than you can with vinegar.” “Never trust a big butt and a smile.”

Your parents got the last one from the Bell Biv DeVoe song “Poison.” Hell, they may have gotten the first two from Bell Biv DeVoe songs – I don’t know the group’s catalogue that well.

I’ve heeded that advice, which is why I’m still single. As the great Pee Wee Herman famously said in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, “Everyone I know has a big but. C’mon, Simone, let’s talk about your big but.”

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. You don’t need a partner to dance, unless you are doing the tango. As many parents have said, “It takes two to tango.” That expression predates Bell Biv DeVoe, who didn’t do tango music. Then again, maybe they did. I don’t know the group’s catalogue that well.

Today, Ricky Bell of Bell Biv DeVoe and New Edition turns 48. Our dance playlist kicks off with BBD’s “Poison.” Trust!


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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. This week’s dance playlist kicks off with a song that, per its writer, is “about someone on the brink of self destruction who goes to these [dance] clubs to try and find more, but is at least aware of the fact that if there’s something like true love, that is something that could kind of drag them out of the abyss.” Allee Willis, who wrote the song with Jon Lind, told songfacts.com that the song was inspired by the film Looking for Mr. Goodbar. “I got kind of fascinated with people who did go to clubs every night, whose life was kind of falling apart, but they lived for the night life, though it didn’t seem to be advancing them as humans in the end.”

The song’s first verse is “Midnight creeps so slowly into hearts of men who need more than they get. Daylight deals a bad hand to a woman who has laid too many bets. The mirror stares you in the face and says, ‘Baby, uh-uh, it don’t work.’ You say your prayers though you don’t care; you dance and shake the hurt.”

The chorus expresses the hope that “All the love in the world can’t be gone, all the need to be loved can’t be wrong, all the records are playing and my heart keeps saying ‘Boogie Wonderland.’” Per Willis, Boogie Wonderland “was this state of mind that you entered when you were around music and when you danced, but hopefully it was an aware enough state of mind that you would want to feel as good during the day as you did at night.”

EWF + Ringo

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It Really Shoulda…

Sam + Ringo
It’s that time of year when music geeks such as I think about the I.R.S. I.R.S. as in It Really Shoulda, as in it really should been a top ten hit.

Eight years ago, a colleague from my Sony Music days, Rich Appel, created the I.R.S. countdown. Music fans submitted a list of songs that didn’t make the top ten on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 but should have, in their opinion. Rich compiled the tallies to create the overall I.R.S. top 104. He’s been compiling this survey each year since.

As for why a song should have been a top ten hit, that’s left entirely up to the list-maker. On my list, I included records that are perfect or near-perfect melodically, lyrically and/or production-wise. I included songs that have withstood the test of time and are still part of the public consciousness years later. I included records that everybody thinks were top ten hits. I included tracks that would have been top ten hits except they didn’t conform to Billboard’s rules for chart placement at their time of release (e.g. they weren’t available on commercial 7-inch singles or viral video play didn’t count in metric measurements). I included singles by artists who hit the top ten with lesser songs. I focused on tracks that have pop appeal, leaving out fantastic recordings from some of my favorite acts, such as The Replacements and The Smiths – they were called “alternative” because they weren’t pop.

My list for 2015 is below, followed by a Spotify playlist of those songs. Rich asks people submitting lists to put them in order, with #1 being the record one feels should have, more than any other, been a top ten hit. Ask me to do so tomorrow and my list will likely be in a different order.

For today, here is my I.R.S. 104. After the artist name I listed how high the song charted during its initial release. If the single hit the Hot 100 at a later date, I included that information as well.

You can hear the official I.R.S. 104 tally for 2015 on Rich Appel’s radio show, That Thing, this coming weekend on RewoundRadio.com. Friday at 6PM Eastern he’ll go from #104 to around #53 and Sunday starting at 6PM Eastern he’ll pick up from where he left off and go to #1.

1. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke (#12, 1960)
2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (#19, 1967)
3. River Deep, Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner (#88, 1966)
4. I Only Want to Be with You – Dusty Springfield (#12, 1964)
5. Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival (#14, 1969)
6. Cupid – Sam Cooke (#17, 1961)
7. Holiday – Madonna (#16, 1984)
8. Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder (did not chart, 1977)
9. 1999 – Prince (#44, 1982; #12, 1983; #40, 1999)
10. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen (#23, 1975)
11. It Takes Two – Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston (#14, 1967)
12. Little Egypt (Ying Yang) – The Coasters (#23, 1961)
13. I Want to Take You Higher – Sly & the Family Stone (#60, 1969; #38, 1970)
14. Into the Groove – Madonna (did not chart, 1985)
15. We Will Rock You – Queen (did not chart, 1978; #52, 1992)
16. S.O.S. – Abba (#15, 1975)
17. You’ve Got a Friend – Carole King (did not chart, 1971)
18. Hold On! I’m Comin’ – Sam & Dave (#21, 1966)
19. Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding (#25, 1967)
20. The Way You Do the Things You Do – The Temptations (#11, 1964)
21. It’s a Shame – Spinners (#14, 1970)
22. It’s Gonna Work Out Fine – Ike & Tina Turner (#14, 1961)
23. Under My Thumb – the Rolling Stones (did not chart, 1966)
24. Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me) – Four Seasons (#13, 1966)
25. Me and Julio down by the School Yard – Paul Simon (#22, 1972)
26. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John & Yoko & the Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir (did not chart, 1971)
27. I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan (#21, 1978)
28. Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley (#29, 1964)
29. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid (#13, 1984)
30. Super Freak – Rick James (#16, 1981)
31. Mighty Love – Spinners (#20, 1974)
32. Stan – Eminem featuring Dido (#51, 2000)
33. So Far Away – Carole King (#14, 1971)
34. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love (did not chart, 1963)
35. Because the Night – Patti Smith Group (#13, 1978)
36. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell (#67, 1970)
37. Candy Girl – New Edition (#46, 1983)
38. Brass in Pocket (I’m Special) – Pretenders (#14, 1980)
39. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M. (#29, 1993)
40. It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock (#36, 1988)
41. Heartbreak Hotel – the Jacksons (#22, 1981)
42. Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton (#20, 1976)
43. Valerie – Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse (did not chart, 2007)
44. Rock and Roll All Nite (live) – Kiss (#12, 1976)
45. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Sylvester (#36, 1979)
46. L-O-V-E (Love) – Al Green (#13, 1975)
47. It’s Raining Men – the Weather Girls (#46, 1983)
48. I’m a Slave 4 U – Britney Spears (#27, 2001)
49. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC (#35, 1980)
50. Wake Up Everybody – Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (#12, 1976)
51. Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed (#16, 1973)
52. Bring It on Home to Me – Sam Cooke (#13, 1962)
53. Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2 (#33, 1984)
54. Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead (#13, 1979)
55. Move Your Feet – Junior Senior (did not chart, 2003)
56. Heroes – David Bowie (did not chart, 1977)
57. Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (#21, 1978)
58. One Way or Another – Blondie (#24, 1979)
59. You Get What You Give – New Radicals (#36, 1999)
60. Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel – Tavares (#15, 1976)
61. Ain’t Nobody – Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (#22, 1983)
62. You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon (#44, 1986, #23, 1987)
63. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt (#18, 1992)
64. Young Americans – David Bowie (#28, 1975)
65. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke (#31, 1965)
66. Respect Yourself – the Staple Singers (#12, 1971)
67. Moondance – Van Morrison (did not chart, 1970; #92, 1977)
68. Where’s the Love – Hanson (did not chart, 1997)
69. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing – Stevie Wonder (#16, 1974)
70. I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow (#62, 1982)
71. Genius of Love – Tom Tom Club (#31, 1982)
72. Beautiful Stranger – Madonna (#19, 1999)
73. Shame, Shame, Shame – Shirley (& Company) (#12, 1975)
74. The Way I Am – Eminem (#58, 2000)
75. Jungle Love – The Time (#20, 1985)
76. Gypsy – Fleetwood Mac (#12, 1982)
77. Smile – Lily Allen (#49, 2007)
78. Tear the Roof off the Sucker (Give up the Funk) – Parliament (#15, 1976)
79. Same Love – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert (#11, 2013)
80. Solid – Ashford & Simpson (#12, 1985)
81. Rapper’s Delight – The Sugarhill Gang (#36, 1980)
82. The Cup of Life – Ricky Martin (#60, 1998; #45, 1999)
83. Me, Myself and I – De La Soul (#34, 1989)
84. Bad Luck – Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (#15, 1975)
85. Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads (did not chart, 1981)
86. Fuck You – Lily Allen (#68, 2009)
87. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service (did not chart, 2003)
88. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (movie version) – Lauryn Hill (did not chart, 1998)
89. Dedication to My Ex (Miss That) – Lloyd featuring Andre 3000 (#79, 2011)
90. Jump To It – Aretha Franklin (#24, 1982)
91. Mamma Mia – Abba (#32, 1976)
92. Space Oddity – David Bowie (did not chart, 1969; #15, 1973)
93. P Control – O{+> (Prince) (did not chart, 1995)
94. Got Your Money – Ol’ Dirty Bastard featuring Kelis (#33, 1999)
95. LDN – Lily Allen (did not chart, 2007)
96. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore – Buddy Holly (#13, 1959)
97. Does Your Mother Know – Abba (#19, 1979)
98. Up in a Puff of Smoke – Polly Brown (#16, 1975)
99. Blue Limousine – Apollonia 6 (did not chart, 1984)
100. All the Young Dudes – Mott the Hoople (#37, 1972)
101. Fight the Power – Public Enemy (did not chart, 1989)
102. Pass That Dutch – Missy Elliott (#27, 2003)
103. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne (#21, 2003)
104. You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse (#78, 2007; #77, 2008)


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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

Winston + Butt
Spike Lee needed a dance song for a scene in his film School Daze, so he reached out to Marcus Miller, whose writing credits include Luther Vandross’ “Power of Love” and “Til My Baby Comes Home” and Miles Davis’ “Tutu.” Miller asked his former bandmate Mark Stevens (brother of Yvette Stevens, who changed her name to Chaka Khan) to help him. Together they came up with “Da Butt.” Washington D.C. band E.U. (Experience Unlimited) recorded the tune, which reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. E.U. made the Hot 100 again in 1996 – a record of theirs entitled “Knock Him Out Sugar Ray” was sampled by Beck in his #61 hit “Where It’s At.”

It’s the first Friday of 2015 and I need to dance. Let’s kick off this week’s party with “Da Butt.”

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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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A Sly & The Family Stone Playlist

doggies + Sly 002
Today the musical genius that is Sly Stone turns 71 years old.

On our menu:
“Dance to the Music”
From 1968, Sly & The Family Stone’s first hit single helped launch the “psychedelic soul” sound that was a huge influence on acts such as The Temptations, The Undisputed Truth, War, Parliament and The 5th Dimension. Interestingly, the Family Stone didn’t care for the track, thinking it too commercial.

“Sing a Simple Song”
Sly & The Family Stone drummer Greg Errico said this song isn’t simple at all; it’s actually difficult to play live.

“Runnin’ Away”
“In those days it was the hippies who cut their hair and ran away from the hippy feeling. It’s about how, at a certain time, everybody runs away from something.” – Sly Stone

“Family Affair”
From 1971, this was Sly’s third #1 pop hit and his last top ten.

“Somebody’s Watching You”
A track from 1969, seventeen years after President Truman formed the NSA.

“Hot Fun in the Summertime”
This song contains the lyric “I cloud nine when I want to,” a reference to The Temptations hit song “Cloud Nine,” insinuating that the Motown band was echoing The Family Stone’s vocal style. This single went to #2 on the pop chart, kept from the top spot by The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You.”

“Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey”
And vice versa, per the song. Made more impactful due to the fact that this as one of the first integrated bands (which also had men and women playing major roles).

“If You Want Me to Stay”
The band’s final gold single, from 1973

“Everybody is a Star”
Recorded for an album that was never competed, this song, along with “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” was included on a 1970 Greatest Hits set from the band.

“Stand!”
“In the end you’ll still be you, one that’s done all the things you set out to do”

“I Want to Take You Higher”
Released as the b-side of the “Stand!” single, the band’s incendiary performance of the tune at Woodstock had their record label release it as a single a-side, becoming another top 40 hit for them.

“Everyday People”
“And so on and so on and scooby doobie doobie.” Has any other song said so much as elegantly?

“Que Sera, Sera”
One of the few cover versions his band recorded

“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”
Hulk Hogan’s daughter Brooke released a cover of this song. It’s not as well known.

“Crazay”
Jesse Johnson, lead guitarist of The Time, brought in Sly to help on this 1986 club hit that went to #2 on the r&b chart.

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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

Today’s dance playlist ain’t for everybody – just the sexy people. It kicks off with “Jungle Love” by The Time, whose lead singer, Morris Day, turns 56 today.

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