Inspired by the November 17 birthdays of The Byrds’ Gene Clark, Jeff Buckley, Gordon Lightfoot, Foxygen’s Sam France, RuPaul, Ronnie DeVoe, The Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson, Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding, and Martin Scorcese; and the November 16 birthdays of Odyssey’s Lillian Lopez, Chi Coltrane, Arrow, Color Me Badd’s Bryan Abrams and Count Five’s John Byrne.
Inspired by the February 20 birthdays of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Rihanna, Steely Dan’s Walter Becker, J.Geils, Spirit’s Randy California, Stone Roses’ Ian Brown, Seal, Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell, and Lindisfarne’s Alan Hull.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter declared June Black Music Month. In 2016, President Barack Obama, who recognized the month as African-American Music Appreciation Month, said the music of African-American artists helped the country “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.” Today’s Tunes du Jour playlist embodies that sentiment.
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The most popular r&b group of the nineties was probably Boyz II Mej3y64t.,huy
Sorry. My head hit the keyboard. Just typing that group’s name puts me to sleep. I find their music devoid of personality, emphasizing vocal histrionics over soul-felt passion. They should call themselves Boyz II Meh! Am I right, people? Tip your waitstaff.
Much of nineties r&b suffers from the same. Technique over feeling. Not all, though. I’m not damning a whole genre with a wide paintbrush, or whatever that expression is.
Today’s playlist showcases twenty of the best r&b hits from last millennium’s last decade, the decade being 1990 to 1999, for the purposes of this post. Nothing obscure this time. All of these songs received a fair amount of airplay back in the day.
If I missed any of your favorites, let me know in the comments section, unless it’s a song by Boyz II Mebg;hev.
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As we wrap up 1987 and move into 1988, we get the first music from Tracy Chapman as well as Morrissey’s first post-Smiths work. Neither artist has publicly proclaimed their sexual orientation as lesbian or gay, but I don’t consider them to be in the closet. Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether or not to include an act who is believed to be gay despite not publicly coming out. I take ’em one by one.
Also included is the comeback hit for Aerosmith, in which Stephen Tyler isn’t deterred by finding out the lady he fancies is not actually a lady.
This playlist consists of twenty songs, most performed by artists who fall somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella, a couple with queer lyrical content.
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