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Throwback Tracks-- May 12, 2016


The Guys from {MUSIC}

Throwback Tracks-- May 12, 2016

Shaun Cordingley

The Guys From do not hold the rights to any of these songs, it is more our hope to expose our readers to new (*cough*) and different retro music, or re-expose them to things they may have forgotten about.

At the top of each section, will be the song name, followed by the artists' name linked to their website (if possible), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.

Rock the Boat - Hues Corporation

There's a bit of a story here, that may perfectly exemplify why I am doing what I do:

I was by myself one night in the middle of the week after work, and I felt like watching a movie (a very common feeling as anyone who listens to our {PODCAST}, or reads our film section already well knows). I checked my PVR and said "Oh, today totally feels like a Blacula (1972) day", so I set about watching Blacula (which is quite fun by the way). Anyway, about...halfway through the movie, there's one of those old school exploitation/b-movie tricks of having a band play almost a full song and have people dancing in a club to both fill time, and to give the film another 'look how hip we are' selling point. So this happens, and I'm watching this pop/soul group (read: early disco) in very, very blue outfits perform a song, and about 45 seconds in I go "hey, I think that's The Hues Corporation".

And it was, which meant I got to giggle a bit at the pun (you know, on The Hughes Corporation).

So here we are.

'Rock the Boat' from 1974 is definitely their biggest song (Blacula more serving as the groups big break), with the single rocketing to #1, and selling well over 2 million copies. As it is one of the earliest disco songs, it was a bit ahead of its' time, at the time, but now it is probably best known for it's use in film's like Carlito's Way, The Cable Guy, and most recently, The Martian.

You, by the way, are welcome for getting this in your head for the next week.

Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Steve Hardaway Morris AKA Stevie Wonder is next, and there's really not a whole lot that I should have to tell you about the man. It's Stevie Wonder.

'Superstition' is the lead single from Wonder's 1972 album Talking Book, which was his fifteenth album by the way, and is by far my favorite song from him--I think I probably first heard it when I did a play at 16 called "Superstition", and we, of course, used this song as our curtain call (coincidentally that was the first play I won an acting award for, so my fondness may have something to do with that...). The interplay between the down right funky bass and the horns, and Jeff Beck's guitar...

Seriously, just groove.

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher - Jackie Wilson

One of the best voices of the 20th century--he was a tenor with a four octave range-- a consistent hit-maker from the 1950's through the 1970s, inspiration to artists from Elvis Presley to Bruce Springsteen, and nicknamed "Mr. Excitement" thanks to his electric showmanship, Jackie Wilson is one of those artists who, it seems to me, did not get the recognition he deserved until we lost him all too soon in 1984 at the age of 49.

Now, did I pick 1967s 'Higher and Higher'  because of Ghostbusters II? Maybe. But it really is one of those great tracks from the 60s, and of all time...especially when it comes to getting a smile on anyone's face. I cannot imagine that when the May playlist for Throwback Tracks comes out, anyone would skip this. Ever. This is a song that stops people in their tracks, and makes you, at the very least sing along, if not dance.

I Melt With You - Modern English

New Wave always has a place in my heart, and there's a lot that can be said for Essex's Modern English and their song "I Melt With You"-- a song with perhaps the best humming solo until M-square in The Wolf of Wall Street. Off of the 1982 album After the Snow, the song was the second single to chart off of the album, but I think that there's probably a sense that the song continued to gain popularity as time has gone on. There's something a little dream-like and strange about "I Melt With You" that makes it so of its' time, but still stand out as one of the really great New Wave tracks of the early 1980s.

People Got to Be Free - The (Young) Rascals

The Rascals are one of those bands that absolutely everybody knows, but doesn' know what I mean? You hear 'Good Lovin'' and most people immediately go "I love this song! Who is this?" (and I should know, because I played that song at a lot of wedding gigs), then you tell them "It's The Rascals...or The Young Rascals...same band, dropped the young at one point" and they go "cool" and then I promise you 90% of them forgot them the next day.

For various reasons....*cough*

"People Got To Be Free" is another great song by The Rascals, released in 1968 as something of a plea for tolerance and compassion (ah, the late 60s), with the single ending up selling over 4 million copies, and spending several weeks at #1, eventually being released on The Rascals' 1969 album Freedom Suite. I think my favorite fact about "People Got To Be Free" is that they originally wrote it after they were threatened when their bus broke down (the group being rather long-haired and hippy looking), so after this song came out, the Rascals would only perform at concerts that featured an African American act, even cancelling several shows in protest.

Here it is! The first Throwback Tracks Apple Music Playlist, with all of the songs from the inaugural month of 'Throwback Tracks' here on The Guys From. As per usual, I've done my best to turn them into a cohesive list, but it's a little all over the place.

Don't forget to check out the latest Tuesday Tunes for your new music fix, as well as the April Tuesday Tunes Apple Music Playlist here.

See you again next Thursday with some new....oldies.

-S (@Shauncord)