Thowback Thursday – Chic, “Everybody Dance”

Chic-everybody-danceYou may have killed 10 minutes by listening “Everybody Dance” already, whether it be through its popularity as Chic’s second single from their self-titled debut album, or from the Grand Theft Auto video game series, being a part of The Ballad Of Gay Tony expansion pack. Either way, this song has been stuck in my head for a solid couple of days and I figured I would share my suffering with my whole 20 readers.

The song is surprisingly repetitive for a song at almost 10 minutes in length, but you gotta love that low bass and killer instrumental overall. That is quite a lot of the song, along with the phrase “Everybody dance” whispered enough times so as to convince you that this method could have inspired Nazi Germany to just follow Hitler right away had he whispered it enough in his own disco song.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

7.75/10

The song serves it purpose, it’s mad catchy and makes you want to dance because of its simplicity. It was a great way for Chic to get a following and I’m sure any club-hopping turnt-up adult from the 70’s can half recognize the tune from a drunk night on the town. You can listen to the song below:

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Throwback Thursday – The Get Up Kids, “Holiday”

the-get-up-kidsThe Get Up Kids are Indie-rock music back when it was good. The Kansas City-based band have released a number of albums and singles over the years since their formation in 1995, but “Holiday” might be one of their best songs. Their second album, Something To Write Home About, has always received mixed reviews since its release in 2000. However, it was ultimately the band’s biggest push as an Indie-rock band into mainstream.

“Holiday” is melodic and a great introduction into the album. The instrumental is compelling and the lyrics are signature early 2000’s punk, so hop aboard the teenage nostalgia train. The lyrics’ awesomeness makes the fact that the band wrote all of their music on this album even cooler.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

8.25/10

You can check out the throwback below:

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Throwback Thursday – Styx, “The Best Of Times”; “Too Much Time On My Hands”

I could not decide on which Styx song from their 1981 album Paradise Theatre I should write about, and then it hit me:

why-not-both

styx-paradise-theatreSo here I am, writing about two throwback songs, on a Friday no less! Guys, being a homeschooled high school student does not give you much breathing room for writing about music. Regardless, let’s talk about each of these songs:

“The Best Of Times” – My favorite of the two, and also one of my favorite Styx songs in general, is “The Best Of Times”. It was always like Elton John singing after getting kicked in the balls. The vocals were high but not irrationally so, and the pacing leads perfectly into the instrumental at the bridge. The whole song is a great listen and one of the best songs by Styx.

9.75/10

“Too Much Time On My Hands” – While “The Best Of Times” may be the better (and more popular) of the two, something about “Too Much Time On Your Hands” just does not get old when listening to it. The intro is intriguing, the lyrics are relateable and interesting, and the tune is so easy to enjoy. Of the two, this seems to get more play time, mostly because of how good the chorus. However, it does have a bit of repetition to it that should get old to others after a while, but somehow does not for me.

9.25/10

Hope you enjoyed, Styx have some great songs but Paradise Theatre definitely includes some of their finest works. Afterall, who didn’t love them in the ’80’s?

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Throwback Thursday – Peter Gabriel, “Shock The Monkey”

Peter-Gabriel“Shock The Monkey” is fascinating because it did everything that I want music to do now: It introduced a whole new sound to radio that no one had experienced yet. I’ve heard plenty of music by Genesis and Peter Gabriel due to my dad’s superfan status for the singer, but “Shock The Monkey” is one of Gabriel’s best.

The instrumental is entrancing, and Peter Gabriel’s echoing voice hits several notes easily. The lyricism is odd but quite humorous. They are mostly funny because they are metaphorical for love. Yes, “Shock The Monkey” is a love song.

After its release in 1982, the song saw success on Billboard. It was Peter Gabriel’s first charting, but mostly saw success in America. Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

You can check out the throwback song below:

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Throwback Thursday – Jim Croce, “Time In A Bottle”

Jim-CroceSometimes I regard artists who died young to be a bit overhyped, but my feelings for Jim Croce’s music is the exact opposite. Despite dying incredibly young at only 30 years old from a plane crash, Jim Croce created some beautiful music and his #1 hit “Time In A Bottle” may be the best example of what creative talent this man had to offer.

The ballad is soft (rock) and focuses heavily on the singer’s vocals, with a light acoustic guitar guiding the sound. Its inspiration comes from the discovery of his wife’s pregnancy in 1970, but has always applied to the singer’s death and how fans and lovers of good music felt after his passing. Lyrically, the song is a masterpiece and incredibly reflective. Those sick handlebars guarded the mouth of a talented singer, and Croce finds a way to show off his voice without pushing his vocal chords’ limits.

Overall, I would rate this song at:

10/10

I consider this a perfect song, and a piece highly deserving of #1 spot (even if it was only for five weeks). You can hear the song and take a trip down Memory Lane below:

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Throwback Thursday – Jefferson Starship, “Miracles”

miracles-jefferson-starshipHappy not-Thursday, and meet this week’s installment of Throwback Friday. Just roll with it as I share with you a classic that your parents may or may not have performed sexual intercourse to. Most likely, though.

Jefferson Starship’s biggest hit “Miracles” charted at #3 for a reason. That reason is mostly sex. Lovely 70’s hippie sex. I mean, I never went out of my way to notice the lyrics until I was a teenager and just kinda sat there wondering how I missed all of this as a kid. The song’s tone is actually a great mood setter, so I can’t blame the horny hippies.

I think my biggest complaint towards the song is the lyrics and their constant change from contempate-worthy to lack of depth. That, and how bloody long it is. The instrumental is very underrated though, and does its best to show off the talent on vocals while subtly carry the mood. Overall, I would rate the song at:

9/10

You can check it out and enjoy this throwback below:

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Throwback Thursday – Earth, Wind & Fire, “Fantasy”

Fantasy-earth-wind-fireThis is a bit of a special installment of #tbt. One of my favorite classic RnB hits has always been Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy”. This song was one of those tunes I had heard for years but never bothered to look up its name until just a few months ago. The song reached some Billboard acclaim, but never made it into the Top 10. However, my favorite tidbit about this song is the fact that it was inspired from the movie Close Encounters With The Third Kind, a film that has always been after my heart like my one true love or Alfredo-dipped Raviolis.

The instrumental diversity and overall balance between vocals and beat is a staple in making this song so easy to listen to. Despite being a bit lengthy, I still wish the song went on, especially with how well the vocal-less introduction does in conveying the tone of the music without any need for lyrics. The words are strange, but that just proves how notable the inspiration is.

Overall, I would rate this song at:

10/10

Pacing, balance, solid vocals, individuality: It’s all there. The song is complex but keeps to the subject and makes the song interesting throughout the entire five minutes. So meet another song I consider a perfect 10. If “Fantasy” was a woman (This is RnB, I have to talk about women), it’s got a rockin’ bod and a booty you can grab but does not overwhelm (at least it did in 1977).

So go ahead and check out one of my all-time favorite songs below and enjoy a trip down memory lane:

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Throwback Thursday – Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, “It’s Too Late To Turn Back Now”

cornelius-brothers-sister-roseA lot of my biggest musical influences came from my parents’ wedding CD, which included the two-hit wonder-band Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose. The Florida-based Soul family came up with a couple of hits, but my favorite ended up being “It’s Too Late To Turn Back Now”.

“It’s Too Late To Turn Back Now”, or as I call it, “That song that sounds like The Spinners’ ‘Could It Be I’m Falling In Love'”, or “It’s Too Late” for length purposes, is a classic example of some of the best Soul has to offer in history. The variety of instruments that help guide but support the vocals (Rather than utterly dominate, like most modern music) is something that I covet. Random, uncalled-for harmonies can give the song a bit of spice to add to that gold recipe.

The chorus was just slightly too repetitive for me when the song was already so short, but it is a good thing that the hook is as amazing as it is. Hence why the song reached #2 on Billboard back when most people did not hear new music too often (Thank God I was born in the age of Twitter, SoundCloud, etc. etc.).

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.75/10

You can check out the song below and take a good old trip down memory lane:

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Throwback Thursday – Counting Crows, “A Long December”

counting-crowsOnce upon a time, it was the year 1996 when events transpired. I would narrate to you some of those events, but I was not born yet, so what does it matter to me? According to my parents, one of the highlights of 1996 was not the discovery of my conception (for whatever reason), but the song “A Long December” by Counting Crows. If anyone came back through time from a future century and asked what the 1990’s was like, you could show them this song and your work would be done.

Now that I have established that I am a conceited ass, “A Long December” is one of the best Counting Crows songs out. It’s popularity came at a time when Alternative-Rock was about as big as naming your sons Brandon and Dylan (90210 reference for the win). The incredible piano and guitar support always made the vocals sound less raggedy, but I doubt that ever affected the song for anyone.

The song almost resembles Country music, save for the guitar solo on the bridge. While I could never relate with the love for the song, it is still a classic and solid pick for an “I’ve had a terrible month” song. The subject and message are deep and meaningful, though are hardly conveyed when half the words are butchered throughout the song. Overall, I would rate “A Long December” at:

7.5/10

So if you had a terrible December, go ahead and remember the song below:

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Throwback Thursday – Bruce Springsteen, “Badlands”

badlandsA slightly underappreciated and overlooked Bruce Springsteen song is the 1978 single off of Darkness On The Edge Of Town “Badlands”. I took to Wikipedia for some fun trivia about this song, so take this right in your face: Bruce came up with the song title before any of the lyrics, the song hit #42 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and Rolling Stone Magazine rated “Badlands” to be Springsteen’s all time 2nd greatest song behind “Born To Run.” Suckerpunched right in the kisser with knowledge.

I am pressed for time to write, so I will keep the summary brief. It’s catchy progressive rock. Wikipedia helped me figure that one out. Overall, I would rate this fan favorite at:

9.5/10

Go ahead and enjoy the memories below:

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