Tag Archives: Stevie Wonder

Chaka Khan, Al Green, Diana Ross & The Supremes, etc.

I totally missed the great Chaka Khan‘s double-Grammy disc Funk You (listen/buy). For fun, here are three very different YouTubes of her, a classic song, her on drums, and a jazzy tune.

Muzzle of Bees introduced me to the disc Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country. Review here, tracklist here, and buy it here. We’re talking a great compilation here, including James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, The Pointer Sisters, Bobby Womack, Etta James, etc.

Stop, children, what’s that sound … everybody look at this delicate but soulful cover of Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth covered by Sergio Mendes & Brazil ‘66, which you can download at Aquarium Drunkard. Buy the disc.

Aquarium Drunkard also alerts us to the amazing double disc of Diana Ross and The Supremes rarities, available here. Find their cover of Stevie Wonder’s Uptight for download here. Also, you can stream Diana Ross’ recent album of just covers, I Love You, in its entirety here.

In late May, Al Green comes out with a new disc Lay It Down that is evidently star-studded, as if Al weren’t enough. Preview a track at Soul Sides; it’s Al with Anthony Hamilton (my review of him) performing You Got the Love I Need Babe. You can also stream Al Green’s remastered greatest hits album here.

By the way, if you get a chance to see Al Green live, pay the money and sit in the front. It’s a life highlight. Check the tour dates, such as his shows co-headlining with Gladys Knight!

To bring this post full circle to yesterday’s, the Estelle/Kanye song American Boy contains the lyric “The Pips at they Gladys.” Fun!

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Filed under Concerts, Covers, New, Shows

Top-Shelf Jukebox Songs

So I’m chalking my pool cue at the pub this loverly St. Patrick’s Day, and I says to my friend, I says, “List of the best jukebox tunes? …”

Billie Jean
– Michael Jackson
Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) – Looking Glass
Roxanne – The Police
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Fishing in the Dark – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Cecilia – Simon and Garfunkel
Fire and Rain – James Taylor
Gloria – Van Morrison
Black Betty – Ram Jam
Amie – Pure Prairie League
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Melissa – The Allman Brothers Band
The Weight – The Band
Can’t You See – The Marshall Tucker Band
Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival (sorry Tina)
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
War – Edwin Starr
After Midnight – Eric Clapton
Come Together – The Beatles
Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
Black Water – The Doobie Brothers
American Pie – Don McLean
Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ – The Velvet Underground

1990s:
No Rain – Blind Melon
Self Esteem – The Offspring
Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
Say It Isn’t So – Weezer
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Heaven Beside You – Alice in Chains
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Bound for the Floor – Local H
In the Meantime – Spacehog
Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog
Santa Monica – Everclear
Creep – Radiohead
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Lightning Crashes – Live
Super Bon Bon – Soul Coughing
Possum Kingdom – The Toadies
Killing Me Softly – The Fugees
Time Bomb – Rancid
What I Got – Sublime
If You Could Only See – Tonic
Closing Time – Semisonic
Hey Man, Nice Shot – Filter
Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
1979 – Smashing Pumpkins
Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam
Pepper – Butthole Surfers
Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart – Stone Temple Pilots
Machinehead – Bush
Devil’s Haircut – Beck
When I Come Around – Greenday

Bonus:
Hurt – Johnny Cash

Such lists are necessarily, perpetually, horrendously incomplete. Make things right in the comments section!

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Anthony Hamilton

The more I listened to Anthony Hamilton on the web, the more I liked him. So, I bought the 2005 disc Ain’t Nobody Worryin’. I passed on the 2007 album Southern Comfort, because it was a little less funky than I wanted. There’s supposed to be a new album coming out in early February, according to Billboard, but I see neither hide nor hair of it so far.

He’s been collaborating with a lot of artists, including another R&B singer who’s getting hyped right now, Keyshia Cole. I’d love to see him do a duet with Alicia Keys (when she’s in a Fallin’ mood, and not a No One mood). (Really, watch that video of Fallin’. It’s a live performance, and there’s a stellar piano solo at the beginning that’s worth your time.) Anthony and Robert Randolph helped out with Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay (live YouTube of the original here that’s shockingly different than the original recording) on Buddy Guy‘s star-studded album Bring ‘Em In. Buy the album and listen to short snippets of the songs here. And, of course, you can see another bit of his work in the video for his song on American Gangster Do You Feel Me, which I posted about February 1 here.

I really gravitated to Anthony’s ’05 album because of the song Sista Big Bones, which streams on his site. However, I am warning you, DO NOT watch the video for Sista Big Bones. It nearly ruined the image I had of him in my head as a way-cool soul singer. In the song, as soulful as Anthony is, the awesome beat is more George Clinton than Al Green, and the backup vocals evoke Rufus. That sentence right there, once I formed it in my head, convinced me to buy the disc.

The other superstar track on the disc is Preacher’s Daughter, which features Stax-style backups by his wife Tarsha’ McMillian. She’s releasing an album February 26 called The McMillian Story. The intense lyrics draw you in, hard, and she’ll break your heart at the end of that song. As the liner notes say, she “vamps” the outro.

I like songs like those two with thump enough to rattle the pennies in my car’s change holder, and the album provided enough of them to keep me happy.

There are a fair number of crooning songs that I don’t love, but I feel because they’re rougher and groovier than, for instance, the too-smooth Brian McKnight, they might grow on me. Some sound like puttin’-on-the-night-moves songs, but closer attention to the lyrics reveals they’re really break-up songs.

A couple of tracks use a spoonful of soulful sugar to slip gospel messages into the grooves, not unlike Stevie Wonder and Al Green. There’s a song called Everybody that sounds in the intro like a rockin’ version of Lionel Richie’s Easy like Sunday Morning; the lyrics really remind me of Stevie: “Everybody needs love in their life / Everybody needs a little sun to shine.”

Final assessment: Dig the album, some tracks in particular, and I hope that he just funks out the next one.

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Filed under Covers, Music Videos, Review, Soundtrack