dirty martini

old music for new people

i love 1985: machine funk May 2, 2008

i loved 1985…what can i say? it’s probably year dot as far as my non-hazy childhood memory goes.

live aid, madonna, jheri soul, john hughes movies…it’s all in there. i did a post on the summer of 1985 about a year ago.

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alexander o’neal – innocent

alex is mad as a bag of ferrets these days, but in the 80s he was funky. his backing tracks were artifical, over produced and all the better for it.

bar-kays – she talks to me

fab prince-lite with that bubbly mechanical bass.

bb&q band – dreamer

one of the finest exponents of jheri curl soul, which really took hold in 85. grown ups looked scary back then.

cherrelle – artificial heart

better known these days for smoking crack with whitney, back then she was alex o’neal’s default collaborator and had a pretty good career of her own.

five star – all fall down

this was five star’s first big hit, and the video was so 80s – ivory marble effect set, the band in clashing blue catsuits and cartoon inserts…

kokopop – ulterior motive

a b list new edition…in fact there were a few of these, maybe i should do a post…

leroy burgess – heartbreaker

still going, leroy was a member of disco group black ivory and also related to kool and the gang’s robert and ronald bell.

lillo thomas – i’m in love

lillo and his impressive moustache were fond of heavily produced polyfunk.

o’bryan – tenderoni

wonder who first coined the term ‘tenderoni’ as pioneered by o’bryan, chromeo and bobby brown?

paul hardcastle – don’t waste my time

brit computer geek but don’t let that put you off…oh and don’t let ’19’ out you off either…

rochelle – my magic man

loved this and thought she was a one hit wonder, but apparently there was another one – which i now have to find.

sexual harrassment – k.i.s.s.i.n.g

charming name for a band….not…every bit as nasty as ‘i need a freak’. nasty like prince, i mean.

 

90s girl groups – one hit wonders August 29, 2007

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if celebrity can be measured by the likelihood of someone turning up on a reality tv show, let’s be clear. these girls aren’t making it onto any islands, into any houses and won’t be choking down koala poo in any jungles.

image was a problem for many of the groups. in the early 90s, grunge influenced fashion even through to the polarised r&b scene. girl band members found themselves in lumberjack shirts, heavy denim and doc martens, in order to be taken serioously in the male dominated urban scene. topped off with heavy matt makeup and elaborate hairstyles that thankfully didn’t seem to move too much whilst they were dancing.

note tlc became far more successful once they ditched the tumble tots wear and condom-based accessories. check out the a list and the b list too. and the even less successful than on this list, list

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7669 – 69 ways to love a black man

i remember seeing 7669 videos on the box and thinking they were a bit ghetto. like an entire group of adina howards.  but they had some good tunes on east from a bad block, their one and only 1993 album. no doubt they would seem tame now and at least they wore clothes.

asia blue – escaping

in 1992 this was on my local radio station playlist and I’m surprised it didn’t become a much bigger hit. dina carroll covered it several years later but the original is far better. less r&b and more contemporary soul, with obvious new age influences.

blackgirl – krazy

ok, not so much one-hit wonders but in the UK at least, ’90s girl’ was their only success. this, their first track, features smooth. they actually recorded two albums, the second of which remains unreleased.

divine – lately

this was their only hit, rerecorded for the european market by samantha mumba. band member kia auditioned for this year’s american idol but didn’t make it past hollywood. they must have been young, then, when they were together?

earth gyrlz – love of mine

who were these girls? google uncovers little about them other than this track. and, that band member tanesha now performs in musicals so at least we know one of them has a job!

ex-girlfriend – why can’t you come home

started out in 1985 as petite, and recorded a tribute to new edition called ‘he’s so fine’. later became ex-girlfriend and had success with this and an album. stacy left and they continued as three for life but both solo and band attempts failed.

infiniti – will you be my baby

london-based trio. well, i had the single, grand puba was on the remix and he mentioned lauryn hill in his spot as far as i remember. band member dionne is now recording again after working in a pharmacy since the band split. but she did meet her husband there, so…result.

sa-deuce – don’t waste my time

there’s no information about this duo online. its scary to think that something from only just over a decade ago is lost forever just because no one put it online. it makes it seem really ancient.

s.h.e. – in the middle

another trio that failed to live up to their potential. the album ‘3’s a charm’ was nice but a little too commercial in parts. they remind me a bit of brownstone.

tcf crew – i ain’t the one

scant info on this group but they did record an answer track to color me badd’s ‘i wanna sex you up’ called ‘if you wanna sex me up’. would so love to find that. 

trellini – i wanna be yours

ok, as it turns out, not a group. i used to mix her up with tenderoni as they both had videos on the box around the same time, and i was looking for this track for years thinking it was one of theirs…

y?n-vee – chocolate

def jam group who are most memorable for their totally ghetto name.

 

90s r&b soundtrack gems August 14, 2007

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 r&b soundtracks rarely carry the big hits of larger budget films – for a while now they’ve bought up extra material from established artists’ album sessions or provided a valuable way in for newcomers.

there seems to have been a shift in the way that soundtracks are purchased. back in the 70s and 80s we bought them after seeing a film to recapture the moment – grease and dirty dancing spring immediately to mind – but now we often buy them before or even with no intention of seeing the movie. i probably own at least five soundtracks to films i’ve never seen.

so here are some extras from 90s artists that all too often get lost.

90s soundtrack bonus cutsdownload here

sunset park – aaliyah – are you ready – 1996

despite being released the same year as her timbaland-produced groundbreaking sophomore album, this gently bumping effort was clearly an offcut form her earlier debut.

money talks – swv – tell me how you want it – 1997

swv were soundtrack veterans by this point, having already contributed similarly slinky slow jams to waiting to exhale (all night long) and hav plenty (where you are).

murder was the case – jodeci – come up to my room – 1995

i actually prefer jodeci’s mid-fast tempo tracks more than their sometimes overblown ballads, and wish they’d made more deeply sexy joints like this one…

dangerous minds – aaron hall – curiosity – 1995

being part of the same set as the huge ‘gangsta’s paradise’ was either a blessing (sales) or a curse (overshadowed).

soul food – tenderoni – baby i – 1997

one hit wonders tenderoni con ributed this much-loved track to one of the decade’s biggest soundtracks. should have been a launchpad to bigger and better things.

the best man – allure – when the shades go down – 1998

hard to believe this was an offcut from their debut as its probably stronger than 90% of the tracks on there…

high school high – faith evans – i just can’t – 1996

reminds me of the summer when r&b went global, and tupac was killed…

hav plenty – jon b and coko – keep it real – 1998

got a lot of airplay at the time, i loved this and splashed out £££ on the import.

the nutty professor – monica – ain’t nobody – 1996

one of monica’s better offerings after her strong debut, featuring treach of naughty by nature.

waiting to exhale – tlc – this is how it works – 1995

a new tlc track was a rarity and after crazysexycool, much in demand.