Every song has a story. This blog will consist of facts about songs, music videos, artists, accompanied by great music along the way.
I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.
Alright, to start off the New Year, I’m taking you guys back to the past. 1997 to be specific, with Chumbawamba. Despite this song’s reputation for being one of the worst/most annoying songs of all time (#12 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 20 Most Annoying Songs), the song reached number one on charts in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.
The band is from Burnley, England and is a British alternative band that played anarcho-punk (punk rockthat promotesanarchism) as well as pop-influenced, world, and folk music. They wrote and sang about many issues such as feminism, gay rights, pop-culture, and animal rights. Just this past July, the band announced their break up saying, “We do, of course, reserve the right to re-emerge as Chumbawamba doing something else entirely (certainly not touring and putting out albums every 2 or 3 years). But frankly, that’s not very likely. Thirty years of being snotty, eclectic, funny, contrary and just plain weird. What a privilege, and what a good time we’ve had.” They played their last show November 3rd, 2012.
Fun Fact: ‘Tubthumping’ comes from the term ‘tubthumper’ which is described as someone who jumps on the bandwagon with a populist idea; someone who sides with the people and against the elites.
Drinking in the lounge, following the neon signs. Waiting for a ride, looking at a milky skyline. The city is my church.
Alright, so a lot of people tell me that I’m stuck in the past, music-wise. Looking back on this blog, I definitely am. I just love music of the past so much! However, I can’t forget about the rad music that’s out there today. So let’s get current with it!
What a better band for the present than M83? Here is the French band with ‘Midnight City’ off of their latest album, ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.’ Anthony Gonzalez, who wrote the song with his brother Yann and fellow band mate Morgan Kibby, says that this song is inspired by downtown Los Angeles at night. He also says that the artwork for this single is supposed to represent a child’s fascination with science fiction, which fits the childhood theme of the entire album.
The video was directed by Fleur & Manu (a popular French directing and designing duo). The band pays homage to the films Akira, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Village of the Damned. In my personal opinion, this album was definitely one of the best of 2011. Looking at reviews and music charts would prove that many others agree with me. This song in particular has received a lot of praise from critics. Many consider it to be the best song of 2011. Out of M83’s six albums, this is the only album to place on music charts other than those in France and the U.K.
Fun Fact: The band was named after the Messier 83, which is a barred spiral galaxy; a structure composed of stars.
Can I make it? Damn right, I be on the next flight. Payin’ cash, first class, sittin’ next to Vanna White.
With the Best Rap Video of 2001 at the MTV VMAs, here’s Nelly with ‘Rid Wit Me’ off of his album ‘Country Grammar.’ From 1993 until 1999, Nelly performed with the St. Lunatics until he got his own solo record deal with Universal Records. This first album of his debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and quickly made its way to number one, going nine times platinum.
Fun fact: Nelly’s real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.
Lucky you were born that far away so we could both make fun of distance.
Written by Shakira, Gloria Estefan, and producer Tim Mitchell, this is Shakira’s first single off of her first English album ‘Laundry Service.’ Before this album, Shakira had already been in the music industry for ten years, with four previous albums, all in Spanish. This song was the biggest hit of 2001, reaching number one in 29 countries. It was also influenced by Andean music, which is music that roots from countries located mostly in Southern Europe. The charango and panpipes were both used in the song.
Fun Fact: The concept of the video was to submerge Shakira into the natural elements of the world. However, she went nowhere near nature, as it was all filmed in front of a green screen.
Wrap yourself around me, ‘cause I ain’t the way you found me.
Daryl Hall (originally ‘Hohl’) and John Oates led their way into the 80s with this fun song, reaching number five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981. The duo hit their most popular peak right around this time and because of their success on the pop charts, Billboard Magazine dubbed Hall and Oates the most successful duo of the rock era, as well as ranking them number 15 on their list of ‘The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.’
This album brought significant changes to the way Hall and Oates made albums, since they were not completely happy with the way their music was being produced so far. Wanting to capture the sound of New York in their music, they began recording there instead of Los Angeles, where they had recorded their previous music. They took control of their music and began producing their own material.
Fun Fact: Hall and Oates met in an elevator. Here’s the story: In 1967, before the two had met, they were competing in a battle of the bands in Philadelphia (Hall with The Temptones and Oates with The Masters). Gunfire sounded in a fight between two opposing gangs and when Hall and Oates hurried to escape from harm, they ran to the same elevator.
I just want some one to say to me, I’ll always be there when you wake.
I apologize whole heartedly for not updating this for two months. I assure you, there is not many more things important to me (on the internet) than talking about and sharing music with others, but it’s summer and the laziness takes over. So here’s a fantastic song I’ll start you all off with. Never again, with that delay, I promise!
Off of their self-titled 1992 album (single released in ‘93), here is California band Blind Melon with their accompanying video for ‘No Rain.’ The song is the band’s most popular and successful song; usually considered a one hit wonder. The Bee Girl in the video is often credited to the reason why this video and song combination was so well recieved. Her name is Heather DeLoach and had her own spotlight for a bit. During the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, she reprised her role as the Bee Girl with help from Weird Al. Pearl Jam even has a song called ‘Bee Girl,’ which is supposedly written about her. ’You don’t wanna be famous, you wanna be shy. Do dances alone in your room,’ lead singer Eddie Vedder sings to her.
Fun Fact: The Director of this video, Samuel Bayer, also directed many other popular 90s bands such as Nirvana, Hole, and Green Day. Other artists he has directed for: Ozzy Osbourne, NOFX, The Cranberries, Pat Benatar, Bowie, The Stones, Marilyn Manson, Blink 182, and even Justin Timberlake!
Damn right I like the life I live, ‘cause I went from negative to positive. And it’s all… it’s all good.
Produced by none other than Sean Combs (Puffy/Puff Daddy/P.Diddy/Diddy/take your pick; I prefer Puff Daddy) and Poke (who was half of a successful hip-hop producing duo of the time called ‘Trackmasters’), here is Christopher Wallace with his 1994 hit ‘Juicy’ off of his Ready to Die album. It samples a song called ‘Juicy Fruit’ by Mtume and the chorus is sung by an R&B girl group named ‘Total’, who was on Diddy’s record label in the 90s.
This single went gold and his second single ‘Big Poppa’ went platinum while reaching Top Ten on the R&B and pop charts. The third single to come from this album (‘One More Chance’) tied ‘Scream’ by Michael Jackson for the highest debut ever on pop charts. Ready to Die sold over four million copies, making Biggie a hip-hop sensation.
Fun Fact: B.I.G is an acronym that stands for ‘Books Instead of Guns.’ It used to stand for ‘Business Instead of Game’ but since his death, his foundation changed the meaning which supports CWFM Inc,; a foundation in Biggie’s memory. The organization helps bring books and computers for impoverished schools in New York (where Biggie was from) and Atlanta.
He met Marmalade down in old Moulin Rouge. Struttin’ her stuff on the street.
My posts thus far have been pretty much male dominated. So let’s switch it up with four female ultra-pop stars to make up for that. This song was first a hit in 1975 with the girl group Labelle. Then, twenty-six years later, it was a hit with this group of pop stars. Missy Elliot produced this song for the ‘Moulin Rouge’ soundtrack. It won each featured artist a Grammy for ‘Video of the Year’ in 2001. The set and costuming of the music video were made to resemble the actual Moulin Rouge night club during the late 1800s/early 1900s in Paris, France. It is said that the Moulin Rouge nightclub is the birthplace of the can-can dance, which was once considered to be a seductive form of dance but turned into a form of entertainment, leading into cabarets all around Europe.
I can’t find anything that indicates why these four singers were used for this song. However, they all had albums coming out around the time of this release, so one can only think about how the good publicity and success of the song (it went Platinum in many countries and Gold in a few) could skyrocket the sales of their respective albums. After all, this was right as Christina’s “Dirrty” album was coming out as well as Pink’s “Get the Party Started.” It was a big year for these four women’s solo careers.
Fun fact: When this song hit number one, Lil’ Kim was the first female rap artist to appear on a #1 single. Also, at the 2002 Grammys, the girls performed the song with Patti LaBelle (lead singer of Labelle). However, when Patti performed the song on television in the 70s, she was prohibited to sing the chorus (‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi se soir’ - ‘Do you want to sleep with me tonight?) due to broadcasting standards, so the lyrics were changed to ‘Voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir’ - ‘Do you want to dance with me?’
Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink (2001)
A little bit of Jessica here I am. A little bit of you makes me your man.
Lou Bega’s real name is David LuBega and he has lived all over the place; Germany, Italy for a good part of his life, Miami for a year or so, and Uganda. Currently, he’s said to be living in Berlin. This song samples a song of the same name from an instrumental 1949 hit by Perez Prado. This was a big hit for Bega, closing in on the millenium. It topped charts in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Europe, and was even the number one song of the year in Australia, as the best selling single.
Some of you might remember that Bega took a new spin on the song when he paired with Disney, changing the name of the girls to Disney characters. Lyrics like ‘Gin and juice’ were changed to ’ice cream’ and ‘the candy store.’ The song is a jive dance song, so the original video reflects the big band era of 1920s, with flappers and old movie reels showing trumpet players. The Disney video plays around with the big band era as well, with kids in pin-stripped suits playing big band instruments.
Fun fact: Though the song’s popularity cannot be denied, Rolling Stone created a poll of the 10 most annoying songs, and this landed in the sixth spot. It’s been on many other lists as most annoying or as one of the worst songs ever. Funny how a song can be so popular, yet regarded as one of the worst of all time. It’s weird to me because I genuinely believe that this is a great song. I mean, it’s not true poetry or anything but it’s fun. And I think that if a song makes you feel good, it’s a hit. And clearly it must have made many people feel good, reaching the kind of numbers it did. It’s not like we have a Rebecca Black situation, where the song is audibly bad but everyone knows it. But who knows? I’m a 90s kid, so that means I’m automatically looking at the whole decade through rose coloured glasses. Everything in the 90s was awesome to me. Also, I might be biased as my name is in the song. If you disagree about how good the song is, and agree with the ‘worst’ and ‘annoying’ titles, send a message my way and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
I’m not internationally known, but I’m known to rock a microphone. Because I get stupid, I mean outrageous.
Alright, I know I promised some 90s rap on my other blog, but I’m feeling some 80s hip hop, if that’s okay with you all. We’re going back in time from yesterday, when I posted a bit of 90s hip hop, via Vanilla Ice. Let’s end this Saturday night with a fun one.
Similarly to Vanilla Ice, this song also samples another song. This song samples Lyn Collin’s ‘Think (About It)’, from 1972. VH1 showed this song a lot of love, placing it at number 18 on it’s ‘100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s,’ 37 on its ‘100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop,’ and number 80 on VH1’s ‘100 Greatest Songs of the 80s.’ The song became a street sensation when it was released and was a popular song in clubs. Together, the single and the album, with the same title, reached multi platnum status. It has since been featured in a few films, such as ‘Coyote Ugly, ’The Proposal’ and ‘Don’t Mess With the Zohan.’ DJ E-Z Rock eventually left the group due to personal issues.
Fun fact: Rob Base still tours frequently, and apparently puts on quite a good show! I’d love to see this song live. Such a fun song to dance to. The VH1 titles are well deserved in my opinion. Great 80s hip hop song to get down to. You can catch Rob Base on his website, http://www.robbase.net or twitter. Hit it!