In 1987, fourteen-year old Vanessa Paradis recorded the unintentional international pop hit Joe Le Taxi. The singer/actress/model confided in recent years that the song that launched her stardom was never meant to be a pop song, but was just "a very simple rhumba". The song about a Parisian taxi driver was written for her by Franck Langolff and Etienne Roda-Gil. Joe Le Taxi soared to number one on the singles chart in France, and spent eleven weeks there. The song hit number one in over a dozen other countries. In 1988, a Portuguese-language version recorded by Brazilian child star Angelica topped the Brazilian pop charts. Vou De Taxi became an instant Brazilian classic and grew the popularity of that popular Brazilian singer, actress and TV personality. see video for Vou De Taxi - HERE
In 1965, influential reggae artist Phillip Thomas - better known as Cutty Ranks - was born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. His career as a singer started at the age of eleven, and before long the young toaster had joined the Gemini sound system - a famous Jamaican reggae artist collective. He later worked with Tony Rebel, and also with the legendary Killamanjaro sound system - where he worked alongside a young Super Cat and others. In the 1980's, Cutty Ranks continued to record with popular sound systems in Jamaica, and spent some time recording in Miami with Super Cat and Nicodemus. When he was recruited by London-based Fashion Records in 1991, Cutty Ranks recorded his first major international hit, The Stopper. Later that year he released his debut album (of the same name) and a second album on Fashion Records. Cutty Ranks' popularity in the 1990's was influential in the boom of 1990's reggae hip-hop, and later was also influential in drum & bass and jungle music. Many of his classic vocals have been sampled and used in songs by electronic artists such as Goldie, and many others.
The Beach Boys recorded Good Vibrations in 1966 - at the time it was the most expensive pop song ever recorded. Brian Wilson became obsessed with the song while composing it, and lead singer Mike Love wrote the flowery lyrics. Good Vibrations was recorded in over 17 recording sessions in six different studios over a two-month period. The final version of the song was the first pop hit to be pieced together from fragments of different recording sessions. The Beach Boys hired top session musicians in Los Angeles, and played no instruments on the recording. Among the musicians who recorded the song was Glen Campbell on lead guitar. Brian Wilson was originally the only songwriter given credit on the song. Mike Love went to court to get writing credits for this and 34 other Beach Boys songs. In 1994, the courts awarded him the song writing credits that he had been denied.
Jamiroquai's 1997 song Virtual Insanity was a warning about the threats of technology, and it's destructive control over humanity. The song was written by the group's frontman Jason Kay and keyboardist Toby Smith. The ground-breaking music video was directed my Jonathan Glazer, and it won four of it's ten MTV music video nominations in 1997.
In 1977, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers had success producing music for others, and they had a hit with their band Chic's new single Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah). The song was popular at the legendary club Studio 54 and other disco clubs. On New Years Eve in 1977, Edwards and Rogers were invited to studio 54 by Grace Jones - who wanted them to do some production work for her. They showed up sharply dressed to celebrate the new year, but they denied entry into the club. After exhausting every attempt to get in, the two walked off and immediately composed a song called "Fuck Off". When they came around to recording the song they decided that they should drop the cursing, so "Ahhhh, Fuck Off!" became "Ahhh Freak Out. The single was Atlantic Record's best selling record of all-time - selling 2 million copies in the US.
In 1954 film star Rosemary Clooney introduced screenwriter/composer Bob Merrill's apparently suggestive song Mambo Italiano. The song - based on a traditional Italian folk-like dance song - had been composed on a napkin in an Italian restaurant. When the song was released it was banned by New York's WABC radio. The station didn't understand the lyrics and assumed them to be suggestive. In an attempt to convince the station that the songs lyrics were not suggestive, Clooney's record label provided statements from a Catholic priest and a professor of romantic languages.
In 1980 Joy Division released Love Will Tear Us Apart, which posthumously became their signature song. Lead singer Ian Curtis wrote the song while his marriage was falling apart. The song was inspired by the 1975 Captain & Tennille hit Love Will Keep Us Together. When Love Will Tear Us Apart was released in April 1980, it - like other releases from Joy Division - it got little attention. A month later Curtis hanged himself. Joy Division never continued without Curtis, and the bands remaining three members formed the group New Order. The tombstone of Ian Curtis is inscribed with "Love Will Tear Us Apart" as an epitaph
In 1981, following the death of Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder performed at Jamaica's annual Reggae Sunsplash with international reggae superband Third World. This connection inspired Wonder to co-write, with his friend Melody A McCully, the 1982 hit Try Jah Love. Trombonist McCully also sang on Wonder's Do I Do - also recorded in 1982. He also recorded Part-Time Lover and other songs with Wonder. Try Jah Love was featured on their You've Got The Power album, the follow-up to 1981's You've Got The Power.
We Are One was the title track of the fifth album from Frankie Beverly's San Francisco based band Maze. The 1983 album also featured the hit singles Love Is The Key, Never Let You Down and I Wanna Thank You. Beverly formed the band around 1970 in Philadelphia, his hometown, as Raw Soul. He felt out-of-place in Philly and moved his band to San Francisco, where his friend Marvin Gaye encouraged the band to change their name. The band established a loyal following after the release of their 1977 self-titled debut album.
Reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff had his first Jamaican hit single in 1962 when he was 14 years old. After signing with Island Records, who had plans to market him to a rock audience, Cliff released his international debut in 1967 - Hard Road To Travel. By the late 1960's Cliff's career was soaring, and in 1969 he wrote the anti-war anthem Vietnam. The song was inspired by his true life friend who had moved to America, and was later drafted to fight in the war in Vietnam. Bob Dylan has called Cliff's song "the best protest song ever", and the song is said to have inspired Paul Simon's 1972 hit Mother and Child Reunion. In 1972, Cliff made his big screen debut in the film The Harder They Come. Jimmy cliff is the only musician to have been awarded Jamaica's hugely prestigious Order of Merit. In recent years Cliff has performed the song Vietnam replacing "Vietnam" with "Afghanistan". see HERE
"If you like to lounge