With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Toss and turn, fall to sleep holding my pillow tight” November 11, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 8:13 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I know that many people thought that Michael Jackson was a little odd, me included. However I suspect that his weirdness shielded some of the odd behaviours of his family. Jermaine Jackson couldn’t resist the temptation of lumbering one his offspring with a ridiculous name; Hello Jermajesty! But now he is playing the name game on his own name. He has allegedly applied to the courts to be allowed to change his surname from Jackson to Jacksun, apparently for ‘artistic reasons’. I guess he won’t be blaming that on the moonlight or the boogie but definitely the sunshine! I’d love to hear your views on Jermaine’s proposed change.

 

“No matter what they take from me they can’t take away my dignity” February 12, 2012


By now you may have already heard or read the reports of the untimely and sad demise of Whitney Houston aged just 48. Any comment about the cause of death at this stage is pure speculation. Her body was discovered in her Los Angeles hotel room on February 11th. She was staying there for Clive Davis‘ pre Grammys party. It was Davis who discovered Whitney singing in bars and clubs as a teenager. Whitney won 6 Grammys herself and with the ceremony taking place today it’s likely that there will be a lot of focus on her career.

Her mother was Cissy Houston, a talented singer herself. She was also related to Dee Dee Warwick and Dionne Warwick. Aretha Franklin was her godmother. She was just eleven when she started singing in her church gospel choir. As a teenager she would occasionally appear on stage to provide backing vocals for her mother. Her first big break in the industry was when she provided backing vocals on the Michael Zager Band’s hit “Life’s A Party” when she was just 14. One of the biggest hits to be graced with a Whitney backing vocal was the stupendous “I’m Every Woman” from Chaka Khan in 1978. Whitney was still only 15. She carried on as a backing vocalist for a while and even graduated to lead vocals an a Paul Jabara album.

Clive Davis signed her to Arista in 1983 and spent some time developing her and finding the right production and writers which meant that her first solo album, ‘Whitney Houston’, didn’t appear until February 1985. Eventually it rose to the summit of the US Billboard album charts and spent 14 weeks there. It also spawned three US number ones; “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know” and “The Greatest Love Of All” The album which featured duets with Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass and backing vocals from her mother Cissy, went on to sell 25 million copies worldwide.

The follow-up album was the rather unimaginatively titled ‘Whitney’ which stormed the charts in the wake of its predecessor. As well as the album hitting the top of the US charts it gave Houston another four US number ones in; “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.  Her third album ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ took her in a much tougher R & B direction and in my opinion showcased her vocal talents better than the first two did. She appeared at the Super Bowl in 1991 where she sang the US national anthem. It was later released as a single and reached the US Top 20. It was the biggest chart hit that any artist had ever had with “The Star Spangled Banner

It was in the 1990s that her career took an even faster upwards trajectory. 1992 was a pivotal year for her. In July She married singer Bobby Brown who she had met at the Soul Train Music Awards three years earlier. She had her only child  Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown with him a year later. After her initial success from 1985 she had many offers of film roles but none of them felt right to her. But eventually she took on the role of a singing superstar in ‘The Bodyguard’ which was released in 1992. She co-starred with Kevin Costner. The film may well be remembered more for its soundtrack though, which included the mega hit “I Will Always Love You”. It was a cover of a Dolly Parton song and frankly is not a song I like very much at all. But I am probably in a small minority there as it reached number one in almost every country it was released. The soundtrack album also included a great version of “I’m Every Woman” a song on which Whitney had provided backing vocals 14 years before. She went on to make a number of other successful movies including ‘Waiting To Exhale’ and ‘The Preachers Wife’

Her next studio album that wasn’t soundtrack related, ‘My Love Is Your Love’ wasn’t released until 1998. It was a much funkier sound from her and includes my favourite Whitney song “It’s Not Right, But It’s OK”. That remains an office catch phrase for me after hearing a colleague (thank you Mr Mangan) use it a lot. Basically if something is not perfect but is ok he would say, ‘It’s a bit Whitney’ meaning in very simple terms, ‘it’s not right but it’s ok’. This album was followed by her greatest hits package ‘Whitney : The Greatest Hits’ in 2000. It included a number of new songs including duets with George Michael and Enrique Iglesias. (Another greatest hits package ‘The Ultimate Collection’ was released in 2007)

The next few years might be seen as wilderness years for her in that she suffered the problems of drug addiction. Plenty has been written about those episodes of her life so I don’t see the point of adding to that here. Even during those low times she was able to release a couple of albums; ‘Just Whitney’ and her first Christmas album. She finally divorced from Bobby Brown in 2007 and got herself back on track by releasing a new album ‘I Look To You’ in 2009. She promoted a single from the album, the rather excellent “Million Dollar Bill” with an appearance on the X Factor in the UK. In 2010 she took off on her first world tour for many years. The shows received mixed reviews and a number were cancelled and rescheduled due to Houston falling ill.

Many of todays generation of female singers owe a debt to Whitney Houston and I am sure she will be sadly missed. Whatever you might think of the way she lived her life it is hard to deny that she was an incredible talent and 48 is just way too young to leave this life. My thoughts go to her family, friends and fans. RIP Whitney Houston.

To celebrate her life I have chosen some of my favourite Whitney Houston songs for you;

 

“Walk around with a smile upon my face, in my mind you have taken up permanent space” December 12, 2011


It’s time to rip off the flimsy cardboard door representing the 12th December on this years ABC of Motown Advent Calendar. We’re halfway there folks, it’s getting serious! So serious in fact that todays song is Jermaine Jackson’s hit “Let’s Get Serious”. Let’s wish him a happy belated birthday as he turned 57 yesterday.

The song reached number 9 in the US and number 8 in the UK in 1980. It was an US R & B number one. It was his highest charting Motown solo single in the UK. Although “Do What You Do” reached number 6 in the UK in 1984, but that was on the Arista label. “Let’s Get Serious” was written by Stevie Wonder and Lee Garrett. Stevie produced the song and his vocals also feature quite heavily on the song.

Jermaine’s first marriage took place in 1973 to Hazel Gordy the daughter of Motown supreme berry Gordy. This would seem to be the reason he remained at Motown when his brothers moved on. He eventually divorced in 1988. He converted to Islam the following year after a trip to Bahrain. He is also a big fan of the LA Dodgers baseball team.

 

“I’m only payin’ the price for a trip I took to paradise” May 8, 2010


Dave. Can he fix it? Probably not

So now all the hype and spin of the UK General Election is over for the time being. Maybe for just a short period too, given that we have a hung parliament there might be another election as soon as later this year, just like 1974. I was thinking earlier that all three main parties must be thinking about how badly they have done this time around and maybe about the recriminations associated with that performance. The Tories must have hoped to have won an overall majority, Labour might have expected to fare a little better (I wonder what influence bigotgate had on their result) and the Lib Dems surely would have wished for a massive improvement rather than going backwards in terms of number of seats. I also feel that this country is crying out for electoral reform. How is it fair that a party like the Lib Dems can win 23% of the votes but les than 10% of the parliamentary seats? That can’t be right, can it? To quote Mr Rotten from San Francisco in 1978 ‘ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ I feel very cheated in this election. How does everyone else feel? Still there was a modicum of good news; the Green Party won their first seat in Brighton and the BNP still have no MPs. The BNP also lost 12 council seats in Barking, now that is very, very good news. 

Gordon makes it clear what he thinks of his opponents. It certainly doesn't look like an 'I agree with Nick' hand gesture does it?

So back to thoughts of failure, recrimination and blame, with heavy emphasis on the blame element. As I have said plenty of times before this is a music blog so here come some blame songs, please feel free to add your own through the comments option. 

I Don’t Blame You At All” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. In this clip the song soundtracks the UK chart rundown on the BBCs Top Of The Pops hosted by Jimmy Saville. Just dig that crazy fashion sense and dancing skills among the audience daddyo! Was that really my generation? Surely not. Back in my younger days I first heard this song on a Motown Chartbusters album, Volume 6 in fact. It was the one with the excellent Roger Dean cover of a Fly/ Spaceship hybrid. What do you think of it? 

Motown Chartbusters Volume 6 cover - I reckon they should have called this superfly, although Curtis Mayfield may have been upset!

“Blame It On The Boogie” – Jacksons. The Jackson as they became after leaving Motown, they weren’t allowed to be called the Jackson 5 as Motown owned the name rights. They also left Jermaine at Motown and replaced him with brother Randy. Does anyone know what the ectoplasm going on in the video is? Confusingly this song was written by a British chap who rather confusingly was called Mick Jackson (not Jacko), click his name to hear his version. Either way it’s a brilliant disco song even after all these years 

Blame It On The Sun” – Stevie Wonder. Taken from Stevie’s excellent ‘Talking Book’ album from 1972. I really had to include this for other reasons as well. In particular the UK tabloid the Sun, a part of Mr Murdoch’s empire back Cameron and the Tories to win. So maybe Dave will blame it on the Sun. At least there wasn’t the old headline of ‘It was the Sun wot won it!’ 

Blame Canada” – South Park. Before I am inundated with comments from angry Canadians, let me just state categorically that I love Canada and certainly don’t blame them for the election result in the UK. Although I am sure that a conspiracy could be woven around that if required. This song is taken from the excellent South Park Movie from 1999, was it really that long ago? Oh Boy! Have you seen it before? If not then click here to buy it. 

Blame It On The Pop” (Top 25 songs of 2009) – Various Artists. Nothing much to say about this mixtastic, medleytastic bunch. It features 25 artists (and in  some cases I use the term lightly) including Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Keri Hilson, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jay Sean, Lil Wayne, All American Rejects, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and Jason Mraz 

OK very funny, which one of you b*stards put super glue on the table?

 

 
A Miscellany Of Tasteful...

Music, Film, Literature, Art

ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST/COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

NO DESPAIR WITH LIFE AND NO LIFE WITH DESPAIR . Email: dr.fawzyclinic2019@yahoo.com

Roses in the Rubble

Finding inspiration in Rubble, Books, Movies, Music & More...

Lavender and Levity

Laughing at myself, and learning to love (live with) it!

A David Bowie Fan Club

'Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing

Human Pages

The Best of History, Literature, Art & Religion

ECLECTIC MUSIC LOVER

Favorite song lists, reviews, featured indie artists, and music commentary.

Thoughts of SheryL

product reviews, travels, and etc

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

To the moon and back

news from around

CJ Mollo

Internet Marketing Tips & Product Reviews!

Virmedius

Music, Movies and More

Shreya Vikram

Blurring the lines between poetry and prose

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Kaylyn’s Blog

Life, College, & Fashion!

A History of Dubious Taste

A confessional trawl through my record buying history...where there's no such thing as a Guilty Pleasure

%d bloggers like this: