With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“See that girl she does something to my chemistry” July 12, 2010


These two music deaths almost passed me by, they certainly didn’t seem to get much in the way of column inches in the UK press. But on July 6th Harvey Fuqua died of a heart attack aged 80 and on July 10th Sugar Minott died aged just 54, the cause of his death has not yet been announced but he was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2009. So I won’t let their passing go unmarked in my blog!

Harvey Fuqua in the Moonglows along with a very young Marvin Gaye

Harvey Fuqua first came to prominence in a group called the Moonglows along with a certain Mr Marvin Gaye. He had quite a musical pedigree. His Uncle, Charlie Fuqua was a member of the Ink Spots and he was also married to Berry Gordy’s sister Gwen. he was responsible for bringing the Spinners (aka the Detroit Spinners and the Motown Spinners in the UK) and Johnny Bristol to Motown. He went on to produce quite a few hits with Bristol. He worked closely with Marvin Gaye and it was Fuqua’s idea that Marvin record a series of duets with Tammi Terrell. He was the producer on Gaye’s first post Motown album ‘Midnight Love’ which featured the classic “Sexual Healing” In the late 70s Harvey discovered the late, great Disco artist Sylvester and produced two of his biggest hits; “Dance (Disco Heat)” and “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” My favourite Slyvester cut though is “Was It Something That I Said?” Mr Fuqua had such a rich musical history and career he will be sadly missed. Click on the song title to hear a great duet he did with the wonderful Etta James, called “If I Can’t Have You” (which incidentally is not the same as the Yvonne Elliman song of the same name from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

Harvey Fuqua with Stella Ragland and Smokey Robinson

Lincoln Barrington Minott began his career as a member of the African Brothers in 1969. Here they are with “Hold Tight” from 1970. He went on to record with top Jamaican producers; Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd and Rupie Edwards. He relocated to the UK from Jamaica in 1980 and had his biggest UK chart success with  a cover of an old Michael Jackson song “Good Thing Going” which reached number 4 in 1981. He recorded hundreds of tracks during his career. In 2006 he appeared on the Easy Stars album of Radiohead covers, titled ‘Radiodread’. He provided guest vocals on the track “Exit Music (For A Film)” Click on the song title for one of my favourite Minott songs, “Lovers Rock“. So like Mr Fuqua the music industry has lost another very talented man.

The late, great Sugar Minott

 

“Whenever blue teardrops are falling…” April 2, 2009


Hello again good people and the bad ones too, I don’t discriminate! England beat the Ukraine last night, what a great result. But Gareth Barry was somewhat shite wasn’t he? Ooops sorry let’s get back to music, this is not a football (or soccer if you live across the big pond) blog. But Peter Crouch does do the Robot Dance as a goal celebration so I think I’m justified. If you want to do the Robot Dance click here

Crouchy scores one of England's goals last night in the World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine

Crouchy scores one of England's goals last night in the World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine

Let’s kick off with a birthday for 2nd April. I promised yesterday there would be more of the late great (welcome back l’s & g’s) Marvin Gaye and today there is. He would have reached the ripe old age of 70 today. I’ve enjoyed Marvin’s music since I first started collecting singles in 69/70. I bought a copy of the “Save The Children” single which was taken from his classic album “What’s Going On?” in about 1971. I then pooled all the spare cash I had and undoubtedly borrowed some from my folks too, because I had to have that album. I got it second hand and it cost me around £1.50 I think. It remains one of my favourite albums of all time. I hope everyone reading this owns a copy, if you don’t then why not? Go out and buy it right now and send photographic evidence which I will be happy to print here for you! I reckon in the UK you can buy the CD for around £5, so I’ll make you a deal. The person that comes up with the best way of making £5 from next to nothing, which does not include stealing, borrowing or begging will receive a copy of the CD. The judges decision will be final and if you’re outside the UK you will need to pay postage.If you don’t win just click here to buy it from Amazon! I think it’s a real shame that the message of this album is still so relevant today, almost 40 years after it was recorded. The planet is still dying and there is still more than enough war to go round.

Another Marvin favourite of mine is “Let’s Get It On“. The song itself is a classic and the album is damned good too. What really irks me though is that it is being used in a UK TV Advertising campaign for bloody pizza’s! That’s how you ruin the feel of such a great song in my opinion.

Marvin always felt this way after too much pepperoni and chilli on his pizza

Marvin always felt this way after too much pepperoni and chilli on his pizza

Marvin originally joined Motown as a session drummer after a stint with Doo Wop act the Moonglows. His drumming can be heard on many Motown hits, notably “Please Mr Postman” by the Marvelettes and the live version of Little Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips” Marvin’s first songwriting success also involved the Marvelettes, he co wrote their hit “Beechwood 45789“. Perhaps the biggest hit of his early Motown career was “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was originally recorded and taken into the US charts by Gladys Knight and the Pips. Click here for their version. I like both versions although I think Marvin’s just shades it for me. Marvin also recorded a number of duets with Tammi Terrell (discussed in a earlier post), Mary Wells, Kim Weston and Diana Ross. How many people know that Kim Weston also recorded a duet with my all time favourite black singer Mr Johnny Nash? It was in the late 60s and I used to have a copy on vinyl. does anyone else own it?

Despite buying the boots Marvin still didn't the part of the Pinball Wizard in the film version of the Who's "Tommy", he lost out to Elton John

Despite buying the boots Marvin still didn't the part of the Pinball Wizard in the film version of the Who's "Tommy", he lost out to Elton John

For me Marvin was never as good after he left Motown although the highlight of those post Motown years has to be “Sexual Healing” which incidentally has been covered by another one of my all time favourite artists, Kate Bush. Click here for her version of the song. Kate is currently getting the most searches from people who arrive at this very blog. More than 350 in total in just the last two days. As seems to be usual lately that includes two searches for Kate Bush naked!

And finally for you fact fans out there and those who know that I am a big fan of Stephen King, did you know that in King’s ‘The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands’ Jake’s father has a Marvin Gaye poster hanging in his study? well now you do!

Did you know that Marvin Gaye gets a mention in this? The train on the cover if you're interested is called 'Blaine The Mono' - nothing to do with David Blaine!

Did you know that Marvin Gaye gets a mention in this? The train on the cover if you're interested is called 'Blaine The Mono' - nothing to do with David Blaine!

 

 
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