Thu, 29 September 2016
Greetings listeners! Me and Thomas Inskeep are back with the 10th episode of the Jheri Curl Chronicles podcast. Before we get started with this new episode, what say you backtrack and listen to the series' other episodes, which you can find here and here.
While most of our episodes focus on songs that hit #1 on Billboard Magazine's Hot R&B Singles chart in the '80s, this is one of those "very special" episodes focusing on the #2 singles of 1982. We've got nine tasty treats for you this episode, so we run just a tad longer than usual. But I can virtually guarantee that you'll enjoy every second!
Here are the nine songs covered in this latest episode:
"Truly" by Lionel Richie
"Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club
"You Dropped A Bomb On Me" by The Gap Band
"Mirror, Mirror" by Diana Ross
"Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder
"The Other Woman" by Ray Parker Jr.
"Mama Used To Say" by Junior
"Circles" by Atlantic Starr
and "777-9311" by
Along the way, we discuss:
-How schmaltzy is too schmaltzy, even for Lionel Richie? And why might Laura Branigan have harbored a grudge against Lionel?
-Did Tom Tom Club's success take their original band, Talking Heads, to the proverbial "next level" commercially?
-"Mirror Mirror"'s co-writer, Michael Sembello, who not only fit perfectly in with the "bear" archetype, but was no stranger to camp himself.
This single cover. Discuss.
-Is it me, or does "The Other Woman" give you the "Jessie's Girl" feels? (not discussed in the podcast: do you think Michael Jackson and John Landis saw this video before they made "Thriller" or nah?)
-Ray's smoldering sex appeal and general caddishness.
-British soul arrives in the '80s courtesy of Junior, although it really didn't. Billy Ocean hit the Top 5 with this classic first. Oops.
-Atlantic Starr's revolving door of female vocalists.
-Why "777-9311" might be the best punk/funk single ever recorded, and Morris Day's legacy as a "pussy hound"
and so much more.
You can give a listen to this episode via streaming on LibSyn. You can also listen in the player below, download the episode directly to your device, or subscribe to the Blerd Radio family on iTunes.
Please leave comments, tweet at us, and ask questions! If you have a question about '80s R&B, hit us up and we may read your question on the air! Enjoy!
Mon, 26 September 2016
It’s time to get sexy with a brand new episode of the Blerd Radio podcast!
This episode takes you back to 1996. The “neo-soul” genre was just getting a foothold in the marketplace, and an Afro-ed, mysterious singer/songwriter named Maxwell showed up on the scene. His sound was both familiar and exotic, old and new. He seemingly emerged from nowhere, but he was talented enough to attract collaborators like Motown composer and producer Leon Ware and Sade’s Stuart Matthewman on his acclaimed debut, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite.
Me (Mike Joseph), Michael Parr and Dr. Z revisit Urban Hang Suite on its 20th anniversary. We discuss the album’s place in the neo-soul canon and the misguided comparisons to D’Angelo. We explore the air of mystery that’s surrounded Maxwell since day one, the subtle UK influence on his work, and his surprising connections to R. Kelly and Santana’s “Smooth”. We also discuss Urban Hang Suite’s narrative arc, Maxwell’s killer live performances, two remixes that extended the album’s life, and touch on the catalog of albums he’s released since, up to and including the recent release blackSUMMERsnight. We also share the news that Urban Hang Suite will be receiving its first release on vinyl later this year.
Mon, 19 September 2016
Last week, Sony/Legacy announced a deluxe reissue of George Michael's second solo album, 1990's Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. Coincidentally, when that announcement was made, the Blerd Radio team was putting the finishing touches on a podcast episode devoted to that particular album.
While not as commercially successful-or anywhere near as pop friendly-as its predecessor, Listen Without Prejudice has become a classic. It boasted the #1 smash "Praying For Time" and the Top 10 smash "Freedom", a song that has become iconic thanks to its stylish video and universal message. With these songs, George shrugged off his pretty boy pop star image, and aimed to be taken seriously as a songwriter and vocalist. By refusing to appear in his own videos or do interviews, George incurred the wrath of his record label and set the stage for a years-long court battle that remains a tentpole event in the fight for artists' rights.
We also discuss Listen Without Prejudice's debt to '60s pop and '70s soul, George's coming out and how it may have affected the promotion and lyrical content of the album, the Cover To Cover tour George embarked on in early 1991, and much more.