Throwback

Throwback Music.

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[Sun Morn Throwback] Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes – “I Miss You”

"I Miss You" (1972) was the first hit single from Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes that kickstarted the career iconic R&B soul singer Teddy Pendergrass, who died earlier this year from colon cancer. Before he was paralyzed in a 1982 car crash,  Teddy created a whole whack of hits, like "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "Close the Door" and Love T.K.O., the latter of which was re-written into hip-hop by Joell Ortiz, Jadakiss, Saigon and Novel in the Teddy Pendergrass Tribute mixtape (2010) hosted by Spanish wonder-DJ's Cookin' Soul. Of all the songs that have sampled "I Miss You," Jay Z's reflective and unsettling "This Can't be Life," ft. Beanie Sigel and Scarface (The Dynasty) has the most sprouts. A testament to his skills as a sample- based producer, Kanye sped up the sample to accentuate Lloyd Parks' falsetto vocals for a much more urgent re-incarnation. "Ever since you went away I ain't been doin nothin but thinkin, thinkin, thinkin..." Pendergrass sings in the original. It's the perfect backdrop for pondering what it all means.
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[Sunday Morn Throwback] Ann Peebles – “I Can’t Stand the Rain”

Don Bryant of Hi-Fi Records wrote this song for his soon to be St. Louis Missouri born wife and singer Ann Peebles in 1973. Over the course of the song's existence, it has been covered by a handful of artists including Michael Bolton, Cassandra Wilson and Tina Turner, though it is best known (at least for 80's babies) as the source material for Missy Elliot's 1997 hit "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" produced by her then sideman Timbaland. The song's success was no doubt hurried along by that creepy Michelin man garbage bag outfit she wore in the track's video (and the real-time deforming eye and lip enlarging camera effects) that I don't think anyone ever fully understood. "I Can't Stand The Rain" became the chorus for Elliot's hit, while the second part of that same phrase, "Bringin' Back Sweet Memories", was scooped three years later by Hi-Tek for "Memories Live" from Reflection Eternal's 2000 landmark album Train of Thought.
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[Sun Morn Throwback] Bob and Earl – “Harlem Shuffle”

I heard this while shuffling around in an old record shop the other day. Credit for "Jump Around" --which samples this original--is usually attributed to House of Pain, who became the track's figurehead as it blew up back in 1992. Everyone knows some of these lyrics, in the least "Pack it Up/Pack it In," or the chorus's simple chant ("Jump Around!") that ensures you'll go home remembering the song's name at the end of the night. Less often acknowledged yet due equal credit is DJ Muggs (known for his Soul Assaassins series and work with Cypress Hil), who did the crate digging to find the horn-herding hook you hear in the opening of "Harlem Shuffle" (and "Jump Around"). But the credits don't stop there, because "Harlem Shuffle" was performed by Bob and Earl, yes, but also written by Relf and Nelson, produced by Fred Smith, and arranged by Barry White! It takes a Village...
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[Throwback] Dr. Dre – “Murder Ink.”

Why is it that most halloween songs are film afterthoughts? "Murder Ink." is from Dre's Chronic 2001, but the sample is from slasher film legend John Carpenter, who both directed and wrote the film score for the Hitchcock inspired Halloween back in 1978. It is likely one of the best known soundtracks in film history, partly due to the sparseness of the piano and partly due to the unusual 5/4 time signature Carpenter used for this theme, a rhythm he claims he picked up from his Dad when he was a kid. (I think of it as tri-ple-it-tri-ple-it/1 -2-1-2, but that's just me). Download: Dr. Dre - "Murder Ink" (itunes)

[Throwback] DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – “Nightmare On My Street”

He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper may be best known for DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince's first single "Parents Just Don't Understand,"  but almost equally successful was that album's second release, "Nightmare On My Street," a parody of horror villain god Freddie Krueger. I love rap songs that start with "here's a little story..."

Download: DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince - "Nightmare on My Street" (itunes)