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Livin’ It Up (Friday Night) – Bell and James

Livin’ It Up (Friday Night) – Bell and James

Today’s hit is a completely forgotten one-hit wonder that should be resurrected in a movie soundtrack or remade by Lady Gaga or Black Eyed Peas. “Livin’ It Up (Friday Night)” by Bell and James is a quintessential party song. It’s about nothing more than busting out this Friday night. This song could have been recorded by The SOS Band who gave the world “Take Your Time (Do it Right).” It’s another song with unnecessary … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Morning Dance – Spyro Gyra

Morning Dance – Spyro Gyra

Smooth jazz gets a bad rap. “It’s not real jazz,” people say. “It’s warmed-up elevator music,” others claim. “It’s the music that spawned Kenny G and should be outlawed,” jazz purists will say. If you don’t like the smooth jazz sounds created by artists like Dave Koz, Bob James and one-hit wonder artists like Candy Dulfer (“Lily Was Here”) and Grover Washington Jr (“Just the Two of Us”). If you think jazz should demand your attention and shock … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe

Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe

“Cruel to be Kind” is one of my favorite songs of the 1970s. It doesn’t have a perfect hook. It’s rarely heard these days. Nic Lowe’s voice doesn’t soar or span multiple octaves or anything particularly spectacular. But “Cruel to be Kind” remains spectacular, more than 30 years after it was released. It lives in the same zip code as late 1970s or early ’80s songs from Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and many other guitar-driven … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Music Box Dancer – Frank Mills

Music Box Dancer – Frank Mills

Every year, thousands of kids start piano lessons. The first lesson begins with great enthusiasm. Then the teacher throws a little theory, a few sharps and flats the student’s way, and the battles begin. Battles to perfectly master the music if you’re mom happens to be a Tiger Mom or former concert pianist. Battles to convince a parent that “piano is too hard” or “piano is too boring.” Battles to convince a parent that football or … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Knock on Wood – Amii Stewart

Knock on Wood – Amii Stewart

Even if Amii Stewart didn’t have two “iis” in her first name because one obviously wasn’t enough. Even if “Knock on Wood” wasn’t an enduring disco one-hit wonder. Even if no one remembered “Knock on Wood” all these years later (plenty of people still do, of course). I would still have to honor Stewart for her gutsy fashion choice for her album cover. Not many men or women can select such a, well, I’m not really sure … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

“Ring My Bell” is one of many disco one-hit wonders. And like many disco one-hit wonders, once this song by Anita Ward left the charts, so did people’s desire to buy Ward’s music. She never again charted. But “Ring My Bell” lives on loud and strong. In fact, it’s one of many 1970s disco one-hit wonders that still has legions of fans today. Songs like “The Hustle” by Van McCoy or “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop