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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

Hooked on Classics – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Hooked on Classics – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Disco fever had long ago reached its ignominious end when “Hooked on Classics” reached #10 on the Billboard Top 40 back in 1982. This discofied little ditty (and it sounds more like a ditty than a tribute to some of the greatest classical musical themes ever produced) takes symphonic pieces from artists as diverse as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Copeland, Vivaldi and Gershwin and overlays them in a medley with an incessant disco beat in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Pump Up the Volume – M/A/R/R/S

Pump Up the Volume – M/A/R/R/S

Another instrumental one-hit wonder for you today. Well, maybe it’s not a “pure” instrumental one-hit wonder because you hear vocals in the mix. But nearly all the vocals are samples from other records. So I’m considering them “instruments” instead of “vocalists.” The people behind the Grammy Awards clearly agreed since they nominated “Pump Up the Volume” by M/A/R/R/S for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. It lost to sax player David Sanborn. Click to hear more Grammy Award … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Hip Hop

Overture from Tommy – Assembled Multitude

Overture from Tommy – Assembled Multitude

Like most rock music fans, I own Tommy by The Who. Pete Townshend is a brilliant songwriter. Roger Daltrey a talented singer and frontman. Keith Moon, the most reckless drummer ever. And John Entwistle the rock at the low end of the sound. But this version of “Overture from Tommy” has nothing to do with The Who. It’s an instrumental one-hit wonder from 1970 that may actually be a better version than The Who’s “Overture.” Sacrilege? Blasphemy? Listen for … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) – Maynard Ferguson

Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) – Maynard Ferguson

Here’s an unexpected twist for you: two versions of Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now” hit the Billboard Top 40 in 1977. The first and most successful version is by Bill Conti from the official soundtrack recording of Rocky. This is the song that makes you want to drink raw eggs and run until you puke. It hit #1 on the Billboard Top 40 and also won a Grammy Award for Best Original Song in 1977. Then … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) – Bill Conti

Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) – Bill Conti

I still remember the first time I heard the theme from Rocky. I was riding in my parent’s Ford Country Squire station wagon when the song came on the AM radio. I suddenly wanted to leap from my seat and bash through the window so I could run alongside the station wagon. With “Gonna Fly Now” playing in my head, I was going to conquer my fear of snakes. I was going to eat four … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s