tune tuesday

Tune Tuesday: Flow, My Tears 1600

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Flow My Tears Dowland Image One
Image Credit: youtube.com

Four hundred, twenty years ago, Renaissance composer, lutenist and singer John Dowland (a contemporary of William Shakespeare) publishes his Second Book of Songs in London. There were 22 song titles in the book and the most well known of these is Flow, My Tears. Written as an aria and for a lute, its style and form is based on a pavane, a slow, couple-dance common in the 16th century. It’s original 1596 title was Lachrimae Pavane (literally “tears dance”) and Dowland added lyrics later.

This is Dowland’s most famous aria and he would, occasionally, sign his name as Jo. Dolandi de Lachrimae (literally, “John of the Tears“)

Lines 8 thru 10 are quoted in Philip K. Dick‘s book Flow, My Tears, the Policeman Said, a science fiction novel set in a dystopian future. The book’s title is a direct reference to Dowland’s piece.

Additional Reading & Sources:
John Dowland (Edition HH Music Publishers)
John Dowland Part I (Millenium of Music)
John Dowland Biography (Study Website)
Lachrimae: Continental Context (University of London Goldsmiths)
Flow, My Tears (Wikipedia)
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (Wikipedia)

Philip K Dick Book Image Two
Image Credit: Doubleday
Philip K. Dick 1974
First Edition Hardcover
wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Lyrics:
Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.

Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their last fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days, my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my deserts, for my deserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.

Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world’s despite.

Song Saturday: Africa (Toto)

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Toto Africa Discogs Image
Image Credit: discogs.com

Changing things a bit. I’ve got Music Mondays and I’ve had Tune Tuesdays (I may return to that) that showcase music by release date, in five year increments (if I can). Early on, I listed number ones, only. There was also my jump into the 30-Day Song Challenge back in December 2018. Now, I’m stretching Saturday out a bit for some music, too…an idea I got from the Nostalgic Italian. I might even stretch it to Sunday, if I take a notion to. It just depends upon my mood. All blogs evolve and, I’m always looking for new and different things.

This is a song on my playlist on my phone. I have a lot of music on my phone…things that I love to hear when I go out for my afternoon and evening walks or, just sitting in my Adirondack chair, watching the sunset. ~Vic

This song came out in the US in October 1982 and is the tenth track from the album Toto IV. Written by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro, it made it to number one for one week in February 1983.

From Mix Online:

Paich recalls writing Africa on his living room piano.

“Over many years, I had been taken by the UNICEF ads with the pictures of Africa and the starving children. I had always wanted to do something to connect with that and bring more attention to the continent. I wanted to go there, too, so, I sort of invented a song that put me in Africa. I was hearing the melody in my head and, I sat down and played the music in about 10 minutes. And, then, the chorus came out. I sang the chorus out as you hear it. It was like God channeling it. I thought, ‘I’m talented but, I’m not that talented. Something just happened here!'”

Paich, then, proceeded to work on the lyrics for another six months. He brought the skeleton to drummer Jeff Porcaro with the idea of having percussion being an integral part of the composition.

“Jeff got out African sticks with bottle caps that his dad (Joe Porcaro) and Emil Richards (both percussionists) used on National Geographic films. He brought in a marimba and a wooden xylophone kind of thing. This was pre-synthesizer. We didn’t have samples back then. You’re hearing bass marimba, that other instrument and you’re hearing, probably, one of the first loops that was ever done.”

Sadly, Jeff Porcaro passed away nearly ten years later.

I hope you enjoy my Saturday evening submission.

Tune Tuesday: Miss You Much 1989

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Janet Jackson Image One
Image Credit: timeout.com

Thirty years ago, Miss You Much by Janet Jackson debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of September 2, entering at position 42 (changing to chart entries and releases instead of number ones to cover more pieces of music). Released August 22 as the lead single from the album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, it reached number one the week of October 7 and stayed there for four weeks. It also reached number one on the Dance Club chart the same week, staying for two weeks. It hit number one on the Hot R&B chart the week of October 14, staying two weeks and was number one in South Africa.

Janet Jackson GIF Two
GIF Credit: giphy.com

Billboard went on to declare that the song was Janet’s biggest Hot 100 single. The song was written and produced by writing team “Jimmy Jam” Harris and Terry Lewis.

Grammy Award & Nominations (32nd Annual 1989)
American Music Awards
Billboard Awards
Soul Train Awards
Brit Awards Nomination

Lyrics

Tune Tuesday: I Can Tell By The Way You Dance 1984

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Vern Gosdin Image One
Photo Credit: notediscover.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight) by Vern Gosdin from the album There Is A Season. Released on March 26 as the lead single, it was written by Sandy Pinkard (of Pinkard & Bowden) and Robb Strandlund.

The song, later on, also made it to #1 on Canada’s RPM Country chart.

Additional Reading:
“The Voice” Passes Away (CMT Website)
2017 Inductee (Nashville Songwriters Foundation Website)
Vern Gosdin Music (Official Website)

Lyrics

Tune Tuesday: The Bellamy Brothers 1979

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Bellamy Brothers Image One
Photo Credit: wolfgangs.com

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me by The Bellamy Brothers from Pasco County Florida. Written by David Bellamy, the song’s title is a reference to the Groucho Marx line from You Bet Your Life. Bellamy was fond of the show and Marx’s comment stuck with him.

Released in March, it was the second single from the album The Two and Only and their first #1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, with Let Your Love Flow reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in May of 1976. The title […] shown on the original single was “If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me” but, on the album and subsequent releases, the title is shown as “… Had …”.

Britney Spears Controversy

Nominations


 
Lyrics
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Now we could talk all night about the weather
Could tell you about my friends out on the coast
I could ask a lot of crazy questions
Or ask you what I really wanna know

If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Now rain can fall so soft against the window
Sun can shine so bright up in the sky
But Daddy always told me, “Don’t make small talk”
He said, “Come on out and say what’s on your mind”

So if I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I were dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Tune Tuesday: Peaches & Herb 1979

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Peaches & Herb Image One
Photo Credit: mm-group.org

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot R&B chart (and the Hot 100 chart, simultaneously, plus Cash Box) was Reunited by Peaches & Herb (Herb Fame & Linda “Peaches #3” Greene). The song was co-written by Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren, whom also co-wrote Shake Your Groove Thing, a previous Peaches & Herb song and, I Will Survive, the Gloria Gaynor hit. This was a sequel piece to the duo’s (Herb Fame & Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker) previous song (We’ll Be) United released in 1968, a cover of The Intruders hit from 1966.

The song sold over two million copies, was the Billboard #5 song for 1979 and the RPM (Canadian) #9 song for 1979 (Wayback Machine). Artists Louise Mandrell (with husband R. C. Bannon), Faith No More and Lulu (with Cliff Richard) have done cover versions. [This link reflects David Hasselhoff and Raven-Symone as cover artists but, I can’t verify. ~Vic]

Nominated for:
American Music Award: Favorite Soul/R&B Song
Grammy: Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus


 
Lyrics
[Verse 1:]
I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The breakup we had
Has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you cause
I want you back, hey, hey

I spent the evening with the radio
Regret the moment that I let you go
Our quarrel was such
A way of learning so much
I know now that I love you
Cause I need your touch, hey, hey

[Chorus:]
Reunited
And it feels so good
Reunited
Cause we understood

There`s one perfect fit
And sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
Cause we`re reunited
Hey, hey

[Verse 2:]
I sat here staring
At the same old wall
Came back to life just when I got your call

I wished I could climb right
Through the telephone line
And give you what you want
So you will still be mine
Hey, hey

I can’t go cheating
Honey, I can’t play
I found it very hard to stay away

As we reminisce on
Precious moments like this
I`m glad we`re back together
Cause I missed your kiss
Hey, hey

[Repeat Chorus:]
Reunited
And it feels so good
Reunited
Cause we understood

There`s one perfect fit
And sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
Cause we`re reunited
Hey, hey

Yeah, yeah, yeah, baby

[Verse 3:]
Oh, lover, lover
This is solid love
And you`re exactly what I`m dreaming of

All through the day
And all through the night
I`ll give you all the love I have
With all my might
Hey, hey

[Repeat Chorus:]
Reunited
And it feels so good
Reunited
Cause we understood

There`s one perfect fit
And sugar, this one is it…

Tune Tuesday: England Dan & John Ford Coley 1979

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England Dan & John Ford Coley Image One
Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart was Love Is The Answer by England Dan & John Ford Coley. Released on March 4, the song was written by Todd Rundgren for his band Utopia. It is the last track on the 1977 album Oops! Wrong Planet. Rundgren’s version didn’t chart but, this cover version reached #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

From John Ford Coley:

Of all the songs we released as singles, that was my favorite. The song, first of all, had a classical base and the middle had a gospel section, which I loved.

Love Is The Answer Image Two
Image Credit: recordrelics.ecrater.com

From Todd Rundgren (on what the song meant to him):

We were doing an album at the time and, usually, we try and be collaborative when we write the songs because, we had made an agreement that we would share the publishing on all of our songs so that specific writers don’t get the credit. But, that was a song that I came up with. We put it on a bummer album like Oops! Wrong Planet thinking, maybe, we need to put something a little hopeful on it.

The song still has meaning to me. I perform it every night with Ringo. Ringo has his “three hit rule” and I’m taking advantage of a technicality in that Love Is The Answer was a hit but, it wasn’t a hit for me or Utopia. It was a hit for England Dan & John Ford Coley.

Originally, Ringo wanted me to do Hello It’s Me and I just felt that the song, in the context of what the rest of the band was playing, didn’t represent the message I wanted to convey because, “Hello It’s Me” is a kind of a selfish song. It’s me, me, me…it’s all about me. I’m in charge and, all this other stuff. I thought a better song, especially for Mr. Peace & Love, Ringo himself, would be “Love Is The Answer” and, people would know the song because it was a hit. […] they, maybe even, would just gloss over the fact that it wasn’t a hit for me and think, ‘Oh Yeah! Now, I remember him singing this song.’ So, for me, it’s a high point of the evening and, hopefully, the audience is getting the message.

Glen Campbell recorded the song in 2004 on his Love Is The Answer: 24 Songs of Faith, Hope and Love album. It remains a favorite of Christian artists.


 

Lyrics:
Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here anymore

And I’ve looked high and low
I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a shortcut
I’d have found it
But there is no easy way around it

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why someday
We all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard

It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads
And walk on by
Tell me
Is it worth just another try

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
(Let it shine)
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Tell me
Are we alive
Or just a dying planet?
(What are the chances?)
Ask the man in your heart
For the answer

And when you feel afraid
(Love one another)
When you’ve lost your way
(Love one another)

And when you’re all alone
(Love one another)
And when you’re far from home
(Love one another)

And when you’re down and out
(Love one another)
And when your hopes run out
(Love one another)

And when you need a friend
(Love one another)
And when you’re near the end
(Love, we got to love
We got to love one another)

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
(Shine, shine, shine)
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer

Light of the world
Shine on me
Love is the answer

Tune Tuesday: Blondie 1979

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Blondie Image One
Frank Infante, Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri, Debbie Harry, Clem Burke & Nigel Harrison
Photo Credit: recort.nl

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Heart of Glass by Blondie. Written by Harry and Stein in 1974-75, its working title was Once I Had A Love. The inspiration for its writing came from The Hues Corporation‘s song Rock the Boat.

From The Guardian:

Heart of Glass was one of the first songs Blondie wrote but, it was years before we recorded it properly. We’d tried it as a ballad, as reggae but, it never quite worked. At that point, it had no title. We just called it “the disco song”. Back then, it was very unusual for a guitar band to be using computerised sound. People got nervous and angry about us bringing different influences into rock. Although we’d covered Lady Marmalade and I Feel Love at gigs, lots of people were mad at us for “going disco” with Heart of Glass. There was the Disco Sucks! movement, and there had even been a riot in Chicago, with people burning disco records. Clem Burke, our drummer, refused to play the song live at first. When it became a hit, he said: “I guess I’ll have to.” The lyrics weren’t about anyone. They were just a plaintive moan about lost love. At first, the song kept saying: “Once I had a love, it was a gas. Soon turned out, it was a pain in the ass.” We couldn’t keep saying that, so we came up with: “Soon turned out, had a heart of glass.” We kept one “pain in the ass” in – and the BBC bleeped it out for radio. ~Debbie Harry

*************

As far as I was concerned, disco was part of R&B, which I’d always liked. The Ramones went on about us “going disco” but, it was tongue-in-cheek. They were our friends. In the video, there’s a shot of the legendary Studio 54, so everyone thought we shot the video there but, it was actually in a short-lived club called the Copa or something. I came up with the phrase “heart of glass” without knowing anything about Werner Herzog or his movie of the same name, which is a great, weird film. It’s nice people now use the song to identify the period in films and documentaries. I never had an inkling it would be such a big hit, or become the song we’d be most remembered for. It’s very gratifying. ~Chris Stein

Blondie Image Two
Photo Credit: nypost.com
An Oral History of Blondie

From CityBeat:

In season one, DJ Johnny Fever not only plays Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” on his broadcast but, home audiences actually hear him announce the band’s, and the song’s, names. It was fantastic promotion for the up-and-coming Blondie, whose huge breakthrough album, Parallel Lines (with other seminal singles like Hanging on the Telephone and One Way or Another), came out the same month WKRP in Cincinnati debuted. The band reportedly gave the show a Gold record plaque celebrating the album’s major sales numbers as a “Thank You” card. It can be seen in the background as set design on several episodes in later seasons.

From NPR:

Unlike many DJs from that era, Fever played punk as well as rock and soul. The range of music on the show gave this fictional radio station a better playlist than most of the era’s real ones. […] although the show helped break Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” big, the exception, in Fever’s case, was disco. “I asked him to play one disco record and he threatened to throw himself in front of Donna Summer‘s tour bus,” Travis complains in “Baby, If You’ve Ever Wondered,” from season two.

As of April 20, 2011, Heart of Glass is #259 of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Awards & Nominations
Best Selling International Single (Juno 1980)
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2006)
Grammy Hall of Fame (2016)

Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you, it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

[Verse 2]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using, please don’t push me aside
We could’ve made it cruising, yeah

[Bridge]
Yeah, riding high
On love’s true bluish light

[Verse 3]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass
Seemed like the real thing only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you, it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

Tune Tuesday: John Denver 1974

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John Denver Image One
Photo Credit: seventiesmusic.wordpress.com

Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver. Co-written with guitarist Mike Taylor and bassist Richard Kniss, the song was originally released in 1971 as an album track on Poems, Prayers & Promises. It wasn’t released as a single until October 1973 (oddly, the same month as his death) and hit #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart just two weeks prior to making the Hot 100. It had been re-mixed to include woodwinds and strings and, had the last verses removed. The full length single mix showed up on Denver’s later compilation albums.

From Wikipedia (without citation?):

Denver described how he wrote “Sunshine on My Shoulders”: “I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call ‘late winter, early spring’. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and, it was too cold to go outside and have fun but, God, you’re ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you’re waiting for that sun to shine and, you remember how, sometimes, just the sun, itself, can make you feel good. And, in that very melancholy frame of mind, I wrote ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’.”

The song was used as the theme to the CBS Friday Night made-for-TV movie Sunshine starring Cristina Raines, Cliff De Young and, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. Canadian singer-songwriter-actress Carly Rae Jepsen released her cover version of the song on June 16, 2008.

Lyrics:
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always

Tune Tuesday: Lauryn Hill 1998

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Lauryn Hill Image
Photo Credit: Billboard

Twenty years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Rap song was Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill. It debuted at #1, the tenth song in the chart’s history to do so and, the first début single to do so.

Awards
1999 Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, Best New Artist, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance & Best R&B Song
1999 American Music Awards: Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist
1999 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA): Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best R&B Video & Best Art Direction in a Video (Gideon Ponte)
1999 Soul Train Awards: Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year (Female), R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year, Best Female R&B/Soul Album & The Michael Jackson Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video

Nominations
1999 MTV Video Music Awards: Best Hip-Hop Video
1999 Soul Train Awards: Best Female R&B/Soul Single

Tune Tuesday: Tommy Edwards 1958

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Alright, kiddies, we are traveling back to the past, again, for some more music. The #1 song sixty years ago, today, was a piece composed by Charles G. “Hell and Maria” Dawes in 1911, the future Vice President of Calvin Coolidge. It’s original name was “Melody In A Major”. Carl Sigman added lyrics in 1951 and Tommy Edwards recorded it. It was a so-so hit, then and, he re-recorded it in 1958. It is the only known #1 single in the U.S. to have been co-written by a U.S. Vice President and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Here is…It’s All In The Game.

And, the original 1951 version: