Sheena.

Browsing around the Internet this morning, I’m finding a lot of (well deserved) talk about the passing of Prince. While his music wasn’t always my cup of tea, I did enjoy many of his mainstream hits and I think the man was an excellent musician. His contributions to the pop world will definitely be missed.

In the mid 1980s he wrote a song for Sheena Easton called “Sugar Walls”. Quite risqué in its nature, this song was part of Sheena’s new image at the time, showing the young lass as edgy and daring. I have always liked “Sugar Walls” and sure played the heck out of it when I was a club DJ back in the day. It always mixed beautifully into Sheila E’s “Glamorous Life” (another Prince creation).

I was watching the “Sugar Walls” video when another of Sheena’s videos came up as a suggestion. This track reached the U.S. Top 30 in 1985. I had never seen the video before but I remembered how much I enjoyed this particular song. Look closely in the video and you’ll see Sheena’s boyfriend being played by actor Billy Zane (from “Titanic”).

From 1985 and her album “Do You”, here’s Sheena Easton with “Do It For Love”.

When Love Takes Over.

I startled myself awake this morning when I started singing in my sleep. I sang out loud and that woke me up. This isn’t the first time that I have done this. For my performance I was standing in the middle of the hotel room, facing the window (which thankfully had closed curtains) and I just started singing my heart out. I can vividly remember the dream; I was singing to a karaoke CD in a T station in Boston. The track in question was “When Love Takes Over” by French DJ David Guetta and vocalist Kelly Rowland. I wrote a month ago that this track was one of my favorite songs. Apparently I still had it on the brain. In my dream, Kelly stopped by to tell me that I was doing a great job covering her vocals. Acting out my dreams in a hotel room is not completely outside of normalcy for me; I’ve been known to engage in nocturnal activity once in a while. Luckily I don’t jump out of windows or anything.

This song has been in my head since my dream, so I decided to look up live performances of it on YouTube. While I have always appreciated Kelly’s vocals on this track, I was a delighted to hear that she is just as good live as she is on Memorex. She reminds me very much of a young Donna Summer, and that’s not a compliment that I share without careful consideration. Donna Summer always gave a flawless live performance and my quick search of Kelly’s live performances of “When Love Takes Over” are flawless as well.

Enjoy this live performance from 2009.

My Favorite Song.

Whenever I need a little inspiration I crank this song up. Originally written as an instrumental dance track by David Guetta in 2008, Kelly Rowland (from Destiny’s Child) convinced Guetta to let her write vocals to the track in 2009. The result, absolute magic.
 
 From 2009, here’s “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland.

Bounce.

I had this song cranked up in the Jeep after listening to their later single “Roam.” I used to bounce around with all the other folks on the dance floor at the 1270 in Boston in the mid 1980s.

Here’s The B-52’s with “Rock Lobster”!

1 AM Flashback.

When I was a club DJ, I would always spin a “flashback set” at 1 a.m. The set usually consisted of three or four songs beat mixed together. This track from 1986, “For Tonight” by Nancy Martinez was one of my favorites to mix in the set.

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Wednesday Earbug.

This song has been floating around in my head all day today, so I thought I’d share with the crowd.

From 1991, here’s Toad The Wet Sprocket, “All I Want”. When I was a baby DJ on WRCK Rock 107 we played this song. A LOT.

Friday Night Dance Party.

The track came up on iTunes radio earlier this week and I’ve been having a hard time getting it out of my head. I looked up the video on YouTube and found what I liked, the fantasy/sci-fi/edgey thing is really cool to me.

Here’s “Begin Again” by Knife Party. I believe it was released this past October.

Lyrics.

These lyrics get me every time I hear them.

The more I look around
The more the walls come down
And something comes to light
Something comes to light
Illuminating Illuminating

It’s something about the depth of the meaning of these words to me, coupled with the simplicity of the verse that brings me nearly to tears. Life is like that, so simple yet so deep.

The track in question is “Illuminating” by dance/electronic vocalist Haley from her debut album “All This Love”, which was released in 2010.

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Haley is probably best known for her angelic sounding vocals on tracks produced by DJs Kaskade and deadmau5. Honestly, I find her solo album to be top notch as well. I’ve heard her sing live and she’s the real deal.

Simplicity is the real deal.

In Tune.

I am always in search of good music to listen to at work. I usually opt for something along instrumental lines, but once in a while I find a lyrically-focused artist that doesn’t intrude too much into my concentration. My searching usually results in going back to the 80s or 90s or earlier, as overly produced music tends to distract me too much. And I have mentioned before that auto tune makes me want to crawl up a wall.

Last week I started listening to Air Supply’s Greatest Hits album. I’ve always been a closeted Air Supply fan, primarily because of the quality of their musicality. They play real music, they employ real vocals and you can feel their heart and soul in their tracks. They love what they do.

Curious as to their whereabouts these days, I decided to look them up on YouTube to see if they had performed live recently and come to find out, they still do about 150 shows a year. Earl reminded me that they perform at the local casino from time to time.

We’ll have to get tickets the next time they’re in town.

The thing that absolutely astounds me about Air Supply is that over 30 years later they still sound amazing. They’re not pitching their songs down in a lower key, they’re not auto-tuning the hell out of their vocals, they are simply still sharing their heart and soul through music. I’ve always found Russell Hitchcock’s tenor voice to be crazily crystal-like and I’m very surprised that at 65 years old he still sounds the same! Same key, pretty much the same quality. Yeah, there’s a little bit of age in his voice but it hasn’t turned into some husky ghost of what it used to be, like other 80s singers have done.

Here’s a video of a recent live performance of “Sweet Dreams”.

Friday Dance Party.

I already tweeted this video out earlier this morning, after dancing around to this track in my home workspace, but I just had to watch this video again at lunchtime. This track has been on my short-list in Spotify for the past six months or so. It always puts me in a great mood.

As a former club DJ, I find this song from 2011 to be absolutely amazing. I have always been a fan of both Sylvia Tosun and Bellatrax, so it’s makes sense that I would find a collaboration to be awesome. The musicality of the track is sound, the production is top-notch and I have always liked the way the song builds along its flow. It doesn’t immediately jump into the goldmine, it seductively finds its way there.

And to be completely candid, Sylvia Tosun is my girl crush. Her vocals, combined with the imagery in her videos, make me all starry-eyed. I love the way she expresses her sensuality. I’ve watched several of her interviews on YouTube and the like, and she seems like a genuinely talented singer-songwriter.

Here is Sylvia Tosun, produced by Bellatrax, with “World Keeps Turning” from 2011.