This song started as a parody of a nightclub song. Read the rest of this entry
The sixties saw a great deal of dances which were popular. Read the rest of this entry
In 1984, Linda Lewis released her disco record Class/Style (I’ve Got It). As a small girl, she performed with her father, which led to her first small roles. She played in the movie A Hard Day’s Night. In the seventies, she released several songs, and sung in the background for artists like David Bowie and Cat Stevens. The albums she made in the seventies selled the best, but this disco song only was a minor hit in the Netherlands. Enjoy
Linda Lewis- Class/Style (I’ve Got It)
A man who can do everything. A man who changed his style everytime before the world changed. A man who changed the world.
David Bowie (real name David Robert Jones) was born on the 8th of January 1947. He listened to quite some jazz albums in his youth and therefore learned to play the saxophone. He joined some bands and became familiar with the world of pop music. His first record which really charted was Space Oddity, a number 5 hit in the UK. In 1971, Bowie released his first album, The Man Who Sold The World. From this album, it is immediately recognizable that Bowie would change the world: some claim that glam rock started with this album! Hunky Dory (with Life On Mars and Changes) and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars followed. It became clear that David Bowie not only sung about a character: he WAS the character. It brought big success, in which he managed to release Aladdin Sane (photo) and the controversial Diamond Dogs.
David Bowie became more interested in the American music styles. These influences can be heard in, of course, Young Americans, but also Fame, which he wrote with John Lennon. Station To Station followed, in which the influence of the German writer Bertold Brecht and electronic music become more important. It was a sign for the next move: the Berlin Period.
Experimenting with sound and surrealistic items were the main themes. Low was the first to be produced in this period. The grey, black and white style, together with angled forms, became clear in the second album of the Berlin Period: Heroes. The title track was hugely inspired by the Berlin Wall and the division of the country. Lodger closed this period.
The eighties began, which brought a lot of activity: Scary Monsters was released, and Bowie worked together with Queen on the song Under Pressure. In 1983, he worked together with Nile Rodgers, to produce the (disco-influenced) album Let’s Dance. In the years that followed, collaborations became more frequent: with the Pat Metheny Group (This Is Not America), Tina Turner (Tonight) and Mick Jagger (Dancing In The Street). The nineties meant an electronical period, partly looking back on his career, but no big hits followed anymore. Bowie seemed to be gone from the big pop scene.
And then, suddenly, when everyone thought we would never hear of David Bowie again, there was the album The Next Day in 2013. The world was excited: David Bowie was back! Everyone thought The Next Day would be his last, as he looked back upon his life. They were wrong: Blackstar was released on the 8th of January 2016, his 69th birthday. On the 10th of January 2016, Bowie died, suffering from cancer.
In 1978, Nick Lowe went on with teasing David Bowie. After an EP called Bowi (which lacked the ‘e’, since Bowie released the album Low, lacking an ‘e’ of Nick’s surname), he recorded a parody from the Bowie song Breaking Glass. It started as a vague idea of Lowe, who had a sort of tune. Together with his session musicians he made the track in the studio. Two of the musicians who shared in the royalties were Steve Goulding and Andy Bodnar, who played for Graham Parker And The Rumour, whose records Nick Lowe produced. The song was released as first single on Radar Records (Lowe’s album was the first album from Radar Records). It made a number 7 hit in the UK. Enjoy
Nick Lowe- (I Love The Sound Of) Breaking Glass
In 1972, David Bowie released the album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. The name, especially the surname Stardust, was inspired by the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. The song is about the person Ziggy Stardust (who was ‘played’ by David Bowie for a year), who is destroyed by his fame. The looks of Ziggy were inspired by two books, namely A Clockwork Orange and Wild Boys. It’s considered as one of the best songs of all time, though it never charted! Enjoy
David Bowie- Ziggy Stardust
A disco song which wasn’t a disco song when it was written. Not that it is strange, because quite some disco songs were no disco songs in their origin. Knock on Wood was written by Eddie Floyd in 1966, and recorded by its writer. It peaked at number 28 in the US. David Bowie then recorded the song, on a live album, in 1974, and made a single out of it. This would do number 10 in the UK. The biggest hit, however, would come in 1979, when Amii Stewart changed the music into disco, making it a number one hit in the US. Her version would be succeeded by several other covers, none of which were successful. Enjoy
Amii Stewart- Knock On Wood
As I read the paper today, I came across a column about the song Happy, which was in the news because of some people in Iran dancing to the song. The writer of the piece made a reference to several songs which were “happy” or describing the feeling of happiness. One of them was Perfect Day by Lou Reed, which was sung in such a mood that you would like to hang yourself, as the writer stated. The great thing about the song is that it is the B-side of his other big hit, Walk On The Wild Side. And that is an interesting song. David Bowie produced the song and it actually was about all sorts of taboos. Why would I choose this song as song of the day? Because it has a great saxophone solo in the end of the song, which I would have preferred in the middle, but okay. Enjoy
Lou Reed- Walk On The Wild Side
For the people who’ve read this blog longer, or who have read a lot of posts, this choice is not a big surprise. They already know I’m a very BIG fan of disco. And this man has influenced disco a lot. Actually, he did not make a lot of solo work, but I have not yet heard it. However, he was the brain behind lots of good disco acts. The man formed the group Chic, who are good!, he was the brain behind Sister Sledge, and later he was responsible as a producer for The Reflex (Duran Duran), Like A Virgin (Madonna), Let’s Dance (David Bowie) and that were just some of the records.
Nile Rodgers showed us in 2013 that he was never really away, by showing up for “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. Again, he had a big hit. And for 2014, he played on “Calling All Hearts”. This man changed the music in a very positive way, and therefore he definitively deserves a place in the Chris Hall Of Fame!
Well, we get to the most intruiging person of the music business by far! I find him strange, but his music is different, and I like that about him. He dares to be different. It’s not strange that there is a whole exhibition about him in the V&A (or has it ended?). I hope that, when it comes to the Netherlands in a few years, I can visit it. I missed my chance at the V&A, so I have reason to have a drive to go there. Until then, I have to do it with his CD’s (bought The Next Day this week) and with the song of the day! Enjoy:
David Bowie- Golden Years