Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If You Were A Dream Lover

Songs number 8 and 9 are both remixes. These two songs are without a doubt my favourite remixes of all time. They are both from the summer of 1993. I always remember hearing both songs in Dublin clubs at the time and I'm sure it was the same in America and the UK as well. The first is the Brothers in Rhythm remix of If by Janet Jackson. I liked the single version but this remix brought If into a whole new dimension. Janet already was one of pop music's greatest singers and dancers because of both her Control and the Rhythm Nation 1814 albums. The combined singles and videos from both albums are simply iconic. Her 1993 Janet album had great singles too especially Throb, Anytime Anyplace and That's The Way Love Goes. The various remixes of those songs were excellent too but by far the remix of If is the one I remember most. All of those mixes were released on the Janet Remixed album in 1995. So here is song number 8 of my 40 songs. From July 1993 this is the Brothers in Rhythm remix of If by Janet Jackson.
The second remix is the David Morales def club mix of Dream Lover by Mariah Carey. The majority of good pop songs of the late 1990s and early 2000s had properly amazing dance remix versions but Dream Lover was one of the first to use 70s disco, 80s pop and house and add it all in and make 90s dance pop. David Morales' remix of Dream Lover was a perfect example of how a classic radio version of a song could be a Billboard chart topper and could also be reimagined for the dancefloor. Mariah's vocals were re-recorded for the remix with her fantastic backing vocalists making a cameo near the end. Beginning with the wonderful psycho fairground piano notes and then in to the stuttering uh-uh vocal. Six and a half minutes into it it changes direction again. Gorgeousness! Here's song number 9 of the neverending 40! This is David Morales def Club remix of Dream Lover by Her Royal Warbleness Mariah Carey.

Come Around and Talk Awhile

The 1970s for me was Star Wars and Disney movies, action men and the Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie's Angels and the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew both on TV and in book form. It was in the late 70s that I remembered being aware of hearing songs on the radio. We didn't have BBC until the 1980s so a lot of the pop shows weren't on TV for me then. Today, I associate the 70s with disco and especially love songs. Those sweet, sad ones. There are some stars that created a genre of love song. One of those people was Olivia Newton John. My favourite song from Grease was Hopelessly Devoted to You, it was one of the few films of that decade that I didn't see in the cinema, it was all the Skywalker family for me then instead of the first High School Musical. My favourite song from Xanadu a few years later would be Suddenly, her duet with Cliff. Someday I might even meet someone who likes those songs as much as me! I'm realising that picking just 40 songs that are my favourites is not that easy. Ever since I rediscovered Sam by Olivia Newton John (through Last.FM) I really think it's one of the most gorgeous songs of the 1970's. It sums up a time in music that could only have been from that decade. So, here's song number 7 of my 40. From 1977 this is Sam by Olivia Newton John.

Charlene's On Lighting!

There are some songs that we have no idea exactly how old they are or when we started to like them. Song number 6 in my forty favourite songs is one I think I only really started to like in the past few years. It's Rock The Casbah by The Clash. What is interesting is the history of songs and sometimes you are best not looking up some details on the Wizard of Wikipedia. There is loads on the song here including the tragic connection to the song that is said to have had Joe Strummer in tears. Even if I had been aware of Rock The Casbah back in 1982 I would have been pretty oblivious to the political lyrics. Truth is I have been since as well. Rock The Casbah is a song that you find yourself singing along to even if you don't know the lyrics. I bet we all do that on some songs, put in our own words. So in the tradition of misheard lyrics in great songs, here's Rock The Casbah by The Clash. Video created by Billy Ray.