Would you like to see more "Artist Spotlights" like the Nitzer Ebb Spotlight

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sinnamon - Thanks To You

In order for a song to have an impact on a listener for the first time, there has to be something in it from the very beginning that blows the listener away. In the early 80's, there were many dance trax that did just that, but they were underground songs, mainly designed for dj's to surprise people with at discos, so the mainstream public never knew about them. Most of these songs never made the charts (think of Toney Lee's "Reach Up" and Brenda Taylor's "You Can't Have Your Cake And Eat It Too") But if there was one song that broke this despicable rule, it was "Thanks To You" by Sinnamon, a female vocal trio of Connecticut natives Barbara Fowler, Marsha Carter and New Yorker Melissa Bell. When it was released on May 22, 1982, it hit #44 on the black singles charts for eleven weeks. As the song begins, you are hypnotized by the keyboards and the arcade-like rhythm, while lead singer Fowler takes you on warm journey too start off the summer.

The reason this song was big was because it was popular and high in demand, especially in the New York area. Radio stations like WRKS(98.7 KISS-FM)and WBLS(107.5 FM) were the big supporters who played it constantly. Sinnamon would also keep things going that same year with "He's Gonna Take You Home(To His House)", which has a seductive nightime mood. Unfortunately no other Sinnamon songs charted on the Dance chart.

Taken from the original 12" single on Becket 508
Thanks To You (Original 12" Version) - 6:59
Song charted on May 15, 1982. Spent 17 weeks on the chart and reached #1

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Simply Red - Ain't That A Lot Of Love

Simply Red is a band from Manchester, England consisting of Mick Hucknall. Born on June 8, 1960, Mick got the nickname "Red" because of his red hair. The rest of the band included Fritz McIntyre (keyboards), Tim Kellett (keyboards), Sylvan Richardson (guitar), Tony Bowers (bass), And Chris Joyce (drums).

Today's post was the eighth and last time that they saw one of their songs make the dance chart and is also their third Top 10.

By far, this has got to be THE greatest Simply Red song. ENJOY

Taken from the original 12" single on EastWest 67014
Ain't That A Lot Of Love (Club 69 Underground Club Mix) - 8:18
Song charted on November 13, 1999. Spent 14 weeks on the chart and reached #3

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Veronica - Let Me Go...Release Me

Veronica (born Veronica Vazquez in 1975 in the Bronx, New York) is a dance music singer and theatrical actress. Along with singers Ultra Nate, Deborah Cox, she is considered to be one of the leading divas of the 1990s club music scene. She also is one of the few Latinas to become a successful artist in the English-language dance music genre.

She began her career, in 1995 with the release of her debut album V...As in Veronica. The album was a mixture of R&B and Hip hop and also featured production from Rodney Jerkins and Dallas Austin. In 1997, Veronica released her second album Rise. This album was again R&B and Hip Hop influenced. She released two singles/videos off of this album. The first single was No One But You and it feautured Craig Mack. The second single and album title track, Rise, was released and that featured guest vocals by Big Pun & Cuban Link. As one of the first artists to signed to Jellybean Recordings, a label founded by legendary music producer Jellybean Benitez, Veronica had a string of hits on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, including three reached the top ten. Her first number one on this chart is today's post, Let Me Go... Release Me. Soon afterwards it was followed by the legendary club anthem Someone To Hold (which peaked at the number two slot) and was remixed by producer Johnny Vicious and played heavily in the club circuit scene. The song still remains a classic among clubgoers today and it was featured on the soundtrack to the independent film Trick released in 1999 and starred Christian Campbell and Tori Spelling. She scored a second number one dance hit in 2000 with her cover of Evelyn "Champagne" King's classic R&B song I'm In Love, which was rerecorded for a club setting. She remains a very popular singer to this very day among gay audiences and especially in the club circuit scene.

She moved away from New York and the club music scene for a few years. During these years, she pursued her love for musical theater and was given the opportunity to portray slain Tejano singer Selena in a traveling production about her life and times. The production, titled Selena Forever traveled to numerous cities with a large Mexican-American population for over a year. Shortly after the successful run of the production, she decided to return to New York and start a family and return to her love of music. In 2004, Veronica recorded a song with rapper Triple Seis titled "Krazy". The song was featured on Triple Seis' debut album Time'll Tell. After a brief hiatus, Veronica returned in 2006, with music producer Tim Rex on her first dance single in over five years, Relentless...Just a Game. She soon will be seen in the film The Singer where she plays Hector Lavoe's mother in his younger years. The film is scheduled to be released in fall 2007.

She presently resides in New York City with her husband and their son, C.J. After her son was diagnosed with autism, Veronica has become a tireless advocate for further research and has led several efforts, including charitable walkathons, to raise research funds and awareness for the disorder.

Taken from the original 12" single on H.O.L.A 341031
Let Me Go...Release Me (Johnny Vicious Club Mix) - 8:47
Song charted on August 22, 1998. Spent 15 weeks on the chart and reached #1

Monday, September 17, 2007

ABBA - Lay All your Love On Me-Super Trouper-On And On And On

The most commercially successful pop group of the 1970's, the origins of the Swedish superstars ABBA dated back to 1966, when keyboardist and vocalist Benny Andersson, a onetime member of the popular beat outfit "The Hep Stars," first teamed with guitarist and vocalist Bjorn Ulvaeus, the leader of the folk-rock unit "The Hootenanny Singers." The two performers began composing songs together and handling session and production work for Polar Music/Union Songs, a publishing company owned by Stig Anderson, himself a prolific songwriter throughout the 1950's and 1960's. At the same time, both Andersson and Ulvaeus worked on projects with their respective girlfriends: Ulvaeus had become involved with vocalist Agnetha Faltskog, a performer with a recent Number One Swedish hit, "I Was So in Love," under her belt, while Andersson began seeing Anni-Frid Lyngstad, a onetime jazz singer who rose to fame by winning a national talent contest.

In 1971, Faltskog ventured into theatrical work, accepting the role of Mary Magdalene in a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's
"Jesus Christ Superstar;" her cover of the musical's "I Don't Know How to Love Him" became a significant hit. The following year, the duo of Andersson and Ulvaeus scored a massive international hit with "People Need Love," which featured Faltskog and Lyngstad on backing vocals. The record's success earned them an invitation to enter the Swedish leg of the 1973 Eurovision song contest, where, under the unwieldy name of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida, they submitted "Ring Ring," which proved extremely popular with audiences but placed only third in the judges' ballots.

The next year, rechristened ABBA (a suggestion from Stig Anderson and an acronym of the members' first names), the quartet submitted the single
"Waterloo," and became the first Swedish act to win the Eurovision competition. The record proved to be the first of many international hits, although the group hit a slump after their initial success as subsequent singles failed to chart. In 1975, however, ABBA issued "S.O.S.," a smash not only in America and Britain but also in non-English speaking countries such as Spain, Germany and the Benelux nations, where the group's success was fairly unprecedented. A string of hits followed, including "Mamma Mia," "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do," "Fernando," "Take A Chance On Me," and "Dancing Queen" (ABBA's sole U.S. chart-topper and first promotional-only 12" single), further honing their lush, buoyant sound; by the spring of 1976, they were already in position to issue their first "Greatest Hits" collection.

ABBA's popularity continued in 1977, when both
"Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "The Name of the Game" dominated airwaves. The group also starred in the feaure film "ABBA-The Movie," which was released in 1978. That year Andersson and Lyngstad married, as had Ulvaeus and Faltskog in 1971, although the latter couple separated a few months later; in fact, romantic suffering was the subject of many songs on the quartet's next LP, 1979's "Voulez-Vous." "Voulez-Vous" was the groups second promotional-only 12" single. Shortly after the release of 1980's "Super Trouper," which contained the double-sided hit promotional-only 12" single of "On And On And On" and "Lay All Your Love On Me" (which thanks to a Disconet Remix propelled them to number one in the clubs.) Andersson and Lyngstad divorced as well, further straining the group dynamic. "The Visitors," issued the following year, yielded yet another promotional-only 12" single of the title track, and was the final LP of new ABBA material. The release of "Abba-The Singles The First Ten Years" contained two new tracks "The Day Before You Came" and "Under Attack" and the foursome officially disbanded in late 1982.

Although all of the group's members soon embarked on new projects & both Lyngstad and Faltskog issued solo LPs,
"Somethings Going On" and "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" respectively, while Andersson and Ulvaeus collaborated with Tim Rice on the musical "Chess" � none proved as successful as the group's earlier work, largely because throughout much of the world, especially Europe and Australia, the ABBA phenomenon never went away.

Repackaged hits compilations and live collections continued hitting the charts long after the group's demise, and new artists regularly pointed to the quartet's inspiration: while the British dance duo
Erasure released a covers collection, "ABBA-esque," an Australian group called Bjorn Again found success as ABBA impersonators. In 1993, "Dancing Queen" became a staple of U2's "Zoo TV" tour � Andersson and Ulvaeus even joined the Irish superstars onstage in Stockholm, while the 1995 feature "Muriel's Wedding," which won acclaim for its depiction of a lonely Australian girl who seeks refuge in ABBA's music, helped bring the group's work to the attention of a new generation of moviegoers and music fans.

ABBA recently turned down an offer of one billion dollars (yes, one billion) to reform for a 2000 world tour. Instead, Benny and Bjorn unveiled a new musical set to ABBA's music to great success entitled
"Mamma Mia!"

Today, I'm posting every song that charted by this group. First off, three songs from the SUPER TROUPER LP. Billboard listed all three as one entry. They also listed the LP as the source so today's post is all LP Versions. You all probably have these versions but since it charted I'm posting it.

Taken from the orginal LP Super Trouper on Atlantic 16023
Lay All Your Love On Me - 4:34
Super Trouper - 4:14
On And On And On - 3:40
Songs charted on January 24, 1981. Spent 28 weeks on the chart and reached #1

ABBA - Visitors - When All Is Said And Done

Today's second post comes from ABBA's last LP together as a band. Billboard, also, listed these songs as from the LP and as one listing. These were the only songs by ABBA to chart on Billboards Dance/Disco Charts. ENJOY

Taken from the original LP Visitors on Atlantic 19332
Visitors - 5:48
When All Is Said And Done - 3:14

Songs charted on January 23, 1982. Spent 21 weeks on the chart and reached #8