Hall and Oates, I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

Posted in Hall and Oates, Youtube Favs on December 20th, 2011 by Willie

Oh the hits keep rolling for Hall and Oates.  “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” was a #1 for Daryl and John in 1981, and another track that set the tone for 80s pop.  Their embarrassing cover art for the single also help set trends of decadent ugliness for the 80s as well.  Pop music from the 1980s had many uniting broad themes from futurism, celebration, dark sexuality, and paranoia.  “I Can’t Go For That” has those trademarks in spades.  It also holds the distinction for being the first song by a non-African American group to top the R&B charts.  Daryl Hall, the songs primary writer, was most pleased with this achievement, stating, “I’m the head soul brother in the U.S.  Where to now?”  Good question.  One direction led to an even bigger hit, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”  Michael admitted to Daryl that he copped the bass line from “I Can’t Go For That” for his own ultra-smash hit, to which Daryl replied, ‘I took that bass line from someone else to begin with, and that it’s “something we all do.”‘  That reminds me of another theme in 80s pop, superstar collaboration.  It’s as if their was one continuous party of mega rich famous rock stars, who all inflated each others egos, and played on each others records.  Heady times, heady coke fueled times indeed…

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Michael Jackson, Leave Me Alone

Posted in Michael Jackson, Youtube Favs on June 12th, 2011 by Willie

Soul week comes to a close with part 87 of my ever expanding youtube countdown.  Today, I have my favorite Michael Jackson cut of all time, “Leave Me Alone,” from Bad. Released in 1987, “Leave Me Alone” was actually left off the American version of Bad, but was later added as a bonus track.  This, I’ll never understand.  It was clearly the best song from the session, representing a clear, concise, and true message from the King of Pop.  It’s basically his banner, more than “Billie Jean,” or “Beat It,” and he should have played it at every live show.  Actually, I don’t think he ever performed it live, which is a shame, because its the hardest rocking piece of funk MJ ever came up with.  The thing that grabs me most are first few seconds.  That 80s snyth keyboard intro is nothing less than hardcore 80s psychedelia.  In fact, this whole song is the closest Jackson ever got to psychedelia.  It’s a swirling, paranoid, personal, foray into his inner demons set to pop music, and it rules.  Anyway, enjoy the music video, which is also one of Jackson’s best.

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Michael Jackson, Pepsi Commericals

Posted in Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, Youtube Favs on June 2nd, 2011 by Willie

We’re the Pepsi Generation in part 79 of my youtube countdown.  I’ve got Michael, Marlon, Jackie, Randy, Tito, and Jermaine all pitching soft drinks in the height of the 80s soda craze.  These 3 awesome videos to take you back in time to a more magical place where if you were drinking a Pepsi and dancing in the Bronx, you might just run into Michael Jackson and his brothers doing the same.  Wearing the same clothes as them only increased your chances by the way.  The other video features the gang getting ready for one of their Victory tour shows, evidenced by the guy wearing a 350 dollar official Victory Tour jacket.  Lastly, I have a clip of Michael’s hair catching fire filming, the event that supposedly led him to consider more and more radical plastic surgery.  Pretty freaky stuff.  It’s kind of incredible that even though his head is blazing, he keeps dancing until the entire crew tackles him trying to save his life.  Crazy!


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