Happy Black Music Month!
June is Black Music Month and we will be paying homage to our favorite genre of music:soul music. Now I am sure some of you may be confused by that statement especially coming from the same girl that tried to crawl up Rick Springfield's back. Tia and I just had a conversation about if someone said you could only listen to either rock or soul music forever, what would it be. That my friends is asking what would you choose:Stevie Wonder or Paul McCartney. The answer, hands down, is Stevie thus we go with soul music.
I grew up in a home full of records and every Saturday afternoon, I would go in the living room and play records for hours on end. I even had mini concerts. For those of us that remember the Off the Wall ALBUM, it use to fold out into a full length sexy Michael Jackson. I would play that record and dance with it (I wasn't much taller than the record jacket actually.) Then when "It's the Falling In Love" woould come on, I would be Patti Austin and Mike and I would sing together. Good times! When's the last time you could spend all afternoon with one solid, good all the way through, record that was made recently? I'll give you a minute.
Our homage will start with this week's Black Music Month Top 10 List: Favorite Slow Jams of All Time Let me tell you the differnece between a ballad and a slow jam. A ballad makes you feel all warm inside. It can move you to tears. You play it on rainy days while reading a good book, sipping on some Chai tea. Aaah. Now a slow jam? A slow jam makes you want to take action, it comes on and I do either one of two things: A) Jump for the volume button and shout"OOOOHHHH! That is MY JAM!" or B) Take the route Tia did on our trip to Atlanta: cut that bad boy off because I am not married and I don't want my mind to start wandering (Song of Solomon: Do not awaken love before it's time).
I remember when I was a kid and would listen to the Quiet Storm. Remember when that used to be soooo good? I could not sleep most of the time. I had to stay up. I made my first mix tapes off of the quiet storms, with the radio under my pillow and the sheets over my head. I remember staying up all night waiting to tape Force MD's "Tender Love". They didn't play it until 4 in the morning and I had 2 hours to sleep before school. Good times.
If you are a fan of slow jams, match your list up against mine and hey, email me and tell me what favorites of yours didn't make the list. For those that aren't familiar with the jams, take notes. Without further adu (of due, whatever) here are the jams, in no particular order:
1) The aforementioned Tender Love-Force MD's. The first of about 3 Jam and Lewis produced songs on this list. They are geniuses. This song really isn't anything special lyrically or musically, but the melody that the piano is playing is haunting. It is beautiful. One thing that all of these songs have in common is that you know EXACTLY what it is when it comes on in a matter of seconds. Classics. They don't make those anymore.
2) "Can You Stand the Rain"- New Edition: Another Jam and Lewis classic. The first time I heard this, I had again been staying up way past bedtime listening to the Quiet Storm. I sat straight up in the bed and gasped. it was the most perfect song I had ever heard and on top of that, I knew from the start that it was a product of that incredible Minneapolis sound. This is when the Johnny Gill joining New Edition thing all started to make sense. Thank God for downloading, I finally got the remix with just the lone guitar and the rain in the back. Can you borrow it? No my brother, you gotta downlaod your own.
3) Love Ballad- LTD I honestly don't know what to say about this. It is so...Jeffery Osborne just...whew! Crazy enough, I always thought that this would be my wedding song if I married a white guy, since my family swears that it is inevitable. The last almost 2 minutes of the song, Jeffery Osborne is singing "And what we have is much more than they can see" over and over and over again. I can't imagine caring about what anyone thinks when this song is on.
4) Yearning for Your Love- Gap Band - Before I moved to Nashville, I was fortunate enough to see the Gap Band in concert and Charlie Wilson is still as dynamic now as he was when he sang this song 20 years ago. This song reminds me of picnics and Colt 45. Every Gap band song does. I don't know why. LOL.
5) Untitled-D'Angelo- This song has been referred to as the best song Prince NEVER did. The video with D'Angelo revolving butt naked is almost as scandalous as the 7 minute version of this song. Tia and I have a file on her computer called The Married File. In this file are songs that we really should not be listening to before we get married because, why? These songs really aren't for just listening if you know what I mean and will only be released on THAT night. So yeah, this is in the file.
6) Speaking of Prince, #6 is his Adore. "Without you there is no sea, there is no shore, love is too weak to define how much I adore". DOPE! Now we have, "We aint gettin' no younger we might as well" get married crap. Are songwriters on strike or something?
7) No Ordinary Love - Sade One of my married friends, I will name no names, pointed out that Sade's music is the soundtrack for the honeymoon. There is something about your married friends talking about their sex lives that is equivalent to chewing on a ball of tin foil. That aside, nothing can ruin my admiration of this song. Sade is a bad broad. Honestly, she makes one record every what, 5 years? Amazing.
8) I Love You- Donny Hathaway If you don't feel this song, you are dead inside. Period.
9) If You Were Here Tonight-Alexander O'Neal- This song makes me nauseous, it's so good. Again another Jam and Lewis jem, this is 6 minutes of pure groveling. Men don't beg in songs anymore. Why is that? Do they really believe that they can get all those hussies that dance around half naked in those videos. At the end of the day and your record advance, you are still that same brother that couldn't buy a date in high school. I digress...
10) Make Me Say It Again- Isley Brothers Most kids know Ron Isley as Mr. Biggs. The grown and sexy like myself know Ron Isley as part of the legendary Isley Brothers who are probably responsible for a good part of the population that was born around 1978. I recommend their compilation "The Beautiful Ballads". It doesn't have "Between the Sheets" but I really don't need that...yet.
So that is my rundown. Remember I had to limit it to 10 and even I couldn't figure out how to fit Jodeci, Luther, Rene' and Angela and Anita Baker on there. Maybe around Valentine's Day.