Category Archives: 1980s

Catalog: Rufus with Chaka Khan

New feature/format/whatever: looking at an artist’s entire ouevre, à la the Rolling Stone Record Guide. Only I’m not looking at that, I’m doing my own grading. Starting with one of the greatest soul groups of the 1970s, Rufus. I’m only … Continue reading

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, catalog, R&B

And on and on: more on Janet Jackson

Sure, I recently had some things to say about a handful of my favorite Janet Jackson songs — but when it comes to Miss Janet Privacy Control, there’s always more to be said. I especially want to spotlight some of … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 2010s, R&B

Radio Romance: WJLB FM98, Detroit, 2/13/84

Now, this is a radio station I wish I could go back and hear, as the early ’80s became the mid-’80s. Detroit is known for progressive Black radio — it was one of the first markets to really take to … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, R&B, radio romance

Gimme a beat: on Janet Jackson

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, we did a career-spanning review of Janet records over at The Singles Jukebox. I highly recommend you read all of it, because it’s full of … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, R&B

My favorite songs: “This Is Not America,” David Bowie with the Pat Metheny Group

From The Singles Jukebox’s David Bowie tribute, January 2016: It somehow made perfect sense that, on the heels of Tonight, Bowie should collaborate with jazz-fusion superstars the Pat Metheny Group on a single from their soundtrack to the US-USSR espionage … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, my favorite songs

My favorite songs: “There’s Nothing Better Than Love,” Luther Vandross with Gregory Hines

The follow-up to Vandross’s R&B #1 “Stop to Love,” this lighter-than-air midtempo R&B number duly followed it to the top in early May ’87. (Not surprisingly, it stopped at #50 on the Hot 100.) It might feel like a bit … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, my favorite songs, R&B

The long-running #2s: do they try harder?

With Billie Eilish’s hit spending its 8th week stuck at #2 behind “Old Town Road,” Billboard saw fit to survey the 10 songs which were forever Hot 100 bridesmaids and never brides for eight weeks or longer. (The all-time record … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, charts, hip hop, pop, R&B, rock

My favorite songs: “One Love,” Whodini

Whodini were different. They were an ’80s hip hop group from NYC who weren’t hardcore at all. Their first album featured production from, among others, Conny Plank and Thomas Dolby. And their first smash, “Friends” (#4 R&B, 1985), features as … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, hip hop, my favorite songs

My favorite songs: “Hooked on Classics,” the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

In late 1981, a very — odd? unique? standout? Casey Kasem called it “most unusual” — single entered the Billboard Hot 100. It was a medley of 14 individual classical compositions, set to a roughly disco beat and played by … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, my favorite songs

Radio Romance: The Rock of Chicago, WLS AM 89 & FM 95, 11/27/82

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: in the fall of 1982, I was an almost-12-year-old 7th grader in love with top 40 radio but without a radio of my own, having to rely on when I could listen … Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, radio romance