Something for the Weekend

Another great Rod Temperton song and the title track of Heatwave’s excellent debut album which is well worth a few bob of anyone’s money. Those boys got some moves.

And, from the same album, here’s one for the ladies…

Always and Forever

Music can come from the most unlikely places. Take that gawky-looking white guy on the far left who looks like he should be selling dodgy used cars. That’s the great Rod Temperton who died of cancer last week and wrote some of the best dance records ever made.

Temperton grew up in the northern English seaside resort of Cleethorpes which is hardly ranked with Memphis or Detroit as a breeding ground of great black music, but as a member of the Anglo-American band Heatwave he was responsible for such classics as “Boogie Nights”, “Always and Forever”, “The Groove Line”, and “Gangsters Of The Groove” which would be almost enough for anyone to earn a place in the songwriters Hall of Fame. But he also wrote songs for other artists which included Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” and “Off The Wall”, The Brothers Johnson’s “Stomp”, and George Benson’s “Give Me The Night” among many, many, many others. The list is quite ridiculous.

I imagine nearly everyone reading this blog knows who Temperton is, but he always kept a low profile and the average punter wouldn’t know his name from Adam. But you can bet if you’re a certain age you know all the words to several of his songs and he provided the soundtrack to your Saturday nights. For that he will always be remembered and loved.

Download: The Groove Line (12″ version) – Heatwave (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

Not sure how I managed to have not seen this clip on YouTube until yesterday, but soon as I did I knew it was a no-brainer for today. Sublime performance of a sublime song.

Something for the Weekend

This clip makes me so very happy and glad to be alive. There are times when I think 70s soul is the pinnacle of all music.

New Monday

I must admit I haven’t listened to a Maxwell album since his terrific debut Urban Hang Suite way, way back in 1996. He just fell off my radar after that, probably because he only released four more albums in the 20 years (gulp) since. But I might have to go back and listen to the ones I missed because his newest effort black SUMMERS’ night is absolutely gorgeous — sophisticated and sexy soul music that’s classic but very modern.

The new Frank Ocean record might be sucking up all the hype and attention at the moment but this album deserves plenty of love too.

Lucky Dip

Bit short on inspiration at the moment so I’ll just be throwing up random tunes until the muse strikes again. Here’s some fab Latin Soul from 1969.

Download: Under The Street Lamp – Joe Bataan (mp3)

Photo: Elephant and Castle, London, 1949 by Bert Hardy.

Lucky Dip

Though this made the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic in 1970 I still think it’s something of an unknown gem. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson and Frank Wilson, it’s more laid back than The Tops’ usual shouty passion and is utterly gorgeous.

Download: Still Water (Love) – The Four Tops (mp3)

The Neon Lights are Bright

The Drifters 1963 version of “On Broadway” is a classic as any fule kno, but I also love George Benson’s live version from 1978, probably more so.

The Drifters’ rendition has a melancholy feel as if they didn’t really believe they could make it there, which was probably the case for a black man in early 1960s. Benson, on the other hand, sounds completely convinced that he will be successful, especially the way he shouts “Cause I can play THIS HERE GUITAR!” — which, given that he made his name as a Jazz guitarist, wasn’t just bragging.

While I tend to side more with the world-view of The Drifters version, it’s hard not to get caught up in George Benson’s peppy positivity. Plus, it’s funky as hell.

Download: On Broadway – George Benson (mp3)

Photo: The Lights of Times Square by Andreas Feininger, 1957

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com





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