5 YEAR REWIND: ARETHA FRANKLIN



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on February 22, 2007).

Aretha Franklin: I Can’t Wait (Until I See My Baby’s Face)
From Runnin Out of Fools (Columbia, 1964)

I was originally introduced to this tune by my friend Hua, who put me up on the Sonji Clay version of it. I didn’t realize until this year however that the songwriter was actually Jerry Ragavoy (and yeah, I know I just reposted this very same song not that long ago but damnit, it’s so […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: NAS + AZ + DJ DELAY



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on Jan 7th, 2006).

Nas + AZ: Life’s a Bitch (DJ Delay Remix)
From Medium: Rare II Mix-CD (Funk Weapons Int’l, 2005)

My original comments on this were kind of thin so I’ll just write up some new ones…

Personally, “Life’s A Bitch” was always my least favorite song off of Illmatic, music-wise. I just thought it was too soft and syrupy and even though I’ve tried to give it new listens in hindsight, it still doesn’t […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: DONNY HATHAWAY



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on July 8, 2006).

Donny Hathaway: What a Woman Really Means
From Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers (Atlantic, 2006)

“I’m wholly enamored with the Donny Hathaway song. I’m always discovering and appreciating new songs by him and marveling at how me manages to announce his presence with just a two-note hum. You just KNOW a Donny Hathaway song by its sound and feel – it really speaks to the amazing personality he infused into his songs. This track is […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: FELA KUTI



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on August 9, 2006).

Fela Ransome Kuti and Afrika 70: Water No Get Enemy
From Expensive Shit (Editions Makossa, 1975)

“I’ve listened to a decent amount of Fela’s stuff over the years but I either just let this slide past my radar or missed it completely but now I’m completely obsessed with it. I was instantly infatuated with it and here’s why: like most of Fela’s biggest Afro-funk songs, this track unfolds with a steady and sublime patience […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: THE DELLS



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on May 20, 2006).

The Dells: I Can Sing a Rainbow/Love Is Blue
From Love Is Blue (Cadet, 1969).

“What’s so great about this song? Three things. 1) The shift from the mellow, almost folksy “I Can Sing a Rainbow” and then the out-of-nowhere dip into the funky soul blast of “Love Is Blue”. 2) The call and response between the lead vocalist and the rhythm/brass sections, i.e. “Blue!” BLARE! Blue! BLARE! BLARE!” There’s that moment where you […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: DIONNE WARWICK



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on October 26, 2005).

Dionne Warwick: You’re Gonna Need Me
From Just Being Myself (Warner Bros, 1973)

“This Dionne Warwick is one of the most amazing songs I’ve heard in a long, long, long time. I put it on repeat and literally was listening to it over and over for hours. I was trying to figure out how to articulate just what makes it so perfect – Holland-Dozier’s amazing arrangement, Dionne’s piercing vocals – but really, you just […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: AMERIE + SIIK



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on July 1, 2005).

Amerie: One Thing (Siik Remix)
From Siik.org (Siik, 2005)

“Given that the 4th of July is already upon us, I’m trying to kick off a mini-meme by asking folks the simple(?) question: What does a summer song sound like to you?

I don’t mean songs that happen to become popular during summer, though I respect the institution of the summer hit. I’m talking about songs that invoke […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: PATRICE RUSHEN



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on June 28, 2005).

Patrice Rushen: This Is All I Really Know
From Posh (Elektra, 1980)

“I’m definitely no modern soul expert but I’ve been turning up more songs of late (cleaning out my record stacks helps) that are part of that late ’70s, early ’80s vibe and I’ve been loving some of the tunes in that vein.

When I was combing through my jazz stacks, looking for LPs to cut, I gave my Patrice Rushen section […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: BILL WITHERS



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on June 13, 2005).

Bill Withers: Can We Pretend
From +’Justments (Sussex, 1974)

For some reason, Bill Withers has the reputation as someone whose songwriting was better than his singing. I always found this a strange accusation – Withers was certainly a genius writer (“Ain’t No Sunshine” anyone?) but it’s hardly as if he had a terrible voice. It’s true – he didn’t have the range or purity of tone like Marvin Gaye or Sam Cooke but Withers […]

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5 YEAR REWIND: PI-R-SQUARE



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on October 23, 2004).

Pi-R-Square: Fantasy Pts. 1 & 2 (Unity Edit)
From 7″ (Wee, 197?). Available on Jazzman 45.

“I had a minor epiphany the other day. It began with the general and rather obvious observation that I own a lot of records. Too many. What I have just barely fits into my current apartment and frankly, it’s not going to sustain itself much longer if I keep bringing in more LPs without thinning the […]

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