Hello boys and girls! It’s time for MMMMusic!
OK, so I’m in a hurry (what else is new lately?!) and couldn’t come up with a semi-intelligent or anecdotal or even mildly interesting intro into this week’s musical sensation. I’ll have to hit that reset button and try again for next week. Meanwhile, let’s get on to music that always seems to make Mondays so much better, shall we?
This week’s theme was chosen by our previous Spotlight Dancer Patrick Weseman of Adventures in Weseland, who suggested that we share Number One Hits on the Billboard Top 40 from the Rock Era. I initiated a ‘loosely interpreted’ mode for the songs I chose for today, but I think they work.
Let’s start with way back in 1955 with a song that was used for a little-known prison film, but ended up being one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, and by some estimates has spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.
The version I’ve chosen is the 1965 version by this particular group, which not only became a jukebox standard for the late 20th century, but it achieved a second round of great popularity when it was featured in the 1990 blockbuster film Ghost.
Give a listen to the Righteous Brothers with “Unchained Melody”:
Next up is a group that many people love, my hubby included. This particular song is about the writer’s view on formal education, framed during his time at the Cambridgeshire School for Boys. He hated his grammar school teachers because he felt they were more interested in keeping the kids quiet rather than teaching them.
The song is meant to be satirical, as he explains in a later interview that you can’t find anybody in the world more pro-education than him. His experience in boys’ grammar school in the 50’s was very controlling and demanded rebellion, the teachers were weak and therefore easy targets.
The song is meant to be a rebellion against errant government, against people who have power over you, who are wrong. Then it absolutely demanded that you rebel against that.
The chorus was recorded by a group of 23 kids between the ages of 13 and 15, overdubbed 12 times to make it sound like there were many more kids. The addition of the kids’ voices convinced the group that the song would come together, that their addition “suddenly made it sort of great”.
Next up, while not technically in the ‘Rock Era’, it did spend 14 weeks as the #1 song on the Billboard top 40. This turned out to be the duo’s first #1 hit since 1962, and their only hit in the U.S. It was originally released on a local label in Spain in 1993, where it did fairly well.
The next year, the American label BMG bought the Spanish label and set out to make this song a hit in America by marketing an English version to dance clubs and cruise ships. By 1996 the dance craze with this song hit America.
My friends and I would dance to this song every time it played when we were out for a night of dancing.
Without further ado (and I dare you to get up and dance the dance), here’s Los Del Rio with Macarena:
Last, but certainly not least, bringing us to 2013, is a song that parodies the materialistic content of contemporary Rap music. Released as the fifth single, the comic ode to discount shopping became the duos first Hot 100 hit. The song climbed to the peak position of the Hot 100 on the chart dated February 2, 2013, and the first duo to reach #1 with its first entry on the list since Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” back in 1996.
One of the duo told MTV News the song is a way of life: “Rappers talk about, oh I buy this and I buy that, and I spend this much money and I make it rain, and this type of champagne and painting the club, and this is the kind of record that’s the exact opposite,” he explained. “It’s the polar opposite of it. It’s kind of standing for like let’s save some money, let’s keep some money away, let’s spend as little as possible and look as fresh as possible at the same time.”
Fun Facts: Filming of the song’s music video took place at several thrift shops in Seattle, as well as other locations in the city like the Unicorn/Narwhal Arcade Bar and the Northwest African American Museum.
This song won the Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2014 ceremony.
Have a great Monday!
Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me:
I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohorts, Callie from JAmericanSpice, Cathy from Cathy Kennedy’s Blog, and Naila Moon at Just the Stuff Ya Know, and our newest awesome member, give a warm welcome to Becca of Everyday Life.
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
Belle Haupe of Coffee Bar Confessions