Category: Funk Rock

Philip Bailey ‘Chinese Wall’

Posted 08 May 2014 in 80s, Albums of 1984, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Funk Rock

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#930 in the Series) is Philip Bailey, Chinese Wall. Chinese Wall is Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist Philip Bailey’s second solo album. It was released in 1984 and it follows Continuation from the previous year. Continuation did…. OK, but not great. It peaked at #72 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.  Chinese Wall reached #22.  Why the difference? Well, mainly it was because of Phil Collins, but we’ll also say that it did have a bunch of good songs on it too. So what did Phil Collins have to do with the success? For one, he produced the album. Secondly, he plays drums on the entire album, but he also sang the...

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Ivan Neville ‘If My Ancestors Could See Me Now’

Posted 19 Sep 2012 in Albums of 1988, Albums of the 80s, Dance, Funk Rock

  Today’s Cool Album Of the Day (#781 in the Series) is Ivan Neville, If My Ancestors Could See Me Now. If My Ancestors Could See Me Now is a fantastic album by a fantastic musician, Ivan Neville. Ivan is a multi-instrumentalist and the son of the great singer, Aaron Neville.  It was released in 1988. I guess you could describe it as two parts funk, one part new wave and one part rock and roll. Toss in a little blues as well. It did well but nothing special, sales wise. It did much better with the critics. Unfortunately something went bad shortly thereafter.  There was a fall out between Ivan and his then label Polydor.  Due to that...

Prince “Controversy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#629 in the Series) is Prince, Controversy I have wanted to do a piece on one of these early Prince albums for a while now. In fact I started doing Dirty Mind a while ago and decided to do an about-face and present a piece on Controversy instead. We’ll get to Dirty Mind someday as I consider that also one of his best, but today it’s Controversy. Controversy was released in 1981 just a year after the previously mentioned Dirty Mind. Did have some controversial pieces in it? You could say somewhat, but there is nothing totally outrageous here in my opinion. He takes a look at social protest in three tracks,...

Was (Not Was) “Born to Laugh at Tornadoes”

Posted 17 Jan 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1983, Albums of the 80s, Funk, Funk Rock

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#608 in the Series) is Was (Not Was), Born to Laugh at Tornadoes.  You can look for years and years and all kinds of music and you’d be hard-pressed to find a band and a sound more interesting than that of Was (Not Was.) They brought a combination of so many different things that their uniqueness may never be topped. What makes these guys interesting and unique? Well, how about the fact that they’re a hard-funk band led by two white Jewish guys from Detroit. There’s a great start. The unbelievably high level of talent of the two bandleaders Don Was and David Was was just fantastic. Don Was has gone well...

INXS “Kick”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#514 in the Series, and #32 in the Whale Wednesday Series) is INXS, Kick. I always thought that INXS were just a little bit different from any other rock band that I knew of, they always had this little bit of “funk” in their music that was oddly identifiable to only them.  That I think is a real cool thing.  I love uniqueness. These guys had it in gobs. INXS followed that familiar path to stardom.  Great early releases, build a base, get a little bit more mainstream without losing you identification, let the base get a little bigger, have a big album, then have a huge follow-up. It’s that easy boys and...

Living Colour “Vivid”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#351 in the Series) is Living Colour, Vivid Yesterday I mentioned that I felt that Lyle Lovett was a musician that had quite the unique sound.  Well, let’s continue on that “unique” trend with Living Colour. Yeah, I guess an all-African-American metal band would fit the bill. I know we don’t like to pigeonhole bands. I know it’s also somewhat clichéd to point out musicians by their race.  But I also feel it’s impossible to mention Living Colour and not mention how rare it was and 22 years later, to see an all-African-American metal band, at least one as good as Living Colour. Living Colour rose from the underground music scene in New...

Prince and The Revolution “Purple Rain”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#342 in the Series) is Prince, Purple Rain. I was on the Prince bandwagon very early.  I had the first two albums and was a huge fan of his third, Dirty Mind and it’s follow up, Controversy.  I had the chance to see him at the tiny Park West Theater in Chicago in 1980. One of the best shows I ever saw.  It was 1999 and then Purple Rain that made him a household name.  The movie and the album were monster hits.  Purple Rain sold 13 million units.  The movie grossed over 80 million back in 1984. Singles? You ask? The first release was “I Would Die 4U.” It peaked at #8....

Average White Band “AWB”

Today’s Cool Album Of the Day (#278 in the Series) is Average White Band, AWB. The Average White Band, what a perfect mix of soul, funk, R + B, rock with just enough jazz tossed in.  All of this from a band from………Scotland!? Yeah, many people have forgotten that fact over the years, but yes indeed.  Founding members Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre are from Dundee.  As were the other original members, Malcolm “Molly” Duncan, Roger Ball and Robbie McIntosh. Hamish  Stuart was from Glasgow, he would play a major role with Paul McCartney in later years. Do not confuse this Robbie McIntosh with the man with the same name who was a long time ‘Pretender.’ Same name, different person....

INXS “Shabooh Shoobah” .. Today’s “Cool Album of the Day”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#166 in the Series) is INXS, Shabooh Shoobah. I always had a warm spot in my heart for INXS.  I’m not sure why, I think because they’re just different. I can’t really explain it.  But I always felt that they had a sound that could not be compared to anyone. I think it was because of that slight bit of funk tossed into their overall makeup. I’ve heard people say the early stuff had a U2 sound to it. I don’t think anyone was copying U2 in the 1980. Much less a band from Australia like INXS. Two songs really stood out for me.  They were the first and the last.  The One...