[Media Monday] Cheesy vintage video from Toto

Rosanna, a 1982 single by a collection of former studio musicians called Toto would not be here due to the overall cheesiness of the video, but for a few overwhelming facts:

  • The drum beat on the song, called a “half-time beat”, is a notoriously difficult one to play, but played gracefully by drummer Jeff Porcaro. It makes the whole song. It was called the “Purdie Shuffle” after the blues musician Bernard Purdie; and later got re-christened “The Rosanna Shuffle”.
  • The song is also unique in that it is one of the few that has two lead singers, but is still not what you would call a “duet”.
  • The dancers are played by Cynthia Rhodes and a bunch of other guys, one of whom is the late Patrick Swayze (1952-2009). If you recall, they both ended up in the film Dirty Dancing five years later.
  • The song won a Grammy in 1983.

Views: 107

Why it doesn’t suck: Music from the seventies II

Singer and former porn actress Andrea True had a major hit with a disco tune in 1976 in the early months of the Bee Gee’s second comeback. “More More More” had Andrea’s words and vocals, and Gregg Diamond’s music. The hook two-thirds of the way through the tune was ripped off by a Canadian Hip-Hop artist named “Len”, and the hook became the repetitive background to the song “Steal My Sunshine“. Reportedly, Len’s entire 1999 album “You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush” is a “nod” to the band The Andrea True Connection. I think if you want to perform Andrea True’s material, you ought to do what Bananrama and Kylie Minogue did, and record your own cover version.

The song “More More More” is mostly a self-referential tribute to her past in the porn industry (“get the cameras rolling/get the action going”). This disco occured before Saturday Night Fever, and because of that reason alone, it does not suck. I would group it in with Vicki-Sue Robinson, George McRae, Barry White, and early KC and the Sunshine Band. Even the Bee Gees themselves didn’t suck during that period. It was recorded in Jamaica as she was recording commercials for another contract. She got an impressive band of musicians together to provide musical backup, and it was all done in an evening for under $2000.00. An impressively low budget, even in 1976 dollars.

It is most unfortunate that Andrea True doesn’t sing these days, owing to throat surgery to remove a goiter. According to rumors coming from my hired paparazzi spies who troll her lawn and her trashcan, True was working as a drug rehabilitation counsellor in Florida, and did a bit of astrology counselling on the side. She is around 68 years old today.

Here is Nashville, Tennesee native Andrea True, with the video to her hit “More More More”. While the video seems a bit lame, the music isn’t:

Views: 95

[Video Monday] Ocean – One More Chance

A professional audio engineer calling himself mojofilter seems to have made a reputation for himself with his plethora of old and new Canadian hits transferred from vinyl or some other analogue source into digital form. I have showcased a few of his transferred recordings already. You can click here to subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you click on the YouTube video below, you can be sent to the page which houses this video, and you can hear the full story on the 5-member group from London, Ontario calling themselves Ocean, and their rise and fall.

“One More Chance” was their second hit, peaking at #12 in 1972.

Views: 166

[Video Monday] Tom Middleton – One Night Lovers

Tom Middleton was another seventies artists who spends these days delivering mail for Canada Post in Victoria, BC. He had four hits in the mid-70s, this one being from February of 1976, peaking in Canada at #35, and never charting in the States. If you listen carefully to the intro, you can hear a guitar in the background playing “Here Comes The Sun”.

This is the last in the short-lived Video Monday series. The video seemed to have been deleted from the server, and I have replaced it with this MP3 file. Enjoy.

Views: 271

[Video Monday] Gary & Dave – Could You Ever Love Me Again

Gary Weeks and Dave Beckett had a handful of minor seventies’ hits that were popular in Canada from around 1973 to 1976. The son of Gary, Jesse Weeks, now works as a police officer for the Toronto Police Service.

The hit song below is their biggest hit “Could You Ever Love Me Again”, which peaked at #1 in Canada, while flopping in the States at #92 in July of 1973.

Views: 266

[Video Monday] Next – Only A Friend Of Mine (August 1975)

Next, circa 1975.

This is my first instalment in a series of lost and forgotten records from the past. Most of these hits are Canadian hits, and they are the ones that bring back memories for me from my youth.

Below is a recording from a Canadian bubblegum rock group singed on to Columbia in the early seventies called “Next”, entitled “Only a Friend of Mine”. The personnel on this 1975 recording consisted of Mark Laforme on guitar and vocals; Mel Coburn on drums and vocals; the high voice comes from Garnett Zimmerman, who played keyboards; and on Bass and vocals, Roly Greenway. This being August 2010, marks its 35th anniversary, for what it’s worth. Roly Greenway is apparently of no relation to Brian Greenway, who plays with April Wine.

Greenway and Laforme appear on the credits as the writers/composers of this single. Greenway would be better known to the world as the bassist and leader of the Canadian band Crowbar, and earlier as the backup performer for Ronnie Hawkins. Crowbar would re-form intermittently after 1977. Next was never heard from again.

But no worries, I at least have audio in the link below of probably their biggest hit.

The song “Only a Friend of Mine” barely made it into the top-40 in many regions of Canada, but was pretty catchy.

Views: 281