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Song Lyric Sunday – Smooth

We have been prompted with one word titles this week for Song Lyric Sunday challenge, hosted by our good friend Jim Adams. I have to go with the perennial Santana and “Smooth” featuring Rob Thomas. It’s hard for me to believe that this song is over 20 years old already! I hope you enjoy it. I know I never get tired of listening to it.

Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty wrote this with Itaal Shur, a songwriter and producer who has worked with Jewel, Robi Rosa and Maxwell (co-writing his first hit, “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder).” Shur said in a Songfacts interview: “I was already active in the music business. I had some hit records with Maxwell and I was already touring the world with Groove Collective, so people knew me more in the underground scene, but I wasn’t as big as Rob Thomas, of course. My manager at the time told me that Pete Ganbarg, who was working at the time at Arista, he was looking for music for the new Santana record. At the time, I had my own band and was performing a lot around the city. I jumped at it because I grew up with an older brother who hipped me up to classic rock and I always loved Santana.

I went up to the office and I wanted to hear what they had first to see what kind of direction they were going for, and when I went up there I heard the Wyclef track, I heard the Dave Matthews track, I heard a couple of other tracks, and I realized there wasn’t the kind of track that was, in my opinion, a standard Santana groove like ‘Black Magic Woman,’ ‘Oye Como Va,’ ‘Evil Ways.’ So I went home and wrote this track on guitar with all the arrangements called ‘Room One Seven.’ It was about this couple that meet after a long time and have a little tryst in the hotel room.

I brought it to Arista and they loved the instrumental and they liked parts of the melodies, but they didn’t like the lyrics – they thought it was a little too sexual for Santana – so they asked me if I wanted to work with Rob Thomas. I didn’t know him; I’d heard a little bit about Matchbox Twenty. He happened to live at the time in Soho very close to me. He came over and he had already written the verses to the instrumental that Arista gave him. I had a chorus that had the same melody: ‘Room One Seven on the seventeenth floor. Take the elevator and I’ll meet you at the door.’ He didn’t have a chorus, so before he came, I changed the words around to, ‘Give me the ocean, give me the moon, give me something hot to make my body move,’ and this turned into the chorus that we all know.”

Thomas sang lead on this, but that wasn’t the plan. He had never written a song for someone else before, so he jumped at the chance to write a song with Shur for Santana, figuring it would boost his songwriting bona fides. When they finished the song, Thomas suggested George Michael, one of his musical heroes, as the vocalist. Arista Records ended up asking Thomas to do the vocals, and when he did, it was in Michael’s style. “If you listen to the melody and the cadence, it’s an attempt to emulate his style in so many ways,” he told Billboard.

When Thomas launched his solo career a few years later, he once again emulated Michael, who also made the transition from a group (Wham!) to a solo artist.

Many of the lyrics are Thomas’ ode to his wife, the former Marisol Maldonado, who is Puerto Rican. “My Mu Equita” translates to “My Little Doll” in Spanish; Thomas also calls her his “Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa.” Marisol appears in the video.

GQ published an “oral history” satire of this song in 2016, which is filled with confabulations like this quote from Rob Thomas: “I didn’t even know who Carlos Santana was at this point. I actually thought he was the guy that who was in charge of Libya.”

The song’s co-writer Itaal Shur told us: “The guitar solo from my demo, Santana copied that solo, which was a huge compliment and all the breaks were also on my demo. It was really weird, my demo was kind of like a template for the live band to play. They sped up the song two beats: it was like at 1/13 and went to 1/15 and it went from A Flat Minor to A Minor. They played it as a band and recorded it all live, pretty much. Me and Rob, when we were writing the song, the verses were fine, but we went through about four or five changes with the record company; from like, ‘Give me the ocean, give me the moon,’ ‘You’re just like the ocean…’ Pete Ganbarg, who if it wasn’t for him this song wouldn’t have come together because he put me and Rob together, he said some really good comments about the lyrics – he was an English major and really picky about lyrics. It was a really good collaboration.”

This won Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year at the 2000 Grammys. Supernatural also won for Best Rock Album and Album Of The Year. >>

Clive Davis is a legendary record executive who was the mastermind behind this album. Santana had not had a hit since “Hold On” in 1982, so Davis teamed him up with contemporary musicians like Wyclef Jean, Everlast and Lauryn Hill to make sure the younger generation took notice. The result was a wildly successful album that went over well with Santana’s old fans and created a legion of new ones. This was the first single, and it spent 12 weeks at #1 in the US.

Santana has the distinction of waiting the longest between his first charting single and first #1 hit. In 1969, “Tango” hit #56 in the US, and 30 years later this was #1.

The trend of aging rockers calling in hot young artists to give them contemporary appeal became known in the music press as “The Carlos Santana Effect,” thanks to his Supernatural success.

Marcus Raboy directed the music video. He also did the video for the Supernatural track “Maria Maria.”

Looking back on the song in 2020, Thomas told Songfacts: “I believe the best part of the whole process is that Carlos and I have become so close that we communicate just about every day. Always sending silly messages or song ideas or pics from our day. He’s been a great mentor but an even greater friend.”

Thomas found out this had been released as a single when he was standing on a street corner in Manhattan. A convertible full of girls pulled up with the song blasting on the car radio. He knew it was really big when he went to Los Angeles a short time later and encountered Jason Newsted of Metallica coming out of an elevator. Thomas told CBC Radio: “He came out of an elevator and was like, ‘Hey Rob’ – and I’d never met him – ‘Hey Rob, man, love that Carlos song.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, this has gone from New York hot girls to Metallica. There’s something happening here.”

LYRICS

Man, it's a hot one
Like seven inches from the midday sun
Well, I hear you whispering in the words, to melt everyone
But you stay so cool
My muñequita, my Spanish Harlem, Mona Lisa
You're my reason for reason
The step in my groove

And if you said this life ain't good enough
I would give my world to lift you up
I could change my life to better suit your mood
Because you're so smooth

And it's just like the ocean under the moon
Oh, it's the same as the emotion that I get from you
You got the kind of lovin' that can be so smooth, yeah
Give me your heart, make it real or else forget about it

But I'll tell you one thing
If you would leave it would be a crying shame
In every breath and every word
I hear your name calling me out
Out from the barrio
You hear my rhythm on your radio
You feel the turning of the world, so soft and slow
It's turning you round and round

And if you said this life ain't good enough
I would give my world to lift you up
I could change my life to better suit your mood
Because you're so smooth

And it's just like the ocean under the moon
Oh, it's the same as the emotion that I get from you
You got the kind of lovin' that can be so smooth, yeah
Give me your heart, make it real or else forget about it

And it's just like the ocean under the moon
Oh, it's the same as the emotion that I get from you
You got the kind of lovin' that can be so smooth, yeah
Give me your heart, make it real or else forget about it

Or else forget about it
Or else forget about it
Let's not forget about it
Give me your heart, make it real
Let's not forget about it
Let's not forget about it
Let's not forget about it
Let's not forget about it
Let's not forget about it

Courtesy of Songfacts

Three’s A Crowd

Three’s A Crowd

Our bodies did once fit
Lips to lips
Arms wrapped around
Holding each other in place
Head on shoulder 
Joined at the hip
Step in step
Intertwined
In bliss
Two as one
Until
Another came
Inserting themself
in between the two of us
Resting their head
on your shoulder
Leaving no room for mine
Turning your mind
Stealing your lips
and my bliss
Three is a crowd
An odd number
That will never fit
My body again



Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Grace is hosting D’Verse Poets tonight and had prompted us
To write about the body or body parts.

One Liner Wednesday – Something to aspire to

Good Wednesday morning! I have always loved learning new words, don’t you? I came across this one yesterday and really liked it. There are some rare moments in my life where I think I can definitely say this would aptly describe me. I would most likely have had a large glass of wine after a very hard day and I would dare anyone to mess with me! I certainly hope you can enjoy this word too.

Have a great day and be Unfuckwithable!

For Linda G. Hill’s One Liner Wednesday

Love and Hate – The Flip Side

Hate the Opposite of Love

HATE 
 
Because of me, in the valley of death
You die slowly like the petrified trees
  
I remember how you looked
How your face would contort in pain
When I angrily screamed at you
  
Because of me, you despise the chaos
of the city
the faceless crowds hurrying to their
destinations
 
I remember your silence, your piecing stare
from those unforgettable eyes
  
Unlike the scent of blossoms
Your memory of me is ugly
A weeping sore that will never heal
Untouchable as a leper
  
My words can still sting
Like a thousand angry bees poked from their nest
You will always remember the hurt
But my face will be obliterated from your memory
  
Because of me, the stench of swamp water
is ever present
Because of me, you will never search
for love again:
shooting stars and falling objects will kill you


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Written for D'Verse Poets my poem HATE is written as the flip side of Pablo Neruda's poem LOVE (see below)

LOVE by Pablo Neruda

Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers 
I ache from the perfumes of spring. 

I have forgotten your face, 
I no longer remember your hands; 
how did your lips feel on mine? 

Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks 
the white statues that have neither voice nor sight. 

I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; 
I have forgotten your eyes. 

Like a flower to its perfume, 
I am bound to my vague memory of you. 
I live with pain that is like a wound; 
if you touch me, you will do me irreparable harm. 

Your caresses enfold me, 
like climbing vines on melancholy walls. 
I have forgotten your love, 
yet I seem to glimpse you in every window. 

Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; 
because of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitates desires: 
shooting stars and falling objects. 

Lisa from Tao Talk is hosting D'Verse Poets tonight and has prompted us
with Flipping the meanings of poems.  I chose one of Pablo Neruda' beautiful
love poems and wrote the opposite. 

Image by Harsh Vardhan Art from Pixabay 
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