Tag: music

Song Lyric Sunday – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

As the old Virginia Slims cigarette commercial said, “You’ve come a long way baby”. This week, Song Lyric Sunday host Jim Adams, has prompted us to write about Girl Groups. The early 60s was a bonanza period for girl groups like the Marvelettes, The Shangri Las, The Supremes, The Dixie Cups etc. The vocal talent was definitely there along with great music and lyrics, but looking back at some of the music videos from that time, one thing was definitely lacking. Visual performance. 

As with most girl groups the lead singer becomes the superstar and the remaining members struggle to maintain their identity and often fail as solo artists. My choice for girl group today is the Pussycat Dolls. Originally a burlesque dance troupe they burst onto the pop music scene with the song “Don’t Cha”.  I am featuring them today for comparison on how far girl groups have come with regard to performance. Today it is more athletic, definitely sexier and visually more appealing as women have claimed their rightful place in the music and visual arts industry.

Check out below the Shangri Las video from the 1960s. See what I mean? Just for fun I included a Virginia Slims commercial too.

The Song

This song is about a girl who taunts a guy about his girlfriend, making her jealous by asking if he wishes his girlfriend was hot like her. The Pussycat Dolls are more a dance troupe than singers, and they convey a very unapologetically sexual image that fits the lyrics quite well. >>
The writing credits on this song read: Thomas DeCarlo Callaway and Anthony L. Ray. You know them better as Cee-Lo Green from The Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley and Sir Mix-a-Lot of “Baby Got Back” fame. The song was originally recorded by Tori Alamaze in 2004. Alamaze was a makeup artist and backup singer who was signed to Cee-Lo’s production company. Shortly after her version was released as a single, her record company dropped her and stopped promoting the song, so very few people heard it. The next year, The Pussycat Dolls recorded it in a version also produced by Cee Lo and with Busta Rhymes on guest vocals.

Heineken beer used this in TV commercials.
Cee-Lo Green recalled to The Guardian newspaper March 22, 2008: “I originally wrote it for another artist – Tori Alamaze – but it found its way to the Pussycat Dolls and the rest is history. I was more than content with it going to the original artist, but of course the Pussycat Dolls took it to another level.”
This was the Pussycat Dolls’ first single. Many critics predicted a quick demise for the group, but they went on to record several more hits.

Q magazine January 2012 asked Cee-Lo Green if he pretended to be an attractive girl to help him get into character when he penned this song? He replied: “No, I was trying to think of an ideal woman – who would be so bold as to say something as outspoken as that song.”
Speaking on a 2012 Behind The Music special for VH1, Nicole Scherzinger said she did most of the singing “on my own” for the PCD album: “People don’t even know the whole story. They have no idea. I was in the center because I was singing,” she said. “I hope I don’t get in trouble for the stuff that I say but I’ll never forget I finished the album, PCD, and Ron (executive producer Ron Fair) and I brought the girls into the studio and we played it for them. It was the first time they’d ever heard the music.”

“Do you understand what I’m saying?” she continued. “We played the album for the Pussycat Dolls. It was the first time they’d ever heard the songs.”
“Don’t Cha” featured in the Sims 2 Pets video game. The Pussycat Dolls recorded the song in Simlish, the fictional language of the Sims.

The Group

The Pussycat Dolls were an American girl group and dance ensemble, founded in Los Angeles, California, by choreographer Robin Antin in 1995 as a burlesque troupe. At the suggestion of Jimmy Lovine, Antin decided to take the burlesque troupe mainstream as a pop group. Antin negotiated a record deal with Interscope Geffen A&M Records in 2003 turning the group into a music franchise comprising Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton, and Kimberly Wyatt. Their debut single, “Sway”, was featured on the soundtrack of the 2004 film Shall We Dance?.

The Pussycat Dolls achieved worldwide success with the singles “Don’t Cha”, “Stickwitu”, “Buttons”, and their multi-platinum debut album PCD (2005). However, despite their commercial success, the group was plagued by internal conflict due to the emphasis on Scherzinger, the group’s lead vocalist, and the subordinate treatment of the other members. Bachar’s departure from the group preceded the release of their second and final studio album Doll Domination (2008), which contains hit singles “When I Grow Up”, “I Hate This Part”, and “Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)”. Following the completion of their 2009 world tour, the group went on hiatus and fully disbanded in 2010. The original recording line-up, minus Thornton, announced their reunion in 2019 with an upcoming tour and a new album. However, with the worsening situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with breaches of contracts and logistical issues, the reunion tour was cancelled in 2022, leaving the group’s fate uncertain.

The Music Of Your Soul – A Quadrille

The Music Of Your Soul

As darkness came
the dulcet tones
of your voice filtered through
the still night air
I would hang on to every word
falling from your lips
Each syllable perfectly enunciated
creating the beautiful
Music of your soul
Smiling I danced to its sweet melody 

Copyright © 2023 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Linda Lee Lyberg is hosting Monday Quadrille at D’Verse.  Her prompt is ‘Music’
A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words excluding the title.

Song Lyric Sunday – I Am A Rock

This week I found myself torn with regard to song choice. The prompts for Song Lyric Sunday are Atoll, Island, Key, Lagoon, Peninsula, Reef and Tropical, suggested by Kristian, from Tales From The Mind of Kristian. As Paul Simon is one of my favorite artists I wanted to feature ‘I Am A Rock’. The lyrics to me are pure poetry. At the same time I like the upbeat Sammy Hagar song, ‘All We Need Is An Island’, so I decided to go with both. I hope you enjoy them.

The Song

Simon was going solo at this time because the Simon & Garfunkel 1964 debut album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. had stiffed, and the duo split up. Late in 1965, the producer Tom Wilson overdubbed and remixed a track from that album, “The Sound Of Silence,” and it became a huge hit. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were summoned back to the studio, where they recorded the singles “I Am A Rock” and “Homeward Bound,” which were included on their Sound of Silence album. These songs were recorded with producer Bob Johnston at one of the Columbia Records studios in New York City, and now released with a more contemporary sound, “I Am A Rock” became a hit for the duo.
In the UK, this was released three times in a one year span: first as the original Paul Simon single in 1965, then in the summer of 1966 it was released as an EP and again as a single. The song was very popular there in 1966, but the chart position suffered because the sales of the single were diluted by multiple releases.
The guitarist on the Simon & Garfunkel hit version of this song was Ralph Casale, who was a top session player in the ’60s. He remembers organist Al Kooper and drummer Bobby Gregg – both associated with Bob Dylan – also performing on the song. Describing the sessions, Ralph told us: “The band was booked from 7:00 p.m. into the wee hours of the morning. I was given a lead sheet for ‘I Am A Rock’ with just chords and asked to play the electric twelve string guitar. The producer wanted a sound similar to the Byrds. It was important that session players became familiar with the current hits because many times producers describe the style they want by referring to well known groups. Paul Simon sang the figure he wanted me to play between verses and asked me to play it in thirds. The rest was left to me. ‘Homeward Bound’ was on that same date.”

The Lyrics

A winter's day, in a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock, I am an island

I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty 
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain
I am a rock, I am an island

Don't talk of love
But I've heard the words before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried

I am a rock, I am an island
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me

I am a rock, I am an island
And a rock feels no pain 
And an island never cries

Writer:  Paul Simon

The Song

There was a suggestion that 65-year-old Hagar record this song with 23-year-old country-pop superstar Taylor Swift, but he was concerned about the age difference. Instead he laid it down it with Heart’s Nancy Wilson. “She did the best duet on the record,” Hagar told Jam! Music of Wilson. “She brought more to that song than everyone else did … It’s beautiful. She took my idea and just made it from a girl’s perspective. I wanted to do it with someone real young and hip and popular and my manager and everyone around me was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah! Let’s get Taylor Swift! Yeah, her guitar player is a big Sammy fan! All he does is play your music on the bus.’ And then I thought, ‘Well, gee, what if someone wants us to do a video, then people are going to be going, ‘Is that her grandpa?’ I’m okay with being a grandpa but not Taylor Swift’s grandpa.”
Hagar also considered recording this with the lead singer of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. “I met Grace Potter, and I wanted to do a duet with her,” he told Rolling Stone, “but I didn’t have the song. I thought ‘All We Need Is an Island,’ but I ended up doing that with Nancy [Wilson], and Nancy killed it.”

The Lyrics

Well, all we need is an island
Big ol' sandy beach
Palm tree for some shade
Sweet sugar cane

All we need is an island (all we need is an island)
A hammock that swings
A tall cool one, a whole lotta sun
A belly full of rum

All we need is an island
Ooh, all we need is an island
All we need is an island

Get the cold ass winter gone
So cold and so long
Feel it in my bones
All we need is an island (all we need is an island)

A little time alone
A feeling in me, you and me
A little ecstasy
All we need is an island

Ooh, all we need is an island
(All we need is an island)
All we need is an island

Sea, sun, salt and sex
A line and a pole
Put a pig in a hole
All we need is an island

Work, work, work away
Honey, take me to this paradise
With a miracle kiss
All we need is an island

Ooh, all we need is an island
(All we need is an island)
All we need is an island

(All we need is an island)
Ooh, all we need is an island
(All we need is an island)
All we need is an island

Writer: Sammy Hagar

The Music Plays On – A Quadrille

The Music Plays On

Our music plays
I hear it, always 
But it falls
on your deaf ears
You no longer smile
remembering where it
once took you
Now you march to 
a different tune
and I stand here
Is this the end
of our love song?

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

Lisa from Tao Talk is hosting D'Verse Poets Quadrille
She has prompted us with the word 'Stand'
A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words excluding the title

Image by Martyn Cook from Pixabay 
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