M

M was a British new wave and synthpop music project from London, England led by English musician Robin Scott for a brief period in the late 1970s and early 1980s. M is most known for the 1979 hit “Pop Muzik”, which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in May 1979, and number one in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on 3 November 1979. Musicians who contributed to M at one time or another included Wally Badarou, Mark King, Phil Gould, Lydia Canaan and Gary Barnacle of Level 42.

“Pop Muzik” is a 1979 song by M, a project by English musician Robin Scott, from the debut album New York • London • Paris • Munich. The single, first released in the UK in early 1979, was bolstered by a music video (directed by Brian Grant) that was well received by critics. The clip featured Scott as a DJ singing into a microphone from behind an exaggerated turntable setup, at times flanked by two female models who sang and danced in a robotic manner. The video also featured Brigit Novik, Scott’s partner at the time, who provided the backup vocals for the track.

The single’s B-side, “M Factor”, was featured in two different versions. The original cut appeared on the first UK and European releases of the single, while a slightly remixed version appeared on the single released in the United States and Canada. The song reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, and number two in the UK Singles Chart.

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Alicia Bridges

Alicia Bridges (born July 15, 1953) is an American singer and songwriter who co-wrote and performed her international hit “I Love the Nightlife (Disco ‘Round)” in 1978.

The song was co-written by Alicia Bridges and Susan Hutcheson in 1977 for Bill Lowery, founder of Southern Music. “I Love the Nightlife” was the first single produced by Steve Buckingham who was invited to produce the single’s parent album entitled Alicia Bridges after he had played guitar on a session by the singer. Bridges suggested to Hutcheson that they write a song with either “disco” or “boogie” in the title after Bridges saw a current Top Ten hit list featuring several songs with dance-oriented titles. The original title of the resultant song: “Disco ‘Round”, became the subtitle under the main title “I Love the Nightlife” as Buckingham considered it an R&B number and didn’t want it labeled disco: Bridges herself would later admit she’d had hopes that the song would be received as a Memphis soul number, calling it “something Al Green might sing”. However it is as a disco classic that the song is most remembered: in a 26 August 1998 MTV countdown of the Top 54 Dance Songs of the Disco Era, “I Love the Nightlife” was ranked at #37.

Ram Jam

Ram Jam was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1977, predominantly known for their hit single “Black Betty” in 1977.

“Black Betty” is a 20th-century African-American work song often credited to Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter as the author, though the earliest recordings are not by him. Some sources claim it is one of Lead Belly’s many adaptations of earlier folk material;[1] in this case an 18th-century marching cadence about a flintlock musket.

In 1977, the rock band Ram Jam—which included former Starstruck and Lemon Pipers guitarist Bill Bartlett—re-released an edit of the Starstruck recording of the song with producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffry Katz under Epic Records. The song became an instant hit with listeners, as it reached number 18 on the singles charts in the United States and the top ten in the UK and Australia. At the same time, the lyrics caused civil rights groups NAACP and Congress of Racial Equality to call for a boycott.

Figure skating world champion Javier Fernández performed his short program to Ram Jam’s version of “Black Betty” during the 2014-15 season, when he won his third European Championships title and his first World Championships gold medal. The level Castle Rock from the 2013 video game Rayman Legends is based on Ram Jam’s version of “Black Betty”.

Starland Vocal Band

Starland Vocal Band was an American pop band, known primarily for “Afternoon Delight”, one of the biggest-selling singles of 1976.

“Afternoon Delight” is a hit song recorded by Starland Vocal Band, known for its close harmony and sexually suggestive wordplay. It was written by Bill Danoff, one of the members of the band.

“Afternoon Delight” charted well in New Zealand, peaking at number five. In Australia it was a number-six hit (Adelaide radio station 5KA was first to pick up the single, making it number one in South Australia). In the UK, it reached number 18 and was used as theme to a weekly show of the same title on London’s Capital Radio, hosted by Duncan Johnson, and on an afternoon show using the same title, presented by Stuart Linnell, at Mercia Sound in Coventry. It became a US number-one single on July 10, 1976 and earned a gold record. “Afternoon Delight” also reached number one in Canada.

Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry was an American funk rock band best known for their song “Play That Funky Music”.

“Play That Funky Music” is a song written by Rob Parissi and recorded by the band Wild Cherry. The single was the first released by the Cleveland-based Sweet City record label in April 1976 and distributed by Epic Records. The performers on the recording included lead singer Parissi, electric guitarist Bryan Bassett, bassist Allen Wentz, and drummer Ron Beitle, with session players Chuck Berginc, Jack Brndiar (trumpets), and Joe Eckert and Rick Singer (saxes) on the horn riff that runs throughout the song’s verses. The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 18, 1976; it was also number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart. The single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of over 2 million records and eventually sold 2.5 million in the United States alone.

The song was listed at No. 93 on Billboard magazine’s “All-Time Top 100 Songs” in 2018. It was also the group’s only US Top 40 song.

Pilot

Pilot were a Scottish rock group, formed in 1973 in Edinburgh by David Paton and Billy Lyall. They are best known for their song “Magic”

“Magic” is a popular 1974 song by Scottish pop rock band Pilot, and was the first hit single for the group. It was written by band members Billy Lyall and David Paton for their debut album, From the Album of the Same Name.

It charted most successfully in Canada, where it topped the RPM national singles chart on 19 July 1975, and received a gold certification. It climbed as far as number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and reached number five during the summer of 1975 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100.

According to David Paton, he was in a place in Edinburgh, Blackford Hill and he purchased a house there. The hills and the sunrise at 6 AM inspired him to write the song. In a 2012 interview with Hotdisc Television, Paton also stated that at the time, his wife said she’d “never seen a daybreak,” which also inspired the song.

Jean Knight

Jean Knight (born Jean Caliste, January 26, 1943) is an American soul, R&B and funk singer, best known for her 1971 Stax Records hit single, “Mr. Big Stuff”.

The song was recorded in 1970 at Malaco Studio in Jackson, Mississippi at the same session as “Groove Me” by King Floyd. Knight’s single was released by Stax Records because of the persistence of Stax publisher Tim Whitsett, and “Groove Me” by King Floyd, which Whitsett strongly urged Malaco to release, also became a hit. Both songs are defined by two bar, off-beat bass lines and tight arrangements by Wardell Quezergue.

Released on Knight’s 1971 debut album of the same title, it became a huge crossover hit. The song spent five weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and peaked at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, behind “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by The Bee Gees. Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1971. The song went double platinum and the no. 1 Soul Single of the year.

Knight performed the song on Soul Train on December 11, 1971 during its first season. “Mr. Big Stuff” became one of Stax Records’ more popular and recognizable hits. It was featured in the 2007 mini-series The Bronx Is Burning. It was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1972 Grammy Awards.

Five Stairsteps

The Five Stairsteps, known as “The First Family of Soul” and later “The Invisible Man’s Band”, was an American Chicago soul group made up of five of Betty and Clarence Burke Sr.’s six children: Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis, and Kenneth “Keni”, and briefly, Cubie. They are best known for the 1970 song “O-o-h Child”, listed at #402 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“O-o-h Child” is a 1970 single recorded by Chicago soul family group the Five Stairsteps and released on the Buddah label. The Five Stairsteps had previous peripheral success recording in Chicago with Curtis Mayfield; when Mayfield’s workload precluded his continuing to work with the group they were reassigned to Stan Vincent, an in-house producer for Buddah Records, who had recently scored a Top Ten hit with the Lou Christie single “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”. The Five Stairsteps’ debut collaboration with Vincent was originally formatted with the group’s rendition of “Dear Prudence” as the A-side with Vincent’s original composition “O-o-h Child” as B-side. However, “O-o-h Child” broke out in the key markets of Philadelphia and Detroit to rise as high as #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1970. The track’s R&B chart impact was more muted with a #14 peak, although “O-o-h Child” is now regarded as a “soft soul” classic. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 21 song of 1970.

The Five Stairsteps’ only pop Top 40 hit, “O-o-h Child” would be the group’s last R&B top 40 hit (they had several top 40 R&B hits in the 1960s) until 1976’s “From Us to You”. Included on the band’s The Stairsteps album from 1970, it has become the Stairsteps’ signature song and has inspired more than twenty covers since its release. The song featured various members, including lone female member and eldest sister Alohe, brothers Keni, Dennis, James, lead singer Clarence Burke, Jr. singing in various parts of the song, and also drummer Jerome Brailey on the original recording.

The lyrics tell the listener that “things are gonna get easier” in times of strife. The song’s uplifting message helped it to become popular among pop and rhythm and blues audiences when it was released.

Iron Butterfly

Iron Butterfly is an American rock band best known for the 1968 hit “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, providing a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock and heavy metal music. Formed in San Diego, California, among band members who used to be “arch enemies”, their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated with various members with varying levels of success, with no new recordings since 1975. The band’s seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is among the world’s 40 best-selling albums, selling more than 30 million copies. Iron Butterfly was the first group to receive an In-House platinum album award from Atlantic Records.

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (derived from “In the Garden of Eden”) is a song recorded by Iron Butterfly and written by bandmember Doug Ingle, released on their 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

At slightly over 17 minutes, it occupies the entire second side of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album. The lyrics are simple, and heard only at the beginning and the end. The track was recorded at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.

In 2009, it was named the 24th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. It is also often regarded as an influence on heavy metal music and one of the firsts of the genre

The Surfaris

The Surfaris were an American surf rock band formed in Glendora, California in 1962. They are best known for two songs that hit the charts in the Los Angeles area, and nationally by May 1963: “Surfer Joe” and “Wipe Out”, which were the A-side and B-side of the same 45 rpm single.

“Wipe Out” is a surf rock instrumental composed by Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller and Ron Wilson. It is a twelve-bar blues first performed and recorded by The Surfaris, who were elevated to international status with the release of the “Surfer Joe” and “Wipe Out” single in 1963.

The single was first issued on the tiny DFS label (#11/12) in January 1963. It was reissued on the tiny Princess label (#50) in February 1963, and finally picked up for national distribution on Dot as 45-16479 in April 1963. Dot reissued the single in April 1965 as 45-144.

The song – both the Surfaris’ version as well as cover versions – has been featured in over 20 films and television series since 1964, appearing at least once a decade