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Soft Rock For Summer Days 2018 by The Smooth Operators

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Almost a year after the first part, The Smooth Operators present you the second part of Soft Rock For Summer Days! We have the exclusive world premiere of the new Young Gun Silver Fox single, Take It Or Leave It. Their album AM Waves is out tomorrow. Enjoy!

One of the most successful soft rock acts of the 1970s, the duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts met while playing with singer Dean Beard in 1958. That year, Beard was invited to join the Champs (of Tequila fame), and Seals and Crofts tagged along, remaining with the group until 1965. The two then bounced from the Mushrooms to the Dawnbreakers before deciding to strike out on their own as a duo in 1969. Seals played guitar, saxophone, and fiddle, while Crofts handled drums, mandolin, keyboards, and guitar. From 1972 to 1976, the duo had a string of five gold albums for Warner Bros., with an additional greatest-hits compilation certified double platinum. Their hit singles from this period include Summer Breeze, Diamond Girl, We May Nev…

Funky Boogie Grooves From The Crates

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Lo Probably the best description of boogie is “non-commercial disco”. The word popped up in 1970s funk and disco records, such as Boogie Shoes by KC & The Sunshine Band, Boogie Fever by The Sylvers, Blame It On The Boogie by The Jacksons, Boogie Nights by Heatwave, Boogie Oogie Oogie by A Taste of Honey (picture). After Disco Demolition Night on July 12 1979 people became fed up with mainstream disco and a new club oriented dance style developed, which was called “boogie” later.

Key boogie tracks were, for instance, Give Me the Night by George Benson, Boogie's Gonna Get Ya by Rafael Cameron, If You Want My Lovin’ by Evelyn King, You're the One for Me by D-Train, Don't Make Me Wait by Peech Boys, Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye, Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force and Break Dancin' – Electric Boogie by West Street Mob. Key instrument became the Roland 808, one of the earliest programmable drum machines, with which users could create their own rhyth…

Summer Soul & Sunshine Pop By The Smooth Operators

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Sunshine girls and beach boys, ready for some good vibrations? This time The Smooth Operators step into the world of sunshine and bring you the California sound of the late 60s and early 70s. Classics and forgotten gems, while you’re dreamin’ in the shade...

Tracklist:

Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime (1969)
The Fifth Avenue Band - Nice Folks (1969)
Julius Wechter & The Baja Marimba Band - Flyin’ High (1969)
Brewer & Shipley - Dreamin’ In The Shade (1968)
The Young Rascals - Groovin’ (1967)
The 5th Dimension - California Soul (1969)
The Cyrkle - The Visit (She Was Here) (1967)
Looking Glass - Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) (1972)
The Parade - Sunshine Girl (1968)
The Zombies - Summertime (1965)
Odyssey - Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love (1972)
The Spiral Staircase - More Today Than Yesterday (1968)
Bobby Womack - California Dreamin’ (1968)
The Sunshine Company - Look, Here Comes The Sun (1968)
Jackson 5 - World Of Sunshine (1973)
The Carpenters - Kept On Loving You (19…

Smooth Sailing: California Groove & Radio Rock

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Enjoy this new Smooth Sailing trip! It's built around the yacht rock scene of the 1970s/1980s. DJ Supermarkt decribes the yacht rock/AOR mood best on his upcoming part of Too Slow To Disco:

“The sun’s dipping behind the mountains above the bay, and the sound pulsating from the speakers sure has a beguiling melody. There’s a definite touch of Earth, Wind and Fire about that slinky groove.”

In the recently published The Yacht Rock Book by Greg Prato, Steve Huey (Allmusic.com) gives this definition:

“Fusing softer rock with jazz and R&B, very polished production, and kind of being centered around studio musician culture in Southern California in the late 70s and early 80s.”

According to Billboard chart statistics, Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as the most successful American rock band of all time, in terms of both albums and singles. Judged by album sales alone, as certified by the R.I.A.A., the band does not rank quite so high, but it is still among the Top Ten best-sel…

Best Of 70s Soul: Collage

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When The Three Degrees signed to Roulette Records, Sheila Ferguson, Fayette Pinkney and new member Valerie Holiday began recording material for their new label. The result of these sessions would be their 1970 wonderful psychedelic soul album Maybe. On the LP were covers of familiar tracks including Jimmy Webb’s MacArthur Park, Lynn Anderson’s Rose Garden, and Collage, which Joe Walsh (The Eagles) co-wrote. There was also the Hoagy Carmichael classic Stardust. Another cover was a song made famous by The Chantels, Maybe. The Three Degrees version would give them their biggest hit at that point of their career.

In the years afterwards the three ladies were in search of a sound that would suit them best. When they eventually signed to Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label, after years of minor success, they immediately hit the jackpot with Dirty Ol’ Man in 1973.

Enjoy this new episode of Best Of 70s Soul!

Tracklist:

Wayne Miran & Rush Release – Oh Baby (1974)
Natural Hig…

Mellow Disco Grooves From The Crates

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My dj-style can be described as relaxed Sunday morning music, music you can almost dance to, soulful pop or funky chill. This time I chose to call it mellow disco.

Born in England of Dominican parents but raised in Canada, where she has returned to live, Singer/Songwriter Sharon Musgrave shot to prominence in 1991 whilst collaborating with William Orbit on the Bass-O-Matic project. They achieved international status with the hit Fascinating Rhythm, which Sharon co-wrote. An album soon followed, cementing the groups worldwide status as a credible dance act and Sharon’s ability as a writer. A world tour established Bass-O-Matic as an act that could cut it live. Her beautiful new album is called Sha’s Archive.

With producer Gary Katz, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen gradually changed Steely Dan from a performing band to a studio project, hiring crème de la crème musicians to record their compositions. Though the band didn't perform live between 1974 and 1993, Steely Dan's popular…

Boombox 17 Electronic Funk & Techno Pop

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The term techno pop was invented by German electro funk pioneers Kraftwerk. Their 1986 album Electric Café was originally called ‘Techno pop’. It's pop music with melodic electronic instruments, which fits perfectly in the Boombox series, so enjoy this new episode with Kraftwerk as the closing act!

As Chaka Khan released her first solo album, I'm Every Woman, Rufus released 1978's Numbers, without Khan, and it went absolutely nowhere. Masterjam finds them back together, renamed Rufus and Chaka, with Quincy Jones as the producer. Khan had worked with Jones on his 1978 album, Sounds...And Stuff Like That. The most striking thing about Masterjam is that it doesn't sound like a trademark Rufus effort. Jones' production style is so strong that the band's individual sound is all but lost. It's nothing to worry about, since Jones was at his R&B/pop peak and Rufus couldn't do it any better on their own. Walk The Rockway is one of the standout tracks.

Origin…

Eddy’s 80s Grooves part 24: Motown

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Though not an original member of the Temptations, Dennis Edwards, who has died last month, was a member of the group from 1968 until 1977, a period during which they scored some of their most memorable hits. His gritty, urgent lead vocal was in dramatic contrast to the sweeter tones of the singer he replaced, David Ruffin, and was perfect for tough and funky songs such as ‘Cloud Nine’ (1968), the apocalyptic ‘Ball of Confusion’ (1970) and the 1972 US chart-topper ‘Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone’.

After trying to launch a solo career, Edwards made several reappearances with the Temptations during the 1980s, and during the 90s he formed the Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards, with which he continued performing until last year. His most memorable solo effort was ‘Don’t Look Any Further’, a duet with Siedah Garret, recorded in 1984. The single was written by Franne Golde, Dennis Lambert and Duane Hitchings. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Black Singles chart and No. 72 on the Billb…

Smooth Sailing: Slow Disco & Funky Chill

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I selected a couple of relaxed, groovy disco tracks, together with big orchestrated disco (Barry White style) and a little bit of Latin flavour as well, to create a ‘lounge’ feel.

Both Moods and HIGH HØØPS have adopted a funky sound for some time now, so one would expect quite the vibes in a collaboration, which we have here with their "Comfortable". The release is Moods' second from his forthcoming debut album, and it's without question a standout, with his thick chords and gliding drums.

Sip a glass of cold wine, beer or champagne and enjoy this new Smooth Sailing trip!


Tracklist:

Dabeull & Jordan Lee – Don’t Forget It (2018)
Dax On Sax & PowerDress – Can’t Stop The Ride [Netflix & Chill Mix] (2018)
Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On [Da Producers MPG Groove Mix] (2005)
Alex Cortiz – Glamour Girl (2001)
Moods Feat. HIGH HØØPS – Comfortable (2018)
Funk LeBlanc – WWMMD (2018)
Jaye P. Morgan – Can't Hide Love (1976)
Side Effect – What The Heck, Let’s Discotheque (…

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning (AOR On The Radio Special)

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Get up & get down, this is the soundtrack to your weekend, enjoy this special part of AOR On The Radio!

The original version of ‘Arianne’ (“she’s the smell of coffee brewing, on a quiet, rainy Sunday”) is from soul singer Johnny Mathis. The song appeared on his 'Killing Me Softly With Her Song' album that was released in 1973. Rod McKuen, who recorded the track two years later, wrote on his official site that the lyrics are a translated French poem. Although it is a beautiful song, it almost sounds a bit creepy, as if the guy is obsessed with a young girl: “Arianne is Mama's crystal bread that's nearly finished baking…”

The previous unreleased song by Helene & The Brookside Orchestra is on the new excellent compilation album 'Soul on the real side #8'. The track was arranged by Norman Bergen, who also wrote million selling hits like ‘Only a fool breaks his own heart’ and ‘Knock three times’.

‘I want Sunday back again’ by Maxine Weldon is from the for…

The Mellow Mixtape by The Smooth Operators

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Feelin' Mellow? The Smooth Operators lead you through a selection of yacht disco, funky chill and modern soul. This mixtape contains tracks by California Flight Project, Average White Band, Leroy Hutson, Gary Taylor, Heat, Jim Spencer, Herbie Hancock and more. Enjoy this soulful and chilled out side of yacht rock!

Tracklist:

California Flight Project - California Flight (1979)
Gary Taylor - Just What I Have I Mind (1983)
Average White Band - Whatcha’ Gonna Do For Me (1980)
Beau Williams - Stay With Me (1983)
The S.S.O. Orchestra - Faded Lady (1977)
Heat - Don’t You Walk Away (1980)
The Gene Dunlap Band - There’s Talk (1983)
David Astri - Get Down To It (1983)
Sunrize - Come And Get My Lovin’ (1982)
The Jones Girls - This Feelings Keeling Me (1979)
Jim Spencer - Wrap Myself Up In Your Love (1979)
Windjammer - Tossing And Turning (1984)
Heatwave - Mind What You Find (1982)
Pumphouse Gang ‎– Welcome Back Into My Life (1979)
Hummingbird – You Can’t Hide Love (1977)
Herbie Hancock – Gettin’ To The Go…

Smooth Sailing: Latin Soul & Funky Chill

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Did you survive Blue Monday and the cold, dark days of winter so far? I hope so! Otherwise this new episode of Smooth Sailing will warm you up and give you a good mood!

For a long time I thought that Santa Esmeralda was a Spanish guy with a guitar in a box like Antonio Banderas in the movie ‘Desperado’. But now I know that it is a French team of producers with no Spanish blood in their veins at all. I still like their single, though. Director Quentin Tarantino used 'Don't let me be misunderstood' for his movie Kill Bill 1. Leroy Gomez is the singer of the track. He used to have some problems with his zipper, which can be seen in a few YouTube videos… Gomez is a born American and worked as a session saxophone player and vocalist, with many artists, including Elton John, José Felicano, Patrick Juvet, Gilbert Becaud, Claude Francois and Laurent Voulzy. 'Don't let me be misunderstood' reached #5 on the Dutch Top 40​ in 1977. The song was first recorded by Nina Sim…

Disco Over The Phone

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Booty calls, calls (and cries) for freedom, prank calls, calls for help, nature calls, love calls, you hear all kinds of calls. Pick up & get down!

Ramsey & Company were the group Mainor Ramsey had pieced together to play the Catskills supper club circuit. Their only release being the super charged sexy disco hit ‘Love Call’ backed with super blaxploitation fodder ‘Leg Grease’, release on Mainor’s own label, Ramco. This limited styrene 7” single was sold exclusively at the groups live shows and never saw its way into proper distribution. Oddly this limited release eventually found its way onto the dancefloors of the UK’s northern soul/modern soul scene, and became a super smash ripping up floors whenever played. The sheer quality of this tune mixed with the utter rarity has made this record nearly impossible to find and quite valuable on the collector’s market.

Enjoy the telephone conversation! Next week a new part of Smooth Sailing.

Tracklist:

Yarbrough & Peoples – Don’t W…

More Mellow Yacht Moods By The Smooth Operators

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In the beginning of the 1970s a remarkable duo popped up in the charts: easy listening duo The Carpenters. They seemed completely out of place in a pop world that was dominated by rock stars who looked bigger than life. Mastermind Richard and his sister Karen dressed if they'd go to church after each show, but they had a weapon that swept everyone away: the wonderful voice of Karen. However, she turned out to be a very insecure woman, who struggled with both her personal and professional life. Things went seriously wrong when the only solo album Karen made was not released, because Richard disapproved the way she used her voice in the songs (“too high”). Around the same time she got married, but the marriage only lasted a few months. She seemed not to be able to stand on her own feet.

In the 1980s, when the commercial success of the Carpenters faded, Karen could not recover from a very serious eating disorder and it would eventually lead to her death on this day in 1983. Alice Coop…

Eddy’s 80s Grooves part 23: Dancing Therapy

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Do you remember the feel-good movie of 1983 'Flashdance'? It is definitely an iconic film about bending, stretching, sweating and flexing. On the soundtrack are great songs like 'Maniac' by Michael Sembello, although the classic track is not on this cloudcast. The Australian talents David Hauserman, Retrosweat and the Sticks and Stones Agency collaborated to pay tribute to the original 1980s freestyle aerobic workout and Jane Fonda in particular for C-Heads Magazine. One of the pictures is on the left.

Hamilton Bohannon was the bandleader for several Motown tours in the late sixties and early seventies. Marvin Gaye mentioned his name on his very funky track ‘Checking out’. When Motown moved to Los Angeles in 1972, Hamilton Bohannon started a career of his own. I’m a big fan of his tight way of drumming ever since I heard ‘Disco stomp’ when I was a kid. 'Take The Country To N.Y. City' is from his album 'Alive' (1981).

Enjoy this new episode of Eddy'…

Slow Disco To Warm Up The Night

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Tom Findlay of dance duo Groove Armada once said that the last thing he wanted to hear in the car after a gig was dance music, so he always put up soulful pop music from the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of a cool down, this mix is meant to warm you up for a pleasant night out, no matter what you are going to do. The music will give you the right mood to ‘be alright’, to quote Zapp from their 1980 album.

Kansas City based retro-soul style ensemble Hi-Lux have produced an ideal A-side, with the high-energy “Dance With My Baby” and its subdued counterpart, “Don’t Blame Me.” The former track is an upbeat jazz-funk groove that feels exquisitely carefree, while “Don’t Blame Me” looks back on failed love, using brassy percussion to bolster the theme. Released on Sunflower Soul Records.

'Night Owl' was released a year after Gerry Rafferty's 1978 Platinum-selling album 'City to City'. While not quite performing as well as its predecessor, 'Night Owl' still managed enoug…

Smooth Sailing: Mellow Madness

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‘Sky restaurant’ by Yumi Seimo is from the City Pop compilation Tokyo Nights, out on Cultures of Soul now. Japanese city pop of the 1980s was influenced by American R&B and boogie, fusion, and adult-oriented rock (AOR). The lyrics were sung primarily in Japanese (with a word or two of English sprinkled in), because city pop was initially meant for the domestic market, but in retrospect the songs sound even better than contemporary similar tracks from the US and Europe.

The track by Personal Life is from The Heart Volume 4, out on Tokyo Dawn Records:

“Once again TDR diligently and delicately delivers well-seasoned soul stirring flavours, nurturing niceness and warmth from the heart.”

Enjoy this fresh episode of Smooth Sailing!

Tracklist:

Deniece Williams – Free (1976)
Johnny Bristol – Everyday She’s Around (1978)
Ben E. King – Made For Each Other (1981)
GQ ‎– Make My Dreams A Reality (1979)
Personal Life – Distance Can Be Sweet (2013)
Lil Albert – Outrageous (1976)
Brothers Johnson – Dayd…

Groove With You: Slow Disco, Retro Wave & Yacht Rock

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Singer/songwriter Greg Guidry was born in St. Louis, MO on January 23, 1954, and started out singing gospel music as a child. He remained active with music growing up and sang in bands through high school and college, including several with future Doobie Brother (and St. Louis native) Michael McDonald. He signed a publishing deal in 1977, spending the next several years writing for other artists and even singing backup for the Allman Brothers Band in 1981. Columbia Records signed Guidry as an artist in 1982 and issued his debut, Over the Line. With its adult pop sound, Over the Line produced a hit with the first single culled from it, "Goin' Down." The song peaked at number 17 in the spring of 1982 and managed to do even better on the adult contemporary charts, where it reached Top Ten status. The follow-up track, “Into My Love”, a duet with sister Sandy Guidry, failed to duplicate the success of "Goin' Down" and spent a mere two weeks on the charts. Guidry…

Classic Disco Grooves From The Crates

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Happy new year! I'm sure that disco is the best way to start 2018 :-) The Salsoul Orchestra led by vibraphonist Vincent Montana initially consisted of many of the original members of Philadelphia International's MFSB, who had moved to Salsoul as the result of a financial disagreement with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Other members began performing as The Ritchie Family and as John Davis and the Monster Orchestra. On later MFSB and Philadelphia International recordings, Gamble & Huff used a new rhythm section which resulted in a slightly different sound.

Though the Salsoul sound (named for its connotations of salsa and soul) became passé in the wake of disco music's explosion and rapid commercialization during the late '70s, Salsoul was a heavy influence on house music in the 1980s and even the return of disco-inspired electronica during the following decade. The orchestra's track, "Chicago Bus Stop” (“Ooh I Love It”) has been sampled in Madonna’s …

Suntanned Latin Soul To Enjoy On A Winter's Day

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The sky looks very grey today, so hopefully this Latin soul mix gives you the feeling of taking a well-deserved South-American trip. It summarizes almost 60 years of suntanned fun in modern music. Enjoy!

Years ago my parents bought a house from the Meek's family, but they were not related to music legend Joe Meek, as far as I know. He was the first independent record producer in music history. In the late 1950s Meek started as an engineer and soon made a name for himself, because he added instruments and sound effects to recordings, which no one had done before. He experimented with the weirdest electronic effects and built his own early versions of synthesizers, a decade before Kraftwerk did. The spacy instrumental 'Telstar' by Tornados is particularly noted for being the first British record by a band to hit #1 in the United States, in 1962.
You can hear Joe Meek sing on it as a drunken sailor at the end. He also created 'Have I the right', the first glam rock tr…

Eddy’s 80s Grooves: Ghostbusters

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I was very suprised to be #3 on the Mixcloud Best of 2017 Jazz, Funk & Soul chart! I'm really happy with it :-)

This week I chose to play (non-chilled) 80s (inspired) boogie, soul & pop, for a great part contemporary songs, like ‘Light years’ by The Midnight. I think that their 'Nocturnal' is the best album of 2017. Every track seems to be taken from the soundtrack of the 1980s hit series Miami Vice, but the songs are brand new, actually. And I've never heard sax solos played so wonderfully since 'The heat is on' by Glenn Frey or ‘Maneater’ by Daryl Hall & John Oates. The Midnight consists of Tyler Lyle and Tim McEwan.

One of the tracks is 'Ghostbusters' by Ray Parker Jr. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11, 1984. Everyone knows that it sounds very similar to 'I Want a New Drug' by Huey Lewis & The News. Lewis had been approached to compose the main theme song for the film first, but had to declin…

Mellow Yacht Moods by The Smooth Operators

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Kenny Loggins (from Loggins & Messina) once said in an interview that in his opinion ‘yacht rock’ is a combination of West Coast pop/rock, smooth jazz and R&B . Connoisseur Mr Funk aka Seasidevibes calls the sub-genre ‘soulful West Coast’ and German DJ Supermarkt (known for his very successful ‘Too slow to disco’ compilations) claims it’s music you can almost dance to. The Smooth Operators (Martijn Soetens and I) think that it’s music that sounds best on FM radio. Enjoy our mellow yacht moods!

Picture: Heather Gildroy for Camp collection - C-Heads Magazine

Tracklist:

Thundercat Feat. Kenny Loggins & Michael McDonald – Show You The Way (2017)
Ned Doheny – Labor Of Love (1979)
The Waters – If There’s A Way (1977)
Cool Uncle Feat. Jessie Ware – Break Away (2015)
The Ray Camacho Band ‎– Hollywood (1980)
Toto – Waiting For Your Love (1982)
Wouter Hamel – Can’t Do Without It (2017)
Lalo Schifrin ‎– Middle Of The Night (1979)
Photoglo – Steal Away (1980)
Young Gun Silver Fox – Lenny (2017)

Eddy's Chilled 80s Grooves

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This time I selected chilled grooves with their roots firmly in the 1980s, mostly cover versions that are not well-known or not known at all. For instance, Scandinavian band Amason turned the bombastic power ballad ‘I want to know what love is’ into a fragile love song. And I bet you’ve never heard of Kaoru Akimoto’s ‘Dress down’ before. It’s on 'Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk - 1981 to 1988', out on Cultures of Soul. Japanese boogie didn't reach Europe at the time, but the album proves that they could make solid and well-polished funk in Japan in the 1980s. They surely knew how to handle American R&B, boogie, fusion and adult-oriented rock (AOR) there. These foreign influences clearly reflect on the songs that are on the album and make them as least as good as their contemporaries from outside Japan.

The track by Laytonwoohbill is from The Boogie Volume 6, out on Tokyo Dawn Records.

Enjoy this 21st part of Eddy's 80s Grooves!

Tracklist:

Ekkah – Forget Me N…

Pleasure, Peace & Pain: Funky Chill Out Love Songs

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Basically, love songs contain three possible themes: pain (things are going downhill), peace (things are going steady) and pleasure (things are going uphill). And my definition of a love song is a broad one: songs about love for someone special as well as love for mankind in general.

Two tracks are from new compilation albums. The first one, ‘Deep inside of you’ by The Harden Brothers, is from ‘Message In Our Music’, out on Favorite Recordings. And the second one, ‘Free and easy’ from Satyr, can be found on ‘Soul Festival’ (1971-1979 soulful floorfillers), released by Expansion Records. Both albums contain wonderful (rare) soul songs.

Maggie MacNeal used to be one half of the successful Dutch duo Mouth & MacNeal. Their biggest hit was ‘How do you do?’ that peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Two years later they became third in the Eurovision Song Contest (which was won by Abba). After a quarrel Maggie MacNeal went solo in 1975.

The closing track by The Midnigh…

Another Slow Disco Car Ride

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The opening track is on the recently released compilation album The Heart Volume 4, out on Tokyo Dawn Records.

The Karen Carpenter solo album had been shelved for 16 years before it eventually came out in 1996. Some say that her brother Richard, the other half of successful easy listening duo The Carpenters, did not like the sexual content of some of the lyrics. Others claim that label boss Herb Alpert did not like the project, because it did not sound like the Carpenters. Most probably we’ll never find out the real reason why it has been withheld for so long. Fact is that the album has a very good slow disco sound and it is a real treat to listen to, no matter what the commanders in chief thought back in 1980.

Enjoy this new slow disco car ride!

Tracklist:

Vindahl Feat. Jenny Wilson – The Question (2011)
Space Captain – Blue (2017)
Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band – I’ll Play The Fool (1976)
Andrew Gold – Genevieve (1978)
MFSB – Morning Tears (1975)
Karen Carpenter – Remember When…

Funking Up The Dance Floor Part 6

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Once in a while I step out of my smooth and mellow comfort zone to create a heavier, (electro) funk based sound on the Funking Up The Dance Floor series. If you’d ask me to do a gig at your local club, it would probably sound something like this. Enjoy the 6th part of Funking Up The Dance Floor!

When American disco faded because of the ‘disco sucks’ movement in the early eighties, European disco flourished, especially in Italy. The Italians created their own ‘italo’ sound with non-complicated sing-along hooks (often about space adventures) and dominating keyboards and electronic sounds. They were by inspired by electro pioneers like Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder. The British, Dutch, Germans, French and Belgians made some very good euro disco songs too. Popular disco artists like The Three Degrees and Donna Summer went to Europe to record albums with hit producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman, for instance. Those Euro Disco songs filled the gap between seventies American disco and the la…

More Mellow 80s Moods by The Smooth Operators

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The Smooth Operators (Martijn Soetens and I) take a step back in time again. We start with Dutch band Blue Feather and Billy Ocean closes the mix. This Sunday I’m going to see him live on his greatest hits tour in Groningen. Looking forward to that!

After some commercial break downs, Carly Simon (picture) moved to her fourth record label, Arista, and returned to soundtrack work, which had given her her second biggest hit, "Nobody Does It Better," from The Spy Who Loved Me, in 1977. This time, she wrote "Coming Around Again" for Heartburn, and it hit number 18 in early 1987, her biggest hit in more than six years. That set up Simon's comeback with the same titled album, which became her biggest success in a decade, producing two more chart singles, "Give Me All Night" (number 61) and "All I Want Is You" (number 54), and going platinum. Along with "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of," they all made the Top Ten of the adult contemporar…

Smooth Sailing: Chilled Out Jazz Funk

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At a moment when winter is approaching fast I selected music to look back on those wonderful summers of the past. The first two tracks are from the best mix-album I’ve heard in years: ‘DJ Kicks’ by Kerri Chandler. ‘All night’ by Silo is from the excellent compilation ´The Move volume 2´, out on Tokyo Dawn Records.

Multi-instrumentalist and music producer Jordan Chini armed with an array of guitars, basses, drum machines, and vintage synths has fused the spirit of lo-fi songwriting and psychedelia with the aesthetics of experimental funk and soul under his brand-new moniker “BOY DUDE”. The LP 'Cassette for you' came about when Jordan was digging out some of the records of his father, guitarist Robert Chini, from the late 1970s. They inspired him to begin writing and experimenting in a similar style. The track 'Rainbow waterfall' is an outcome of that.

Folk and soul never blended so well as on the new Space Captain album ´All Flowers In Time´. The band’s extensive influe…