Somebody’s Watching Me

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! It was announced yesterday that reality show Big Brother Canada is officially on “Hiatus” and will not be returning for the upcoming broadcast season. I’m a huge fan of the show (having gone to many, many of the live evictions) and so I’m incredibly bummed to hear this news. Fingers crossed that it will return for 2019. In honour of the show, I’m tuning it back to “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: January 14, 1984

TRIVIA: It features former Jackson 5 members Michael Jackson (vocals in the chorus) and Jermaine Jackson (additional backing vocals).

See you next Tuesday!

Do Wah Diddy Diddy

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it way back to “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” as performed by Manfred Mann.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: July 10, 1964

TRIVIA: Do Wah Diddy Diddy was written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and originally recorded in 1963, as Do-Wah-Diddy, by the American vocal group The Exciters.

It was soon covered by British R&B, Beat and pop band Manfred Mann. Manfred Mann’s version, which was more commercially successful, was recorded on 11 June 1964, released on 10 July, and spent two weeks No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in August, and two weeks at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in October.

BONUS VIDEO: Here’s a recording of the original version of the song by The Exciters.

See you next Tuesday!!

Love Shack

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to “Love Shack” by the B-52’s.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: June 20, 1989

TRIVIA: The song’s inspiration was “a cabin around Athens, Georgia”, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived “Rock Lobster”, a single from their first album; it is often said to have been located off “the Atlanta Highway”, as the first verse implies. B-52’s singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and the cabin existed until 2004, when it burned down.

“Tin roof…rusted,” wailed by lead singer Cindy Wilson, was originally an outtake added to the track, and is perhaps the song’s most memorable line. Fred Schneider also provides some memorable lines, including his notable boast of having “a Chrysler as big as a whale” and “seats about twenty”. It has come to mean many things to different listeners.

The music video was directed by Adam Bernstein and shot at the home and studio of ceramic artists Philip Maberry and Scott Walker in Highland, New York. It is also the first time drag queen RuPaul had ever appeared in any type of media before her own turn as a singer and model only a few years later.

See you next Tuesday!!

Blame It On The Rain

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! With news that Toronto Island could be closed to visitors until July due to high water levels from all the rain we’ve been getting, I’m tuning it back to “Blame It On The Rain” by Milli Vanilli.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: July 13, 1989

TRIVIA: The song became Milli Vanilli’s third number one single on the Hot 100 after “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” and “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”. “Blame It On The Rain” was their final single to top the chart before their infamous scandal took off.

See you next Tuesday!!

Sunday Morning

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite No Doubt songs, “Sunday Morning”. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 27, 1997 (single)

TRIVIA: Lyrically, the song is about Gwen Stefani’s relationship with fellow bandmate Tony Kanal, and their breakup that followed.

See you next Tuesday!

It’s Gonna Be Me

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! And happy MAY!! In honour of it being May, I’m tuning it back to the song that inspired one of the biggest memes, “It’s Gonna Be Me” by *NSYNC. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: June 13, 2000

TRIVIA: Following the release of the video, dolls like those portrayed by the band were created, with strings attached as a reference to the group’s smash hit video “Bye Bye Bye”.

Throughout the song, Justin Timberlake pronounces the word “me” such that it sounds more like “May.” This oddity has led to an internet craze in which memes of Timberlake’s face above the inscription “It’s Gonna Be May!” are shared on the internet by numerous users every 30 April (including President Barack Obama). When asked about why he pronounced “me” in that manner, he replied producer Martin had asked him to sing the word in that way, as he probably wanted Timberlake to sound like he was from Tennessee.

See you next Tuesday!

No Rain

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to the early ’90s with Blind Melon’s “No Rain”. So bust out your bee costume and groove to this awesome track. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 22, 1992

TRIVIA: VH1 ranked the “No Rain” video 83rd on its “100 Greatest Videos of All Time” list.

See you next Tuesday!!

Tom’s Diner

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite songs, “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega. Watch both the original version and the DNA remix below…

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: April 1, 1987

TRIVIA: The “Tom’s Diner” of the song is Tom’s Restaurant in New York City, a diner on the corner of Broadway and 112th Street. Singer and songwriter Suzanne Vega was reputedly a frequent patron of the eatery during the early 1980s when she was a student at nearby Barnard College. The mid-twentieth century diner would later become famous as a location for some exterior scenes in the popular 1990s television sitcom Seinfeld.

In 1990, two British record producers remixed “Tom’s Diner”, grafting her vocals onto a dance beat from Soul II Soul and turning her simple ad-libbed outro – “Da da da duh, doo da-doo doo” – into the song’s driving hook. Without permission from Vega, her record label, or publisher, the duo released the remix on a limited basis for distribution to clubs as “Oh Suzanne” by “DNA featuring Suzanne Vega”. Vega’s record company of the time, A&M, decided to buy and release the remix rather than take DNA to court for copyright infringement. A&M struck the deal after consulting with Vega, who liked the interpretation, and DNA, who conducted the transaction through intermediaries without revealing their true identities.

An article in the now defunct magazine Business 2.0 revealed that “Tom’s Diner” was also used by Karlheinz Brandenburg to develop the audio compression scheme known as MP3 at what is now the Fraunhofer Society. He recalled: “I was ready to fine-tune my compression algorithm…somewhere down the corridor, a radio was playing ‘Tom’s Diner.’ I was electrified. I knew it would be nearly impossible to compress this warm a cappella voice.”

BONUS VIDEO: Here is the DNA Remix…

See you next Tuesday!!

Holding Out For A Hero

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back almost exactly 33 years ago to “Holding Out For A Hero” by Bonnie Tyler.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: April 13, 1984

TRIVIA: Recorded for the soundtrack to the 1984 film Footloose, and later included on Bonnie Tyler’s 1986 album Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire.

BONUS VIDEO: Here’s a great cover of the song from Shrek 2 performed by Jennifer Saunders.

See you next Tuesday!

Easy Street

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Last week, ANNIE (the 1982 version) was added to Netflix. I used to watch this movie all the time when I was a kid. So today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite numbers (although there are SO many wonderful songs) “Easy Street” performed by Carol Burnett, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 17, 1982

TRIVIA: The first incarnation of the show-stopping “Easy Street” was literally performed in a street, with the three enthralling villains of the film, Hannigan, Rooster, and St. Clair, displaying their joyous greed against a backdrop of dozens of dancing street vendors. After it was shot, director John Huston decided it wasn’t intimate enough and, more importantly, the setting distracted from the three enormous personalities at the center of it. Tim Curry, Carol Burnett, and Bernadette Peters were more interesting to watch just by themselves than in a whole studio full of performers.

After primary shooting, Carol Burnett underwent surgery to correct her overbite and align her jaw. When she was called back to re-shoot “Easy Street,” she had a new face.  As quoted in the Chicago Tribune, she told her director about her concerns. “Mr. Huston,” she remembers saying, “Two months ago, when I went into the closet, I didn’t have a chin.” “Dear,” he responded, “just come out looking determined.”

BONUS VIDEO: Check out the behind-the-scenes video featuring the original version of “Easy Street”.

See you next Tuesday!