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!

Son of a Preacher Man

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to 1968 with the classic “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. I think the first time I really noticed this song was when I first saw Pulp Fiction. I always picture Uma Thurman dancing when I hear this.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: November 8, 1968

TRIVIA: The song was originally offered to American Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. However, it was recorded by Aretha’s elder sister Erma Franklin and was included on her 1969 Brunswick album Soul Sister. It was only upon hearing Springfield’s version that Aretha Franklin reconsidered and recorded the song herself including it on her 1970 album, This Girl’s in Love with You.

See you next Tuesday!

Supermodel (You Better Work)

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! In honour of the Season 9 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race this coming Friday, I’m tuning it back to RuPaul‘s “Supermodel (You Better Work)”.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: November 17, 1992

TRIVIA: The music video for the song, featuring RuPaul in various outfits prancing around town, became a staple on MTV. Singer Kurt Cobain of Nirvana cited the song as one of his favorites of 1993, and the two were photographed together at the MTV Video Music Awards that year.

See you next Tuesday!

Take On Me

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to one of my favourite music videos of all time… “Take On Me” by A-ha. The song also happens to be my default ringtone on my phone. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: October 19, 1984

TRIVIA: The first release of “Take On Me” in 1984 includes a completely different recording, and was featured in the first video, which shows the band singing with a blue background.

The second video, directed by Irish-born British film director Steve Barron, is the most recognized video for the song. It was filmed in 1985 at Kim’s Café (now called “Savoy” cafe) and on a sound stage in London. The video used a pencil-sketch animation / live-action combination called rotoscoping, in which the live-action footage is traced over frame by frame to give the characters realistic movements. Approximately 3,000 frames were rotoscoped, which took 16 weeks to complete.

BONUS VIDEO: Here’s the original music video (and original recording) from 1984…

See you next Tuesday!

Blue Monday

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to March 7, 1983 (34 years ago today!), when “Blue Monday” by New Order was released. Enjoy!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: March 7, 1983

TRIVIA: It was released as a 12-inch single on 7 March 1983 through Factory Records and later remade by the band in 1988 and 1995. The song has been widely remixed and covered since its original release, and became a popular anthem in the dance club scene. It is the best-selling 12″ single of all time.

According to Bernard Sumner, “Blue Monday” was influenced by four songs: the arrangement came from “Dirty Talk”, by Klein + M.B.O.; the signature bassline with octaves came from Sylvester‘s disco classic, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”; the beat came from “Our Love”, by Donna Summer; and the long keyboard pad on the intro and outro was sampled from the Kraftwerk song “Uranium”, from the Radio-Activity album.

See you next Tuesday!!

Handle With Care

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Over the weekend I was watching an old home video of Christmas 1988. In the video, my Dad was playing the first album by the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys (George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne) in the background. I forgot how fantastic that album was and quickly decided to buy it on iTunes. So today I’m tuning it back to their most successful single, “Handle With Care”.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: October 17, 1988

TRIVIA: The song was originally intended as the B-side of Harrison’s “This Is Love”. Harrison had not yet written a song for the B-side when an impromptu gathering of the musicians who became the Wilburys turned into an informal songwriting and jam session. Casting about for a song idea while relaxing in a garden near Bob Dylan’s recording studio, Harrison was inspired when he noticed a box in Dylan’s garage that was labelled “Handle with Care”. The box also inspired the opening line: “been beat up and battered around.” The complete song quickly followed, with different members of the gathering contributing various lines. The group moved to a recording studio and quickly laid down the basic tracks which were later polished by eventual Wilburys producer Jeff Lynne. The song depicts a conversation between a man and his new found love wherein he is recounting life’s experiences which have affected him, contributed to his loneliness, and his plea to his love to “handle me with care” because of all the things he had been through.

Harrison’s record company decided that the song was too good to be released as “filler.” Encouraged by this response and the enjoyable experience of recording together, the group re-convened to record the first Wilburys album, which featured “Handle With Care” as the lead track.

The song was the last release and video for group member Roy Orbison prior to his death on December 6, 1988.

See you next Tuesday!!

We Are Family

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! I hope everyone had a lovely Family Day yesterday (as celebrated in most of Canada)! Today I’m tuning it back to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. Now go out there and love each other!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: March 18, 1979

TRIVIA: “We Are Family” was the first song that Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards wrote for any other act than their own band Chic. The lead vocals were recorded in a single take by then-19-year-old Kathy Sledge.

See you next Tuesday!

I Love You Always Forever

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! In honour of Valentine’s Day today, I’m tuning it back to 1996 with “I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis. So put your boots on your hands and sing along to this fun video.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 14, 1996

TRIVIA: Inspired by the H. E. Bates novel Love for Lydia.

See you next Tuesday!

My Music At Work

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! In honour of Gord Downie’s 53rd Birthday yesterday, I’m tuning it back to “My Music At Work” by The Tragically Hip. Happy Birthday, Gord!!

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 4, 2000

TRIVIA: The video was directed by Bruce McCulloch (of Kids In The Hall) and filmed in the lobby of Commerce Court North, which is part of the headquarters for the Canadian bank CIBC.

See you next Tuesday!!