OSW: Out Of Thin Air

EJ’s out of nowhere. In between NYC and Chitown — and then back to NYC…. All I can say is I’m having a great time doing it all (major props to Bernie, Donald, and Phillippe). I’m trying to
write up my exploits while balancing everything else. In the meanhile:

Old School Wednesday: Out Of Thin Air.

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Podcast/mix available here. [Click to play or right click-save as to download.]

01 – Jesse Johnson – Lovestruck
02 – Duran Duran – The Reflex
03 – The Power Station – Some Like It Hot
04 – The Jacksons – Heartbreak Hotel
05 – Rick James & Teena Marie – I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love
06 – Cameo – Be Yourself
07 – Sheena Easton – Sugar Walls
08 – Prince – Mountains
09 – Kashif – Baby Don’t Break Your Baby’s Heart
10 – Stevie Wonder – All I Do
11 – The Blackbyrds – Rock Creek Park
12 – Perri – The Flight
13 – Isley Brothers – Groove With You
14 – Chaka Khan – Papillon

You know I had to break it on down with Jesse Johnson, who had been on my mind for a while. This R&B track tinged with a rock solo at the end is no joke. Duran Duran and The Power Station are welcome pop tracks that were played on R&B stations back in the day (and yeah, I had the cassette tapes of both of their albums).

For me, the instrumentation of Heartbreak Hotel is already enough to make it a fantastic track (horns, guitar solo, piano, and percussion out of this world), but then to have The Jackson’s vocals, serious bridges, and lyrics? Definitely an unforgettable single. The track segues into Rick James and Teena Marie funkin’ it up with I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love. When’s the last time you heard this track…and the unforgettable Sugar Walls?

Cameo, Prince, Kashif, and Stevie follow, all masters in their own right (although I gotta say, All I Do is still one of my favorite Stevie Wonder tracks, and fits into just about any party). The Blackbyrd’s Rock Creek Park is also a classic, a track with woodwinds and percussion that’s jazzy but at the same time sultry. The combination still works.

Perri’s The Flight was the first release from Perri, a fantastically underrated group that sings with Anita Baker. I got a chance to see them live and it was nothing short of spectacular. I then close it off with The Isley Brothers and Chaka Khan’s Papillon (aka Hot Butterfly) which boasts backgrounds from several wonderful vocalists, including Luther Vandross.

Take it light.

12 thoughts on “OSW: Out Of Thin Air

  1. Elvis did it; Whitney did it; nobody did like the Jacksons. I love Heartbreak Hotel. You have soooo many great artists on this mix (too many to list). Thanks (for Jesse, Blackbyrds, Prince, Cameo, Isley…….)

  2. As always, you’re doing the damn thing! I too remember the Perri sisters. They still sing backup for Anita Baker. My favorite from them was “Someone Like you.”

  3. huh… EJ, dude, You Are Da Man!!!! My office is right next to my boss’ so I might get reprimanded today b/c Lovestruck’s outro guitar solo can’t be played just once. And The Reflex? Fughet about it! This is one giant ‘genius’ reunion
    Thank you.
    Peace

  4. you took me back ej! i’m sittin here thinkin of my (then) duran duran button collection that i affectionately boasted on my acid wash guess jean jacket (when guess jeans had sand in the pockets) lololololol

  5. Jesse Johnson. You knew I need that, didn’t you?
    You have captured so many memories with this OSW! Enjoy yourself!

  6. EJ you are the man!!! Sugar Walls, bruh!?!?!? I haven’t heard that in YEARS!!! I love the part when Sheena screams…lol…lol…lol…Beyonce aint got nuttin on that…hahahahaha….Prince was and still is ahead of his time!

  7. EJ! Another great one!
    The Kashif track is one of his best. Stevie’s “All I Do” is a great song as well.
    “Heartbreak Hotel!” That is still a hot record!
    Perri, The Isleys, Sheena, and Rick & Teena!
    Love the juxtaposition of The Power Station (produced by the late great Bernard Edwards) and Duran Duran (remixed by Edward’s Chic partner Nile Rodgers).

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