Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
Too often you hear a radio dj (are they still around?) say about a trac they just played “Timeless.” However this term is bandied about like other terms that are used frequently. “Superstar”,and “Icon” come to mind.
What is it that makes a musical number a timeless classic?
The song has to have a musical beat and lyrics that don’t depict a certain era. The song has to appeal to today’s youth. It’s long been established that the record buying public is between the ages of 12-19, not 30-60.
As far as those of us who are up there, the thinking by many in the industry is “Oh those people. They like the old stuff. But how many of them go to the shops and pluck down the bucks and buy? Not many.”
True that the music industry has changed dramatically over the years. As we say “It aint what it used to be.” Today if you aren’t successful right out of the box, you’re out faster than what the umpire says.
For example look at Diana Ross and the Supremes. They had about 6 shots out of the box before catching on. Their first success was “When the Lovelight starts Shining through his Eye.” Many of you thought it was “Where Did Our Love Go.” This trac got them out of the box and they scored with it. They almost didn’t record it. The song was first offered to the late Gladys Horton and The Marvelettes. They declined it. The Supremes almost turned it down. Diana Ross felt it was “childish.” The Motown producers Holland-Dozier-Holland reworked it and history was made.
So many of you are wondering what are the classics?
Here they are according to the genres that I listen to:
10-Take Five- Dave Brubeck
09-Take The “A” Train-Duke Ellington
08-Round Midnight-Thelonious Monk
07-Swing, Swing, Swing-Benny Goodman
06-Bumpin On Sunset-Wes Montgomery
05-Feeling Good-Nina Simone
04-Strange Fruit-Billie Holliday
03-Someone To Watch Over Me-Ella Fitzgerald
02-Flight Time-Donald Byrd
09-Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough-Michael Jackson
08-Endless Love-Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie
07-Night Fever-The Bee Gees
06-When Doves Cry-Prince
04-Young At Heart-Frank Sinatra
03-I Will Always Love You-Whitney Houston
02-Unforgetable-Nat King Cole
01-Billie Jean-Michael Jackson
08-Oye Como Ya-Tito Puente
06-Seranata Husateca-Miguel Aceves Mejia
05-Cabo E-Ricardo Ray
04-Azuquita Mami-Johnny Pacheco
03-Ran Kan Kan-Tito Puente
02-Azucar Pa Ti-Eddie Palmieri
10-Try A Little Tenderness-Otis Redding
09-You Gave Me Something-The Fantastic Four
08-Sexual Healing-Marvin Gaye
07-Ain’t Too Proud To Beg-The Temptations
06-This I Swear-The Skyliners
05-Stay In My Corner-The Dells
04-Lovers Never Say Goodbye-The Flamingos
03-So Far Away-The Pastels
02-Magic Moon-The Rays
01-You’re The Reason-The Ebonys
10-Highway 61 Revisited-Bob Dylan
09-Off The Wall-Michael Jackson
08-Rubber Soul-The Beatles
07-Birth of The Cool-Miles Davis
05-Bitches Brew-Miles Davis
03-The Sun Sessions-Elvis Presley
02-Sgt. Pepper-The Beatles
01-What’s Going On-Marvin Gaye
There you have it. Let me know your opinions and what you feel are your timeless classics. Enjoy your holiday.