Category Archives: 4Ever Songs

4Ever Songs: Foxy ‘Get Off’

Four of the five members of the group left Cuba and arrived in Miami in 1959. Percussionist Richie Puente is the son of Tito Puente. When KC & The Sunshine Band were on tour, Foxy became the house band for Miami’s TK Productions.

Foxy lead singer Ish Ledesma has a rather lengthy video on YouTube where he goes into detail about the origins of “Get Off.” He claims it was on the west coast, up in northern Califnrnia where he and his band were performing in some small club. They started doing the “Ooh-wah ooh-wah” chants and the club owner absolutely hated them and threatened to “Throw the band into the bay” if they kept doing it. So Ish, out of spite and anger, came up with “Get Off” as a way to get back at the owner. The rest of the band didn’t want to perform it, knowing already that it would cause trouble, but they went ahead and performed it anyway. And sure enough, the club owner had the performance stopped in mid-song, and had the band thrown out of his club. A few months later, the “revenge” song was burning up the charts.

4Ever Songs: The Hollies “Long Cool Woman”

Long known for their cheery pop-rock songs and three-part vocal harmonies, The Hollies were in a jam in July 1971. They needed another song to finish their next album.

Lead singer and guitarist Allan Clarke suggested “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress),” a rockabilly-noir he had co-written weeks earlier with lyricist Roger Cook about an F.B.I. agent, a raid and a woman who catches his eye.

 

4EVER SONGS: RADIOHEAD ‘CREEP’

Creep. It was released as a debut single in 1992, and appeared on their debut album, Pablo Honey. The song wasn’t an initial success, but later became a worldwide hit when it was rereleased in 1993.

The song was supposedly written by singer Thom Yorke while he was studying at Exeter University in second half of the 1980’s. According to guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the song was inspired by a girl that Thom followed around whom also attended a Radiohead event.

The song talks about a intoxicated man that keeps following a woman around, whom he is attacted to. Towards the end, he is not enough self-confident to confront her.  

4Ever Song: Tom Browne ‘Funkin’ for Jamaica’

In 1980, one of the most successful R&B albums of the year was trumpeter Tom Browne‘s Love Approach as it peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Top Album Charts in November of 1980. The single Funkin’ for Jamaica was number one on the R&B charts for four weeks and has been sampled numerous times over the years by rappers and others in digital music.

For many that heard Funkin’ for Jamaica in the ’80s, the details of the song were often misunderstood. Many thought the lyrics of the song were about the Caribbean country of Jamaica, when the song was Browne’s tribute to his ethnic-diverse neighborhood of Jamaica in the borough of Queens, New York City. Others also thought the female voice on the record was Chaka Kahn, but the powerhouse vocals are actually supplied by Toni Smith, who also wrote the lyrics.

4Ever Songs: Dillinger “Cocaine in My Brain”

 There exists a rich musical history of recorded songs about cocaine use dating at least as far back as Victoria Spivey and Lonnie Johnson’s 1927 “Dopehead Blues,” or Dick Justice’s 1928 “Cocaine.” On one end of the spectrum are commendably classic tunes about nose-candy such as Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues,” or J.J. Cale’s (later made shitty by Eric Clapton) “Cocaine,”

Perhaps the greatest (or at least weirdest) joy-powder paean comes to us via Jamaican artist, Dillinger. 1976’s “Cokane in My Brain” from his CB 200 album is a funky slice of reggae/proto-rap, clearly recorded under the influence of—I don’t know—let’s say a kilo of the white stuff. The song’s “riddim” is based on the Gamble and Huff-produced Philly soul classic “Do It Any Way You Wanna” by People’s Choice.

4Ever Songs: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians “What I Am”

To the younger Americana audience, Edie Brickell is most recognized as Steve Martin’s duo partner, and to others she may be best known as the wife of Songwriters Hall of Fame icon Paul Simon. But before she was either of those, she fronted Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, whose breakout (and pretty much only) hit, “What I Am,” took Top 40 radio in a different direction in 1989.

The band’s folky jazz sound was a breath of fresh air for radio listeners who were recovering from a decade of hair bands and omnipresent MTV acts. Driven by a fretless bass, “What I Am” was heralded as everything from beatnik-inspired existentialism to complete gibberish.