Along the Lines of Marvin Gaye and Others
When it comes to music, most of the stuff I like is old school. But then again, everybody is old school. Think about it. The whole “vintage” trend is really popular. It is all over entertainment and fashions. Sunglasses, skinny jeans, and those scraggly beards… that ain’t new! And the trend is all up inside the music, as well.
A lot of modern popular music pays homage to, copies, or steals from 1970s and 80s music. Rock bands make albums that sound like The Ramones or Led Zeppelin records. R&B artists try to sound like Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder, or something from the Stax era. Pop music is borrowing from disco. Artists and producers are making their music sound old, on purpose. Some bands have traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record in the famous historic studio there.
Whoever knows me can tell you that the late, great soul man legend, Marvin Gaye is my favorite artist. I think he’s the greatest singer that ever lived. The music he made from the classic social/political album, “What’s Going On” to his last album, before his untimely death, “Sexual Healing”, in my opinion, was his best in a long (but yet too short) illustrious career.
I love soul samples used on Hip-Hop records and anytime rap artists sample Marvin Gaye, the greatest soul singer of all time; you know that I’m all ears!!
Naming my favorite Marvin Gaye album is hard. The “trilogy” regarding pure greatness is “What’s Going On”, “Let’s Get It On” and “I Want You”. They all have their strengths (and very little weaknesses, if any). The track “I Want You” which is on the album of the same name, start out the classic album and is my favorite Marvin Gaye record, PERIOD. But track #2, “Come Live With Me, Angel” is pretty special as well…
“Come Live With Me Angel” is a silky-smooth ballad about a man longing for his woman to move in with him so that their love affair can reach an even more passionate level. The music to the song is very soulful, and I always thought “Come Live With Me Angel” was perfect to sample on a Hip-Hop record.
I had never heard a sample of “Come Live With Me Angel” on a Hip-Hop record until 2003 when G-Unit released “Wanna Get To Know You” featuring R&B singer, Joe (if you know of a Hip-Hop record which used the sample before G-Unit did, let me know).
You hardcore G-Unit fans may roll your eyes when you read the statement I’m about to make…
“Wanna Get To Know You” is the best song G-Unit has ever made!
Now, G-Unit and its front man, 50 Cent, are known for that of’ gangsta sh–! But I think that Fiddy, as a solo artist, has made some of Hip-Hop’s better love songs and on “Wanna Get To Know You,” he and his crew, Young Buck and Lloyd Banks, shine brightly with the help from the smooth, underrated soul singer, Joe.
I’ve had conversations with young people about what they call “great music”. dude, there’s so much they are not aware of. I’m sorry, but Justin Timberlake borrows a lot of stuff from Michael Jackson. And he’s not the only one. Things are being remade and recycled far too much. Classic songs have been remade, that should have been left alone! And people are using old instruments to make their “new” music. Old synthesizers and recording gear are a big part of today’s music.
That part, I like – It’s cool that people are using vintage gear to make music. But the “new” music they’re making… meh! The “vintage” trend is everywhere. We’re choking on it. Drowning in it. Young people can’t call me an “old fart”, because the stuff they listen to is borrowed from 30-40 years ago. I wish more young people would check out the older music, and discover what is great about it.
You might think I’m a “grumpy old man” who wants to live in the past. Well, yes, I can be grumpy, especially before coffee. But, I don’t live in the past. I’m 45 years old, and I love today’s technology. I’m all over my smart phone, and I use my computer for everything. I love the nostalgia and character of old things, but I love the convenience and capabilities of new stuff. I guess I’m a combination of old soul and forward-thinker. My last girlfriend was confused by my personality. And, maybe a little annoyed. I’m not bi-polar, honey, I swear!
I have seen trends come and go, and it is interesting, or disappointing, to see what the next big thing is. I wonder – who comes up with these trends? Maybe there is some secret Council Of Coolness high on a mountain somewhere, who decides what the trends will be. They wear robes and amulets, and they talk slowly and profoundly when they deliver decrees. “This year’s trend shall be… cooking shows! Henceforth!” I mean, somebody’s gotta be making these important decisions, right?
My point is, everybody is old school. No matter what age you are, you are influenced by the old school. Old is new. Old is cool. I usually don’t pay attention to trends, but they are getting harder to avoid. I don’t know how much longer the “vintage” trend will last. But, I’m sure the next trend after that will have the same results. Partially cool, partially annoying.