Three a Week last week was about classical, R & B and Disco.
Cerrone Symphony (Malligator, 2010)
33 years ago, science opened up the door ….Way back in 1977 Cerrone released Supernature. Co-written by Lene Lovich , its a very forward-for-its-time, electronic, disco track. It sold over 8 million copies and I read one site that said it “left skid marks on the international charts” Hahahaha. The song has a sci-fi theme: it’s about the rebellion of mutant creatures — created by scientists to end starvation among mankind — against the humans.
Still amazing 33 years later, Cerrone has now re-imagined it and created Cerrone Symphony which is a 40-minute version comprising 11 Acts. Much like a movie soundtrack, but at times sounding like a club track, its actually big, disco orchestration mixed with a very electro adaptation of the original. Many of the vocals use the autotune (yes, eeeeuuuw) but it kinda works in the context of mutant creatures and the sci-fi theme and all. The production is amazing –crashing drums, crisp strings, sometimes sounding a bit Meco in the arrangements.
I wasn’t expecting this release and wouldn’t have thought the orignal needed updating, but it’s not a 2010 remix. It’s an excellent addition to my Cerrone collection. Now, all I need is the live experience in Paris in June ’10.
Toni Braxton – Seven Whole Days (La Face, 1992)
I dunno why I grabbed this off the CD shelf this week – but as soon as it played I was transported back to 90s R & B. Babyface ruled the airwaves and could do no wrong – writing and producing for everyone including Madonna, Gladys Knight and Lionel Richie.
This track is from Toni’s debut album, for which she won 3 Grammys (back when they meant something) and sold almost 15 million copies. Imagine today an R & B album of ballads shifting that many units? I think not.
Toni has a contralto vocal range (similar to Anita Baker) and one of the album tracks “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” was actually written for Anita, who, pregnant at the time, passed it to Toni who was subsequently signed.
Seven Whole Days was her third single, but it wasnt commercially released in the US, so it didn’t chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but did reach #1 on R & B/ Hip Hop Airplay. It’s about a fading romance… “Seven whole days, And not a word from you”.
It’s a smooth, classic Babyface song with one of Toni’s best vocal performances – girl can sing.
Chic – I Got Protection (Atlantic Records, 1980)
From their album Real People, This is just straight up Chic. Some thought that by 1980 they were past their prime, but there was still plenty of funk left in them.