Thursday, April 30, 2015

Song of the Day: "Soul Sista" (Bilal)

"Soul Sista" - Bilal
  • Writers: Bilal Oliver, Damu Mtume Fa Mtume, Michael Flowers
  • Producer: Raphael Saadiq
  • Record Label: Interscope
  • Released in 2001 from 1st Born Second
  • Peaked at #18 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart & #71 on the Hot 100.

Rare Recording: "The Secret Garden" (Regina Belle, Patti LaBelle, Teena Marie, Pamela Williams)

Back in 1996, saxophonist Pamela Williams remade the Quincy Jones classic "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)," which was originally performed by  Al B. Sure, James Ingram, El Debarge, and Barry White.

Lifted from Williams' Saxtress album, she was joined by the legendary Regina Belle, Patti LaBelle and Teena Marie on an often forgotten about remake aptly entitled "The Secret Garden." Peep this rare recording of it below and Enjoy!

Second Listen: "New Day" (Patti LaBelle)

While we are about to enter May, it feels as though a new day is closer to me than I think and I thought it would be appropriate to revisit Patti LaBelle's single "New Day," which was lifted as the first single from her album Timeless Journey back in 2004.

Written for Patti as a comeback record, who returned with her first new album of songs in four years, it was a minor charted hit for her peaking at number thirty-six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number ninety-three on the Billboard Hot 100 marking LaBelle's first appearance on the Hot 100 since 1997.

With that said, take a hopefully second listen below to Patti's "New Day" and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "She’s Only Happy In The Sun" (Olamida Faison)

I posted this sublime cover last year and while going through an old playlist I had earlier today I rediscovered it and Olamida Fasion who sadly I haven't kept up with even though his talents warrant a closer listen in my opinion.

While I am not familiar with Olamida Faison, his voice rings true and is an artist I am looking forward to discovering some new material from. With that said, the NYC artist-on-the-rise has just released the first song off of his (then?) forthcoming EP entitled '#TheInfluence,' which is a tribute project to the artists that have played an influential role in his love for me.

Entitled "She's Only Happy In The Sun," it is an acoustic cover of the Ben Harper original and I have to say, Olamida Faison really does his thing on it. With that said, take a listen to Olamida's take of "She's Only Happy In The Sun" below and lookout for the release of his upcoming EP project entitled '#TheInfluence.'

Live Audio: "Another Life" (D'Angelo)

During D'Angelo mini European tour back in 2012, he performed several new joints that might make the cut for his then forthcoming LP.

With that said, luckily for fans of the crooner, a fan recorded D'Angelo performed his new joint "Another Life," during his Paris concert. While it was then unclear when D'Angelo's highly anticipated third album would be set for release, Black Messiah dropped at the end of 2014 and "Another Life" made the final cut.

Therefore, take a listen below to this live audio of D'Anglo performing "Another Life" and Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Song of the Day: "Rain" (SWV)

"Rain" - SWV
  • Writers: Brian Alexander Morgan & Jaco Pastorius
  •  Producer: Brian Alexander Morgan
  • Record Label: RCA
  • Released in 1997 from Release Some Tension
  • Peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart &  #7 on the US Hot R&B Singles chart

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Amazing Cover: "Sailing" (Avant)

Back in 1980, Christopher Cross released his #1 hit "Sailing," which was a smooth sensual and silky ballad. Avant then rerecorded "Sailing," back in 2008 for his self-titled album Avant and later released it as a single. With that said, take a listen after the jump to Avant's solid cover of Christopher Cross' classic joint and Enjoy!

Rare Recording: "You Can't Hurry Love" (The Supremes)

Was talking about Detroit with some friends last night and it just so happens that I've been listening to some classic Motown hits these past few weeks and one of those gems has to be The Supremes' classic hit "You Can't Hurry Love."

With that said, below you will find a rare recording of the trio with an alternate rendition of their classic hit. While the melody is changed a bit on this recording, you still get the same vibe on "You Can't Hurry Love" and you can check it out below!

Live Audio: "Clouds" (Chaka Khan)

Back in 1983, Chaka Khan offered up a live morning performance in Newark, NJ of her disco hit single "Clouds," which was lifted from her solo sophomore LP Naughty and penned by Ashford and Simpson.

While "Clouds," is not usually performed by Chaka Khan during her sets these days, I thought it would be appropriate to offer up this rare live audio recording of Chaka below as we get closer to celebrating her birthday.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Song of the Day: "Someday We'll All Be Free" (Donny Hathaway)

"Someday We'll All Be Free" - Donny Hathaway
  • Writers: Donny Hathaway and Edward Howard
  • Producer: Arif Mardin
  • Record Label: Atco
  • Released in 1973 from Extension of a Man
  • It reached #51 on the U.S. Billboard R&B Charts 

Cut: "Am I Worth It" (Heather Headley)

Back in 2006, Heather Headley released her sophomore album In My Mind and while the album only released two singles, one of my favorite cuts from her Gold-certified LP has to be "Am I Worth It."

Produced by Warryn Campbell, this smooth mid-tempo joint is just one of those great joints that only true fans of Headley are probably aware of. With that said, take a listen below to "Am I Worth it" and Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Song of the Day: "You're On My Mind" (Kem)

"You're On My Mind" - Kem
  • Writer: Kem
  • Producer: Kem
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 2012 from Intimacy: Album III
  • Peaked at #27 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Live Audio: "Turn Me Loose (Unplugged)" (Ledisi)

As Ledisi winds down the promotion for her latest albums The Truth Acoustic and The Truth, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit Ledisi's sublime unplugged rendition of "Turn Me Loose," which is featured on the deluxe limited edition of her album Pieces Of Me and is one of the greatest gems that not a lot of people have been put onto.

Words honestly can't describe how happy I am to hear this live unplugged rendition of "Turn Me Loose," every time it comes up during my playlists and hopefully this is only a taste of a potential live project of sorts that we semi received with The Truth Acoustic.

Either way it turns out, I am just glad I have a legit unplugged recording of her saning instead of the bootleg youtube rips I've done in the past. Take a listen below to "Turn Me Loose (Unplugged)" and for this alone, picking up a copy of her deluxe limited edition of Pieces Of Me would be in your best interest as you get a copy of her latest albums The Truth and The Truth Acoustic.

Amazing Cover: "The Way We Were" (Beyoncé)

Back during the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors that aired on CBS, Beyoncé honored her idol Barbra Streisand with a performance of one of the icon's most legendary hits "The Way We Were." Having been a fan of Ms. Streisand for years, Beyoncé was truly touched and honored to be called upon for such an occasion to honor her.

With that said, Beyoncé captivated the audience and Ms. Streisand herself with her riveting, captivating and sublime interpretation of "The Way We Were" and you can watch it all go down below!

Remix: "Latch (DJ Premier Remix)" (Disclosure)

Disclosure released their Settle Special Edition LP back in 2013 in the UK and ahead of its then release, the duo have released a remix to their Sam Smith assisted hit single "Latch."

Remixed by DJ Premier, it's a dope remix to one of my favorite songs of 2012 from the duo and if you haven't check out their debut album Settle, you should as they offer some really dope joints.  Therefore, take a listen below to "Latch (DJ Premier Remix)" and Enjoy!

Cut: "Better" (Chrisette Michele)

Chrisette Michele's latest album Better really offers some solid gems and while it is not being promoted as much as I think it deserves, the set's title track "Better" is of of those solid gems from the set.

Produced by Chuck Harmony and co-written by Chrisette, Chuck Harmony, Kevin Randolph and Steve Wyreman, "Better" is one of those slow jams with a throwback vibe, which I think should really be the set's third single.

Either way it might turn out, take a listen to Chrisette's cut "Better" below and Enjoy!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Amazing Cover: "Viva La Vida" (Solange)

A few years ago, Solange performed a sublime cover of the Coldplay hit "Viva La Vida." Though Solange rarely receives the credit she is due for her vocals and amazing songwriting, this is one performance that no one can deny.

Solange straight up killed this performance and truly made it her own. With that said, watch it all go down below and hopefully Solange's highly anticipated third album will see its release later this year!

Second Listen: "If I Have My Way" (Chrisette Michele)

Back in 2007, Chrisette Michele released her debut album I Am and her debut single from the Island Def Jam set was the power ballad "If I Had My Way." Written and produced by Chrisette, Kevin Randolph and David Lee Stewart, "If I Have My Way" was a perfect introduction to the soulful songstress who's had a solid career these past seven years.

Peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the song would earn her her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, her only one in this category. With that said, take a second listen below to "If I Have My Way" and Enjoy!

Cut: "Love Gun" (Melody Thorton)

Take a listen below to Melody Thorton's take on Cee-Lo Green's "Love Gun." Originally expected to appear on Melody's upcoming solo project, Cee-Lo instead used it on his album "The Lady Killer" with the Paradisco Girls' Lauren Bennett.

While I prefer Melody's version to the one used on Cee-Lo's album, the song as a whole is a nice catchy song and proves to really showcases Melody's phenomenal vocals. Listen below and Enjoy!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "Conqueror" (Estelle)

This past Thursday night, Estelle made her debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden with and offered up a riveting performance of her current hit single "Conqueror."

Aided in part from its inclusion on FOX's Empire, Estelle's "Conqueror" has been slowly but surely conquering the charts and you can watch her sublime live rendition of "Conqueror" below from The Late Late Show with James Corden!

Song of the Day: "More & More" (Joe)

"More & More" - Joe
  • Writer: R. Kelly
  • Producer: R. Kelly
  • Record Label: Jive Records
  • Released in 2003 from And Then...
  • Peaked at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts

Second Listen: "Fool For You" (Alice Smith)

My favorite cover of 2013 would be nice to revisit Alice Smith's rendition of "Fool For You."

Earlier in 2013, Alice Smith released her sophomore album She and one of the standout joints from her LP has to be her cover of the Cee-Lo Green and Melanie Fiona Grammy-winning duet "Fool For You."

While I had forgotten about this gem from Alice, her performance of it during BET's telecast of Black Girls Rock reminded me of this sublime rendition of "Fool For You" and had me revisiting the brilliance of her take.

With that said, take a listen below to Alice Smith's amazing cover of Cee-Lo's "Fool Fo You," and if you haven't checked out her sublime sophomore album She, there is no time like the present to get acquainted with her dope album.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Song of the Day: "Still" (The Commodores)

"Still" - The Commodores
  • Writer: Lionel Richie
  • Producers: James Anthony Carmichael, Commodores
  • Record Label: Motown
  • Released in 1979 from Midnight Magic
  • Peaked at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Soul Singles chart

Remix: "Thank God I Found You" (Make It Last Remix)" (Mariah Carey ft. Joe & Nas)

Back in 2000,  Mariah Carey released "Thank God I Found You" as the second single from her 1999 hit LP Rainbow and during that year, she also Carey re-recorded her vocals for the song's main remix titled "Thank God I Found You" (Make It Last Remix), which features vocals from Joe and a verse from Nas.

The remix is a remake/play on Keith Sweat's classic hit single "Make It Last Forever" (1988), and incorporates a few verses from the original version of "Thank God I Found You". DJ Clue produced the remix, transforming it into a slow groove R&B number and you can hopefully revisit this sublime remix below!

Second Listen: "Who Am I to Say" (Hope)

Back in 2007, Tyler Perry released the feature film Why Did I Get Married? and the accompanying official soundtrack for the film featured some great classics and a few new gems, including the introduction to singer/songwriter Hope and her joint "Who Am I to Say."

While the version of "Who Am I to Say" on the soundtrack to Why Did I Get Married? feature a bossa nova arrangement, the original rendition from Hope offers more of a somber ballad interpretation and you can revisit her breakout joint "Who Am I to Say" below!

Amazing Cover: "Look Into Your Heart" (Whitney Houston)

Back in 1994 Warner Borthers Records released a tribute album to Curtis Mayfield entitled A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield and on the album, Whitney Houston recorded a phenomenal take on Mayfield's classic "Look Into Your Heart," which was originally lifted from the Sparkle soundtrack.

With that said, while Whitney co-stared in the remake of Sparkle, she didn't get the chance to re-rerecorded it for this latest reincarnation of Sparkle. Therefore, take a listen to Whitney's sublime take of "Look Into Your Heart" below as we continue to remember The Voice.

Cut: "Father, Father" (Laura Mvula)

I've been jamming to Laura Mvula's debut album Sing To The Moon since it arrived by mail to me almost two years ago and after several listens, one of my favorite cuts from the album has to be her slow joint  "Father, Father."

While she has performed the song live while promoting her new album, which has peaked thus far at #9 on the UK Albums Chart, I hadn't really listened to the lyrics and the instrumentation behind "Father, Father."

With that said, take a listen below to Laura's cut "Father, Father" and if you like what you hear, go out and support her by picking up a copy of her sublime debut album Sing To The Moon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Song of the Day: "Rain" (SWV)

"Rain" - SWV
  • Writers: Brian Alexander Morgan & Jaco Pastorius
  •  Producer: Brian Alexander Morgan
  • Record Label: RCA
  • Released in 1997 from Release Some Tension
  • Peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart &  #7 on the US Hot R&B Singles chart

Second Listen: "Fake" (Alexander O'Neal)

Back in 1987, Alexander O'Neal released his biggest hits to date which was the infectious thumping joint "Fake." Peaking at number one on the R&B charts"Fake," which was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis helped spur sales of O'Neal's sophomore album Hearsay and would make him an international star.

"Fake"  still goes for me in my book and its Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis beat is still as fresh as it was back in 1987. With that said, take a second listen to the old-school jam "Fake" from Alexander O'Neal below and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "As We Lay" (Kelly Price)

Back in 2000, Kelly Price would go onto release what would become her signature song, "As We Lay" that still has people raising a hand to her vocal testimony.

Lifted from Kelly's sophomore album Mirror Mirror, "As We Lay" was originally a classic by Shirley Murdock, but Kelly took the song and turned it out so much that some fans to this day still think it is a Kelly Price original.

With that said, revisit Kelly's classic take of "As We Lay" below and Enjoy!

Cut: "Quickly" (John Legend ft. Brandy)

While John Legend's promotional rounds for his 2013 released album Love in the Future are winding down, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit one of the standout joints from his last solo album Evolver, which featured none other than "the vocal bible" herself Brandy.

Entitled "Quickly," their duet which was my favorite cut from Legend's 2008 third album and though it never received the single's treatment, I would still love to see the two of them perform this live one day. Therefore, take a listen below to their cut "Quickly" and Enjoy!

Remix: "Feedback (So So Def Remix)" (Janet Jackson ft. Busta Rhymes, Ciara, Fabolous)

Back in 2008, Island Def Jam released the official "Feedback (So So Def Remix)" of Janet Jackson's hit lead single from her tenth studio album Discipline. Featuring Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, and a rapping Ciara, this remix courtesy of JD adds just another level to her already thumping joint. With that said, let's revisit the remix for those who are familiar and introduce it to other as we eagerly await Janet's next musical move!

Live Audio: "Backstabbers" (Jazmine Sullivan)

Back in 2009 while promoting her debut album Fearless in London, Jazmine Sullivan performed a riveting rendition of her joint "Backstabbers." Though it didn't make the final cut for her GRAMMY-nominated debut album, Sullivan's live rendition has me wondering why it never made the final tracklisting.

With that said, take a listen below to Jazmine Sullivan's sublime live rendition of her joint "Backstabbers" and Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "Black & Gold" (Sam Sparro)

Back in 2008 Sam Sparro released his self-titled debut album Sam Sparro, and the infectious single "Black & Gold" was nearly everywhere throughout '08 and parts of 2009.

With that said, watch Sam Sparro performing "Black & Gold" along with Jool's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra as we await word on potential new music for 2014. There is a lot of great musicianship going on in the video and it is a pleasure to witness such artistry.

Therefore, check out Sam Sparro's sublime performance of "Black & Gold" below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Come Back to Me" (Janet Jackson)

"Come Back to Me" - Janet Jackson
  • Writers: Janet Jackson, James Harris III, Terry Lewis
  • Producers: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
  • Record Label: A&M
  • Released in 1990 from 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814
  • Peaked at #2 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

Cut: "Turn Me On" (Norah Jones)

Back in 2002, Norah Jones released her debut album Come Away With Me to tremendous critical and commercial acclaim, netting Jones 5 Grammy Awards and selling over 26 million copies worldwide.

With that said, the last single released from her set was "Turn Me On" in late 2003 and while it did not chart here in the states, "Turn Me On" is one of those gems in Jones' discography and you can take a listen to it below!

Remix: "Meteorite (Q-Tip Version)" (Mariah Carey)

I don't know about you, but I've still been jamming out to Mariah Carey's 14th album Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse. Featuring production credits from the likes of Hit-Boy, Jermaine Dupri, and Mike WiLL Made It, A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip also lends production to Mariah's 2014 album with the infectious disco-soul jam "Meteorite."

With that said, Q-Top released an alternative version of the song that differentiates the instrumentation a bit, though Mariah's vocals are still the soaring ones featured on the album version. Therefore, take a listen below to "Meteorite (Q-Tip Version)," as "Meteorite" is one of my favorite joints from Me. I Am Mariah.. The Elusive Chanteuse and Enjoy!

Amazing Cover: "Love Ballad" (Kenny Lattimore & Chanté Moore)

Back in 2006, then couple Kenny Lattimore and Chanté Moore released their collaborative album Uncovered. One of the standout tracks from the album is the couple's spirited cover of the L.T.D. classic "Love Ballad" that really warranted more attention then it ever received in my opinion.

Their lush vocals and passion for one another really helps sell the song and creates a strong duet. Take a listen below to their sublime cover of "Love Ballad" and if you like what you hear, maybe you want to checkout more of Uncovered.

Second Listen: ""Almost is Never Enough" (Ariana Grande ft. Nathan Sykes)

Was listening to Ariana Grande's Yours Truly earlier today and couldn't stop repeating her duet with The Wanted's Nathan Sykes on "Almost Is Never Enough." While it was semi released as the second single off of the YA film soundtrack for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, after the film bombed at the box office, the soundtrack and "Almost Is Never Enough" never really got much more of a push.

For me, "Almost Is Never Enough" is a beautiful duet between then two rising stars and is a bit reminiscent of a Mariah Carey/ Boyz II Men collaboration in my opinion. Though the song is a bit mature in arrangement for the two young singers in my opinion, Ariana continues to prove that her 90s-flavored R&B songs are winners both on the charts and vocally.

With that said, revisit Ariana's duet with Nathan Sykes below on "Almost Is Never Enough" and Enjoy!

Live Audio: "Mirrors" (Boyce Avenue ft. Fifth Harmony)

I wanted to revisit this live audio cover via Boyce Avenue and rising-group Fifth Harmony of their collaboration on the cover of Justin Timberlake's hit single "Mirrors," because it recently came on one of my summer playlists and thought it would be great for us all to relisten to this sublime cover.

With that said, the two groups collaborated on Boyce Avenue's YouTube channel on this sublime cover and then Boyce released the live audio via iTunes a few weeks later. For me what makes this audio stand out are Fifth Harmony's sublime vocals and I really hope that their forthcoming debut album will give them moments to vocally shine as all five of these girls clearly can sang.

Therefore take a listen after the jump to their live audio cover of Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" and Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Live Video of the Day: "A House Is Not A Home" (Luther Vandross)

Today would've been Luther's 64th birthday and to honor the late icon's birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit my favorite televised performance of Luther's legendary career.

You can't find a bad Luther Vandross performance, it is just impossible as Luther is a vocal master with the ability and depth to continually find something new and different with each performance of his classic hits.

With that said, Luther's performance at the NAACP Image Awards of "A House Is Not A Home" is one of his most, if not most legendary performances on video as the then young crooner gives veterans and peers in the industry a singing 101 lesson. Watch his iconic performance below and Enjoy!

Song of the Day: "Power of Love/Love Power" (Luther Vandross)

"Power of Love/ Love Power" - Luther Vandross
  • Writers: Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller, Teddy Vann
  • Producers: Luther Vandross & Marcus Miller
  • Record Label: Epic
  • Released in 1991 from Power of Love
  • Peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 & #1 on the Hot R&B Singles

Live Audio: "Superstar" (Luther Vandross)

As we continue to celebrate and remember Luther Vandross during his born day, I thought it would be nice to revisit his sublime live vocal performance of the standard "Superstar."

With that said, you know I had to bring it back to Luther Vandross' greatest captured live audio performances on his sublime cover of "Superstar." Lifted from his 2003 live album Live at Radio City Music Hall, Luther spent almost thirteen minutes with the assistance of Nat Adderley Jr. crooning out one of the best vocal performances to ever be captured to date in my opinion.

Just don't take my opinion on the sheer aw-inspiring vocals of the late Luther Vandross, take a few minutes to check out his powerhouse performance of "Superstar" below and trust me, you won't regret it at all!