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Going For The Gold: Cyndi Lauper

Tucked into her repertoire of singles dating back to 1977, Cyndi Lauper lays claim to a trio of million-selling records from her brilliant album, She’s So Unusual.

Headlining the list of songs that have sold a million or more copies for the wonderful Cyndi Lauper is the ’80s smash, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Written by the great ’80s songwriter Robert Hazard and produced by Rick Chertoff, “Girls” was released in October 1983 and was certified gold for a million sales. It has since been certified platinum for having added a million more copies to its tally (and has also gone gold as a download, as well).


Number two on the list of gold records in the Lauper catalog is the beautiful “Time After Time.” This one, written by Cyndi and Hooters’ Rob Hyman, was a certified gold on the same day in 1989 as was the aforementioned “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”


Last but not least is the quirky “She Bop,” the last of five singles released from her debut album. Also certified gold in 1989, it garnered a Grammy nomination for its video and helped propel She’s So Unusual to worldwide sales of over 16 million.

Ivy

Free MP3: Ivy’s “You Make It So Hard”

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Launched in New York City in 1994, Ivy blend the melodicism of Burt Bacharach, the stylish simplicity of the Smiths and sexiness of Francoise Hardy into an infectious pop blend that’s as cool as a strawberry smoothie and as fun as a day at the water park.

The seeds of Ivy were planted in 1990 when Andy Chase met Dominque Durand at a party in New York. Saying that being in a band “wasn’t her cup of tea,” Durand said “no” to Chase’s invitation to join him for a demo session. Three years later, the pair wrote a tune together and, with the help and encouragement of bassist Adam Schlesinger, stepped into the studio to record a five song demo. So marked the official beginning of the trio known as Ivy.

With the release of their EP called Lately and its subsquent album, Realistic, the three Ivy’s found themselves almost immediately in the pop spotlight. Opening slots with OasisEdwyn Collins andYo La Tengo gave the band momentum and, by 1997, they released Apartment Life, their second long player.

Seventeen years later, Ivy have put out five full length albums and and five more EPs, including this year’s All Hours. It’s an 11-song collection of songs that includes today’s Free MP3 of the Day, “You Make It So Hard.”

“Hard” is the last word tha comes to mind when we listen to this bouncy, bubbly spray of pop and roll. If chocolate could sing, it would sound like Dominique Durand. If a piano could make a request for itself, it would ask to play the sneaky-cool lick from this song. If summer time could dance, it would request this song.

Ivy – “You Make It So Hard”

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Free MP3: Junkie XL’s “Molly-E”

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For today’s Free MP3 of the Day, I drop on your drive a new instrumental mix of the single “Molly’s E” from Junkie XL.

Junkie XL is the Dutch-born musician, remixer and producer Tom Holkenborg who busted onto the scene more than ten years ago with his debut solo set, Saturday Teenage Kick.

Along four additional solo collections, including a 2003 set that included guest collabs withDepeche Mode‘s Dave Gahan, the Cure‘s Robert Smith and Public Enemy‘s Chuck D., XL has also kicked remixes for ColdplayBloc Party and Justin Timberlake.

For this piece, taken from a four-song EP, Holkenborg turns over the controls to Toronto-based remixers Azari & III, recent purveyors of their own long-player Into The Night. From the opening beats, which are straight-up old school disco dance, A & III begin with a layer of hypnotic bass and slather the synths on the top and sides of sound culminating in a dizzying space-out at the very end.

Along with this mix, the Molly’s E EP (out on Nettwerk) includes an Azari vocal remix as well as a remix by French producer Canblaster.

Buy his stuff on iTunes

Junkie Xl – Molly E

El Sportive and the Blooz - Nights and Weekends (White Iris, 2013) Album Cover

El Sportivo and The Blooz’s “Waking World”

Found this viceo on one of my new favorite blogs, Buzzbands.LA.

El Sportive and the Blooz - Nights and Weekends (White Iris, 2013)

El Sportive and the Blooz – Nights and Weekends (White Iris, 2013)

According to BB/LA, the guy seen in the flick is Isaac Ravishankara, a fellow filmmaker and friend of director Carlos Lopez Estrada. Filmed in Morelos, Mexico, this is like a 3 minute walk through a Breaking Bad dream sequence (without the exploding turtles).

“I see it as an allegory about how beautiful things can sometimes come from dark places,” Estrada is quoted as saying. The band’s Darren Hollowell added: “The wandering and wounded hero is an apt metaphor for the lyrics.”

White Iris will release El Sportivo’s first album, Nights and Weekends on February 26th.

Gladys Knight And The Pips - Midnight Train To Georgia

Number 1 With A Bullet: Glady’s Knight And The Pips’ “Midnight Train To Georgia”

Gladys Knight And The Pips - Midnight Train To Georgia

One of the greatest R&B hits of all time, Gladys Knight and the Pips‘ ”Midnight Train to Georgia” hit #1 in the fall of 1973.

Long a member of the Motown stable, Gladys Knight and the Pips started charting records in July 1961 when their rendition of “Every Beat of My Heart” hit #6.

Twice during their Motown career they reached #2 (with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and Jim Weatherly‘s “Neither One of Us”) but #1 eluded them until October 1973 when they were recording for New York’s Buddah imprint.

Turning again to a Jim Weatherly tune, the group debuted “Midnight Train to Georgia” at #71. Five weeks later the song was a #1 smash, a considerably different tune that Weatherly’s original song, recorded with a country lilt and called “Midnight Plane To Houston.”