July 2015

220px-The_Tree_Degrees_-_The_Three_Degrees#19 – The Three Degrees – “When Will I See You Again” – (1973)

This song was released as a single in the later second half of 1974 but the album it appeared on came out 1973. The Three Degrees were formed in 1963 in Philadelphia and this was their biggest hit (it hit #1 in ’74). Strangely, they had more success in the U.K. than in the U.S. It’s great, early-70s soul.

Bachman-Turner_Overdrive_-_Not_Fragile#20 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” – (1974)

Here’s a #1 hit from Canada’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Randy Bachman, who wrote the song, said he wrote it for his brother as a joke because his brother had a stutter – and stuttering is a big part of the lyrics here. They recorded the song with only one take of the lyrics and used it to warm up in the studio, never intending to release it. The song got tacked on to Not Fragile and became a huge hit.

download#21 – Carl Douglas – “Kung Fu Fighting” – (1974)

This is classic. One hit wonder Carl Douglas is actually from Jamaica and his song about Kung Fu has appeared in about every movie, commercial, and TV show ever made. It was a #1 hit in the U.S. and all over the world and is a great blend of funk and disco… and Chinese traditional music? Just kidding, but it does have that one little bit of music associated with Chinese music. You know what I’m talking about. My favorite thing about this song is that is from an album ridiculously titled Kung Fu Fighting and Other Love Songs.

Habibi-I_-Need-Your-Love-Shaggy-Mohombi-Faydee-CostiShaggy, Mohombi, Faydee & Costi – “Habibi (I Need Your Love)” – (2014)

What’s this? A U.S. radio hit on our summer countdown? Yes. And by the recently re-appeared Shaggy at that. Of course, to cater to the U.S. market the song is retitled “I Need Your Love” in English-speaking markets as apparently we can’t handle a song titled in Arabic. The song is sung in English, Spanish and Arabic. It has a great international feel and while we’re used to Latin-tinged songs being great for summer, the Middle Eastern flair is a nice touch. The other annoying part about the U.S. version is that it is Shaggy featuring the other artists whereas on the original single (which came out the last week of 2014) they are all credited equally. Anyway, this wraps it up. Hope you’re having a great summer.

51xiYmPqi4L._SS280Serge Devant & Danny Inzerillo feat. Polina – “When You Came Along” – (2012)

Really reaching back for this one – to 2012. It’s weird how quickly electronic music can feel dated. It’s a constantly evolving genre and while this might not sound like something that came out this year, it’s close. And it’s not too terrible either. But it does sound like something that would’ve been playing in every club in Europe in the summer of 2012.

shiftShift K3Y – “Touch” – (2014)

The plan was to move back to the ’70s this week, but the weather is so nice as I write this that I decided to do one more week of summer songs. This electronic tune hit #3 in the U.K. and went unheard in the U.S. Shift K3Y sounds like the name of a musical group, but it’s actually one person (Lewis Jankel) of London.

CommunionYears&YearsYears & Years – “Desire” – (2015)

Okay, so this came out as a single in 2014. But the album was only released a week ago. Years & Years is an electronica trio based in London and their followup hit to this was actually much bigger (check this Songs of Summer list next summer). But this only peaked at #22 in the U.K. (it was unfortunately ignored in the U.S. except for the dance chart). It’s good stuff. 

Shy_FX_Cloud_9Ms. Dynamite & Shy Fx – “Cloud 9” – (2013)

Drums and bass. Meet reggae. What a genre mix. Ms. Dynamite is an English hip-hop artist and Shy Fx is an English DJ specializing in drums and bass. When they come together, you get this uniquely modern take on classic reggae. It’s at the same time extremely relaxing and upbeat. It’s wonderful.

Wicked-Wonderland-by-Martin-TungevaagMartin Tungevaag – “Wicked Wonderland” – (2014)

It might have a slightly-Christmas-y title, but “Wicked Wonderland” is an awesome song with a pulsating beat and rocking sax. The infectious chorus (which sounds like “wicke-wicke-wonderland” without the “D” in wicked pronounced) has caused anti-EDM friends to really latch on to this song. It’s catchy and it was a #1 hit in Austria and a top five hit in a few other European countries.

artworks-000042452901-rgf05w-originalRuss Chimes – “Turn Me Out” – (2013)

Russ Chimes is a London-based DJ and this song was a top 40 hit in the U.K. It’s actually a remix/cover of the 1994 song “Turn Me Out” by Praxis featuring Kathy Brown. It has been remixed and covered successfully into hits by at least two other artists prior to Chimes’ version here. This song has been out for two years and it still pleases today.

cover326x326Sir Sly – “Gold (Betablock3r Remix)” – (2013)

Sir Sly is actually an indie band from L.A. and the original version of this song is much more of a rock song. But the remix replaces the darkish music with a nice, beachy beat. I can’t really compare the original versus this because they’re really two different songs. Apples and oranges. But this one makes me happier.

9163239EDX – “Cool You Off” – (2014)

It’s July and it’s hot (check local listings). What better way to cool down than with “Cool You Off,” a nice deep house track. EDX is the stage name of Maurizio Colella of Zurich. Enjoy.

41MSeWLlCsL._SS280Klingande – “Punga” – (2013)

In keeping with the theme of the week of “Instagram-y cover art,” we have “Punga”  by Klingande (one of the few artists that was on our list last year that returned this year). It’s a longer, deep house track and the saxophone is definitely present. Klingande is the stage name of Cédric Steinmyller, of France. He has made some awesome stuff over the past few years. This was actually a top 25 hit in Belgium.

51NYvaUgUtL._SS280Mystique – “Brand New” – (2014)

I like that you can almost get a feel for how this song is going to sound just by looking at the cover art. This has slightly more lyrics to it than the last song we featured but it’s mostly the same thing over and over. It does get cut up and synthesized quite nicely, if you like that electronic vocal tampering. Actually, from here on I’m referring to the “singing” done by modern radio stars like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj as “electronic vocal tampering.”