Mental Jukebox : Week of November 17-21

Monday: Cheryl “I Don’t Care”

Heading over the pond this week to check out the UK charts.  I see that Cheryl Ann Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini (yeah, let’s just call her Cheryl) has the current #1 song on the UK charts this with dance-pop tune “I Don’t Care” –the UK answer to “Shake It Off”, perhaps? Cheryl has an impressive celeb resume, including TV personality, “fashionista”, face of Loreal cosmetics, UK X-Factor judge and former member of “Girls Aloud”, who achieved a string of 20 consecutive Top 10 singles, including four #1s.  Only Human is her 4th solo album and this is her fifth solo UK #1 single.


Tuesday: “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Band Aid 30

Departing slightly from scheduled programming because this has to be shared.  Well we ARE doing British music this week, so it is rather appropriate! I see several of my friends have already posted this one today, but I have to follow suit because the occasion this video celebrates was such a major moment in musical history. Hard to believe that Band Aid is 30 years old now…and we’re still lamenting the tragedies in Africa. The words of this classic song have been changed slightly to reflect the ravages of Ebola this time around. I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s still a beautiful song, and the new batch of singers – which includes Ed Sheeran, Bastille, Emeli Sande, One Direction, Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding and more, do a lovely job of singing it. There are even a few of the older artists (some of whom performed on the original recording) like Bono, Roger Taylor, Sinead O’Connor and Seal thrown into the mix –and even a handful of um…You Tube sensations. Frankly I’m not entirely sure why they’re there except to make a statement on “modern” times.  I’m wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to come up with an original song for this endeavor…but then it probably wouldn’t have gotten the same level of attention. So here is Band-Aid 30… 30 years on. You be the judge.


Wednesday: Fuse ODG ft. Angel “T.I.N.A.”

Continuing our foray into the UK charts with a song that was stuck in my head after just one listen. English-African musician Fuse ODG (born Nana Richard Abiona) was born in London and raised in Ghana. He won four awards at the Urban Music Awards 2013 including Best Artist and Best Single. He is largely credited for the current embrace of Afrobeats music on the UK charts, and considers it his mission to “promote the best of Africa”. His new single “T.I.N.A.” is a catchy, upbeat, dance tune with that instantly familiar sound. It’s also the title track from his October 2014 debut album–an offering of tunes that transition nicely from daytime radio to the nightclub. The acronym stands for “This Is New Africa”.


Throwback Thursday: Cliff Richard “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (1979)

Here in the US he is primarily remembered for the 1976 million-selling hit “Devil Woman”, but Sir Cliff Richard (born Harry Rodger Webb) is UK Rock Royalty. He has been called “Britain’s answer to Elvis Presley” and is the third top-selling singles artist in UK history, behind the Beatles and Elvis. Although he mistakenly shows up on various “one hit wonder” compilations here, Cliff Richard actually achieved a total of eight chart hits in the US, including “We Don’t Talk Anymore”, which was his biggest worldwide seller, reaching #1 in at least 10 countries. This song also made him the first artist to have hits on the Top 100 chart spanning four decades, from 1950s-1980s –and it was the sixth video aired by MTV on its August 1, 1981 launch date.


Friday: Sigma ft. Paloma Faith “Changing”

Actually had this in the queue before I knew that Paloma Faith was part of the new Band Aid. In addition to her incredible voice, Paloma is “known for her unique, retro and eccentric style”. Her discography consists of three platinum-selling albums. She has received three Brit Award nominations, and made several feature film appearances. Sigma is a British drum and bass duo who have been producing music and remixes since 2009. Their first UK #1 was “Nobody To Love” (a rework of Kanye West’s “Bound 2”). This collaboration is currently climbing the UK charts.


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