nile-rodgers

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Don’t Stop The Punk

Get Lucky by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers vs.

Don’t Stop The Music by Rihanna
Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga
Into You by Ariana Grande
Circus by Britney Spears.

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Sister Sledge perform Lost In Music on the Dutch television show Toppop (1979). The song was written and produced by Nile Rodgers (guitar) and Bernard Edwards (bass) from the band Chic.

Lost In Music, from the hit album We Are Family (1979), is arguably the very best song Sister Sledge ever recorded. Its lead vocals are sung by ever glamourous Joni Sledge (Philadelphia, PA, 13 September 1956), and they are some of the finest, if not the absolute finest vocals of her career. Her infectious ‘Tadadada tada tada tada da da…’ at 3:22 is legendary already.

The beautiful Joni Sledge died from yet unknown causes on 10 March 2017 in her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She was sixty years old.

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Laura Mvula & Nile Rodgers - Overcome (2016)

David Bowie “Let’s Dance” released on this date, April 14th, 1983. Let’s Dance was Bowie’s 15th studio album, and one of his most commercially successful. The LP reached #1 in the UK, #4 in the US and in 1989 Rolling Stone ranked it at #83 in its 100 Best Albums of the 80′s. It was nominated for a grammy in the Album of the Year category (it lost to Michael Jackson’s Thriller). The album has a definite bluesy funkiness to it, influenced by Bowie’s collaboration with producer Nile Rogers – the plan was to release a record that was an “original party-funk cum big bass drum sound greater than the sum of its influences.” The bluesy part comes from Bowie’s work with Stevie Ray Vaughn, who plays guitar on Let’s Dance. Bowie did not play any instruments on the recording himself.

I was 12 when Let’s Dance came out and enthralled. The hit singles from the album were on constant rotation on MTV and I crushed on Bowie’s suave (and vaguely sweaty) performance in the video for “Let’s Dance” (which hit #1 in the US and UK). I also loved “Modern Love” (#14 in the US, #2 in the UK) but admit to being confused by “China Girl” (#10 in the US, #2 in the UK); I now understand the video was a commentary on racism and sexism. David Bowie co-wrote “China Girl” with Iggy Pop, originally appearing on Pop’s 1977 album The Idiot. Bowie re-recorded it for Let’s Dance with Nile Rogers on production who put a much bigger emphasis on a pop sound (the musical style, not Iggy). “Without You” was the final single released from Let’s Dance, it made it to #73 on the US charts. Also notable is the track “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” which was originally released in 1982 and the title song for the movie Cat People. It also became the B-side for “Let’s Dance.” Both versions of “Cat People” are awesomely dark, gothy and nihilistic:

See these eyes so green
I can stare for a thousand years
Colder than the moon
Well it’s been so long

And I’ve been putting out the fire with gasoline
See these eyes so red
Red like jungle burning bright
Those who feel me near

Pull the blinds and change their minds
It’s been so long
Still this pulsing night
A plague I call a heartbeat

Just be still with me
But it wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through
You’ve been so long
Well it’s been so long

I’ve been putting out the fire with gasoline
Putting out the fire
With gasoline

See these tears so blue
An ageless heart that can never mend
Tears can never dry
A judgment made can never bend

See these eyes so green
I can stare for a thousand years
Just be still with me
You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through
Well you’ve been so long

It’s been so long
And I’ve been putting out fire with gasoline
Putting out a fire with gasoline