27 May 2015, No. 97, Eddie Bo, ‘Hook and Sling Part II’

“Sling your hook” is an idiom, probably nautical in origin, that directs one to go away and stop bothering whomever one is bothering. In the funky exhortations of Eddie Bo, though, it’s a 1969 dance that maybe swept New Orleans. Hook it, sling it, No. 97 is “Hook and Sling Pt. II” from Eddie Bo.

22 May 2015, No. 96, Johnny Dynell, ‘Jam Hot (12 Inches)’

I’ve been putting off writing about No. 96, “Jam Hot” by Johnny Dynell, probably because I’m a little ashamed of its appearance on this list. The cheese content is pretty high here, but that tweety little synth line cures all the song’s other ills for me. This is one of those 12-inch singles that I dug up in my 20s and that transported me instantly to U93 FM’s “Hot 9 at 9” or Zip104 FM’s “Top 10 at 10” in the mid-1980s. It wouldn’t actually have been on one of those countdown shows, not in the town where I lived anyway, because the tune didn’t chart, I don’t think. But maybe we got some WBMX spillover after the pop charts were counted down, and that would explain why this melody sticks in my head. The featured video is not the mix I want—“Jam Hot (12 Inches)” is the one I’m listening to—and the “Rhumba Mix” here has the wrong drums. The snare especially is bad in the rhumba mix, and that’s bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good.

18 May 2015, No. 95, Dayton, ‘Krackity-Krack’

I need to get back into the routine of using the inversion table every day. That’s what Dayton reminds me with “Krackity-Krack,” which rolls in at No. 95. There’s a lot of Dayton on this list; I’ve just learned from the video (confirmed on Discogs) that Bootsy is on this track and only this track from Dayton’s Hot Fun LP. No wonder it made the list. To the beat, to the beat, ’til your back crack, baby.

16 May 2015, No. 94, Claudja Barry, ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’

There was controversy amongst my friends surrounding this track. Not really, but Michael Fichman dug it up, I think, and then Ken found a copy, much to Fich’s chagrin. Or it was the other way around. Either way, it featured prominently in their sets for a minute, and Fich flipped it for a nice remix of a rap song about cars with ice cream paint jobs.

I always thought Claudja Barry might be from Sweden because of the J in her name, but Jamaica, apparently, then Canada, then Europe. Maybe she changed her name or the spelling thereof when she hit the European phase of her life/career. No. 94, Claudja Barry’s “Dance, Dance, Dance,” presents an opportunity to talk about disco-mixing studio legend Tom Moulton (and not the first one we’ve had on the list), but we’ll miss the opportunity this time as well. Maybe the next time a Moulton record comes up (and there are plenty), we’ll give him a look.

14 May 2015, No. 93, The 3 Pieces, ‘Backed Up Against the Wall’

Sometimes if the synthesizer sound is good enough, it atones for all kinds of sins. Even strings. In fact, I kind of like the strings in this tune. They’re sparsely and subtly deployed, and that’s what you want. There’s another song from The 3 Pieces coming up at 101 beats per minute, and that one’s very lighthearted, kind of childish and fun. No. 93, however, is a yearner and a burner. “Backed Up Against the Wall.”

13 May 2015, No. 92, Yarbrough and Peoples, ‘Don’t Stop the Music’

This synth bassline is almost too cheesy, too big-hair ’80s to be on the list; we almost didn’t hear this tune for the same reasons that we won’t be hearing Cameo’s “Word Up,” even though they have similar sneering, nasal vocal action. This tune came five years before “Word Up” and so lacks a certain amount of polish, slap bass, and snares with gated reverb, which makes it better. No. 92 is “Don’t Stop the Music” from Yarbrough and Peoples.

11 May 2015, No. 91, Bernard Wright, ‘Haboglabotribin’’

Thanks to all of you well-wishers celebrating my graduation. In the course of my studies I encountered some concepts that were hard to grasp, but Bernard Wright's "Haboglabotribin'" at No. 91 is nonsense. All the rides in Wonderland are fifty cents, and a Snoop Dogg tune samples this tune, so clearly it's about drugs. If you know some squares, maybe you can turn them on by playing this funky joint.

8 May 2015, No. 90, Stevie Wonder, ‘Superstition (Todd Terje Edit)’

Man, tryna get out of graduate school has really stolen my focus lately, my commitment to a funky tune per day notwithstanding. This one makes up for it all, though. Todd Terje slowed Stevie Wonder’s classic down a little, and stre-e-e-tched it out. The result? Sheer excellence. No. 90, Stevie Wonder, “Superstition (Todd Terje Edit),” is as much as you need.

5 May 2015, No. 89, John and Arthur Simms, ‘That Thang of Yours’

One of the best dollar records I ever dug up, not because it’s valuable ($1 will still get you a minty copy from Discogs), but because it gets stuck in my head all the time. I like the sixteenth notes in the second half of the vocal hook, “I love to see you do it when you’re shaking that thang of yours.” Which, “That Thang of Yours,” incidentally, is the title of No. 89, coming to us from John and Arthur Simms on the Casablanca label.

4 May 2015, No. 88, Mary Jane Girls, ‘All Night Long’

I love this song, and it’s all about that bass. Along with Indeep’s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life,” No. 88’s bassline is one of those I think I’ll never forget. Which means, of course, that I’ll soon hear something that samples it, and I won’t be able to place the source. Life and memory are cruel little torturers like that. So before I forget, here’s Mary Jane Girls with “All Night Long” at No. 88.

1 May 2015, No. 87, Eddie Bo, ‘Getting to the Middle Pt. 2’

Another bassline worth stealing from Eddie Bo. Sometimes I feel like I’m working hard at just “Getting to the Middle.” It’s good to know I’m not the only one. No. 87 is the instrumental B side, “Getting to the Middle Pt. 2.”