Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Songoftheday 3/19/13 - If we talked what words could I describe, there's no dictionary book to explain how you look...


Rick James - "Cold Blooded"
from the album Cold Blooded (1983)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 1

Today's Song of the Day is by the late great funk master Rick James, who grew up rough on the streets of Buffalo, New York, and after ditching school and joining the navy only to go AWOL to Canada, formed the band the Mynah Birds which for a minute had Neil Young as a member. After being swindled by their manager, and a prison stint from the military offense, and a second attempt at the Mynah Birds, they broke up again, and James (then his birthname James Ambrose Johnson) changed his first name to Rick (originally with the surname Matthews) before a bunch of stints with different rock players of the day in both Canada and the US.

Venturing out under the Rick James moniker for a solo career in the 70s, he released his debut album Come Get It! in 1978. The first single, "You & I", topped the R&B chart and was a top-20 pop hit that year, as disco fit right into his style. But even as the genre crapped the bed at the start of the 80s, James' aggressive funk led him to be one of the post-disco success stories, as his fifth album Street Songs was the biggest hit of his career, with his second #1 soul hit "Give It To Me Baby" and his signature song as a followup, "Super Freak".  The latter song would become his biggest pop hit ever, reaching #16 on the Hot 100 in 1981.

After another album that wasn't as big of a pop presence in 1982, James released his lucky seventh studio set, Cold Blooded, the following year. The title track was written about his affair with actress Linda Blair, and brought Rick back to the top-40...


"Cold Blooded" was a top-40 pop hit in the US for one week, but it did reach the top of the R&B chart for the third time for the singer. Rick also reached #17 on the dance club chart as well, and the single was a minor hit in England as well. Meanwhile, the album was the fifth out of seven to make the top-20 on the albums chart.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


...and here's Rick performing "Cold Blooded" on TV...


In 1995, Wu-Tang rapper Ol Dirty Bastard (who also passed away early) covered the song...


Three years later, rapper Yo-Yo used the instrumental for her track "Fantasy"..


Singer/dancer Mya sampled the record in 2003 for her song "Sophisticated Lady"...


...and of course, Dave Chappelle threw out the title in his classic sendup of Rick...


Up tomorrow: the Commodore has stamina.


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