Monday, March 13, 2017

Songoftheday 3/13/17 - my music makes me so hard makes me say oh my Lord, thank you for blessing me with a mind to rhyme and two hype feet...

"U Can't Touch This" - MC Hammer
from the album Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from rapper MC Hammer, who as Stanley Burrell grew up in Oakland and worked helping out the local major baseball team the A's before joining the military on the road to starting a music career. After a locally successful independent release he pushed himself, Hammer signed with Capitol Records and put out his first major album, Let's Get It Started in 1988. The first single from the set, "Pump It Up", reached the #40 spot on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart, and almost got to that level on the R&B chart at #46. While that single was a rapid-fire classic rap track, he would follow it with a taste of the mainstream leaning material to come with "Turn This Mutha Out". Sampling Parliament's "Give Up The Funk" , the track went to #12 on the R&B chart and #34 dance. Both of those plus the third single "They Put Me In The Mix" climbed to the top five on the Rap Singles chart. The album itself reached the top 30 in Billboard, and set the stage for one of the biggest-selling rap albums of all time, Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em. Released in the spring of 1990, the first single was an earnest rework of Marvin Gaye's "Help The Children", which went to #12 on the R&B chart. For the follow-up, Hammer mined the Rick James catalog, which he had already done on the Let's Get It Started title track. This time it was "Super Freak" which laid the foundation for Hammer's "U Can't Touch This". Predating a cartload of Puff Daddy records, "U Can't Touch This" didn't just sample "Super Freak" but laid on top of it like a bed of grooves, so much so that it earned Rick a Grammy Award for Best R&B song. But what Hammer brought besides his rap was that video, with the dancing girls and those pants, from then on in dubbed "Hammer Pants" for posterity...


"U Can't Touch This" did what "Super Freak" couldn't, reaching the top ten on the American pop chart in June of 1990. The song did go all the way to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, while the 12" remix single climbed to #6 on their Dance Club Play list. In fact, since the 12" single was the only way to by the song apart from the album, it was the first to challenge Billboard's chart rules in a major way, allowing it to chart with just the vinyl being released and causing album sales to rocket.  Besides the R&B Song Grammy, Hammer also won Best Rap Solo performance on his own. Internationally, the record went to #1 in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden, and peaked in the top ten in the UK (#3), Switzerland (#2), Germany (#2), Ireland (#3), Finland (#2), Austria (#5), Norway (#6), and Canada (#8).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's Hammer performing at the 1991 where he won those two Grammy awards...


In 2005, animated novelty act Crazy Frog reached the top ten in a big chunk of Europe including #5 in the UK with a cover as the "double-A side" of its Christmas single "Jingle Bells"...


And finally, back to Hammer from his appearance on the Arsenio Hall show...


Up tomorrow: A rock supergroup needs a reprieve after a major departure.

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