Thursday, July 27, 2017

Songoftheday 7/27/17- I'm back and I'm ringin' the bell, a rockin' on the mike while the fly girls yell...

"Play That Funky Music" - Vanilla Ice
from the album To The Extreme (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12

Today's song of the day comes from "white-boy" rapper Vanilla Ice, who had scored a #1 pop hit with his Queen-stealing single "Ice Ice Baby" in the fall of 1990. That track was originally the "B-side" of the independently-released interpolation of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music", but radio and fans took to the "Ice" first. After its phenomenal success, "Play That Funky Music" was re-released by EMI records as a stand-alone single, though just like "Ice", it involved legal issues, as he didn't initially credit the song's original writer/producer, Rob Parissi. In 1976, Rob and Wild Cherry went to #1 on both the pop and R&B charts in Billboard magazine with "Play That Funky Music"...


Vanilla Ice's record only kept the chorus, adding his own rap verses (though totally not invalidating the lawsuit about credit)...


Ice's "Play That Funky Music" became his second top-10 pop hit (mostly from momentum) in February of 1991. The single also climbed to #22 on Billboard's R&B chart, while peaking at #7 on their Rap Singles list. Internationally, the record hit the top ten in Finland (#3), Ireland (#4), New Zealand (#7), and the UK (#10), as it also got to #13 in Canada and Australia and #19 in Germany.

The third single from the record, the LL Cool J-style "rap-ballad" "I Love You", showed the large drop off after the sudden success of the album and first two singles. It stopped short at #52 in America, though it did hit the top-40 in New Zealand at #30. The lawsuits and subsequent denials from Ice cost his clout dearly, and he didn't reach the American top-40 again. Before that, though, he filmed a movie, Cool As Ice, with the title track (featuring model Naomi Campbell) slipping on the pop chart at #81 in the U.S. Still capitalizing on the rabid fanbase that sent his debut album to seven million sold albums, a hastily issued Extremely Live concert record was issued, which hit the top-30 on the albums chart. Nothing from the set hit the American singles chart, but in the UK he did manage to land two more top-40 hits with "Rollin' In My 5.0" (#27) and "Satisfaction" (#22), copping off the Steve Miller Band and the Rolling Stones respectively.

By the time he got around to a second studio album, the drug-influenced Mind Blowin' both his DJ/producer Earthquake and his fans had moved on, and even though he had periodically released albums since, nothing at all has charted or had any radio play of any consequence. In fact, he was more known as the decade went on as the guy who wasn't Kid Rock or had legal issues or was a reality show fodder (he became an HGTV-type host fixing up houses). He made a surprise "comeback" in 2010 as his "Ice Ice Baby" (well, as "Under Pressure/Ice Ice Baby") was remade by X Factor twin duo Jedward with a cameo by the rapper which went to #2 in the UK and #1 in Ireland.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's Vanilla Ice appearing live on Arsenio Hall...


...and finally, live in concert in 1991...


Up tomorrow: Suave British singer is astounded.

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