Blerd: You doing anything now?
Gonzo: Aside from listening to Pebbles? Not much.
G: C’mon, there are at least two jams on that album!
B: I’m down with some “Mercedes Boy.”
G: Also it’s prep for my next mix – 1987.
Did I send you the 1991 mix? I can’t remember if I included it in your package or not
B: I didn’t get a 1991 mix, no.
G: Well, fuck me.
Anyhow, the 1991 mix has led to me embark on doing best ofs for every year of my life.
B: Wow…impressive…that’s some serious dedication.
G: I only started making year-end mixes in 2006, so there’s lots of catching up to do.
But I digress. Good sir, what do you have planned for us today?
(totally awesome set of Rebecca Black jokes wasted because this is getting posted on a Sunday and not a Saturday)
B: Despite the fact that this song doesnt explicitly mention Sunday, it always sounds like Sunday to me.
So without further adizzle: a rock and roll legend, former vice president of Motown…
G: Aww yeah. Not where I thought we were going, but a welcome path.
B: Some good stuff there.
G: Coincidentally, I was just looking at the “One Heartbeat” album for the aforementioned 1987 mix.
B: 1987 was a pretty okay year for music, dude.
G: Stunningly good.
God, this is such a smooth jam.
B: The video is kinda sweet too. Smokey’s rocking the dope butterfly collar.
He missed a couple spots on his face, though.
G: It’s definitely got that whole late 1970s soul stage aesthetic down.
B: Fly background singers.
This song just makes me picture sitting on a porch somewhere, chillin’.
G: It always made me think of literally cruising in a fly car. Shades on, top down, rollin’ through the park.
B: If i remember from Smokey’s autobiography, he kinda got the idea for the song from “Groovin’” by The Rascals. The songs do sound a bit similar.
G: Hence your Sunday association.
B: Also “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations.
G: I can see it as a pastiche of those tunes, but I don’t get the sense that he was aping them.
B: Nah, he was just inspired by them.
This, by the way, was Smokey’s first top ten solo hit.
G: I’m actually a little surprised by that, but I guess discs like Quiet Storm performed more on the r&b charts.
And hey, #1 in New Zealand!
B: It also hit #1 on the Cashbox singles chart.
Anyway, so a decade and a half after Smokey…
G: Hell yes.
B: Now, see, Smokey makes me feel chilled out. D’Angelo makes me feel STONED.
G: D’angelo puts a jonz in my bonz.
B: That’s personal, sir.
G: I’ve always thought this was such a perfect cover.
Totally loyal to the original, but totally in D’angelo’s mode.
B: Good point.
G: The organ flourishes and the production fit it squarely in the excellent Brown Sugar album, which I still argue is the better of the two excellent D’angelo discs.
I have to say, i find D’angelo a tad overrated.
B: Brown Sugar is a very good album. Voodoo is a very AMBITIOUS album, but some of it is messy/unintelligible/unformed.
G: It’s not nearly as solid as Brown Sugar.
Top comment on this clip claims to have tickets for D’s return in 2012. Is that shit real?
B: He’s doing/has done shows in the UK. Not sure if that’s happened yet.
In Billboard this week, they’re saying the album is almost done and will be released at some point in 2012.
G: Not holding my breath. That shit’s been in the works since at least 2004
B: That, Lauryn Hill’s album and Detox should all be released on the same day.
G: Then the Talking Heads will reunite, and open for the reformed CCR including Fogerty.
But wait…there’s more!!
B: HA!!!! I just crushed your spirit.
G: I mean, this version isn’t bad, but it deserved what it achieved: baller status on Lite FM radio.
B: Which isn’t totally a bad thing.
It’s…pleasant. Better than i expected it to be before i heard it, and i didn’t hear it until after I knew it existed.
G : I didn’t know it was Gwyneth Paltrow the first few times that I heard it
B: For an actress, she has a decent voice.
And it gave Huey Lewis’s career a shot in the arm for a minute or two.
G: Yes indeed. The last time he had contemporary relevance before this was probably the covers album.
I’ll say though, as far as nostalgia acts doing the rib fest circuit, The News are still pretty good. I’ve seen them twice in the last 7 or 8 years.
B: I’d pay twenty bucks to see them live…for “Heart & Soul” and “The Power of Love” alone!
G: Hot lovin’ every night!
Man, now I’m going to have to listen to some Sports while I finish the cleaning.
Back to the matter at hand, as ubiquitous as this version was, I’m surprised that it didn’t chart better.
B: There wasn’t a commercial single (I don’t think.)
G: What the hell is the “Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles” chart?
B: It’s all the songs that never got enough gas in em to hit the Top 100.
G: I would have guessed that this cracked the top 50.
B: Poor Gwyneth.
So…this is kinda a dumb question, but shall we rank these?
G: I think it’s fairly obvious, but lets.
B: 1) Smokey
Is that a good name? Like Bennifer?
G: Sounds like a digestive disorder.
B: “I’m sorry, ma’am”
G: “All of that fiber has produced a gwynhuey down there.”
B: “Don’t worry. it’s TOTALLY treatable.”
G: It goes without saying that I concur with your ranking 100%.
B: You know what I dig about Smokey? Dude is so EFFORTLESS. He’s probably never even had to strain for a poop.
I wonder why Smokey and D’Angelo have never done a live duet of this.
G: Seems like a no-brainer, but who knows? Maybe Smokey’s been trying to make that happen for the last ten years.
B: So, i think that does it for this edition of the cover convo.
G: Smokey comes out on top.
On top of old Smokey!
B: Eww, bad visual. Although i suppose there are still a lot of willing young ladies.
G: Having sex with Smokey is kind of like having sex with a blow up doll at this point anyway.
B: Oh geez. im not sure what that means and im not sure i want to!
B: Ahhh, well there is his immovable face.
Anyway, i think that wraps it up for us, yah?
G: I believe it does, sir. Aight! Cheers!
Dr. Gonzo and The Blerd both agree that Smokey floats to the top, while D’Angelo makes a strong effort to land in second place. Huey Lewis & Gwyneth Paltrow bring up the rear in the third place. Have a mellow Sunday!
Incoming search terms:
- Smokey Robinson - Cruisin\ original album
- smokey robinson cruisin album