Hello listeners! Welcome to the Jheri Curl Chronicles podcast, in which Thomas Inskeep and I discuss every song to hit #1 on the R&B chart during the 1980s in bite-size installments of five songs each.
We were knee deep in 1983 when we concluded the last show, and in this episode, we close out the year and jump into 1984. It’s a legendary list of songs! Here’s what we discuss:
“Ain’t Nobody” by Rufus and Chaka Khan
“All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie
“Time Will Reveal” by DeBarge
“Joanna” by Kool & The Gang
“If Only You Knew” by Patti La Belle (Oprah alert!!)
In addition to the songs, Thomas and I…
-Compare Chaka’s career to that of art-house actress Tilda Swinton (?)
-Discuss “Ain’t Nobody” songwriter David “Hawk” Wolinski almost reneging on his offer to give the song to Rufus and instead submit it to the King of Pop.
-Split opinion on two Mary J. Blige Chaka Khan covers.
-Look back at the 1984 Grammy Album Of The Year race, in which every nominated album turned out to be a classic (arguably the only time that has ever happened.)
-Wonder whether we should forgive Lionel for his daughter Nicole.
-Shut the door on whether that breakdown in “All Night Long” is Jamaican or even pidgin Jamaican.
-Give props to Robert Christgau (the Dean of American rock critics) and his assessment of DeBarge’s In A Special Way album.
-Marvel at the fact that El DeBarge sounds virtually the same (and also looks damn good) despite years of substance abuse.
-Juxtapose the “milquetoast” quality of “Joanna” to the relatively unique flavor of the other four songs discussed (hey, even “All Night Long” was interesting, at least.)
-Cheer on Patti’s first solo #1 single, released at a time when she didn’t even have a recording contract.
-Mention that “If Only You Knew” has one of her most beautifully understated vocals…
…and so much more.
Grab a listen in the player below, or you can download the podcast to your computer or device directly and listen. You can also stream us on Liberated Syndication, or why not check us out on iTunes? Thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy the show!!
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