80s & 90s

No Diggity-Blackstreet

“No Diggity” by R & B group Backstreet, featuring Dr. Dre, is one of those songs that instantly gets people moving on the dance floor. The most distinct element of the song is the very slow, deliberate tempo, marked by an instantly recognizable, repetitive 6-note, grinding low-register bass hook. The song was released in 1996, written and produced by Teddy Riley and immediately went to #1 on the Billboard Charts, selling 1.6 million copies. Among it’s many honors, “No Diggity” (thankfully) replaced “The Macarena” as the #1 song in America (after a frighteningly long 14 week run.)

I must admit that I always thought the lyrics of the chorus were “gotta back it up” instead of “got to bag it up.” But as with so many dance tunes, the lyrics are far less important than the groove. The interesting thing is that our band used to play this song to the delight of wedding parties as soon as the song came out twenty years ago. And now, twenty years later, there’s a terrific demand for songs from that era of hard-driving dance music. When we play it now, it sounds fresher than ever, but this time everyone is completely familiar with it, and can at least sing along with the chorus. Enjoy!

Blackstreet
Baby, you’re a perfect ten, I wanna get in. Can I get down, so I can win
[Chorus] I like the way you work it. No diggity, I got to bag it up, bag it up 

Your guests will love spending a few minutes on the dance floor with a treasured old friend. No doubt!
Tell me what you think.
-Doug

Ain’t Nobody-Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan is universally recognized as one of the few “once-in-a-lifetime” performers whose name is inextricably linked with a genre; in this case, it’s 1980s & 90s R ‘n B funk. From the first note played on the clavinet, the infectious, timeless “Ain’t Nobody” makes you move with its pure and instantly recognizable groove. The familiarity factor, paired with a killer funky drum beat, makes it the perfect song to use to introduce the bridal party at your wedding.

What I love about incorporating a song like “Ain’t Nobody” into your wedding playlist is that it’s so upbeat and musically delicious, it totally ignites and enhances any moment of the party, but especially maximizes the excitement of introducing and welcoming the bride and groom and bridal party into the reception.

 

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Introductory music needs to be able to change volume quickly to accommodate how quickly or slowly a couple will walk into the room. The most interesting part of “Ain’t Nobody” (aside from the Stevie Wonder-esque clarinet groove) is the Chorus, which everyone can sing along with:

Oh – oh – oh – oh
Ain’t nobody.
Loves me better
Makes me happy.
Makes me feel this way
Ain’t nobody.
Loves me better than you

The most important part of selecting a song for the introduction is a) to make the guests in the room relaxed and totally engaged, b) to give the bridal party music that is just “knockout fun” to enter the room “already dancing” and c) use music whose volume can be raised and lowered without ever losing the beat.

All three of those criteria are met with this iconic 1983 hit. Once again, as with all dance songs, an introductory song should be instantly recognizable from the first note.  “Ain’t Nobody” is one of the handful of quintessential songs that is so funky and festive, it’s a fantastic pick for bringing your bridal party into your reception .

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Like A Prayer-Madonna

“Like A Prayer” is a terrific dance song. With a great dance beat, the song dramatically builds  to a joyous gospel choir. (“Like a prayer, I’ll take you there….”)

I know that the video was very controversial when it came out, but that was always her strongest marketing point. I never appreciated Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone as a musician, or vocalist. But she truly redefined the “art” of self-advertising.

As a singer she made her debut album in 1983 and is still churning about albums today, at 58 year olds. She actually  is listed as the Number 1 on VH1‘s list of 100 Greatest Women in Music and number two (behind only The Beatles) on Billboards list of Greatest Hot 100 Artists of All Time.

So despite my lack of appreciation for her voice, I’m clearly in the minority, All I know is that “Like A Prayer” is terrific to use to start out a dance set because it starts out with a slow, yet instantly recognizable, introduction….comes to a pause, and kicks in to a thumping dance groove.

In attempting to cause a stir in the Catholic Church by show a crying “Black Jesus” in the video, she succeeded, garnering the attention she has unabashedly built her entire “brand” on.  So it’s probably best to listen to the song without watching the video, but I figured I’d show you how terrible acting, mediocre singing can’t even ruin a terrific pop dance song.

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Here are the lyrics. Enjoy,

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there
I hear your voice, it’s like an angel sighing
I have no choice, I hear your voice
Feels like flying
I close my eyes, Oh God I think I’m falling
Out of the sky, I close my eyes
Heaven help me
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there

Leave comment to let me know your thoughts & opinions.