Sunday, June 06, 2004

top of the pops

ronald reagan has died. in honor of this momentus occasion, i offer a musical tribute from the mighty oosoul:

Agent OOSoul presents ... Ronald Reagan's Top 5 contributions to pop music:

1) Gil Scott-Heron, "B-Movie" (Arista, 1981). No. 49, Billboard R&B charts. Just the best.

2) Gil Scott-Heron, "Re-Ron" (Arista, 1984). No. 72, Billboard R&B charts. Like the second-term itself, the sequel wasn't equal -- in terms of inspiring musically brilliant backing. The righteous vitriol, though, came pretty close.

3) Bonzo Goes to Washington, "Five Minutes" (Sleeping Bag 12-inch, 1984). Bootsy Collins on bass and Jerry Harrison -- ex-Talking Heads/Modern Lovers keyboardist and noted record producer -- cut up/deconstruct Reagan's semi-famous, pre-radio address ad lib that got captured on tape ("I'm pleased to tell you today that we have signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes") over a slammin' music bed for three different mixes; best is the radio mix at 4:05.

4) The Ramones, "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" (retitled "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down" on the 1986 Animal Boy album; also found under its original title on the 1988 Ramones Mania greatest "hits" double album). Inspired by Reagan's then-recent visit to the Nazi site.

5) The Valentine Brothers original (Bridge Records 45rpm , 1982) or Simply Red's 1986 Elektra ('twas also released on Elektra a year earlier) cover of "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)." The second release by Simply Red went to No. 28, Billboard Pop charts. Mentions "Reaganomics" in the fade ...

Bonus Track: Blue Riddim Band, "Nancy Reagan" (A Major Label 12-inch EP, no date). White, Kansas City-based blues-turned-reggae band takes on the First Lady's good taste. Sample lyric: "My name is Nancy Reagan, my china is the best ...")

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