Tag Archives: pop music

RIP Frank Farian (1941 – 2024)

Er zijn mensen die achter de knoppen zitten en knopen doorhakken maar de schijnwerpers mijden. Zo iemand was de Duitse zanger en platenproducer Frank Farian die aan de wieg stond van Boney M., No Mercy en Milli Vanilli en hits had zoals “Daddy Cool” (1976).

Farian zocht zangers en schermgezichten bijeen om zijn liedjes aan de man te brengen. Sommige van zijn zangers konden niet eens zingen. Neem de mannelijke hyperkinetische danser Bobby Farrell (1949-2010) bij Boney M. De lage tonen van ‘she’s crazy like a fool, bye bye Daddy Cool’? Die lipsyncte hij.

Gewoon met zijn lippen bewegen dus, hopelijk synchroon met de geluidsband. Frank Farian producete en zong alle zanglijnen, zowel de hoge als de lage, gewoon zelf. Wilde hij liever niet op camera komen, dacht hij op die manier meer platen te verkopen? Ik weet het niet. Platen moeten nu eenmaal gepromoot worden en zelf van televisiestation naar televisiestation reizen om er je liedjes te brengen, dat kan behoorlijk afstompend zijn.

“Baby Do You Wanna Bump” (1975)

Farian verkocht naar het schijnt meer dan 850 miljoen platen maar een van zijn eerste hits, “Baby Do You Wanna Bump” (1975), die stal hij gewoon. Het was plagiaat van Prince Busters compositie “Al Capone” (1964).

“Al Capone” (1964)

Het is een van de vele gevallen van Westerse muzikanten die uit de Afrikaanse diaspora melodieën pikten waarvoor ze de oorspronkelijke auteurs niet vermeldden en die ze dus bijgevolg ook nooit vergoedden.

Desalniettemin, rust zacht Frank.

RIP Phil Spector (1939 – 2021)

This is the excerpt of Phil Spector: He’s a Rebel where Albert Goldman completely destroys the Wall of Sound production of Spector

Phil Spector was an American musician and record producer known for his Wall of Sound sound production.

The Wall of Sound was a very dense sound with little room for details of individual instruments, exemplified in recordings such as “Da Doo Ron Ron” “Be My Baby” or “Baby, I Love You”, all released in 1963.

There is, Phil Spector: He’s a Rebel, a documentary from 1982 on Phil Spector, without his cooperation , in which Albert Goldman is recorded as saying:

“Rock ‘n’ roll is basically institutionalized adolescence. And the bottom line of rock ‘n’ roll is that it’s a baby food industry and Phil found a new formula for baby food.”

I thought that was quite funny.

RIP Eddie Cooley (1933 – 2020)

Eddie Cooley was an American songwriter best known for co-writing “Fever” (1956).

That song has become a pop standard and is best known in the Peggy Lee rendition.

However, I I give you the version of The Cramps from their debut album Songs the Lord Taught Us (1980).

After all, as I explained before, I like all roads to lead to Rome, and The Cramps are central to my archive.

RIP Allee Willis (1947 – 2019)

Allee Willis  was an American eccentric best-known as a songwriter, writing or co-writing “I’ll Be There For You” (1994, Friends theme song); “September” (1978) and “Boogie Wonderland” (1979) by Earth, Wind & Fire; and “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” (1987) by Pet Shop Boys.

Child Star

There are plenty of short portraits of her on YouTube, most of them filmed in her house which, she says, was the MGM partyhouse built in 1937.

There is also her 1974 album Child Star.

She also recorded the song “Big Adventure” (1985) with Pee-Wee Herman.

RIP Marie ‘Roxette’ Fredriksson (1958 – 2019)

Marie Fredriksson was a Swedish singer known as the lead singer to Roxette.


I have nothing with that band. Perhaps it’s a generation thing, I was 24 when their song “The Look” came out, so too old to make any sort of impression.

To me it’s more pap than pop because, let us be honest, this was 1989 and instead of listening to “The Look”, you could have been listening to “French Kiss” by Lil’ Louis, “I’ll House You” by Jungle Brothers, “Work That Mutherfucker” by Steve Poindexter, “Sueño Latino” by Sueño Latino, “Pacific State” by 808 State, “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy, “Funky Cold Medina” by Tone Lōc or “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak.

Furthermore, in 1989 there was also “Love Shack” by The B52’s which brought pap-ish joy without the bombast of Roxette. Both bands share their use of the guitar but Roxette sounds like American middle of the road arena rock.

And if you were into guilty pleasures, you could have been listening to “Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew or “Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic.

“The Look” was featured on Grand Theft Auto IV, on the Vice City FM† channel, at least half of the songs on that channel are better than Roxette’s.

A long time ago, I decided to do only appreciative criticism, but since this blog has evolved into a necrology, it seems fitting that I strive for completeness and thus ‘bash‘ Roxette.

On the other hand, as the video above shows, Roxette had lots of fun.

Life is a stage and each must play his part… so Roxette, enjoy your symptom.

RIP Scott Walker (1943 – 2019)

Scott Walker was an American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer.

First active with the band The Walker Brothers, Walker evolved from sappy and catchy recordings with an edge of sadness (“Make It Easy on Yourself“, 1965; and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)“, 1966) to more experimental work (Nite Flights, 1978).

He would continue this course of experimentation in his solo work, culminating with albums such as The Drift which was as scary as it was gentle, luckily not at the same time.

RIP Mark Hollis (1955 – 2019)

Mark Hollis was an English musician and singer-songwriter, the co-founder, lead singer and principal songwriter of the band Talk Talk.

I never knew their song “Such a Shame” was inspired by Luke Rhinehart’s The Dice Man (1971).

In fact, I never really knew Talk Talk at all, outside of the hits.

Tonight, I played some of their music and put “The Rainbow” from the 1988 album Spirit of Eden on repeat.

RIP Lonnie Simmons (date of birth unknown – 2019)

RIP Lonnie Simmons, American record producer (“Don’t Stop the Music“).

Don’t Stop the Music” (1981)

Lonnie Simmons was an American record producer best-known for co-writing “Don’t Stop the Music” (1978).

In 1981, the song was successfully covered by Bits & Pieces [above].