Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Heard It Through the InterVine


Norman Whitfield (5/12/1940-9/16/2008), RIP. Made his breakthrough in Detroit (though born in Harlem, USA) with Motown Records. Wrote/co-wrote/produced some of the coolest slow-to-mid tempo pop songs ever recorded!

Here are some of my personal favorites, most of them performed by various artists over the years:

"Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)," 1970. Even a snippet could serve as a theme song for, literally, today: Fear in the air, tension everywhere / Unemployment rising fast . . . / And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation / And the band played on / Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors . . . / People all over the world are shouting, "End the war."

"War (What is it Good For?)," 1969 -- "War, friend only to the undertaker . . ."

"Car Wash," 1976; "I Can't Get Next to You," 1969; "Smiling Faces Sometimes," 1971; "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," 1967; "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)," 1971; "(I Know) I'm Losing You," 1966; "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," 1966; "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," 1971-1972. God, what genius . . . Stuff like this makes modern life much more bearable. Heaven forbid, even enjoyable . . .

Tons more going on, of course -- -- at a dizzying pace. With much more, no doubt, coming very soon to a spot near you . . .

Today's Rune: Fertility.

6 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I do like a few of those. Papa was a rolling stone. Haven't heard that in years.

the walking man said...

Whitfield certainly defined Detroit music back in the day. Just goes to show that Detroit is way ahead of the curve.

Sleep well Norm.

jodi said...

Hey Erik, Thank you so much for your support. Although I read you, I fear other than the basic and obvious, I am too shy to comment. You are so politically aware and I am so intimidated! xo

Lana Gramlich said...

Time flies...when everyone you're familiar with starts dying. <:(

Beth said...

Isn't it sad how regularly we seem to be losing the great ones from that amazing era of music?

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks y'all for the comments!

Jodi, no reason to feel intimidated, thank you, though ;->

Elegies for the dead -- all the more reason to remember the past, and keep it going in our collective conciousness.