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|Back to the 80s: Best 80s Duet Songs - Kickin' it Old School
|04.27.08 (7:16 pm) 
I felt it was about that time to give you an 80s topic again. One of my most popular articles is my Top Duets of All Time, so I thought I would focus this down to my favorite decade. I will publish my list of my favorite duets just from 1980-1989.
As with my last Duets list, I need to first specify a couple qualifiers. First, I will only consider songs where the singers are not already a member of the same group, so songs by groups like Simon & Garfunkel or Hall & Oates would not count towards my list. Second, I will only consider songs where the collaboration is between two vocalists and not only a musician, so songs featuring Carlos Santana or Jim Brickman would not count towards my list. Some of the songs on this list are admittedly a little cheesy, but like much of the 80s, in some cases that is what makes them special.
You will find links to videos for many of the songs in case you are not familiar with it or just want to take a trip down memory lane. Here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 DUETS OF THE 80s (+ Bonus 20):
Honorable Mention: My List of Top TV Theme Songs is another popular list and there are two 80s sitcoms which had duets as the theme song. "Without Us" is the theme song from Family Ties and performed by Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams. [link to video] Also, "As Long As We Got Each Other" is the theme song from Growing Pains and performed by B.J. Thomas & Jennifer Warnes. [link to video] I felt both of these duets at least deserved honorable mention.
30. "Walk This Way" by Run DMC & Aerosmith [link to video]
29. "Yah Mo Be There" by James Ingram & Michael McDonald [link to video of live performance]
28. "State of Shock" by Michael Jackson (Jacksons) & Mick Jagger - was originally intended to be a duet between Jackson and Freddie Mercury from Queen [link to song playing]
27. "Baby Come To Me" by James Ingram & Patti Austin [link to video of live performance]
26. "The Girl is Mine" by Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney [link to song playing]
25. "We've Got Tonight" by Sheena Easton & Kenny Rogers - cover of a Bob Seger song [link to video of live performance]
24. "You're a Friend of Mine" by Jackson Browne & Clarence Clemons [link to video]
23. "Friends and Lovers" by Carl Anderson & Gloria Loring [link to video]
22. "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty [link to video]
21. "Baby Grand" by Billy Joel & Ray Charles [link to video]
20. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes - from the movie Dirty Dancing [link to video]
19. "On My Own" by Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald [link to video]
18. "Separate Lives" by Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin - from the movie White Nights [link to video]
17. "Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer" by Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes [link to video]
16. "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes - from the movie An Officer and A Gentleman [link to video of live performance]
15. "Close My Eyes Forever" by Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne [link to video]
14. "Somewhere Out There" by James Ingram & Linda Rondstadt - from the animated movie An American Tail [link to video]
13. "After All" by Peter Cetera & Cher - from the movie Chances Are [link to video]
12. "Easy Lover" by Phil Collins & Philip Bailey (from Earth, Wind & Fire) [link to video]
11. "Almost Paradise" by Ann Wilson (from Heart) & Mike Reno (from Loverboy) - from the movie Footloose [link to video]
10. "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross - from the movie Endless Love [link to video of live performance]
9. "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson [link to video]
8. "U Got the Look" by Sheena Easton & Prince [link to video]
7. "You and I" by Eddie Rabbit & Crystal Gayle [link to song playing]
6. "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush [link to video]
5. "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks & Don Henley [link to song playing]
4. "What Have I Done To Deserve This" by The Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield [link to video]
3. "The Next Time I Fall" by Peter Cetera & Amy Grant [link to video]
2. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by George Michael & Aretha Franklin [link to video]
1. "Under Pressure" by Queen & David Bowie [link to traditional video] + [link to edited live concert video]
There is my list. I hope you enjoyed it and the links to ALL of the videos. It is interesting to notice that several artists appear multiple times on this list. There are three artists that each appear 3 times on the list and those include: James Ingram, Michael Jackson and Jennifer Warnes. I feel Ingram is a very underrated R&B/Soul artist and his voice is amazing. It is also interesting that 7 of the songs on the list come from movie soundtracks. Here is a link to My Top 50 Songs from 80s Movies list for other great songs from 80s soundtracks.
That will do it for another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks so much for reading. If you are looking for more 80s related articles, please click on this link. If you want to find more Old School Top 10 Lists, please click on this link. Peace and much love.
Check this out: So many videos out there can be very amusing. I have always found the Caddyshack gopher to crack me up, but here is a link to a very serious gopher who will give you a very dramatic look. You will want to watch it several times.
Quote of the day: "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" -Berthold Auerbach
Download this: I have recommended some of the songs on the above list before, but here are a couple more recommendations that I have not yet listed here... "Under Pressure" by Queen & David Bowie, "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" by Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes and "What Have I Done To Deserve This" by The Pet Shop Boys
|Wesley Snipes Going to Prison & His Top 10 Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|04.25.08 (10:27 pm) 
You have probably heard by now that actor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to 3 years in prison for failing to file a tax return over three separate years. Here is a link to one of the many articles with some of the details. It is no coincidence that this sentence was handed down so closely to the April 15th tax day and I also feel that Snipes' celebrity status made him a perfect candidate to make an example of.
I am not sure how many years of that sentence he will actually have to serve, but three years is a fairly significant punishment. It seems as though Snipes will take an involuntary hiatus from his acting career. I thought this might be a prime opportunity to publish my Top 10 list of my favorite Snipes movies, so that is exactly what I will do here. So, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 WESLEY SNIPES MOVIES:
Honorable Mention. Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004) - Though I am not a big fan of these movies based on a comic book character, they are probably his biggest commercial successes. The first Blade movie grossed over $150 million worldwide. These films have developed quite a cult following, so I decided to at least give them an honorable mention here. Jungle Fever (1991) could have also garnered an honorable mention.
10. The Fan (1996) as "Bobby Rayburn" - Snipes stars opposite of Robert DeNiro as a star baseball player who deals with an obsessive fan. Had potential to be better than it actually ended up being.
9. Liberty Stands Still (2002) as "Joe" - This is a lesser known film with an anti-gun message. Snipes plays a man who holds the wife of a gun manufacturer hostage as he seeks some sort of revenge for losing his daughter in a high school shooting incident.
8. Wildcats (1986) as "Trumaine" - Snipes made his film debut playing a minor role in this funny 80s film starring Goldie Hawn who takes over coaching a high school football team.
7. Rising Sun (1993) as "Lt. Webster Smith" - This film is based on the novel by author Michael Crichton. Snipes teams up with Sean Connery and provide an entertaining performance together.
6. Murder at 1600 (1997) as "Det. Harlan Regis" - Snipes plays a detective called to investigate a murdered body of a young woman at the White House. It also stars Diane Lane as a secret service agent. The movie is not that special, but it does include some intense thrilling moments and Snipes puts in a solid performance as usual.
5. U.S. Marshals (1998) as "Mark Sheridan" - This is somewhat of a sequel to the Harrison Ford film The Fugitive. Speaking of Ford, here is a link to my Top 10 Harrison Ford movies list. Snipes plays the escaped convict and is being chased down by Tommy Lee Jones.
4. Demolition Man (1993) as "Simon Phoenix" - This is a big budget action film with Snipes starring opposite of Sylvester Stallone. Snipes plays a criminal who is frozen and then thawed out in a future world where crime has been mostly eliminated. The film is actually very campy and cheesy, but has its moments.
3. New Jack City (1991) as "Nino Brown" - I really enjoy this movie starring Snipes as a drug lord in New York City. I feel Snipes puts in a tremendous performance. The film also stars Mario Van Peebles, Ice T, Judd Nelson and Chris Rock. The film portrays an uncomfortable reality including drugs and violence, but ultimately tells a positive message.
2. White Men Can't Jump (1992) as "Sidney Deane" - This is one of my favorite sports movies of all time. Snipes teams up with Woody Harrelson to tell an interesting and entertaining story of two basketball hustlers who are just trying to make it. Woody and Wesley tried to rekindle this magic in the 1995 film called Money Train, but this film (which also starred Jennifer Lopez) just did not do it.
1. Major League (1989) as "Willie Mays Hayes" - Here is a link to my Top 10 Baseball movies list because this film ranked #1 on that list. Much of that was due to Snipes' breakthrough performance as the speedy centerfielder on team of misfits that catches lightning in a bottle. Go to the link to read more about this movie which is also one of my favorite comedies of all time.
There is my list for Wesley Snipes. He really has not done much of interest to me in recent years (with 2002 being the latest film to actually make my list), so maybe I won't miss him all that much during his time away. After all, I can always pop in Major League or White Men Can't Jump if I ever get the urge to watch his work.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and please continue to spread the word to anyone you think might enjoy it. Have a good weekend. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is something I was forwarded via email that I thought was interesting enough to share. Not sure who figured this out, but seems pretty incredible...
1) Fold a NEW PINK $20 bill in half, like below...
2) Fold the back left up, taking care to fold it exactly as below
3) Fold the back right up, like image below
Result: The Pentagon ablaze
5) Now, simply turn it over, like below...
Result: The Twin Towers ablaze
What an eerie coincidence! A simple geometric fold creates a catastrophic premonition printed on all $20 bills!!!
COINCIDENCE? YOU DECIDE.
Quote of the day: "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Download this: "Human" by Jon McLaughlin - From his album Indiana released in May of 2007
|Filtered Water Bottle Saves Money & the Environment
|04.22.08 (10:20 pm) 
I do not consider myself a "tree hugger" by any means, but I felt that since today is Earth Day that I should write something about saving our precious environment. There is a situation that many of you might already be aware of in regards to plastic water bottles. Here is a link to a short article which explains some of the issues and there are hundreds of similar articles if you do a search.
To summarize, Americans drink an estimated 70 million bottles of water everyday. This creates two separate problems for the environment. First, the production of the plastic water bottles uses millions of barrels of oil which is obviously wasting what has become a precious commodity based on the price of gasoline these days. Second, it is estimated that less than 25% of all of those plastic bottles are actually recycled, thus allowing billions of bottles to end up in our landfills each year.
It takes a plastic bottle 700 years before it even begins to decompose, so I hope you can see the pending disaster this could be leading to. This does not even take into account the billions of dollars that Americans unnecessarily spend on bottled water each year. I have come across an item just coming to market which can help alleviate all of these issues.
It is a filtered water bottle from Fit & Fresh. It is a reusable water bottle that has an anti-microbial filter inside of it. This bottle allows you to fill it with regular tap water, yet the filter gives it comparable quality to that you would get from bottled water. The filter is replaceable and each filter purifies at least 75 gallons of water. This is the equivalent of 500 bottles of water and theoretically keeps those 500 plastic bottles out of our landfills. It also makes the production of the plastic bottles unnecessary which saves nonrenewable resources and saves you money from not having to purchase bottled water.
Here is a link to a video on the Fit & Fresh filtered water bottle which reiterates all of these facts. This seems like common sense to me. Saves money and the environment! The bottle is just arriving in stores now and sells for just $12.99 which includes the bottle and one filter. That one filter will save you from buying 500 bottles of water which even at 20 cents a piece would cost you $100. I know this item is available at some regional department stores including Carson Pirie Scott, Boston Store, Younkers, Herbergers, Bergners, Elder Beerman and Bon Ton.
I know I am going to give it a try. It is probably only a small step, but every little step gets us closer to where we need to be. I feel it is worth the effort to help save this planet for our children and our children's children. Hope you consider taking this small step with me. With that, I will wrap up this short Earth Day issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. I will be back with more pop culture fodder for you all very soon. Until then, be sure to click on the Archives in the upper left hand column to read past articles. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I thought this cartoon was appropriate...
Quote of the day: "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." -Oscar Wilde
Download this: "I Try" by Ben Taylor - This is a cover of the Macy Gray song which I enjoy better than the original
|Contradicting Yahoo's '25 Worst Rappers of All Time' List - Kickin' it Old School
|04.20.08 (8:50 pm) 
I recently started a new feature where I comment on other published Top 10 Lists where I feel a grave error might have been made. Here is a link to my first article in this matter. These errors could either be an obvious omission from the list or an inclusion on a list that simply does not belong. As I have been coming across other published lists, I am regularly finding those that I take issue with.
This week I came across Yahoo's list titled "The 25 Worst Rappers of All Time" and here is the list, but if you go to the article you can see some explanation behind each selection.
25) Chicago Bears (referring to the 1985 "Superbowl Shuffle")
24) Bubba Sparxxx
23) Mike Jones (who?)
22) Bobby Jimmy and The Critters (again who?)
21) 2 Live Crew
19) Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks (give me a break... referring to "City of Crime" from their 1987 film Dragnet)
17) Elvira (yes, The Mistress of the Dark)
16) Insane Clown Posse
15) Rappin' Duke
14) Master P
13) Tony Yayo (from G-Unit)
12) Northern State (a female trio from Long Island)
11) Shaquille O'Neal
10) Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch (Marky Mark is now better known as actor Mark Wahlberg)
9) K-Fed (yes, Britney's ex-husband Kevin Federline)
8) Will Smith (woah, here is where I take issue and will discuss further below)
7) Mr. T (I did not even realize that he was a rapper)
6) Fred Durst (from Limp Bizkit)
5) Puff Daddy (Sean Combs)
4) Dee Dee King (he was the bass player from the rock group The Ramones)
3) Brian Austin Green (was an actor on the TV show Beverly Hills 90210)
2) MC Hammer (I take a little issue with this selection as well)
1) Vanilla Ice
Now, I have to question this list from the start since it tries to compare real professional musicians who rap to anybody who may have had a rap song (whether that song was supposed to be taken seriously or not). This list was authored by someone named Rob O'Connor who was probably trying to be humorous until he got to #8 and then he was just trying to be controversial. Will Smith (aka The Fresh Prince) should absolutely not be included on the list of worst rappers.
Here is O'Connor's reasoning: "The people who vote in the Grammy Awards might very well be drunk when they do so. Or maybe they don't listen to the records they vote for. Now rap music wasn't really enjoyed by the ‘establishment' back in the 1980s, so they were primarily guessing at what the ‘kids' were listening to. And ‘Parents Just Don't Understand' was obviously a pretty ‘wacky rebellious' little number with all that clever rhyming! And Will Smith was certainly still ‘safe' enough to not inspire too much controversy. Which is exactly why he's a lousy rapper. And why Smith got out of there and into acting before everyone caught on."
Are you kidding me??? Is he really basing his entire career on one goofy song and actually downgrading him because he is safe? That's neither fair nor credible in my opinion. First, I feel Will Smith should be commended for performing rap music that does not constantly curse, demean women and/or brag about violence. He has proven that it is possible to have entertaining hit songs without those negative influences included.
Whether it was earlier as part of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince or later as just Will Smith, he has produced some excellent songs. It is all of these songs that should be used for criteria and not just his silly Grammy-winning song "Parents Just Don't Understand." From that same 1988 album titled He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper there were two outstanding rap songs in my opinion. Those are called "Brand New Funk" (link to video) and "Time To Chill." Then from the 1991 album titled Homebase they released the hit song "Summertime" which is one of my favorite rap songs of all time (link to video).
Then in 1997, he released his first solo album titled Big Willie Style which went 9x platinum. This album included the hit song "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" (link to video) which is not only a legitimate Billboard #1, but created a new term within pop culture. He also had successes with songs from the soundtracks of his movies like "Men In Black" and "Wild Wild West." His most recent album is from 2005 titled Lost & Found and it produced the hot dance song "Switch" (link to video). All told, he has sold well over 20 million albums during his career. Again I must emphasize that this was done without excessive cursing or messages of extreme violence.
His songs may be on the lighthearted side and profanity-free, but that should not be considered a negative. If anything, I would be more likely to consider Will Smith one of the 25 BEST rappers of all time. Even if you feel he is not one of the best, it is shameful to see him included on a list claiming him to be one of the worst. Whether you are a fan of rap music or not, I feel this is pretty clear. The fact that Yahoo felt it necessary to discredit their list by including him on it leads me to think that they did it just to get attention and/or be a little controversial. I feel it only causes their readers a disservice.
It's amazing what is allowed to be published out there and often from some normally credible sponsors. I am sure somebody else could find fault with many of my Top 10 Lists, but I assure you that I never intentionally include or exclude something from my lists just to be controversial. Here is a link to a summary of all of the previously published Kickin' it Old School Top 10 Lists. Please go give them a try.
That will do it for this issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and I appreciate you spreading the word. Be sure to click on the Archive buttons (January, February, March or April) in the upper left hand column to be sure that you have not missed a single issue of Kickin' it Old School. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is a link to a video by a European group called Justice for their song titled "DVNO." The cool part about this video is that it uses a bunch of 80s logos and fonts to spell out the song's lyrics. Because of this, it really has a fun 80s feel to it (and you know me, I loved it). I am not all that crazy about the song itself, but it is also cool to see some effort put into the music video art form which seems to be often neglected nowadays even by MTV itself.
Quote of the day: "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." -Walter Elliott
Download this: "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - As I mentioned above, this is one of my favorite rap songs of all time and it always makes me feel good when I hear it
|Hulu.com - Watch Free Online TV Programs & Movies
|04.18.08 (9:26 pm) 
A while back I told you about a music website that I thought was fantastic (and free). Here is a link back to my article on Pandora which I still highly recommend. Pandora is basically a streaming radio station that is customized specifically towards your musical tastes. Best of all it is absolutely free and I really love it.
You may have heard about this already, but I have found a television/movie website that I also think is fantastic and, best of all again, it is also free. It is called Hulu and here is a link to the website so you can check it out for yourself. This site allows you to watch a selection of streaming television episodes and movies.
The movie selection is pretty limited right now, but seems to be growing every day. Some of the full length movies available to watch for free at Hulu include: The Big Lebowski, Fever Pitch, Ice Age, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Monty Python's Meaning of Life, Point Break, Sideways, Some Like it Hot, The Usual Suspects and Weekend at Bernie's among many more.
The television program selection is much more impressive and also seems to be growing quickly. This selection includes current programs where you can watch this week's episode, but also includes many older programs which is very fun. You can watch some of my favorite current series like The Office, Family Guy, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Inside the Actors Studio and Psych among dozens more. You can catch up on outstanding shows that should have a larger audience than they did like Arrested Development and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There are lots of classic series available including The A-Team, Fame, In Living Color, WKRP in Cincinnati, Welcome Back Kotter, What's Happening, I Dream of Jeannie and so many more. You really need to just go to the website and browse around for yourself.
One of the slick things about Hulu is that you can stream either entire episodes/movies or just selected clips, or even make your own clips. The library of clips is even more impressive and hours of entertainment. The video and sound quality are both good enough. Did I mention it was free??? I really see this as the future of online video and has the potential to be quite revolutionary.
Hulu is owned by NBC/Universal and News Corp, so you see the majority of the programs and movies are from those companies. Here is a link to an interesting article from Entertainment Weekly that discusses this new phenomenon and answers some of the more obvious questions you might have. I hope I have persuaded you to check it out for yourself, but if not I would expect this article will.
It's not often that something comes along that impresses me this much. Like Pandora, when it is FREE, it makes it that much more impressive to me. With Hulu, I truly feel we are getting a glimpse of where that industry is heading. We are becoming a more "on demand" society that is less patient and wants to watch what we want when we want. This is a big step in that direction and I am sure it will continue to evolve and improve further. In the meantime, we have one more outlet to provide us with entertainment. I am already getting addicted and I am sure you will realize the same thing if you give it a try.
That wraps up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. As always, thanks for reading and please continue to spread the word. Please be sure to click on the Archive buttons in the upper left hand column to make sure you have not missed any past issues. Have a great weekend! Peace and much love.
Check this out: Did Mr. Obvious post the sign below? All I have to say is... No, Really???
Quote of the day: "Love isn't love ‘til you give it away" -Michael W. Smith from his song titled "Give It Away"
Download this: "I Wish It Would Rain" by The Temptations - This was a hit in 1968 that still sounds just as great today
|Contradicting Premiere's 20 Most Overrated Movies List - Kickin' it Old School
|04.15.08 (11:05 pm) 
As I am sure you have noticed, I enjoy providing you with my Top 10 Lists. I feel that my viewpoint is often valid and holds merit, but in no way do I claim to be an expert. This is because much of what I write about is too subjective to claim preeminent authority on any of it. After all, I am simply sharing with you my opinion on the subject matter. My lists are usually meant to create nostalgia and/or conversation. Here is a link to a summary page with links to all of my past Top 10 Lists in case you have missed any.
I would love nothing more than to have my lists trigger a memory reminding you of something you had not thought about in a while or generate enough interest for you to check something out for yourself. I don't expect you to agree with my viewpoint in all cases, but hopefully it is respected and I always encourage/appreciate feedback and discussion.
That being said, I have found myself looking closer at lists that others have published. In many cases I find lists that either exclude what are to me obvious choices and/or include what are to me apparent mistakes. I decided that a new feature of Kickin' it Old School will be providing you with examples of published lists that I have disagreement with. I will furnish you with the actual list and explain my disagreement. I will still provide you with my own Top 10 Lists on a regular basis, but I thought this would be an interesting way to mix it up once in a while.
I found many lists that I want to contradict, but I think I will start with a list from Premiere Magazine titled "The 20 Most Overrated Movies of All Time" which I believe was published in September of 2005 but is still active on their website. They did not rank them, so here is the list in alphabetical order:
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
American Beauty (1999)
An American In Paris (1951)
Chariots Of Fire (1981)
Easy Rider (1969)
Field Of Dreams (1989)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Gone With The Wind (1939)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Jules And Jim (1962)
Monster's Ball (2001)
Mystic River (2003)
The Red Shoes (1948)
The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
I am a big fan of Kevin Smith and his debut film Clerks, but I can see how some people might not quite get it and wonder what all of the hype was about. I actually enjoy many of the films on this list and I cannot understand how Field of Dreams, Forrest Gump and Good Will Hunting not to mention Gone With The Wind can be included on such a list. Overrated is a very relative term, so it is comprehendible that someone could possibly feel that way, but I cannot see how you can possibly include them on a list published in such a popular magazine.
Though I seriously disagree with at least 8 of the 20 movies on this list, the fact that The Wizard of Oz is included causes it to lose all credibility with me. Here is the laughable argument that Premiere makes for it being overrated:
"Judy Garland's appeal is undeniable, Bert Lahr ought to have been in more pictures, and most of the tunes have earned their places in the Great American Songbook, but a lot of this monument to studio piecework is an over-calculated self-promo for the dubious brand of enchantment it's pushing. The candy-coated art direction, highlighting Technicolor at its most garish, provokes insulin shock, and the Lollipop Guild, Glinda's damned voice, and Frank Morgan's ‘folksy' Wizard all give off the pungent aroma of neglected cheese. The film's reputation as ‘kitsch-that-transc ends-kitsch' precedes it; a new viewer unaware of that rep might see kitsch, plain and simple."
I cannot disagree more. Bringing this fairy tale to life is one of the greatest accomplishments in cinematic history. I will quote the rebuttal of Premiere contributor David Schlow because I don't think I could put it any better myself:
"The fact remains that Oz is one of the most influential films of all time. Without it, there is no Star Wars or Harry Potter. Oz is an enchanted land, where the scenery is as Technicolor as the characters who inhabit it - and a bright and purposeful contrast to Dorothy's gray reality. Kitsch? Perhaps, but the movie offers life lessons for even the most cynical of us big kids-it's just a matter of having the heart, courage, and brains to find them."
I understand that it is more interesting to be a little controversial, but calling The Wizard of Oz overrated is downright ignorant and shameful. It is discreditable that an editor would even allow their magazine to publish something so absurd. So I felt this would be a good starting point for my new feature where I cover other Top 10 Lists that I find strong disagreement with.
It is amazing how many lists are published out there, so there are plenty to call attention to. I have not published a Most Overrated list yet, but I did publish my Most Underrated Movies which you might want to go back to read. That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. I hope you enjoyed this new feature and be sure to click on the Archive buttons in the upper left column to be sure you have not missed any past issues. Peace and much love.
Check this out: If you hadn't guessed already, The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorite movies ever since I can remember. Despite that, here is a link to a very funny skit from MadTV which shows you an alternate ending to this classic film.
Quote of the day: Here are two quotes from The Wizard of Oz (both in reference to the Tin Man) that I have always liked...
"Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."
"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others."
Download this: There are many great covers of the famous song from The Wizard of Oz. I have already recommended one once before, but I will add two more versions to the list here... "Over the Rainbow" by Ella Fitzgerald & "Over the Rainbow" by Ray Charles
|Favorite Saturday Night Live Cast Members of All Time
|04.13.08 (3:22 pm) 
While I was in New York this week, I had the opportunity to see actor/comedian Tracy Morgan during his special appearance at Carolines on Broadway. I think Morgan is very funny as "Tracy Jordan" on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock and always enjoyed him when he was on Saturday Night Live.
I was really looking forward to the show, but even though he had some very funny moments during his set, overall I was often uncomfortable and was ultimately left a little disappointed. I am far from a prude and I expected that he could be a little crude and offensive, but nearly his entire set was shockingly explicit. Sometimes that can be funny and entertaining in small doses, but this continued the entire set. I did laugh quite a bit, but this was often because I was almost in shock and did not know what else to do. It was somewhat entertaining, but not as fun as I had hoped.
Morgan was a member of the Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast from 1996 to 2003. His most popular skits included "Brian Fellow's Safari Planet," "Astronaut Jones" and "Woodrow the Homeless Guy" as well as his impressions like Mike Tyson. SNL is one of my all-time favorite television programs and I started thinking about who my favorite cast members have been over the past 33 years since the show began back in 1975.
Tracy Morgan would not be included in my Top 20, but I will let you know exactly who is. My rankings are based solely on the work done while on the show and does not take into account any success or lack of success outside of SNL. I will also include the years they were part of the cast and some of my favorite characters that each actor portrayed while on the show. Here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 ALL-TIME FAVORITE SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE CAST MEMBERS (+ Bonus 10):
Honorable Mention: Chevy Chase (1975-76) - He was a member of the inaugural cast, but only stayed for a year and a half. He became the most recognized member because in all but one episode of the first season he was the one who said the famous line, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night." He was the original anchor for the Weekend Update segment and began those with "I'm Chevy Chase and you're not" and always ended with "Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow." He was in one of my all-time favorite skits interviewing Richard Pryor and performing "word association" with him (here is a link to watch it - WARNING does include some racial comments). If he would have stayed on the show longer, he would definitely be higher on this list, but at least deserved honorable mention.
20. Jan Hooks (1986-91) - I remember her most for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton as well as her "The Sweeney Sisters" skits she did with Nora Dunn. This spot could have easily gone to several others including Tim Meadows, Rob Schneider, Darrell Hammond, Rachel Dratch or Fred Armisen.
19. Dennis Miller (1985-91) - He was the Weekend Update anchor for his years on the show and ended that segment each time with "That's the news, and I am outta here."
18. Adam Sandler (1990-95) - He was never used properly in skits, but I remember him best for his Opera Man and Cajun Man characters as well as his song performances like "The Chanukah Song," "Red Hooded Sweatshirt," "Lunch Lady Land" and "The Thanksgiving Song."
17. Amy Poehler (2001-present) - She is the only current cast member to make the list. My favorite characters include "Kaitlin," the hyperactive little girl often tormenting Horatio Sanz, and "The Needlers" as half of the always arguing couple with Seth Meyers.
16. (tie) Molly Shannon (1994-2001), Cheri Oteri (1995-2000) and Ana Gasteyer (1996-2002) - They were known as the "SNL Female Power Trio" during the late 90s and held their own with the male cast members during those years. One of my all-time favorite skits, "Delicious Dish," featured Shannon and Gasteyer playing NPD radio hosts with guest Alec Baldwin discussing his recipe for his "Schweady Balls." I also remember Gasteyer for her music teacher "Bobbie Moughan-Culp" character that she played opposite of Will Ferrell. I remember Shannon for her portrayal of Monica Lewinsky and her Catholic school girl "Mary Katherine Gallagher" skits. I remember Oteri for her impression of Barbara Walters as well as "Arianna" in the "Spartan Cheerleaders" skits with Will Ferrell.
15. David Spade (1990-96) - My favorite skits for Spade include the Flight Attendant saying "Buh-bye" and Dick Clark's receptionist saying "Any you are?" I also enjoyed his "Hollywood Minute" segment as well.
14. Chris Parnell (1998-2006) - I feel he was a very under-rated cast member who did many funny characters, but my favorites included "Merv the Perv" and "Sean DeMarco" who was an interpretive dancer with his brother played by Chris Kattan.
13. Bill Murray (1976-80) - My favorite Murray skits included "Nick the Lounge Singer" and "Todd" the nerd who played opposite Gilda Radner. Though off this topic, here is a link to my Top 10 Bill Murray movies.
12. Jon Lovitz (1985-90) - He was part of a very strong cast in the late 80s. My favorite characters included "Hanukkah Harry," "Master Thespian" and "Tommy Flanagan" who was the pathological liar with the line "Yeah, that's the ticket."
11. Kevin Nealon (1986-95) - He did a great job as the Weekend Update anchor taking over for Dennis Miller. Some of my favorite characters included the "Subliminal Message Man" and "Franz" from "Hans & Franz" with Dana Carvey.
10. John Belushi (1975-79) - He could be funny without even trying no matter what character he played. Some of my favorites included the "Samurai," "Pete from Olympia Café" and "Joliet Jake Blues" from The Blues Brothers with Dan Aykroyd.
9. Phil Hartman (1986-95) - He was one of the most versatile performers ever to be part of the cast. His portrayal of Bill Clinton was very funny and I also enjoyed the "Anal Retentive Chef" and when he played "Ed McMahon" with Dana Carvey.
8. Mike Myers (1988-95) - My favorites included "Dieter from Sprockets," "Philip" the hyper-hypo kid and of course "Wayne Campbell" from Wayne's World.
7. Chris Farley (1990-95) - Another guy who was just funny no matter what he was doing. My favorite was "Matt Foley" the motivational speaker who lives in a "van down by the river." He was "Todd" in the Chicago "Super Fans" skit where they proclaimed their love for Ditka and "da bears." One of the all-time best skits was when Farley was auditioning for Chippendales against Patrick Swayze.
6. Gilda Radner (1975-80) - She was part of the inaugural cast and has to be one of the funniest women that I have ever watched. She had many funny characters including "Roseanne Roseannadanna," "Baba Wawa," "Emily Litella" with elderly editorials and "Judy" the nerd opposite Bill Murray.
5. Jimmy Fallon (1998-2004) - He would later be an anchor for Weekend Update, but I liked him better as characters. Some of my favorites include "Sully" the Boston guy with his girlfried "Zazu" played by Rachel Dratch, "Nick Burns" your company's computer guy and "Barry Gibb" on the "Barry Gibb Talk Show" with Justin Timberlake playing his brother Robin.
4. Will Ferrell (1995-2002) - He might be the most versatile cast member of all time and never afraid to make a fool out of himself to get the laugh. One of my all-time favorite skits is the "Blue Oyster Cult Behind the Music" with Ferrell's character providing "more cowbell" (here is a link to this hilarious video which hopefully will not be removed). His portrayals of George W. Bush, Alex Trebek on Celebrity Jeopardy and James Lipton from Inside the Actors Studio are hilarious. He also was "Craig" the Spartan Cheerleader with Cheri Oteri and music teacher "Marty Culp" with Ana Gasteyer.
3. Eddie Murphy (1980-84) - His Best of Eddie Murphy Saturday Night Live is hilarious from beginning to end. One of my favorite skits was always "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood." His portrayal of James Brown was always great as was the skit where he portrayed Stevie Wonder doing a duet with Frank Sinatra played by Joe Piscopo. His "Buckwheat" and "Velvet Jones" characters were funny and many people remember his "Gumby" too. Though it has nothing to do with this, here is a link to my Eddie Murphy Top 10 movies.
2. Dan Aykroyd (1975-79) - Another one of the original cast members, Aykroyd had many funny characters from "Beldar Conehead" to "Elwood Blues" from The Blues Brothers to "George from Olympia Café" yelling cheeseburger to the slimy "Irwin Mainway" on such skits as "Consumer Probe" (here is a link to a poor quality recording of one of those "Consumer Probe" skits). One of the funniest skits was those "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" which he played with Steve Martin.
1. Dana Carvey (1986-93) - He did so much brilliant stuff that it is difficult to list it all here. Of course he was well known for "The Church Lady" and "Garth" on Wayne's World. I always enjoyed some of his lesser know roles like "Massive Head Wound Harry." His impressions were very funny including George H. W. Bush, Johnny Carson, Ross Perot and Jimmy Stewart among others. I think my favorite skit is where he played British musician "Derek Stevens" who is pressed to come up with a new song and gives a hilarious rendition of "Choppin' Broccoli." I wish I could have found a link to that skit.
There is my list of favorites. I wish I could have given you more links to videos, but NBC is very strict on not allowing videos out there for their products. There are also many former cast members that might surprise you. I decided to give you another quick list of those that might surprise you the most:
17. Chris Rock (1990-93)
16. Jim Belushi (1983-85)
15. Jay Mohr (1993-95)
14. Michael McKean (1993-95)
13. Martin Short (1984-85)
12. Billy Crystal (1984-85)
11. Janeane Garofalo (1994-95)
10. Gilbert Gottfried (1980-81)
9. Laurie Metcalf (1980-81)
8. Damon Wayans (1985-86)
7. Sarah Silverman (1993-94)
6. Joan Cusack (1985-86)
5. Anthony Michael Hall (1985-86)
4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982-85)
3. Randy Quaid (1985-86)
2. Ben Stiller (1988-89)
1. Robert Downey Jr. (1985-86)
Most appear on this list because they were either only cast members for a brief amount of time, they were members during less popular seasons and/or they were not featured in many skits during their time. They still do count as members of the extremely impressive SNL alumni.
That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it. As always, I appreciate your comments and feedback. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is a picture I thought was humorous since the sign kind of contradicts itself...
Quote of the day: "Failures want pleasing methods... successes want pleasing results." -Earl Nightingale
Download this: "What About Now (Idol Gives Back Performance)" by Daughtry - This was featured during the Idol Gives Back show this week and is available for download on iTunes with the proceeds going to charity
|Top 50 Best Songs from 90s Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|04.06.08 (8:06 pm) 
One of my most popular articles is my Top 50 Best 80s Movie Songs and you should be sure to read that one if you haven't already. As I said then, there is nothing better than the perfect song playing at that perfect moment in a movie no matter what decade we are looking at. I also promised that I would provide a list of the Best 90s Movie Songs at some point, so that is what I am doing now. As in the 80s, some songs were made popular by the movies, but many songs proved to be even more popular than the films they appeared in.
Also similar to my 80s list, there are so many songs that warrant consideration that I will give you the Top 50 instead of just the Top 10. Many songs will also include a link to a video. Without further ado, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 BEST SONGS FEATURED IN 90s MOVIES (+ Bonus 40):
Honorable Mention. "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion from Titanic (1997) - I am neither a fan of this movie or this song, but cannot totally dismiss it since it is one of the best-selling singles in history. It won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1998 and won the Grammy for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Song Written For Motion Picture or Television. I would expect most lists would include this song in the top 5, but it is one of my least liked songs of all time, so on my list it will simply get honorable mention.
50. (tie) "Wild Wild West" by Will Smith from Wild Wild West (1999) and "Men In Black" by Will Smith from Men In Black (1997) - link to video for "Men In Black"
49. "I Can't Get Enough of You Baby" by Smash Mouth from Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
48. "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly from Space Jam (1996) - link to video
47. "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins from Tarzan (1999) - Actually won the Oscar for Best Original Song
46. "These Three Words" by Stevie Wonder from Jungle Fever (1991)
45. "A Wink and a Smile" by Harry Connick Jr. from Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
44. "Show Me Heaven" by Maria McKee from Days of Thunder (1990) - link to video
43. "Even If My Heart Would Break" by Aaron Neville with Kenny G. from The Bodyguard (1992)
42. "That Thing You Do" by the Wonders from That Thing You Do! (1996) - link to video
41. "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette from Pretty Woman (1990) - link to video
40. "The Best Things in Life Are Free" by Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson from Mo' Money (1992) - link to video
39. "Visions of a Sunset" by Shawn Stockman (of Boyz II Men) from Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) - link to video
38. "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio from Dangerous Minds (1995) - link to video
37. "Only Lonely" by Hootie & the Blowfish from Message in a Bottle (1999)
36. "Secret Garden" by Bruce Springsteen from Jerry Maguire (1996) - link to video
35. "Nights Like This" by After 7 from The Five Heartbeats (1991)
34. "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)" by Whitney Houston with Babyface from Waiting to Exhale (1995)
33. "Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls from City of Angels (1998)
32. "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks from Hope Floats (1998) - Another version by Trisha Yearwood also appears in the movie and on the soundtrack. The song is originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan, but my favorite cover is by Billy Joel.
31. "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" by Elton John from The Lion King (1994) - link to video - "Hakuna Matata" is another fun song from this movie
30. "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty from Good Will Hunting (1997)
29. "Stay" by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories from Reality Bites (1994)
28. "When I Fall In Love" by Celine Dion & Clive Griffin from Sleepless in Seattle (1993) - link to video
27. "For the First Time" by Kenny Loggins from One Fine Day (1996) - link to video
26. "Crazy Love" by Aaron Neville & Robbie Robertson from Phenomenon (1996)
25. "Blaze of Glory" by Bon Jovi from Young Guns II (1990) - link to video
24. "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton from Rush (1991) - Made more famous by his performance on the show MTV Unplugged
23. "I'll Remember" by Madonna from With Honors (1994) - link to video
22. "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve from Cruel Intentions (1999) - link to video
21. "You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy from Swingers (1996) - the song they actually swing dance to in the movie is another BBVD song titled "Go Daddy-O"
20. "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal from Batman Forever (1995) - link to video
19. "Man on the Moon" by R.E.M. from Man on the Moon (1999)
18. "I'd Die Without You" by P.M. Dawn from Boomerang (1992) - link to video
17. "I Will" by Ben Taylor from Bye Bye Love (1995) - link to video - Yes, that is the son of James Taylor and yes, that is a cover of a Beatles song. It is one of my favorite songs of all time.
16. "Let My Love Open the Door" by Pete Townshend from Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) - This film has an outstanding soundtrack which also includes the songs "Blister in the Sun" by Violent Femmes and "Under Pressure" by David Bowie & Queen among several other outstanding tracks
15. "Music of My Heart" by NSYNC & Gloria Estefan from Music of the Heart (1999) - link to video
14. "How Do I Live" by Trisha Yearwood from Con Air (1997) - link to video
13. "Again" by Janet Jackson from Poetic Justice (1993) - link to video
12. (tie) "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield and "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green both from Pulp Fiction (1994) - One of the best movie soundtracks of all time for what is my favorite movie of all time
11. "Regulate" by Warren G. & Nate Dogg from Above the Rim (1994) - link to video - This rap song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1994. It samples parts of the Michael McDonald song "I Keep Forgettin'" and "Sign of the Times" by Bob James. It also includes dialogue from the original Young Guns (1988) movie at the beginning.
10. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion from Up Close and Personal (1996) - link to video - This song was written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for 6 weeks beginning in March 1996. It won the Grammy for Best Song Written For Motion Picture or Television and was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. I can tolerate this song much more than her one from Titanic.
9. "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan from City of Angels (1998) - link to video - This song originally appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing before appearing on the soundtrack for this film. It was then released as a single in 1999, but peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is beautiful and simple, and McLachlan explained it was written about Jonathan Melvoin, the Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996.
8. "Wise Up" by Aimee Mann from both Jerry Maguire (1996) and Magnolia (1999) - link to video from Magnolia - Another Aimee Mann song "Save Me" from Magnolia actually received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, but I feel this song is much more important especially since it also appeared on another major film soundtrack. Aimee Mann was the former lead singer for the band ‘Til Tuesday which had the 1985 hit "Voices Carry."
7. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith from Armageddon (1998) - link to video - This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of 1998 and stayed there for 4 weeks. Amazingly, this was the first #1 for Aerosmith after 28 years together! This song was also written by Diane Warren and like "Because You Loved Me" was originally meant for Celine Dion. Despite being nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar, it was also nominated for a Razzie as the worst song. Though the song is a little cheezy, I feel the Razzie nomination is not justified because it seems like the perfect song for the moment it is used in the film.
6. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by Bryan Adams from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) - link to video - This love ballad hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of July in 1991 and would spend 7 weeks in the top spot (and 16 weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart). The song was originally meant to be sung by "Maid Marian" to "Robin Hood" and was offered to several female singers to write. Instead, it went to Adams and the film company was not all that happy with the result and that is why the song only appears during the ending credits. The public loved it though and the song went on to sell over 3 million singles making it the second-best selling song after only "We Are the World."
5. "Change the World" by Eric Clapton from Phenomenon (1996) - link to video - This song only reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, but was actually chosen by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as one of the Songs of the Century (ranked #270). The song was produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds who also provided backing vocals on the track.
4. "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men from Boomerang (1992) - link to video - This amazing song, written and produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1992 and would stay there for a record breaking 13 straight weeks. This broke the record of 11 weeks held by Elvis Presley in 1956 with "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel," but would be broken again by one of the songs listed in the #2 spot below.
3. (tie) "I Will Always Love You" and "I Have Nothing" both by Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard (1992) - link to "I Will Always Love You" video & link to "I Have Nothing" video - The movie is average at best, but it featured an amazing soundtrack with many of the songs by Whitney Houston who also starred in the movie. The album itself won the Grammy for Album of the Year and went 17x platinum making it the best-selling soundtrack of all time (42 million worldwide). "I Will Always Love You" was originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton, but Whitney Houston's version would reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1992. It would remain #1 for 14 straight weeks which would break the record which "End of the Road" had just set earlier that year. The song would get overplayed on the radio, but in retrospect was ranked #1 on VH1's "100 Greatest Love Songs" list as well as #4 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s" and #8 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years." The other song, "I Have Nothing" only peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is written by David Foster and Linda Thompson and was nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar (though it lost to "A Whole New World" from Alladin which I did not rank in my top 50). It is not as flashy as the mega-hit from this album, but I feel it just as worthy of an effort.
2. "With or Without You" by U2 from Blown Away (1994) - link to video - This is one of my favorite songs of all time and it definitely NOT best known for its appearance in this movie starring Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones. It was originally released on the iconic Joshua Tree album back in 1987. It became U2's first American #1 hit, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is no surprise (like the next song on this list too) that this song is included on Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list (ranked at #131), though I would rank it much higher than that personally. The scene in which it appears in Blown Away is interesting (click on link to watch the scene) and I think the song helps add something special to it. Even though it is best associated with the 80s, since the song appeared in a 90s movie, I just had to include it on this list.
1. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen from Wayne's World (1992) - link to video - This song was originally recorded for Queen's 1975 album A Night at the Opera and would have huge commercial success at that time especially in the UK. It is eclectic to say the least, but is included on Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list (ranked #163). The song enjoyed a resurgence when it was included in a very funny scene in Wayne's World. It is reported that actor Dana Carvey did not learn the lyrics to the song prior to filming the scene and was displeased with the take used in the film because he was obviously just moving his mouth to the music. I actually thought this made it even funnier, but you can see it for yourself in the video. This was an outstanding song long before this film, but because it was in the movie it qualifies for this list and I rank it at the top.
There's my list from the 90s. The biggest difference I notice from the 80s list is that this list includes far fewer "pop" songs, though many of the songs on this list were catapulted by these films and ended up being some of the best selling singles of all time. Songs like "My Heart Will Go On," "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You," "End of the Road" and "I Will Always Love You" are some of the most successful songs in history and they each appeared on movie soundtracks in the 90s. If you include the honorable mention, Celine Dion appears on the list 3 times which would seem to make her the queen of 90s Movie Songs. Just to remind you, there were links to the video for 30 of the songs on this list, so be sure to give those a try.
Hope you enjoyed this list as much as the 80s Movie Songs list. It's hard for me to believe that some of these movies are now 10-15 years old already. That will wrap up this special issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the new Fan Page where I ask you to then click on "Become a Fan". Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: With the topic of this issue being from the 90s, I felt that it was necessary to include some representation from the 80s. Here is a link to a video montage of great dancing clips from 80s movies done to the Men Without Hats song "Safety Dance" (because original video set to Billy Idol song "Dancing With Myself" was removed). I loved it and it brings back lots of good memories. As you may remember, the Old School 80s Movie Awards included a prize for Best Dance Scene and many of those nominees are represented in this video. Also be sure to check out the video I recommended in my last post too, if you have not already.
Quote of the day: "Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." -Antoine De Saint Exupery (French writer early 1900's)
Download this: Some of the songs on the list above have already been recommended here in past issues. Here are a couple that have not been yet... "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve, "Only Lonely" by Hootie & the Blowfish and "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan
|Sad Story, Happy Story, Weird Story - vol.2 - Kickin' it Old School
|04.03.08 (9:01 pm) 
I started this new feature here at Kickin' it Old School where I will point out a few stories that strike me as kind of sad , kind of happy and just kind of weird . Here is a link back to the first Sad, Happy, Weird report. Now on to this week's picks...
The mother of former American Idol finalist, Elliott Yamin, passed away on Monday night (3/31/08). Here is a link to one of the many articles reporting on this story. Claudette Yamin became know to Idol watchers because she was often shown in the audience back in season 5 supporting her son. In fact, she was presented with the "Golden Idol for Proudest Family Moment Award" during that 2006 season. It was obvious that she was Elliott's inspiration and, from what I have read, it sounds like she was an inspiration to many others as well. Here is also a link to Yamin's website and the chat topic of his mother. I am a big fan of Yamin (especially of his work since being on the show) and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time.
We will stay on the American Idol subject for another story. The "Idol Gives Back" special is coming up this Wednesday, April 9th. Last year's effort raised over $76 million for charities which is simply amazing. This year, Reese Witherspoon is one of the many superstars helping the cause. Here is a link to an article discussing her recent trip to New Orleans as part of the upcoming event. Some of the other superstars scheduled to join her are listed in that article and it should be another successful effort. Whether they are doing it for the publicity or not, the fact is that they are making a positive impact in our country as well as the world. I commend the celebrities for participating and I commend American Idol for using its intense popularity to make a difference. This is another example of the powerful influence the show has and, more than just television entertainment, the incredible positive difference it can make in the world. Check out my article on the American Idol Influence.
Do you remember the movie Junior? It was from 1994 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger with Danny DeVito and Emma Thompson (and was not very good). The only reason I ask is because in this movie Arnold plays a male scientist who agrees to carry a pregnancy in his own body. I just saw a similar story in real life and here is a link to an article to find out more. This story was supposed to be discussed on The Oprah Winfrey Show today and the article has a video teaser for that show which you can watch. Basically, this is a transgender male who's female wife is not able to have children herself, so he decided to carry the pregnancy himself. I am sure there are other articles available if you missed Oprah's show or if this intrigues you. As I have said before, nothing ever ceases to amaze me.
That's all I have for you in this issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy this new feature. We will still obviously have normal Old School articles on a regular basis as well, but just wanted to continue mixing some new things in. Please click on the archive buttons in the upper left column (January, February or March) to have access to all past issues of Kickin' it Old School. I encourage you to subscribe or at least come back often. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across this outstanding video to a song called "Sucker." Here is a link to this video which features a wonderful montage of images from 80s movies. See how many you can identify as you watch it. As you all know, I love the 80s, so I absolutely loved watching this video. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Quote of the day: "Life is but a twinkling of an eye; yet filled with sorrow and compassion; though not imagined, all things that happen; will age to old, though gold" -from the Stevie Wonder song titled "Stay Gold" from the film The Outsiders (1983)
Download this: "Stay Gold" by Stevie Wonder - As quoted above, this song was featured in the film The Outsiders. It should have appeared on my Best Songs from 80s Movies list, but somehow slipped my mind, so I wanted to include it here
|Back to the 80s: NKOTB reunion & New Edition Top 10 Lists
|04.01.08 (10:35 pm) 
It has been reported several places that the New Kids on the Block will be announcing a reunion this Friday on the Today Show (April 4, 2008). The boy band's popularity was at its peak in the late 80s with the release of their album Hangin' Tough in 1988, 20 years ago. That album went 8x Platinum selling 16 million copies and produced five top 10 singles.
They were assembled by producer Maurice Starr, who is the same guy who discovered another 80s boy band New Edition. Though I was never a fan of the New Kids, I was (and still am) a big fan of New Edition. I was happy to read several places that New Edition has also been in the studio and plan to release a new album later this year. It was New Edition who actually paved the way for groups like New Kids, NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys who followed with major success later on.
New Edition released their first album Candy Girl 25 years ago, back in 1983. They have since released 6 more studio albums plus a Christmas album and several greatest hits compilations. They began with a teen pop sound very similar to the Jackson 5, but matured over the years into an amazing R&B soul vocal ensemble. Over the years, they have sold well over 40 million albums. In the late 80s and into the early 90s, the group separated but the individual efforts of the members were hugely successful before they reunited in 1996.
I am going to give you two Top 10 lists regarding New Edition. The first list will be my favorite N.E. songs from the 80s (for all my 80s freaks) and the second will be my favorites from the 90s which will include any solo ventures from its members.
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 FAVORITE NEW EDITION SONGS FROM THE 80s:
10. "Mr. Telephone Man" from New Edition (1984)
9. "Earth Angel" from The Karate Kid Part II Soundtrack (1986) & Under the Blue Moon (1986)
8. "Candy Girl" from Candy Girl (1983)
7. "Lost in Love" from New Edition (1984)
6. "Count Me Out" from All For Love (1985)
5. "Helplessly In Love" from Dragnet Soundtrack (1987)
4. "Cool It Now" from New Edition (1984)
3. "My Secret (Didja Get It Yet?)" from New Edition (1984) - Performed by the group during their appearance in the film Krush Groove - here is a link to watch that scene from the movie
2. "If It Isn't Love" from Heart Break (1988)
1. "Can You Stand the Rain" from Heart Break (1988) - this is one of my all time favorite songs - link to the video
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 SONG BY NEW EDITION & ITS MEMBERS FROM THE 90s:
Honorable Mention. The entire Don't Be Cruel album by Bobby Brown - This album was released in 1988, so it technically does not qualify for the list but it carried into the 90s. Brown was the first to leave the group to pursue a solo project and this album produced the hits "Don't Be Cruel," "Rock Wit'cha," "Roni" and "Every Little Step."
10. "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe from Poison (1990)
9. "Something About You" by New Edition from Home Again (1996)
8. "Good Enough" by Bobby Brown from Bobby (1992)
7. "Home Again" by New Edition from Home Again (1996)
6. "Sensitivity" by Ralph Tresvant from Ralph Tresvant (1990)
5. "Something In Your Eyes" by Bell Biv Devoe from Hootie Mack (1992)
4. "My, My, My" by Johnny Gill from Johnny Gill (1990)
3. "When Will I See You Smile Again" by Bell Biv Devoe from Poison (1990)
2. "Word To The Mutha!" by New Edition from WBBD-Boot City! The Remix Album (1991) - it has to be the version from this remix album which includes all of the members of N.E. - link to the video
1. "I'm Still In Love With You" by New Edition from Home Again (1996) - link to the video (shot on location in Venice, Italy)
Those are my favorites from New Edition, but I can listen to all of their music because I just enjoy the sound they create. They were the first "boy band" but developed into so much more and that which ultimately cost them a spot in mainstream popularity. That was a spot that New Kids on the Block gladly assumed and all of the "boy bands" since then owe N.E. a debt of gratitude for the blueprint. I did not feel their 2004 album One Love was as great as it should have been, so I am really hoping this new project re-kindles some of the magic. I couldn't really care less about the NKOTB reunion, but I am looking forward to hearing New Edition back together later this year. I am a huge fan of Ralph, Ricky, Ronnie, Mike, Johnny and Bobby.
That will do it for another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. If you want to see the past issues of Preview Review, just type that into the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column and it should give you a list of all of them. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the Fan Page where I ask you to then click on the "Like" button. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow Old School on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: I ask you all to go back and check out a back issue of Kickin' it Old School. Here is the link to my issue that included my Top 50 Movie Songs from the 80s. It has been recently updated adding additional details to the top 10 and includes video links for 25 of the 50 songs. Remembering the songs/movies and watching some of these videos bring back fond memories for me. Please check it out again and let me know what you think. Thanks!
Quote of the day: "It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living." -Oliver Wendell Holmes
Download this: I'm going to go with the #1 songs from both of the above lists... "I'm Still In Love With You" and "Can You Stand the Rain" both by the incomparable New Edition
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