Saturday, June 8, 2013

#5 - On and Off the Throne (Ten at Fifty)

If I were a queen
And he asked me to leave my throne
I'll do anything that he asked
Anything to make him my own

"He's So Fine" - The Chiffons

The Chiffons were in fact the queens of the nascent "girl group" sound. "One Fine Day" in particular is a perfect exemplar of what the producers were always after, and retains its winsomeness in many settings:

So it's a grand irony that their first hit should be known to a great extent as the song "unintentionally plagiarized" in the making of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." Years after his passing, though, they remain active:

Even though for sheer excitement, Martha and the Vandellas' "Heat Wave" is hard to beat, much of the output of The Chiffons sounds exactly like the lodestone that would show the way to songs like "Where Did Our Love Go?"

(Sort of like a seventies redux band, Axl Rose and company had their big one in  at #6 for the year 1988 with the all-too-predictable rocker "Sweet Child o'Mine" - and, well, maybe there wasn't much room after that for more of the same... could his "sweet child" have been the persona singing the Chiffons song, abandoning her crown to be Axl's arm candy? - no, forget I mentioned it.)

Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving

"Stay" - Rihanna

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of pushing a preferred search target ahead of all others that would match a given text string. I mentioned earlier that "sw", a relatively narrowed consonant pair, was just about certain to match a pop group; from a browser with no history, entering "stay" in the Google search field, without even a space to indicate the word wasn't longer, prefers to send you either to "stay lyrics" or "stay rihanna". And that makes me wonder whether the webisphere just naturally pushes it up due to the constant querying of obsessive youth, hefty payments by the publisher for Def Jam Recordings (Rihanna's label) to the appropriate techno-dweebs, or some combination thereof.

So it's kind of amazing that this hugely successful song actually carries some gravitas in its calculating pop ballad appeal, diverging a little from the fairly insufferable formula material that she shares with Katy Perry, Beyonce, Madonna, Donna Summer, oh, no, it's the XFactor:

Suffice it to say that the guy's well off his throne in this love song.

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