Same Title, Different Song

As with previous posts in this thread, not quite exactly the same song title, but they clearly know about each other, and flirt outrageously at the bus stop:

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Joan Armatrading – Me Myself I

Joan is rather forgotten these days, which is a shame. For to these young eyes and ears, in 1980, when this came out, she was something I’d never seen before: a black, female singer/songwriter. Sure, I didn’t realise it at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, the phrase “trail-blazer” springs to mind.

And then, there’s this, still peerless, almost thirty years (ouch!) after it first came out:

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De La Soul – Me, Myself and I

You cannot overstate how refreshing De La Soul were when they first burst onto the scene. They were truly revolutionary, a fact I didn’t properly grasp until years later.

My girlfriend at college, and her best friend who she shared a house with (along with three other thoroughly odd, mismatched people), used to have keys to their rooms  which had a plug attached (not a euphemism). One had a label “Plug One”, the other “Plug Two”. Not fully appreciating the significance at the time, I just thought it a quirk, rather than a homage.

At a time when middle class, white folks were frothing at the mouth about rap music and their perceived misogynistic, self-aggrandising perspective, De La Soul were one of the most important bands ever, a black hip-hop band promoting peace, love and unity in a witty, catchy way that nobody had ever managed before.

Plus, the album that this is taken from, “3 Feet High and Rising” was genuinely innovative, a concept album if you will, set out like a game show.

And they sampled – not quoted, or referenced, but sampled – both James Brown and Johnny Cash on “The Magic Number”. They knew what they were doing alright:

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 De La Soul -The Magic Number

Perfect, just perfect.

More soon.