Thursday, August 21, 2014

BACK IN THE DAY: #THROWBACKTHURSDAY with Madonna, Alicia & Lisa...

In a valiant attempt to revive my Back In The Day column series, each week or so I will be gathering together a few hits to reminisce on -- the good, the bad, & the downright ugly (but there's no ugly in Guilty Pleasure Land, is there? Yes, Mel, there is...). This week, let's flash back to...

1986 - MADONNA - "Papa Don't Preach"
"Papa, I know you're gonna be upset / 'Cuz I was always your little girl
But you should know by now / I'm not a baby..."

Released as the second single from Madge's third album True Blue, "Papa" became instantly infamous for its taboo subject matter of teenage pregnancy. How she somehow managed to take something as serious as that and make is sound so effervescent, we may never know. Now 28 years after the song topped the Billboard Hot 100, it still sounds ballsy.

Today, of course, Madonna remains the unequivocal Queen of Pop with a thirteenth album currently in the works.


1994 - LISA LOEB (& NINE STORIES) - "Stay (I Missed You")
"I thought I'd live forever / But now I'm not so sure / You try and tell me that I'm clever / But that won't take me anyhow or anywhere with you..."

You only hear what you want to. "Stay (I Missed You)" is a definitive 90's cut to me and to thousands of my generation who grew up watching Reality Bites and turning the radio on, turning the radio up to hear Lisa Loeb's ardent yearning for a lover to stay. It's now 20 years later (!!) and I still remember all the words unprompted -- and given the lyrical pace, that's an accomplishment. At the time, Lisa had the distinction of being the first true "indie" artist to grace the #1 position on the Hot 100. This feat would only be matched recently via a comical trek to the "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Although largely regarded as a "one hit wonder", Lisa has kept busy since "Stay" releasing quite a few albums, appearing in not one but two reality shows, recording and releasing two albums worth of children's music, and putting the bank behind her iconic eyewear choices by founding her own line of eye glasses.


2001 - ALICIA KEYS - "Fallin'"
"Sometimes I feel good / At times, I feel used
Lovin' you, darlin' / Makes me so confused..."

Can you believe thirteen years since this little ditty was all over the radio, replayed on MTV, and blaring from every car stereo system? I can't. I vividly remember the Summer of 2001 as it was my last summer before high school (as well as my last pre-September 11th). I was 14 years young and singing along to "Fallin'" on the radio every chance I took. It was Alicia's breakthrough debut single and it sure was a doozy -- aching and oozing with soulful intensity. In a pop music marketplace flooded with saccharine teen pop, the public took to then 20-year-old Alicia like a breath of fresh air. Her debut album, Songs In A Minor, won a record five Grammy's that following February.

Of course, we all know what happened next. "Fallin'" gave birth to a musical superstar known for her emotional delivery and for bangin' on the ivories. She is currently working on her upcoming sixth album set for release late this year/early next and is pregnant with her second child with her hubby, producer Swizz Beatz

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