80’s Music: Funky Club Music

This mix is the songs I think of when I went to the meat market dance club in the 80’s.

I can remember the first time I heard Cameo’s Word Up it absolutely blew me away.  It was completely unique, as it was funky as muthaf___a, but had a new wave rock sensibility at the same time. Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care, watch out for the red codpiece and Levar Burton.

Sure, Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, and the Commodores are great funk bands, but the Gap Band gets lost in the shuffle sometimes, as they produced some great club songs.  Early in the Morning, You Dropped a Bomb on Me, and Burn Rubber on Me are just some of their classics, but I have posted Party Train because the song jams and the video is some kind of weird, awful genius.  All I have to say is black dude in leather and a cowboy hat, right?

In the 70’s, Stevie Wonder was one of the most important figures in music, but during the 80’s he was more up and down.  Skeletons was his best song of the decade.

Earth Wind, and Fire have had so many great songs, but most people just know their awesome greatest hits, volume 1.  Here is a song that was released after this, in 1987 called Thinking of You, which is really good.

Kool and the Gang were the top funk/pop band of the decade and this is my favorite song of theirs.  It’s a little dated, but She’s fresh still resonates with me. It was their most Michael Jackson Off the Wall-like song. Worth watching just for the spangly shirts.

The Zapp Band was led by Roger Troutman funking it up with his Talk box.  Find out where some of your favorite Snoop Dogg grooves came from. I defy you not to shake yo ass just a little bit to this one.

Bow Wow Yippee Yo Yippee Yeah.  Atomic Dog with George Clinton.

I can remember walking into a dance club my freshmen year and hearing Billy Ocean’s Carribean Queen.  You know how a song can be the perfect fit for the moment?  Well, despite being in Iowa during a blizzard, Carribean Queen seemed like the perfect song for that time. I lose my cool when she steps in the room…

Club Nouveau had a really good debut record and then just seemed to disappear.  Their remake of Bill Wither’s Lean on Me was the jam.

Ray Parker is known best for Ghostbusters, but he had some great pop songs with Raydio and on his solo records.  My favorite is this funky little number.

I wind up with a time capsule video for the 80’s as Rick James tells his lady Give it to me baby, while wearing a white suit dripping with jheri curl.  You have to see this video, but as bad as it is, the song does have its Rick James style charms.


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