Friday, January 31, 2014

20 Years Ago • Dancing in 1994

Whitney Houston photo WhitneyHoustonQueenoftheNight_zps53136ce5.jpg Rozalla photo RozallaILoveMusic_zpsfb9eb0af.jpg
Ultra Nate photo Ultra_Nate_Show_Me_zps310ab240.jpg MK featuring Alana photo MKFeaturingAlana_zpsacf268f4.jpg
Clockwise: Whitney Houston, Rozalla, MK featuring Alana, and Ultra Naté.

As my inspiration for the post this morning, I took a look at the dance charts for January of 1994, twenty years ago. I will kick off with the song that was #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play almost exactly 20 years ago, on January 27th, 1994. That song from off the soundtrack to 'The Bodyguard', and featured the sterling vocals of the late, great Whitney Houston. This is "Queen of the Night", written by some of the greatest names of music at the time. The songwriting credits were listed as Whitney Houston, Antonio "L.A." Reid, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Daryl Simmons, and Michael Jackson! Wow! Here is Whitney Houston singing "Queen of the Night".

The second song I'd like to share with you is "I Love Music", a song that seems perfect for this blog, doesn't it? The song was written in 1975 by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, the men behind the Philadelphia Sound so prevalent in the 1970s. Nineteen years later, the song was recorded by Rozalla, a young woman born in Zambia, and later moved to London to be closer to the music scene. Her version of the song was included on the soundtrack to 'Carlito's Way', a film directed by Brian DePalma, and starring Al Pacino and Sean Penn. The song was a good one for the singer, showing off the richness and fullness of her tone. The public must have agreed with that, for the song was #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart for the week ending January 22nd. This is Rozalla singing "I Love Music".

For some, Ultra Naté was considered one of the most flamboyant and talented of the many 1990s House Divas, never one to come up short with a performance in the recording studio. Bold and brash, she was able to reach for new heights with her vocals, while never sacrificing the heart of the song. This could be because she was also a songwriter, and understood the songs so well. On the weekend ending January 8th, the song at the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play was "Show Me", a fun and catchy song. I hope you enjoy Ultra Naté singing "Show Me" as much as I do!

The final song for this Friday morning is one by Marc Kinchen and featuring Alana Simon. While this might not sound familiar to you, if you were in the clubs in the 1990s, you would be more familiar with their recording names, MK (featuring Alana). MK was a big DJ and producer at the time, making hits for both himself and others for the clubs. The pair had a couple of hits together, including "Love Changes", the song on top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart the week of January 15th. Electric and powerful, it is no wonder the song had people rushing out to the dance floor. This is MK featuring Alana with "Love Changes".

Have a great weekend!

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