Friday Mix-Up, David Bowie/Aaron Neville Edition

by Ricardo Gutierrez

This past week I've had two songs thoroughly implanted in my mind, running on loop: "Young Americans" and "Hercules". So what better way to exercise the demons than to put them in a mix?

Young Americans was the second Bowie album I really got into, after a recommend to me by a fellow engineer. I admit, I was pretty late in life to the Bowie train, but once I got on, I was hooked. That whole album is pretty fresh, plus it's got John Lennon on it (hitting those high notes on "Fame"), Luther Vandross hitting up the background vocals on some of his earliest appearances, David Sanborn and Ralph MacDonald, among others. Can't really go wrong. I dig the sound of the album, what Bowie described as "plastic soul", in a somewhat self-effacing manner. But I really feel it was a bridge between the '70s and '80s sounds, between Philly Soul and Bowie Pop. We all know Bowie was constantly ahead of the times and this album was on the cusp of him moving to Berlin and working on his "Berlin Trilogy" which would influence so much music in it's wake. I'm sure some major props for the sound also go to Tony Visconti as well as the fact that the album was recorded at Sigma Sound, the Philly recording studio that birthed so many Gamble and Huff hits.

"Hercules" is just such a hot song. Aaron Neville kills it. There really isn't much that needs to be said about it, just check it out. Plus it's been sampled a bunch.

I could write whole sections on each of these songs, but, let's get to the music.

PS: Admiralfrogpants, I finally got around to hearing your "Disco Duck" mix on my way to the studio this morning. Great song selection, love the blends and thanks for ending it with Babe Ruth, haven't listened to "The Mexican" in a long, long time. Classic song. I don't drink coffee in the morning, but your mix was a good pick-me-up. Can you please post the tracklist for me in the comments area? I don't know some of those songs but I need them in my life. 


Expreso De Medianoche - Giorgio Moroder
Otha Fish - The Pharcyde
Hey Hey What Can I Do - Led Zeppelin
Young Americans - David Bowie
Hercules - Aaron Neville
Elevators - Outkast
Just Kissed My Baby - The Meters
Oh Yoko! - John Lennon
Que Lio - Willie Colon feat. Hector Lavoe
Stay Off the Fuckin' Flowers - Blacroc (The Black Keys feat. Raekwon)

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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