All Music Entertainment
What's Your Flavor? Choose a tab
You are viewing all articles posted under: From The Vault

From The Vault: Whitney Houston – ‘Queen Of The Night’

Though her most celebrated work remains her epic love songs, Whitney Houston knew a thing or two about turning up the uptempo and giving the clubs something to move their feet to.

Today’s pick is the mighty ‘Queen Of The Night’ from the ‘Bodyguard’ OST.

Serviced as a single from the record-breaking set, ‘Queen’ is a Dance number heavily influenced by Rock music. Helmed by L.A. Reid and Babyface, the track – though a big radio hit – wasn’t commercially released in the US but achieved success in European countries including the UK where it reached the 14th spot of the charts. Through the years, the cut developed into a classic with talent show contestants belting it and DJs from all over the world still spinning it and its accompanying remixes.

TV stations are also the reason of the song’s recognition. Indeed, its music video sees Houston in all her dynamic divadom . Wind machines, shiny wardrobe and attitude aplenty, this visual shows a side of the superstar’s personality only rarely exploited through her storied-career — and we absolutely love it!

The hole the regal queen’s passing left on the industry may still feel as deep as it did on “that” tragic day in 2012, but we find warmth in knowing that, no matter what, Nippy’s position in music is permanently etched in stone. Having dabbled in R&B, Gospel, Soul, Pop and Rock, her industry timeline stands as the blueprint for all the vocalists of this world.


We’ll always love you, Whitney Elizabeth Houston.

Your thoughts?

Read This Story

From The Vault: OutKast – ‘Hey Ya’

As shared in our latest roundtable earlier this week, we’re longing for diversity and variety, especially in the male arena, in 2015. And while we awaiting our wish to be granted, we’re keen to honor an act which showed the music industry that it’s more fruitful to dance to the beat of your own drum kit.

This week’s From The Vault salutes OutKast and their mega-hit ‘Hey Ya’.

Lifted from the duo’s concept double disc ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ – a solo album for each member – ‘Hey Ya’ was issued as the lead single of André 3000’s half of the release in 2003. Self-written and produced, the track is a throwback, hook-heavy Southern Soul gem that sent the whole world – including critics and the Grammy committee – into a frenzy at the beginning of the century.

Having topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a whopping 9 weeks, the cut charted at #1 in Canada and also reached the Top 10 of several European countries such as the United Kingdom (#3), Germany (#6) and France (#7).

{Side note: Big Boi’s launching single was also a Billboard #1 for multiple weeks… talk about killing the game}

Surely the bop’s success wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for its crazy-cool promotional video. Directed by Bryan Barber and boasting cameos from actor Ryan Phillippe and partner in rhyme Big Boi, it takes inspiration from The Beatles iconic Ed Sullivan Show performance – only this time it is imaginary ensemble The Love Below, fronted by an energetic André, that is performing in the UK. With the eclectic artist portraying every single member of the funkified band, the visual earned many accolades including four MTV VMA wins as well as a Grammy nod for ‘Best Short Form Music Video ‘. To this day, it remains a TV channel favorite.

Throughout their 20+ years career, Outkast broke the rules and changed the game forever by redefining Southern Hip-Hop and giving Pop Culture one of its latest musical landmarks. Though both members are unique in their own right, we have to give it to Andre for never being afraid of being different and thinking outside the box – sonically, but also in terms of fashion and styling – even when it doesn’t follow the usual hyper-masculine blueprint.

Needless to say, OutKast’s narrative proves that veering away from the norm CAN be rewarding, in more ways than one. With that, we’d like to send a special message to harvesters of talent: betting on authenticity is betting on longevity.

For now, though, press ‘PLAY’ and shake it like a Polaroid picture!


Your thoughts?

Read This Story

From The Vault: Jennifer Lopez – ‘Get Right’

10 years…

January 4th marks the 10th anniversary of a club-banger that a decade on still gets the dance-floor ablaze.

Today’s From The Vault pick is the colossal ‘Get Right’ by the ever-fierce Jennifer Lopez.

At a time when the world was growing tired of her media presence following the “Bennifer”episode , Ms. Lopez –  with this single – was hoping to right (pun intended) the wrongs caused to her image and reposition herself as an entertainer. Needless to say, it turned out to be just what the career doctor ordered.

Helmed by ‘1 Thing’ maestro Rich Harrison alongside Corey Rooney – with Usher also participating to the song’s development – it was based around an infectious horn riff from the collaboration between James Brown and Maceo and The Macks, ‘Soul Power’.
The diva’s first release in over 18 months, it was met with favorable reviews as well as generous chart positions. Reaching the 12th position of the Billboard Hot 100, it topped both the UK Singles Charts and the World Singles Official Top 100.

Opting to unleash the song and the video the same day (a rarity at the time), it made it near-impossible for folk to disassociate the funky track from its high-octane visual. Francis Lawrence allowed Jen to tap into her acting-skills by portraying a multitude of characters all present at a hyper hip club where ‘Right’ is playing.

Renown for its editorial-looking dance-break (which remains all sorts of epic), indeed it is the kind that makes one feel like the world has stopped and nothing else matters.

The 10 years that separate us from ‘Right”s release have seen Lopez experience career ups and downs; from successful stints on American Idol, to hit singles, to not so successful albums, and a dwindling radio potency.

Still, with a rumored Vegas run on the cards, it seems the ride is anything but over for the Latin beauty and from where we stand, she seems hungrier than she has ever been, which in turn has our appetite for new music from her even more

It will be interesting to see where J.Lo will go next. Wherever she navigates her career, we’re keen to bet that 10 years from now, her star will still be shining bright.

JLo - GetRight

Your thoughts?

Read This Story

From The Vault: Madonna – ‘Hung Up’

“Time goes by… so slowly”
While this week has found Queen Of Pop Madonna forced to share details about her much anticipated 13th album ‘Rebel Heart’, From The Vault journeys back to her most sonically sound effort in recent years. This week’s pick is the glorious ‘Hung Up’.
Released almost a decade ago, ‘Hung Up’ was the very first offering of the artist’s disco-heavy tenth album, the delicious ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’. Helmed by British producer Stuart Price and the diva herself, it is famously built on a sample of ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ by legendary Swedish group ABBA.
Released in a ‘We Belong Together’ reality, the song still managed to achieve major success on a global scale peaking at #1 in 41 countries including the UK, France, Canada and Australia – it reached #7 in the US – and has sold over 9 millions unit since its release.
Johan Renck was in charge of directing the track’s visual. Featuring many dancers – including several of the krumpers seen in David LaChapelle’s documentary ‘Rize’ as well some of her own documentary ‘I’m Going To Tell You a Secret’ – the video succeeds in relaying a raw street aura while keeping up with the glam of the late 70s/early 80s which were explored during that album campaign. From the fashion and the lighting, to the beauty shots and choreography, all comes together and explodes into a euphoric final scene where Madge is seen dancing up a storm.
Perhaps it’s us, but from where we’re standing ‘Confessions’ was the last real “Madonna” album. Indeed, much of what came after has reeked of desperation and tackiness (see: ‘MDNA’, shuffling with LMFAO at the Superbowl, reductive-gate). We’re all for exploring different sounds and textures, and clearly that’s what M-Dolla is famous for; still, we wish she would maintain some sort of regality in her music. In wanting to cater to the younger generation, it feels like the artist is continuously losing the very elements that made her the Queen Of Pop in the first place. So much to the point where she is making the same music the very artists she gave birth to are churning out —- ironically with less tasty results.
Here’s hoping the remaining 13 tracks of ‘Rebel Heart’ give back to us that very artist who has been Pop’s definitive blueprint.

Your thoughts?

Read This Story

From The Vault: Luther Vandross – ‘Never Too Much’

Here at TGJ we feel it imperative to honor the originators who paved the way for our favorite artists and yours. As such, From The Vault is travelling back to the year 1981 when a certain Luther Vandross unleashed what would become a genre-defining classic. This week’s pickk is ‘Never Too Much’
The disco track was the first release from Vandross’ solo-debut of the same name. It was written and produced by the artist – as was the vast majority of its parent album. At a time where “Urban” wasn’t as accepted as it is nowadays, the single charted at a respectable #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a major success on the self-explanatory and now-defunct Hot Black Singles chart where it earned the top spot. Also, the release was a Top 50 hit in the United Kingdom.
Set in a groovy New York, the cut’s accompanying music video showcases pedestrians jamming to the rhythm of the city that never sleeps while Luther can be seen in a recording studio booth wearing what can only be described as an… interesting jacket. Gotta love that 80’s fashion!
With eight Grammys, over 30 million records sold and a myriad of classics to his name, Luther Vandross through his 25+ years career has been a consistant ambassador for R&B music. Like many other deceased artists of his caliber, he is the proof that if you commit to making the most genuine and authentic art, you can live forever.

Luther Vandross’ ‘The Greatest Hits’ is available to buy now!

Click here to purchase!

Your thoughts?

Read This Story

From The Vault: Blackstreet – ‘Don’t Leave Me’

At a time where male R&B groups are a rare find, it’s almost mandatory for us to journey back and celebrate those that helped redefine the genre and put it on the global map. This week’s From The Vault pick is the wholly-heartfelt ‘Don’t Leave Me’ by Blackstreet.

Produced by ever-talented band member Teddy Riley, ‘Leave’ was released as the second single from the band’s 1997 LP ‘Another Level’ and was built around a sample of 1983’s ‘A Dream’ from Motown family band DeBarge.

Interestingly, the release never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 due to a technicality but was a huge hit overseas including the UK where it charted at #6 and #1 in New Zealand.

For the Michael Martin directed music video, the band served a “90s-boyband” masterclass, complete with lyrics-explanative dance moves and questionable CGI. Granted the visual looks like it’s been commissioned by the Cheese Factory (see: that polaroid tower), it still manages to capture the passion of the song.

Long gone seems the time where the Blackstreets, Jodecis and Dru Hills of this world were ruling the mainstream charts. Hopefully the coming year and years will see a resurgence of R&B boybands to shake things up; indeed with the genre making a comeback as of late, the time is ripe for a new slew of males ensembles to step up to the plate.

Pending then…

To the 1990’s male R&B groups, we salute you! We thank you!

Random Fact: Yes, this is the same sample used on Tupac’s posthumous hit ‘I Ain’t Mad At Cha’, which has also been interpolated by newcomers Fifth Harmony on their song ‘We Know’. Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul Mary J. Blige covered the original song in 1997.

Your thoughts?

Read This Story

From The Vault: Destiny’s Child – ‘Soldier’

Echoing this week’s TGJ Replay, today’s From The Vault pick is ‘Soldier’ by iconic-trio Destiny’s Child.

The second offering from the divas’ decade old ‘Destiny Fulfilled‘ LP, and follow up to club banger ‘Lose My Breath‘, ‘Soldier’ was helmed by ‘Crazy In Love‘ maestro Rich Harrison and written by the girls alongside lyricist extraordinaire Sean Garrett.

As a nod to the founding members’ Southern foundation, rappers T.I. and Lil’ Wayne are featured on the track, which at the time helped further cement their reputation as the next-big-things in Hip-Hop.

Like its predecessor, it peaked at #3 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 – as well as its Hot Hip-Hop/R&B – but had even more longevity becoming one of the biggest songs of the following year. It was a worldwide smash too peaking at #4 in the UK and reaching the 3rd position of the charts in Australia.

The Ray Kay directed video saw the trio yet again amping up the divatude, serving glam, grit, grown, and sexy. A black-and-white affair, the clip featured appearances from a heavily-pregnant Solange, Luke James, and Ice Cube and was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in 2005.


After rising to prominence with songs that defined girl power, ‘Soldier’ and its parent album continued the trend with a flair, maturity, and a real sense of womanhood.
With ten years having passed and the ladies now possessing their own success, “soldiers” and children, we can’t help but daydream about the prospect of new music, the themes attached, and above all how epic it’d be.
DC3 may have announced their disbandment during their last tour in 2005, yet we’re remain hopeful that a reunion could still happen. After all, their destiny may be “fulfilled” as a full-time group, but there’s no reason it can’t be revisited, celebrated, and have additional chapters added in the future.

Your thoughts?

Read This Story
eXTReMe Tracker