Saturday, May 31, 2008

Number 494 - Lipps Inc

Number 494

Lipps Inc


The problem with Rolling Stone's Greatest 500 songs from 2004, November issue, is that they only honour traditional "safe" artists. Sure they included Outkast's "Hey Ya" but that was only to appease and attract the younger reader. But that theory turned out as an epic failure. Rolling Stone's other 499 songs have to be one of the most controversial lists in the history of popular music. On their website they have a rating for the readers to vote on the RS Greatest 500 in an overall view ... and well, you guessed it, a massive 2 stars out of 5 as voted by the people. In other words, not many people were/are happy with the list and who can blame them. Now, Rolling Stone won't mind one bit about "their" list being regarded as negative piece of work because it generates so much interest and discussion.
Surely they knew when compiling the "List" using only so called music experts was going to be dicey at best.
There is only one solution, rename the 2004 list to the "Greatest 500 as voted by music experts" and do a new "Greatest 1000 as voted by the people", then you will see a more "definitive" list and - a more well received one at that. And if they need my help, I'd gladly help them ~ crowbarred
Before hard funksters like Prince and the Time hit the national stage, before groundbreaking alternative rockers Hüsker Dü and the Replacements, Minneapolis was barely a blip on America's musical radar -- that is until Lipps Inc. broke out with one of disco's most monumental singles, the number one smash "Funkytown." The brainchild of producer/songwriter Steven Greenberg, Lipps Inc. (meant to be pronounced as a pun on "lip sync") wound up as one-hit wonders, but that one hit still stands as one of disco's all-time classics; its computerized feel and lean, spare arrangement contrasted sharply with the perceived excesses of most disco music, yet its longing for escape (specifically, from Minneapolis, whose music scene was still in its infancy) fit the spirit of the era perfectly, sending it to the top of the charts for a full month in 1980. A multi-instrumentalist, Greenberg had played in several bands and had been trying for some time to secure a production deal. He finally caught the Casablanca label's interest with a disco track called "Rock It," which became something of a hit locally.

Casablanca asked Greenberg for a full album, and he gathered a cast of session players that initially included guitarists David Rivkin and Tom Riopelle, keyboardist Ivan Rafowitz, and bassist Terry Grant. Most importantly, he recruited lead vocalist Cynthia Johnson, the 1976 Miss Black Minnesota, who had been performing with an early version of the Time. Released nationally in late 1979, "Rock It" failed to catch on; the group's debut album, Mouth Music, was released in early 1980 and when "Funkytown" was pulled as a second single, it was an instant hit, climbing to number one just a couple months later and spending four weeks on top. In the wake of its success, "Rock It" was re-released, but flopped again. The six-song release Pucker Up followed, featuring a disco remake of the British pub rock group Ace's hit ballad "How Long." It didn't attract much attention, however; neither did the next Lipps Inc. full-length, Designer Music. Johnson was already decreasing her involvement with the group, with Melanie Rosales picking up some of the slack; Johnson left for good in 1983. By the time Lipps Inc. threw in the towel, though, they'd begun to open things up on the Minneapolis music scene, not to mention giving valuable early experience to several future members of Prince's band the Revolution. Greenberg eventually moved into web design, and owns a profitable company still based in Minneapolis. ~ [Steve Huey, All Music Guide]
Triv Time....
In one episode of The Simpsons when Homer hears a song by Country artist Lurleen Lumpkin, he comments 'I haven't felt this way since Funkytown'.
In the TV show
Malcolm in the Middle, Hal roller-skates to the song Funkytown in the episode "Rollerskates".
In one episode of
South Park the Towel Towelie plays "Funkytown" using a telephone number pad by keying in 557 544-5085.
The song is featured in
Shrek 2.
In the
British TV series Skins Cassie dances to "Funkytown" with her examiner and teacher when she is sitting her exams.
In the cartoon series
Futurama, the news anchor Morbo sings Funkytown in a karaoke bar in the episode Amazon Women in the Mood.
The Australian group called Pseudo Echo had a very successful cover version of the song in the summer of 1987. It reached #6 in the US, #8 in the UK, and topped the charts in Australia for 13 weeks from December 1986, as well as charting high in many other countries around the world.
For Prince see Number 812
For more Prince visit Mellow Mix Vol 1 #136
What does Rolling Groan think of Lipps Inc? Not a thing.
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '494th Song of all Time' was "Desperado" by The Eagles. The Eagles have appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #509
Other songs with reference to Lipps Inc #652
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (You shouldn't pick on us...) the Album ranked at Number (we are bigger than you think & who's Lipps Inc?)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 75.5 out of 108
Pseudo Echo version (my pick of the 2)

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Blogger Rusty said...

your sitelooks great dad

2:39 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

er .. lol .. thanks SON??????? (!)

2:41 pm  

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