Song of the Day #4,957: ‘Casino Boogie’ – The Rolling Stones

A deep cut on The Rolling Stones’ classic 1972 album Exile on Main Street, ‘Casino Boogie’ is little more than a throat clearer before the excellent ‘Tumbling Dice.’

If the song seems to make no sense lyrically, that’s by design. Mick Jagger says the band utilized the “cut-up” technique popularized by William S. Burroughs to assemble the verses.

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Song of the Day #4,956: ‘Hang On To Your Love’ – Sade

Closing out my look at the year 1984, here’s an album I had forgotten I knew so well: Diamond Life, the debut release by English band Sade (fronted by Nigerian-born Brit Sade Adu).

This release kicked off a 26-year career that saw every album (six in total) achieve multi-Platinum status. Most of those records came out between 1984 and 1992, with eight and 10-year gaps between the final two albums. But through it all, Sade’s smooth jazz meets R&B groove hit a consistent sweet spot.

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Song of the Day #4,955: ‘Everything She Wants’ – Wham!

My 12-year-old self never appreciated Wham! back in 1984 when they were one of the biggest things in music. I dismissed them as bubblegum pop, unworthy of serious consideration, even before I started regularly seeking out and listening to music.

I held the same opinion of Wham! as I discovered George Michael’s Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990), two albums of sophisticated songcraft that I loved and took as a sign that Michael had put aside his embarrassing past to become one of pop’s great artists.

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Song of the Day #4,954: ‘Private Dancer’ – Tina Turner

Tina Turner released four solo albums between 1974 and 1979, both before and after her split from the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Those releases met with tepid results critically and commercially.

That all changed with 1984’s Private Dancer, an album that launched Turner to international superstardom and marked a departure from her R&B roots toward a much poppier sound. Recorded in England with a rotation of producers, the album spent nearly 40 weeks in Billboard’s top ten and went 5X Platinum in the U.S.

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Song of the Day #4,953: ‘Something I Learned Today’ – Hüsker Dü

My process for these Decades posts starts with combing through a variety of sources for the year in question (1984, in this case), including Billboard charts, Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, critics’ lists, Rolling Stone guides and the like.

I set aside the albums I know well for my own best-of list, then assemble a list of titles with which I’m not familiar, giving precedence to the ones that show up most often. When I’m down to my final list of 10 or 15, I listen to each all the way through at least once, sometimes more than once, before posting.

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