5 Albums Celebrating Milestones in 2017/’70s Groove Edition

When it comes to lists such as this one, introductions are not needed as classic sets from Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Gloria Gaynor, Elton John and Ms. Donna Summer are served up and ready for your 2017 milestones pleasure. 

Michael Jackson/Got to Be There While it’s easy to pass on high accolades for pop culture in these current daze and times, one that we must show our immediate respect and attention to the King of Pop’s very first solo album post-Jackson 5 as this past January 24, the Motown released record celebrated forty-five (!!!) years since blessing our MJ lives.

While it was a far departure from the grittier, grimier feel of Jackson’s later material, its classic grooves like the album’s title track, “Rockin Robin,” “Love is Here and Now You’re Gone” and Michael’s take on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” that you truly get a fascinating reminder that this album is where it all began. 

Elton John/Honkey Chateau Considered by critics as a touch frothier than his ’71 set, Madman Across the Water, Mr. Elton’s fifth studio album still went down as one of the stand out albums of the decade, if not all time.

With its buffet of ballads, rock, blues and soul songs, Honky went straight to the top of the Billboard album charts, but it was mostly because the world took notice of John’s sharpened musical skills with this set, as it’s still undoubtedly one of the most focused and accomplished set of songs Elton wrote with his long-time co-writer, Bernie Taupin.

And it shows, especially in “Honky Cat,” “I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself” and “Rocket Man,” which is most likely a song you either butchered this week or plan on butchering at the next karaoke night you take over.

You know it’s true. 

Donna Summer/Once Upon a Time/I Remember Yesterday Where else can you get two incredible albums for the price of one fabulous milestone? Only in the groovy ’70s, kids. If you’ll recall (really, how can anybody forget?), Ms. Summer (may she boogie on in disco piece) was a strobe lit force to be reckoned with in the 70s, but before she gave us “Last Dance” and “Bad Girls” to close out the groove filled decade, she served us heavenly life and lots and lots of love with this pair of ’77 sets. 

As if the reigning shimmer of tracks, “Can’t We Just Sit Down(And Talk It over?),”Love’s Unkind,” “I Love You” and “Rumour Has It” aren’t enough to get you toot-tootin’ and beep-beepin’ all night long, it was Yesterday that gave us the Giorgio Moroder magic that was and will always be all up in “I Feel Love.” 

Can you feel it? Yas, Ms. Summer queen, yas. 

Fleetwood Mac/Rumours  Now, if we were to spill about the inner turmoil that went on with all members of Fleetwood Mac during the crafting, cooking and serving of their world shattering album, we would seriously be here all day. 

Seriously, we would click on this and read away.

But what we will do right this second is press play on grooves “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain,” “You Make Lovin’ Fun” and, like, every fucking song on this album that proves much like Fleetwood Mac themselves–in forty years, these classic thunders haven’t lost touch with anyone or any fucking thing for that matter. 

Gloria Gaynor/Glorious Three words…one fiery disco delight…”I Will Survive.” You know it….you feel it….you most likely danced really drunk to it last night….or most likely right this very second because you’ve just had it, gurl. 

Either way…what still highly strobe lit bliss. Groove on, Mizz Gaynor. 





Groove of the Day/Ann Peebles/”I Can’t Stand the Rain”

If there’s one groove out there that’s withstood the sands of music time, it’s certainly Ms. Ann Peebles classic ’70s soul fire, “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” 

Originally recorded in 1973, the track was conceived after St. Louis based Peebles and her producers were headed out to a concert on a dreary day like much today, and after the skies opened up and it began pouring like nobody’s business, the singer retorted, “I can’t stand the rain.” From that moment on, the rest is pretty much music history as Peebles and her team of music producers from Hi Records began intertwining melodies and riffs (and one sexy horn section) to go underneath that simple statement while putting the funkdafied flair of her undeniable vocal prowess on top to make it one hell of an anti-sunny day sonnet. 

Although the tune only struck number thirty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100, it’s remained a certified treasure through the years as it’s been rewerked and recorded by several music artists, including Ms. Tina Turner for her Simply the Best set, “Crazy” singer Seal also recorded his own version, and disco group Eruption even took it and added a little strobe light sass to it in 1978 to come up with their own groovy version that took over the Billboard dance charts. 

But if there’s one music artist whose career got the jump-start it deserved thanks to Peebles, it would be Missy Elliot who took the hook and straight up ran with it for her classic debut spit, “Da Rain”(Supa Dupa Fly).” While there’s no need to argue that radio doesn’t serve out tracks like the ones Peebles used to turn out ( really doesn’t), what we can do is appreciate its power for the rest of music eternity because when it comes to the perfect track to get lost in during these rainy daze, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” is certainly the sunny truth beyond the rainstorm. 

“Beep, beep” for life….and it all started right here. 


Jam of the Day/The S.O.S. Band/”Take Your Time(Do It Right)”

If you’re a music lover and you don’t get down to the sway of The S.O.S Band, you straight up need to get your life in check.

Founded in Atlanta, Georgia in the late ’70s, the funky ensemble came through with Billboard hit singles “Just Be Good to Me,” “High Hopes,” “Borrowed Love” and today’s classic jam of the day. “Take Your Time(Do It Right).” 

Loaded with synth, bass and lots of sexual innuendo, lead diva Mary Davis slays on the track while her funked up band mates supply a groove that still hits that sweet music spot every damn time. And now that June is upon us and summer is truly catapulting our way, there’s no better, um, time for you to take your time….and f$%king do it right. 

But perhaps another reason you should get down to the sounds of The S.O.S. Band is because this is where long time Janet Jackson music besties Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis got their start after the dazzling dup linked up the group in the early ’80s.  So, just think, without the life ready grooves provided by The S.O.S Band there might be no Ms. Janet…and for that we must always pay our music respects.