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I'd laugh more if you weren't 100% right :lol: I remember reading an article about the recording of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" that basically detailed the hit-machines of the 80s, and how everything these production companies was churning out was made as universal as possible, so they could just slap any old singer over it and it'd be a hit. And that was pre-autotune. It's worse now. :(
 

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1. I know all those songs
2. I remember when all those songs were on the radio
3. I like all those songs

:( What was it I just said about the 80's in another thread?
If you like any song Olivia Newton John put out, then you are dead to me. :(
 

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I'm all about the '70s R&B these days. The funk pretty much died in the '80s, though, and I can't stand hip-hop.

Marvin Gaye made it all sound so effortless. He also had a talent for knowing how not to overdo things, which is a lost art in current R&B.

As for the amazing thoughtfulness and arrangements on those classic R&B records, I've been digging into the horn and string arrangements lately. Rufus + Chaka Khan put out an album in 1979 called Masterjam that was a funk/disco hybrid produced by Quincy Jones. Even on the disco songs, Quincy put some clever little horn or string thing into *every single bar*, and nothing ever exactly repeats itself. The most important thing is that it all fits together seamlessly. These sophisticated arrangements don't actually sound complicated until you start analyzing them. I don't think Duke Ellington himself did it any better than that. I thought I'd be tricky and put some horn and string stuff (synth, of course) into my new album, but I'm learning there's a little more to it than I thought.

Here's one of my favorite Marvin songs:

 
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