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Cheapthrills' Cheap 10 | Aretha Franklin #1

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  • Cheapthrills' Cheap 10 | Aretha Franklin #1








    Happy new year, and if you've clicked on this off the intro, how adventurous of you!

    This is something I've thought about posting for a while. So for my 15000th (!) post, I thought I'd celebrate by creating the thread. Each week, I'll choose an artist or theme, and spend the week counting down a top ten based on that. And we'll see how long I can keep that up.

    I will start the inaugural countdown on Sunday.

    ---

    Jan. 10 - Bonnie Raitt
    Jan. 17 - Dua Lipa
    Jan. 24 - Troye Sivan
    Feb. 1 - The Weeknd
    Feb. 8 - Whitney Houston
    Feb. 15 - The Supremes
    Feb. 22 - Janelle MonŠe
    Feb. 28 - Aretha Franklin


  • #2
    This seems cute. Will follow.
    Your heart is coloured with the love wrapped in the brilliant blue sky above, the breadth of the jewelled oceans, and the pure heat of the golden sun. And your heart is home to the cosmic creation that is you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
      This seems cute. Will follow.
      Oh thanks - I thought about deleting it after I created it, but I'd like to see if I can follow through for the year. We'll see.

      Comment


      • #4


        I thought for my inaugural top 10, I'd pick perhaps my favorite old-school musician, Bonnie Raitt. I do intend to pick more UKMix-friendly artists going forward, but the first one is just for me. Bonnie had her greatest success in the late 80s and early 90s, but she's been releasing music for a long time. In fact, her first album turns 50 later this year.

        So I'm thinking I will introduce the artist and #10 on Sundays - then two songs a day until Friday when the #1 is revealed. But we'll see if I really have that kind of discipline

        Anyhow...


        #10 Too Soon To Tell

        From her Grammy winning album of the year, Nick of Time, this is one of those cuts you might skim over. It's a slower song, which might put you off, but I love Bonnie's read of the lyrics. Bonnie's is recounting a conversation with her ex, who clearly still cares about her even if he's moved on. But it seems he's more concerned about her well-being out of sense of guilt, hoping she's moved on. Bonnie sounds exhausted and resigned and tells him truthfully that absorption and acceptance takes time.

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        • #5
          "Too Soon to Tell" is slow indeed, but I can definitely connect with those lyrics.
          Your heart is coloured with the love wrapped in the brilliant blue sky above, the breadth of the jewelled oceans, and the pure heat of the golden sun. And your heart is home to the cosmic creation that is you.

          Comment


          • #6
            #9 True Love is Hard to Find

            Never let it be said that Bonnie was afraid to color outside the lines of her genre - at times she's veered more towards country; at other times, she fits in with the rock crowd. And occasionally, she does something truly wacky like covering a reggae song. I'd love to hear the back story on how she chanced upon this song, but it was known that Bonnie like to champion unherald songwriters. Perhaps it was simply a friendship with Toots Hibbert (who just passed away four months ago), but this a fun, sprightly song that you can tell she had a great time making with him. (This video is actually a Toots version in which he featured Bonnie, but she recorded her own version 20 years earlier than this.)


            #8 Love Sneakin' Up On You

            "Do you just light up at the mention of my name?"

            Bonnie Raitt hit the top 20 only three times, and this was her final of them. This was the lead single from The Longing in Their Hearts album, which was her third multi-platinum album in a row. A bouncier song about love's stealthiness - just how does that spark happen? - and the ferocity with which it hits. That lyric, taken on its own, sounds a bit narcissistic and supremely confident, but in the context of the song - that's how she feels about her man, and she's pretty sure it's reciprocated.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
              "Too Soon to Tell" is slow indeed, but I can definitely connect with those lyrics.
              It's a bit like one of her biggest songs, I can't Make You Love Me. It didn't make this list, partly because I find it too slow moving as well - even though the lyrics are similarly relatable. I prefer this osng to that one simply because we get more of Bonnie's voice on it.

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              • #8
                #7 Have a Heart

                "Little by little you fade while I fall apart"

                We have two entries today from the Nick of Time album, which is her most acclaimed and easily my favorite of them. All of the songs are really a gem, but I appreciate the tonal shift through the song. It really grabs, you with that opening "Hey, shut up!" line - anger disguised as humor, but in the second verse, it's clear the hurt is raw - Bonnie feels trapped by a selfish lover who isn't reciprocating. The fade-out of Bonnie just crooning is beautiful. It was added to the coundtrack of a movie as seen in the video, but no idea what the movie is.


                #6 Thing Called Love

                "We can choose, you know. We ain't no amoeba."

                Similar in theme to Love Sneakin' Up On You, but more clever - lines like the above which rhyme with "Queen of Sheba" just make the song for a good time. Bonnie once said that she could sing sad songs when she was happy but not the reverse. She was in a good place whent his album was released - she had sobered up, met a man, and was finding success, and the joy is infectious. What the hell Dennis Quaid is doing hamming it up in the video is beyond me though.

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                • #9
                  #5 I Can't Help You Now

                  "Maybe there was a time, but sometimes time runs out."

                  Not even halfway through the week, and I've already missed a day Well, we'll see how consistent I can be. In any case, I Can't Help You Now is from one of Bonnie's later albums - it's a song about the infuriating timing of love. Bonnie's moved on past an unrequited attraction, but now said attraction is interested in her. It has a plaful tone to it, but she's clearly over it - you can almost hear the "whatever" in her voice.



                  #4 Nick of Time

                  "Those lines are pretty hard to take when they're staring back at you."

                  Obviously Nick of Time is my favorite Bonnie album and it won her tons of acclaim - this is the fourth and final entry in the top ten. And it's a song that has gotten more punch as I start to get older. One of the issues of the fraility of life is that we just don't get the time to do everything we hope - we have our bucket list of hopes and goals, but those time limitations sometimes means something's got to give. The songs begins with a biological clock anecdote, moves on to aging, but then closes with a success. She has found love before time runs out - it's such a relief considering the anxiety of the earlier verses, and ends the song on a message of hope to pursue what you can to the bitter end.

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                  • #10
                    #3 Something to Talk About

                    "Thinkin' about you every day, dreamin' about you every night - I'm hopin' that you feel the same way."

                    Well, it's her biggest hit, and probably the only Bonnie song most people know. Once she won album of the year, people were primed for her next album after that, so this got a ton of deserved promo. This song is about two people who are attracted to one other, but don't know it until their passing glances starts making the gossip mill. My own alternative reading of the lyrics has always put a gay spin on it - where the two in question like each other but aren't completely sure about the others' interest because they are hiding their sexuality. Please contact me if there are other lyrics you'd like me to doctor for same sex preferences



                    #2 I Will Not Be Broken

                    "You can hold me, but you can't hold what's within."

                    From her 2005 album, this is the song that made me re-discover Bonnie. I saw her in concert following her tour for that album (Souls Alike) and it's probably her best album of the last 25 years. This song has given me a lot of strength over the years when the chips are down. You can tell just by that title alone. The lyrics I highlighted is the key one for me - especially this past year - knowing that with my back against the wall, as long as I can stay true to myself, I've still won.

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                    • #11
                      I'd have liked "True Love Is Hard to Find" just for its title, which is deathly factual, but damn at the random reggae melody! The West Indian appreciated it. "Love Sneakin' Up on You" is lovely and quite cute.

                      "Have a Heart" is okay, though not particularly striking. Similarly, "Thing Called Love" is okay, but impressive.

                      Now "I Can't Help You Now" is much more in my wheelhouse! Love the lyrics and the song is just fuller, with more body than the previous Bonnie songs I've listened to. I've blessed it with the honour of being added to my illustrious Spotify library. Ooh, "Nick of Time". Also adding that one. I also have an anxiety of the clock running out, so this is a dangerous track for me. The melodic touches and "mmhmm" backing vocals are a brilliant touch!

                      As a devout American Idol fan for many years, I can say "Something to Talk About" was a much-beloved selection from the show's contestants, so I've heard a good number of interpretations of it. Kellie Pickler's is particularly cute. It's a damn good original Bonnie gave everyone to work with, though. It looks like I already added "I Will Not Be Broken" to my Spotify library, so you must've submitted it in an Album Cup or something. Empowerment anthems have pretty much a 100% success rate with me, so I definitely like this one, too.
                      Your heart is coloured with the love wrapped in the brilliant blue sky above, the breadth of the jewelled oceans, and the pure heat of the golden sun. And your heart is home to the cosmic creation that is you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        JSparksFan thank you so much for checking out these songs Especially that you appreciate so many of them! Until the Album Cup, I hadn't really talked much about Bonnie on the forum because I don't think there's a lot of interest on the forum in hearing about her. It was nice to have that Album Cup because it kind of brought me back into the fold with Bonnie and choose some of my favorites, but I was trying to scatter the eras in that, so a lot of the songs in my top 10 weren't part of it. That includes Nick of Time, which is such a beautiful song, but tackles a theme you don't really ever hear about even though everyone goes through that kind of anxiety. I did include I Will Not Be Broken, which I guess might be for me the way Titanium is for you

                        It always made me happy when Bonnie got covered on American Idol (You are probably already aware that Carrie Underwood auditioned with Bonnie's other hit song, I Can't Make You Love Me!)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          #1 Angel From Montgomery

                          "How the hell does a person go to work in the morning, come home in the evening, and have nothing to say?"

                          I've criminally neglected Bonnie's 70s output in this top 10, which is when she built her fame. The 70s music is much more raw and gritty, and I would be remiss if I didn't state that it's vital as well. If Nick of Time didn't exist, it would have opened the floodgates for more from this era. Angel From Montgomery is one of Bonnie's most acclaimed songs from this period. It's about an "old" woman, or more likely, a woman who has let herself grow old before her time in a moment of reflection and regret. She's in a prison of her own making - letting dreams and desires pass by, staying with a dull husband, and is seeking some sort of release in the form of an angel from Montgomery (a metaphor for a governor's pardon). I believe she has resigned herself though, and with a working husband, she can't be all THAT old.

                          I saw her in concert in 2019. And this was one of the songs in her set. At the end of it, I heard someone sarcastically say "Well, that was uplifting." But in an odd way, I think it is - mainly as advice for what NOT to do - invoke your own Montgomery angels!

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                          • #14
                            Bonnie is someone that always catches my attention. Maybe because I love Sheryl Crow and somehow I feel they are on the same side of the street. Thankfully you've shared great things from her in some games.

                            I enjoyed a lot Love Sneakin' Up On You, Have a Heart (beautiful!), I Will Not Be Broken and the amazing Angel From Montgomery.

                            I liked the 10 entries anyway. I really enjoy how the songs flow, her voice is so easy to listen to, relaxed and smooth. I missed my fav from her here, I Can't Make You Love Me
                            Last edited by Leo; Sun January 17, 2021, 15:29.
                            VOTE UKMIX PARADE CHOICE AWARDS

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leo View Post
                              Bonnie is someone that always catches my attention. Maybe because I love Sheryl Crow and somehow I feel they are on the same side of the street. Thankfully you've shared great things from her in some games.

                              I enjoyed a lot Love Sneakin' Up On You, Have a Heart (beautiful!), I Will Not Be Broken and the amazing Angel From Montgomery.

                              I liked the 10 entries anyway. I really enjoy how the songs flow, her voice is so easy to listen to, relaxed and smooth. I missed my fav from her here, I Can't Make You Love Me
                              Yay, I'm glad there is another Bonnie fan. I know Bonnie was featured on Sheryl Crow's last album with Live Wire! If I extended past a top 10, I Can't Make You Love Me would certainly make it - it's one of her most famous songs - it's only the extended instrumental break that kept her out. But the lyrics to that one are really cutting.

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                              • #16

                                I figure I'll bring this forward a few decades to Dua Lipa, one of the brightest new pop girls of the last five years. Dua was instant for me, and it was really gratifying to see her success grow. It's also really interesting to compare her two albums. The first album took a couple years to assemble and is kind of a hodgepodge of styles. Once she establioshed some success though, she came out with Future Nostalgia, which had a much clearer vision. She's also had some features that I really enjoy, as you can see below...

                                #10 No Lie

                                "Feel your eyes, they all over me"

                                Sean Paul had a brief comeback a few years ago as a featured singer between Cheap Thrills and Rockabye, and this song managed to give him a top 10 in the UK. It was no doubt helped along by Dua's feature. Sean chose to smartly open the song with her chorus, which put her stamp on the song and suckered people into thinking they were getting a Dua song. This remains a favorite because Dua elevated the song from what would have been a standard Sean Paul piece as her voice bounces over that chrous, it blends in with his patter almost as if it were an additional musical instrument of its own.


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                                • #17
                                  You go from Bonnie with 10000000 eras to sum up in just 10 songs to Dua with 1.5 eras.... anyway, dua is indeed the brightest new pop star imo, a lot of potential. She's been releasing 1 great track after the other, It'll be very interesting to know which are your favs as I imagine you won't be picking the usual singles.
                                  VOTE UKMIX PARADE CHOICE AWARDS

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                                  • #18
                                    Oooh, the graphics are so nice here!

                                    I love Dua Lipa but I havent poured into her discography just yet. Perhaps ill give No Lie a spin.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Leo View Post
                                      You go from Bonnie with 10000000 eras to sum up in just 10 songs to Dua with 1.5 eras.... anyway, dua is indeed the brightest new pop star imo, a lot of potential. She's been releasing 1 great track after the other, It'll be very interesting to know which are your favs as I imagine you won't be picking the usual singles.
                                      I know - I could have easily have done a top 100 for Bonnie But a top 10 is much easier to manage. If I can keep this going, it will hopefully cover a variety that way.

                                      Originally posted by bm08 View Post
                                      Oooh, the graphics are so nice here!

                                      I love Dua Lipa but I havent poured into her discography just yet. Perhaps ill give No Lie a spin.
                                      Thanks, bm! I use Canva for the graphics I use for countdowns on here, so I'll give them the credit.

                                      As for No Lie, it's more of a Sean Paul song, but I do think Dua's chorus is the highlight.

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                                      • #20
                                        #9 Bang Bang

                                        "He didn't even say goodbye. He didn't take the time to lie"

                                        Amidst the five million versions of her debut album, this song can only be found on the Italian bonus release. I'm curious as to how that decision was made because it's certainly preferable to some of the songs that did make her debut. It's a remake of the Cher song, which Gaga also covered in a more faithful way with Tony Bennett. Dua's voice feels particularly suited to these lyrics and to the dark pop that she's known for (though it would have been a decent marriage if Gaga had gone in this direction with the song instead). I like how the song gets a bit scattershot with the explosion of the chorus.


                                        #8 Homesick

                                        "Here, where the sky's falling, I'm covered in blue"

                                        Dua isn't really someone people associate with ballads, and the fact that this song tanked as the follow-up to her monster hit New Rules probably didn't help matters. This is a piano ballad that Dua co-wrote with Chris Martin, and it has the Coldplay stamp all over it. It's a nice change of pace to hear Dua take a piece that hangs primarily on her voice and its relation to the lyrics. Dua finding her star rising was missing her loved ones, and mentioned that she was happy when it rained on a trip to LA because it reminded her of being home in London, hence that opening line. The song was released with Chris Martin performing back-up, but I prefer this solo version so you can hear Dua hitting those falsettos, and cracking her voice at just the right places.

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                                        • #21
                                          #7 Scared to Be Lonely

                                          "Do we need somebody just to feel like we're all right?

                                          This is one of the few Martin Garrix collabs to make the Hot 100 - it's not quite a ballad, but it's certainly a downbeat song. The lyrics portray a woman who is coming upon the realization that she might rather be stuck in a toxic relationship rather than be alone. It's something I've certainly see played out with my own friends - who would rather tackle the devil they know. My favorite part comes near the end when Dua hits her signature croon, and she gives the song just the gravitas it needs.


                                          #6 Love Again

                                          "Show me that heaven's right here, baby"

                                          Hmm, maybe a good sequel to the previous song - haha! It looks like DUa has ditched her toxic man and hardened her heart to the next one. But it appears she's met her match with a man who softens her up and opens her up to the possibility of... love again. The song samples a Bing Crosby song of all things and he's credited as a writer on it. It takes those strings and mashes them up with an infectious disco grovee that upends its downbeat nature.

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                                          • #22
                                            #5 One Kiss

                                            "I look like all you need"

                                            I feel like this song was a turning point for Dua - while she always had poppier music, this felt more for the dance floor than most of her previous work. It feels like it was a sign of things to come with her Future Nostalgia album. Perhpas her work with Diplo informed her, even though this is less obviously nodding to the past as that album. It still has a 90s sort of vibe to it, with that squishy backbeat and distorted horns. This is a song I didn't give as much play as I could at that time and has grown with me.



                                            #4 Break My Heart

                                            "I would've stayed at home 'cause I was doing better alone."

                                            Released just as quarantine was becoming a thing, that lyric almost felt premeditated. Definitely the song from Future Nostalgia that got the most play from me (even though I know there's another UKMix consensus) last year, it was a combination of conflicted lyrics and a video with wacky transitions that kept me coming back to watch. The song is kind of a standard type for Dua - falling in love with someone you know is toxic. Luckily, she has a song for the inevitable break-up, but we'll get to that tomorrow...

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                                            • #23
                                              #3 New Rules

                                              "If you're under him, you ain't never getting over him."

                                              Because it was Dua Lipa, I was aware of this song pretty early and added it to my playlist without really being mindful of the lyrics. I remember driving and after I'd played this about a dozen times previously,the lightbulb finally switched on - "OMG - there are actual rules and they are numbered!" Supposedly, those rules were actual rules she wrote down after a particularly tricky break-up. So clever and danceable. I don't know if she came up with that over/under line, but it was new to me. Deservedly her break-out hit, it's a dance empowerment break-up song I never knew I needed.



                                              #2 Don't Start Now

                                              "Don't show up. Don't come out.."

                                              In Break My Heart, Dua was telling people she should have stayed at home. And with Don't Start Now, she's telling other people not to come out. Quarantine queen A song that managed to be even bigger for Dua than New Rules, happily proving that Dua was not a one hit wonder during a time when new pop girls are in short supply. As a lead single, Dua delivered a disco romp about moving on. Interesting that her biggest hits have been about bad relationships - who hurt you, Dua?



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                                              • #24
                                                "Angel from Montgomery" is beautiful. It definitely serves as a powerful cautionary tale.

                                                I like "Scared to Be Lonely". I agree it's pretty much the norm as far as relationship circumstances seem...from my POV anyway.

                                                "Love Again" gets a bit lost in the more showy highlights of pop excellence on Future Nostalgia, but it was actually an early favourite of mine that I still have strong feelings for.

                                                "One Kiss" is kinda meh for me. In contrast, "Break My Heart" is one of the best things she's ever done, but it had to grow on me quite a bit before I settled on that conclusion.

                                                I wasn't convinced Dua would ever top "New Rules". It was such a fresh, fun pop song at the time. Definitely among her career-finest.

                                                I've ragged on "Don't Start Now" in the past, but I like it now!
                                                Your heart is coloured with the love wrapped in the brilliant blue sky above, the breadth of the jewelled oceans, and the pure heat of the golden sun. And your heart is home to the cosmic creation that is you.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                                  "Angel from Montgomery" is beautiful. It definitely serves as a powerful cautionary tale.

                                                  I like "Scared to Be Lonely". I agree it's pretty much the norm as far as relationship circumstances seem...from my POV anyway.

                                                  "Love Again" gets a bit lost in the more showy highlights of pop excellence on Future Nostalgia, but it was actually an early favourite of mine that I still have strong feelings for.

                                                  "One Kiss" is kinda meh for me. In contrast, "Break My Heart" is one of the best things she's ever done, but it had to grow on me quite a bit before I settled on that conclusion.

                                                  I wasn't convinced Dua would ever top "New Rules". It was such a fresh, fun pop song at the time. Definitely among her career-finest.

                                                  I've ragged on "Don't Start Now" in the past, but I like it now!
                                                  Yay, an Akini visit

                                                  Future Nostalgia is so packed full of bops, ti was painful to leave some of them off this list - Hallucinate is one that definitely just missed the cut. And as much as I'm perplexed that Physical seems to be the most preferred track on UKMix, it's not like I'm not a fan. Love Again, I have found is one of theones I ost return - I think t here's something about the strings part that appeals to me - it reminds me a bit of Bitter Sweet Symphony - though I can't find any evidence it's the same sample.

                                                  I can see One Kiss being a strange pick, but I do feel like it was an indication of things to come for her. I feel like there's a world of difference between Dua's two albums and that song seems to be the bridge between them.

                                                  And Angel From Montgomery - so glad to hear that co-sign. I never grow tired of it.

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