What the fuck has to be done to get an American record label to release a definitive (I'll settle for 2 discs) retrospective of Chaka Khan's career?! The only domestic comp of her work is the decade-old Epiphany, which is spotty as hell: 16 tracks, a full 5 of which were new to this album (admittedly including the great Me'shell NdegeOcello collaboration "Never Miss the Water"), and only two Rufus songs (one a live version of "Tell Me Something Good"). Not only does Chaka deserve a deluxe compilation of her work, we need one. (For my money, 1988's Life Is a Dance: The Remix Project is a much more interesting look at her career, though obviously it's not complete, either.) Part of the problem is label-wise: Warners seems to be the one major label without a solid retrospective brand (a la UMG's Gold and SonyBMG's The Essential series) - and hell, they're not even particularly good at reissuing/remastering their rich catalog, leaving that work to Rhino (c'mon, people - the Talking Heads catalog just got remastered last year! And don't even get me started on Prince... None of Chaka's albums, meanwhile - let alone Rufus's - have been remastered). Why does Warners blow at this? And what can be done to get them to get their catalog house in order? Frustrating.
"Makes me wanna grab my guitar/and play with it all night long," followed by a subtle groping of an uncomplicated chord sequence, may be my favorite musical double entendre of all time. Upon hearing "A Woman Needs Love" at the cafeteria this morning (how often does that happen?), an older teacher friend wondered, "Where IS Ray Parker, Jr. these days?" We got Ludacris and Sean Paul, I said. Ray, the Boba Fett of his day, would trade his gravel-voiced pussy jive and guitar for hip-hop flow if he was guaranteed the chance to massage Rihanna's feet.
Directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino in 1994, and very influential on - well, me. I actually wrote a rather extensive analytical paper regarding representations of women and womanhood in videos for a college course*, using this clip, Neneh Cherry's "Buddy X" (also by Mondino) and Madonna's oeuvre as starting points. I'm sure it's got its share of flawed logic, but I nonetheless wish I still had it. (By the way, this is taken from Ndegéocello's very own YouTube channel, in case you dig her kind of thing.) (And you should, especially considering you're here.)
I recall I wrote a quasi-companion paper re: male images, which among other videos spotlighted PSB's "Go West" and Shaq's "I'm Outstanding."**
*The course was one I created along with a professor, in which I, er, analyzed and wrote about music videos.
**No, really. See? "When I freak the funk on the dunk they 'Ahhh, oooh.'"