Music With A Message – Why Pop Matters

A few weeks back I was interviewed on another Newstalk ZB show, Total Recall, about pop songs that have a message and a conscience. As someone who loves popular music and the possibilities of the format (including when it’s being highly socially charged) this is one of my favourite topics. In the clip below (approximately…

The Top 5 Underrated Lionel Richie Ballads

In my attempts to get over being unable to attend last night’s Lionel Richie concert (and mini-Commodores reunion with bassist Ronald LaPread), I thought I’d bust out another one of my “underrated” lists. A few days ago I wrote of Lionel Richie’s considerable funk credentials with a piece about the 10 best Commodores funk songs,…

Missing Kiwi On MH370 A Passionate Lionel Richie And Bee Gees Fan

The latest developments in the mystery of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 have turned attention towards the pilot and have in turn raised hopes, albeit faint, that the people onboard may still be alive. It’s really only when you find out the personal stories about people involved in tragedies that your cold fascination with a news…

The Commodores 1975 Instrumental Named After An Island In The Philippines

For the people of the Philippines reeling from the devastation of typhoon Haiyan (2000 estimated dead, 600,000 homeless, two million in desperate need of clean water), here is the Commodores song named after the Philippine island (and city) Cebu. In the mid-70s the Commodores fame spread far from their Alabama homeland and made them superstars…

Why Aren’t The Commodores In The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame?

At the moment I’m indulging in one of my favourite past-times which is listening to old Commodores albums. For those who don’t know, Ronald LaPread was the bassist in the Commodores from 1969 until his departure from the band in 1986 when he fell in love with an Iranian / Kiwi and moved to New…