THE ALTERNATIVE ROCK COLLECTION (1991-1995)


As a music-obsessed 12-year-old in the early ’90s, it was amazing to witness the rise of so-called “alternative rock” first hand. Seemingly overnight, radio stations switched formats to “modern rock,” effectively turning overproduced pop and skeevy hair metal into relics of the ’80s. Of course, Nirvana gets all the credit for this breakthrough, and there’s no doubt that they were worthy posterboys. But the breakthrough was the result of a decade of post-New Wave underground rock music, and this rich history exploded thanks to countless scenes and bands.

Musically, alt-rock (especially the early grunge-centered material) was not all that different from traditional rock music. Electric guitars, drums, bass, gritty vocals. The real change this period brought was the attitude—suddenly a thick sense of irony permeated pop culture, and being different became an asset rather than an automatic strike against your success. To celebrate this influential era (1991-1995*), I compiled 30 of my favorite songs that found success under the alt-rock banner. I omitted most of the obvious crossover smashes (“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Jeremy,” “Loser,” etc.), and instead tried to focus on the awesome modern rock radio hits that haven’t lasted quite as long in the public consciousness. Download and enjoy…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK…

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THE GIORGIO MORODER COLLECTION


It’s hard to imagine a time when synthesizers didn’t dominate popular music, but in the early 1970s, anything beyond acoustic was a pretty avant-garde act. Producer/singer/songwriter Giorgio Moroder was at the forefront of making electro go pop, through his innovative work in disco, pop, and film scores.

Raised in a German-speaking part of Northern Italy, Giorgio made his career in Germany’s music scene in the late ’60s when krautrock artists had started sprinkling synths into their traditional rock formulas. In 1976, he hit it big with Donna Summer’s “Love To Love You Baby,” a funky, orgasmic club anthem that turned the unknown singer into the definitive artist of the disco era. A year later, Summer, Giorgio and longtime partner Pete Bellotte released “I Feel Love,” a hard-hitting electronic disco record that is often credited as the missing link between acoustic disco and modern house music. Other German electro artists like Kraftwerk might have been more musically radical, but Giorgio brought the synthetic revolution to the dance clubs and pop radio before anyone else. He would go on to compose a string of hugely successful soundtracks, from 1978’s Midnight Express to 1983’s Scarface, phasing out classical-style scores in favor of futuristic sounds that would dominate the ’80s. I collected over 25 of my favorite Giorgio songs for the latest Uggh…Nice Watch compilation…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK…

BFRED’S TOP 25 ALBUMS & SINGLES OF 2009


10 New 2010 Uggh…Nice Watch compilations coming soon…
In the meantime, this is what I loved the most last year:

THE TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2009

#1: The-Dream Love Vs. Money
#2: Drake So Far Gone
#3: La Roux La Roux
#4: Kid Cudi Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
#5: Neon Indian Psychic Chasm
#6: J. Cole The Warm Up
#7: Nicki Minaj Beam Me Up Scotty
#8: Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavillion
#9: Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II
#10: Fashawn Boy Meets World
#11: DJ Quik & Kurupt BlaQKout
#12: Gucci Mane The State vs Radric Davis
#13: Jay-Z The Blueprint 3
#14: Cam’ron Crime Pays
#15: Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
#16: Wiz Khalifa Deal Or No Deal
#17: Trey Songz Ready
#18: Caspa Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening
#19: Boaz The Audio Biography
#20: Theophilus London This Charming Mixtape
#21: Donnis Diary of an ATL Brave
#22: Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People Lazers Do
#23: Passion Pit Manners
#24: The Jacka Tear Gas
#25: Fabolous Loso’s Way

Previously: The 25 Best Albums Of 2008

THE TOP 25 SINGLES OF 2009

#1: Drake “Best I Ever Had”
#2: DJ Class f/ Kanye West “I’m The Shit (Remix)”
#3: Electrik Red “Freaky Freaky”
#4: Keri Hilson f/ Kanye West & Ne-Yo “Knock You Down”
#5: Drake f/ Trey Songz “Successful”
#6: Dirty Money “Love Come Down”
#7: Kid Cudi “The Pursuit of Happiness”
#8: Ginuwine “Last Chance”
#9: Mario f/ Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett “Break Up”
#10: The-Dream “Rockin’ That Shit”
#11: Hurricane Chris f/ Superstar “Halle Berry (She Fine)”
#12: Young Jeezy f/ Jay-Z “My President (Remix)”
#13: Alicia Keys “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart”
#14: Nicki Minaj “Itty Bitty Piggy”
#15: Wiz Khalifa “Get Sum”
#16: Young Money f/ Lloyd “Bedrock”
#17: Nipsey Hussle “Hussle In The House”
#18: Birdman f/ Drake & Lil’ Wayne “Money To Blow”
#19: Soulja Boy “POW”
#20: Beanie Sigel f/ 50 Cent “I Go Off”
#21: Clipse f/ Cam’ron “Popular Demand (Popeyes)”
#22: Jay-Z f/ Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”
#23: Dorrough “Ice Cream Paint Job”
#24: Dirty Projectors “Stillness Is The Move”
#25: Vistoso Bosses f/ Soulja Boy “Delirious”

Previously: THE 25 BEST SINGLES OF 2008

THE SALAAM REMI COLLECTION

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Today, Salaam Remi is the guy who flies down to St. Lucia to work with Amy Winehouse; he’s the guy who executive produced the Sex & The City soundtrack, for god’s sake. But in the early ’90s, he first made his name as the man to see if you wanted to fuse hip-hop with reggae. In fact, his work with Bobby Konders on Super Cat‘s “Ghetto Red Hot (Remix)” arguably kick-started NYC’s whole obsession with rap/dancehall fusion.

The son of studio musician and producer Van Gibbs, Remi started out playing keys on Kurtis Blow records in the mid-’80s. After stints co-producing records with Konders, Marley Marl and Funkmaster Flex, he gave The Fugees their first hit record (“Nappy Heads (Remix)”), and crossed over to the mainstream with his massive reggae-pop hit “Here Comes The Hotstepper” by Ini Kamoze. In the last decade, he’s continued his mainstream success as both Nas and Amy Winehouse’s most reliable production partner—he’s produced so many records I love, I had a hard time narrowing this one down. I compiled 35 of my favorite Salaam Remi-related songs for one of this week’s Uggh…Nice Watch releases…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!

THE TREVOR HORN COLLECTION

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It’s hard to say exactly what kind of music Trevor Horn makes. This British genius is widely acknowledged in his home country as one of the greatest pop producers of all time, but in the states, his amazingly diverse discography is largely overlooked. Using a fearless mix of synthesizers, samples and live instrumentation, Horn made it clear that he was playing by his own rules as the driving force behind both Art Of Noise and The Buggles in the late ’70s. And his early-’80s work on Malcolm McLauren’s Duck Rock—including the seminal track “Buffalo Gals”—still stands as some of the most instantly-recognizable (and most sampled) beats in hip-hop history.

But aside from his more experimental work, Trevor kept winning throughout the ’80s by bringing his innovative touches to a string of mainstream hits from acts like Yes, Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. In the ’90s, he reinvented himself as the man behind Seal (he’s written and produced practically every song the singer has ever recorded), and since then he’s been staying busy with an unpredictible slate of work, from faux-lesbian teens t.A.T.u. to indie rockers Belle & Sebastian. I compiled 25 of my favorite Trevor Horn-related tracks for one of this week’s Uggh…Nice Watch releases…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!

THE CLIVILLÉS + COLE COLLECTION

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Anyone who came up in the early ’90s probably still has the ubiquitous order stuck in their head: “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!” But there’s much more to C+C Music Factory than one-hit-wonder status—David Cole and Robert Clivillés, the masterminds behind the group, are in fact one of the dopest production duos of all time. Starting in the late ’80s with a house crew called 2 Puerto Ricans, A Black Man And A Dominican, Clivillés and Cole churned out a steady stream of hits that fused the NYC club music they loved with pop music. After early crossover success with freestyle-infused girl group Seduction, their stock as mainstream songwriters grew, leading to high-profile work with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. In fact, before Mariah discovered hip-hop, it was her house-driven collaborations with David Cole (“Emotions,” “Make It Happen”) that defined her sound. Sadly, Cole suffered from spinal meningitis, and he passed away in early 1995 at the peak of the group’s power. I put together 25 of my favorite C+C-related productions for a new Uggh…Nice Watch compilation…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!

THE KAY GEE COLLECTION


Eminem gives respect to Treach as one of the most innovative lyricists of the early ’90s, and Naughty By Nature’s main producer—Kier “Kay Gee” Gist—is long overdue for a similar recognition on the music tip. After debuting in 1989 as a trio named The New Style, this group of East Orange, New Jersey friends landed a management deal with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit. They soon changed their named to Naughty By Nature, got signed to Tommy Boy and started producing for Flavor Unit’s roster. The group’s classic self-titled debut featured “O.P.P.,” one of rap music’s first massive crossover hits that didn’t sacrifice hip-hop credibility.

The success of Naughty set Kay Gee up as a producer-for-hire, but even from the jump, his focus seemed to be on artist development. He found early R&B success with bald-headed duo Zhané, who he signed to Naughty’s Illtown Records. While he originally produced in collaboration with the Naughty crew, he broke out on his own in the mid-’90s and formed a new label named Divine Mill. Once again, he found R&B success with Next, and later soul crooner Jaheim. In honor of everyone driving out to Jersey this weekend for Summer Jam, I wanted to make a mix of 30 key Kay Gee-related tracks for this week’s Uggh…Nice Watch release. Enjoy…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRACKLIST + DOWNLOAD LINK!!