Significant Songs (26)

Somebody Else’s Guy

Jocelyn Brown is almost 64 years old, and still working in the music business. One of the funkiest soul singers around since the 1970’s, she has surprisingly had only one hit record in all that time. Despite collaborations with Boy George and Culture Club, working as a backing vocalist for Bette Midler, and having a string of hits on the niche Dance Music charts, mainstream success has eluded her.

Her voice will be more familiar to you than you might imagine. Sections of her own recordings have been sampled on huge hits by other groups, including ‘The Power’ by Snap, and ‘Love’s Gonna Getcha’ by Boogie Down Productions. My chosen track may even surprise you, as it has been around so long you may almost certainly have heard it, or at least some of it, drifting out of a radio, or in the background at a club or bar.

Thirty years ago, in 1984, I heard this song, and it stopped me in my tracks immediately. It has an unusual structure, as it begins slowly, and the listener thinks that they are about to hear a ballad. Then the beat kicks in, the vocals step up, and it gets going. After an instrumental break, Jocelyn returns, vocals building and beat quickening. Towards the finale, the backing singers add to the crescendo of vocals, and you just don’t want the song to ever end.  It is a great party record, irresistible to dance to, and compulsive to sing along with. It has all the best elements of a timeless funky soul song, and that is why it is still as good today. There are many versions available; extended cuts, 12 inch singles, and remixes. Here is a nice happy video of the short version; Jocelyn singing, and everyone enjoying themselves. I hope you do too.

 

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