Significant Songs (87)

I’m Goin’ Down

This is the first of two song posts today, both featuring powerful vocals, from equally powerful women.
During this series, I have featured many ‘Torch’ songs, and big ballads. I cannot deny that I have always been attracted to this sort of song, as long as the performance matches the lyrical potential. Perhaps I am just in touch with my feminine side, but with few exceptions, it is generally a female voice that best conveys the emotion in this genre.

Mary Jane Blige, who performs as Mary J. Blige, is somewhat younger than she looks, as she was only born in 1971. She seems to have been around much longer, but her first hit record was as recent as 1992. Taking a familiar route through singing in a church, Blige was notice by Sean Combs, and styled into an R&B and Hip-Hop singer, with the casual street clothes and attitude that went with the image of the time. This was far from my kind of music, and although I could sense the power in her voice, the singles she released did not grab me at all. But her debut album sold in the millions, and she went on to become an established performer.

By the end of 1999, Mary was mixing styles more, and recording mainstream songs from the likes of Carole King, and Aretha Franklin. For me, this was more like it, and it revitalised my interest in her as a recording artist. She still writes and perfoms to this day, and has acted in more than a dozen films and TV shows too. This song is from 1994, and is a cover of the 1976 Rose Royce original, from the film ‘Car Wash.’ I can never resist it.

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12 thoughts on “Significant Songs (87)

  1. Good choice. I’ve always had a real affection for the Rose Royce version. I think Mary J is an wrist getting better and better as she gets older. Her recent version of “My Favourite Things” brought to life a song I never really cared for

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    1. Thanks, Phil. I like the Rose Royce version too, but thought Mary brought it into the mainstream, after it had been forgotten for so long.
      Thanks for commenting. Appreciated as always. Pete.

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  2. Well, Mary J. is in a different league to Beyonce who has a great technique but not the soul of Blige . . and I wish Beyonce would stop phoning me all the time, enough Beyonce, I’ve told you I don’t want to go out for a kebab
    !

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  3. This is a very nice new discovery for me, Pete. I didn’t know the work of Mary J. Blige until now and I like her voice and musci very much. Thank you so much!
    Warm greeting from the Alps, already 35°, getting hotter, phew …
    Dina x

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