Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bobby McFerrin - Simple Pleasures (1988)

Yes, this CD starts with the ubiquitous Don't Worry, Be Happy. For this reason, I'd bet that I haven't listened to this CD in at least 15 years. I had been a McFerrin fan since hearing his album titled The Voice; I saw him in concert with Stanley Jordan around 1987 in Dallas. This CD has him using overdubs which, at times, isn't the best way to show off his vocal talents. After hearing Don't Worry, Be Happy continually during the summer of 1988, I was done with McFerrin. I've never heard any of his subsequent releases. How he got work as an orchestral conductor is beyond me. I've talked with orchestral musicians that have worked with him and the term they use consistently is "hack." It's a shame. If he had danced with the one whut brung him and stayed with a capella vocal work, he could have had at least a cult following after the commercial success he enjoyed with this release.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #5 (Oct 8, 1988)
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #12

Tracks: I don't know what this says about McFerrin's writing abilities, but my favorite tracks are the covers of The Beatles' Drive My Car, The Rascals' Good Lovin, and Cream's Sunshine of Your Love. Of his original works, the title track is the best.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This CD immediately takes me back to the summer of 1988, when I worked in a book warehouse in Greenville and would make almost weekly trips from rural Commerce to the D/FW area. Also, whenever I go into a used CD store, there is almost always a copy of this CD available.

1 comment:

  1. I used to own three McFerrin discs including this one. Sold them off in my second great CD purge in 2003. Just searched his name in my Music Collectorz software and turns out he is on 11 discs in my collection - wanna bet every song is "Don't Worry, Be Happy"? I didn't even bother looking.

    Saw him onstage alone with a mic, pounding on his chest, around the time of this disc. Could not enjoy the show until I closed my eyes. Really got into "Drive My Car".

    I've always been drawn to acapella in all of its various forms. Around this time I got into The Nylons as well. They did a cover of Steam's "Kiss Him Goodbye" (darn, they only have live version in Spotify) that my wife really enjoyed so I put it on a lot of mixtapes as the last track. When youngest son was almost two years old, he'd rock out in his carseat to that song which is the coolest thing - little kids groovin'. Wife claims his first words were "Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, UH!" which is roughly how the breakdown of that song sounds.