CHOCOLATE MILK / “Action Speaks Louder Than Words”
What’s up, people?! It’s the third anniversary of Breath of Life.
It’s taken me this long to notice, but the anniversary of our blog will always fall on Father’s Day; and, it will always fall just a couple months before the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Hopefully, there will be a day sometime soon when ‘Katrina’ will go back to be nothing more than a girl’s name instead of an active and still painful part of the daily vocabulary of everyone from New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast area. On the other hand, I’m happy that we share our anniversary with Father’s Day. And given that BoL is a father/son undertaking, it’s particularly appropriate.
As we’ve done the last couple of years, we’re going to pick our favorite tunes from the last 52 week’s worth of posts. Mtume will be picking from Kalamu’s selections and Kalamu will be picking from Mtume’s.
* * *
Artist: Chocolate Milk
Song: “Action Speaks Louder Than Words”
Album: Action Speaks Louder Than Words
(RCA - 1975)
Originally Posted September 23rd, 2007
This is some of that good ol’ seventies-era music. Solid music. Funky music. Real music. Music that I grew up on. It’s like solid-wood furniture, hand-written letters and stove-cooked popcorn: one of those things that we all know was better back in the day but for some reason, we barely ever do anymore.
* * *
Artist: The Persuasions
Song: “The Sun”
Album: We Came To Play
(Collectables - 1971)
Originally Posted December 31st, 2007
Kalamu originally posted this one as a cover. I’m not sure what it’s a cover of, but it’s damn sure a classic!
* * *
Artist: The Isley Brothers
Song: “You’re Beside Me”
Album: Winner Takes All
(Sony - 1979)
Originally Posted February 18th, 2008
February 18th was a hilarious week. Kalamu decided to post his favorite Isley Brothers slow jams. Before seeing his list, I made a list of my own favorites. I thought I was being thorough, but once we got through going back and forth and after a couple of people wrote in to name songs that we both missed, I realized there’s no way to do a short list of best Isley Brothers slow jams. It’s just not doable. Anyway, I could’ve picked any of about ten records for this slot but I decided to go with “You’re Beside Me”
for two reasons. One, it’s one of the records I missed and two, it’s sweet instead of lascivious.
—Mtume ya Salaam
Artist: Black Uhuru
Song: “Emotional Slaughter”
Album: Chill Out
(Island - 1982)
Originally posted September 16th, 2007
Being number two ain’t bad when number one is Bob Marley. While Jimmy Cliff (via The Harder They Come
movie) was the first reggae artist in my ear and while Toots & The Maytals, with their Otis Redding vibe, deeply appeals to me, and while Burning Spear remains a reference for my roots reggae preferences, still (other than Bob Marley) it is Black Uhuru I return to mostly. And particularly to the Chill Out
album (and its dub sibling). I, of course, was delighted when Mtume decided to feature “Emotional Slaughter.”
Moreover: aren’t the very words “Emotional Slaughter”
a poetic image of devastating impact?
* * *
Artist: Aretha Franklin
Album: Young, Gifted And Black
(Atlantic – 1972)
Originally posted September 2nd, 2007
This is the “Re” that’s alright with me. All the way. Her most relevant period beyond the blues into the red, black and greens (and if you don’t know what that means, you got a hole in your Black history!).
I refer you to my words when we first posted this cut. “Soft Aretha voice. Aretha’s voice soft reaching into us. Into the softness of us. Touching us softly. Forever.”
* * *
Mtume, “The Sun”
by The Persuasions was part of a theme-mix (literally—sun songs) that I put together and placed in the covers category even though not every song was actually a cover. And, of course, I agree with your estimation that this song is a classic of its genre.
* * *
We’ve decided to feature “Action Speaks Louder Than Words.”
Chocolate Milk’s anthem remains fresh and funky and no less true today than when it was released back in the seventies.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
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