Well, here we are again with a selection played on Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music. I’ve only just finished listening to the third hour of Sunday’s episode, “Pink Floyd and Stevie Wonder a Go-Go Today” in which he features some Pink Floyd as well as songs written, sung or contributed to by Stevie Wonder. Another excellent instalment by Mr Garvey and crew.
I started listening to the show a few minutes after it began on the live feed, then got doing other things as often happens. I’ve said before, I rather like listening to the archive in BBC Sounds as it includes the band/track listing. As I revisited the show later, I saw the 10th song in the playlist was The Kiki Dee Band’s smash hit, “I’ve Got the Music in Me.” Like some of Supertramp’s Breakfast in America, I’m sure I have not heard this one in decades. Listening to it intently, I was struck by what a high-energy, soulful performance Dee and the band give in the vocal runs and instrumental solos and fills, which are captured brilliantly on both the studio recording and the live performance that I link to below.
It isn’t clear to me what connection the song has with Stevie Wonder (or Pink Floyd, for that matter). But reading up a bit on Dee, I saw that in 1981 she recorded “Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever,” co-written by Wonder and Ivy Jo Hunter, which appears to be the only connection between today’s track, Dee and Wonder.
“I’ve Got the Music in Me” may be the first big song people remember Dee for, but it was her 1976 duo with Elton John, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” that is considered her biggest hit.
I just bought “I’ve Got the Music in Me” and cranked it up… Sweety said after the first couple of notes, “I know what song THAT is!” and we had one of our trademark kitchen dances to it. When you listen to the studio track, don’t be fooled by the false ending at about four minutes in (see my post on David Sylvian’s “Orpheus” for another trick ending-that’s-not-an-ending; that one still tricks me every time). The band cranks right back up and churns out another full minute of soaring lead and backup vocals, ripping guitar, bright keyboards and pounding bass/drum line. Whoa!
Gonna tell ya
I’m in the neighborhood
Gonna fly like a bird on the wing
Hold on to your hat honey
Sing, sing, sing, sing
Heat up, cool down
I got words in my head so I say them
Don’t let life get me down
Catch a hold of my blues, gonna play them”
(from “I’ve Got the Music in Me,” by Bias Boshell)
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official audio for the song from the Kiki Dee YouTube (topic) channel:
And, here’s a vivacious, live performance (not an official video) from 1974 by the Kiki Dee Band. Many videos feature only Dee on stage without her band, though their music track is playing… oddly, that kind of performance was done a lot at the time.
(Post edited to add excerpt from lyrics, April 21, 2020.)